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Course information

UCAS code

1T67

Entry requirements

A-level: BBB
BTEC: DDM
IB: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655

Length

3 years full-time

Department

Anthropology

Course overview

Providing a comprehensive treatment of social anthropology. The course offers training in photography, film making and editing. You'll study anthropological societies and gain insight into the field in relation to contemporary cultural issues.

Why study BA Anthropology & Visual Practice at Goldsmiths?

  • We offer a fresher approach to the subject than the 'traditional anthropology' taught at other institutions, and we are recognised for our contribution to the field of visual anthropology
  • We look at anthropology from a contemporary perspective, which means that what you learn in the classroom will be relevant in a variety of public domains, in Britain and elsewhere
  • The Department of Anthropology has been placed in the UK's top 15 universities for this subject area (Complete University Guide league table 2014) and in the 2014 National Student Survey, anthropology at Goldsmiths received a high score of 95% for the overall quality of our teaching
  • You'll have the opportunity to investigate anthropology in relation to politics, religion, knowledge, philosophy and psychology
  • You'll explore links between theoretical issues and ethnographic studies, enabling you to think critically about your own culture and society
  • Our graduates have gone on to work for the UN, World Bank, NGOs, law companies, media companies and CSR consultancies, while others have gone on to pursue academic careers

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Gabriel Dattatreyan

What you'll study

Overview

In the first two years, you'll concentrate on basic anthropological concepts – such as kinship, politics, economics and religion, as well as world systems and development – and on methods of studying and analysing these. You will also study ethnography and at least one region of the world in depth. 

There's a substantial practical component to this degree, constituting a sixth of the course load in all three years. This includes training in:

  • Photography
  • Videography
  • Editing
  • Specialist software

In your final year you can specialise by choosing from a selection of option topics, and will produce a documentary film and dissertation based on individual study.

Year 1 (credit level 4)

Year 1 modules Module title Credits
  Introduction to Social Anthropology 30 credits
  Anthropological Methods 15 credits
  Ethnographic Film 15 credits
  Anthropological Ideas 15 credits
  Introduction to Visual Practice 30 credits

Year 2 (credit level 5)

Year 2 modules Module title Credits
  Politics, Economics and Social Change 30 credits
  Thinking Anthropologically 15 credits
  Anthropology and the Visual 1 15 credits
  Advanced Visual Practice 30 credits
  Anthropology at Work 15 credits

You also choose one of the following modules:

Year 2 option modules Module title Credits
  Ethnography of a Selected Region II 15 credits
  Anthropology of Religion 15 credits

Year 3 (credit level 6)

This level is made up of 120 credits. 

You take an Individual Studies with Practice module, worth 30 credits. This module is a research project of your own choosing and design, the topic to be agreed with the member of the department who acts as supervisor.

You also take option modules, recent examples of which include: 

 

Year 3 option modules Module title Credits
  Anthropology of Art I 15 or 30 credits
  Anthropology of Art II 15 or 30 credits
  Anthropology of Development 15 credits
  Anthropology of Development 15 credits
  Anthropology and the Environment 15 credits
  Anthropology and Gender Theory 15 or 30 credits
  Anthropology of Violence 15 credits
  Anthropology and the Visual II 30 credits
  Anthropology and the Visual: Production Course 15 credits
  or
  Anthropology and the Visual: Production course 30 credits
  The Anthropology of Rights 15 credits
  Anthropology of Human Animal Relations 15 or 30 credits
  Health, Medicine and Social Power 15 credits
  Anthropological Approaches to History 15 or 30 credits
  Ideology and the Secular 15 credits
  Indian and Peasant Politics in Amazonia 15 or 30 credits
  Myth and Ritual 15 credits
  Urban Anthropology 15 credits
  Anthropology and the Visual: Production Course 15 credits
  or
  Anthropology and the Visual: Production course 30 credits
  Environmental Anthropology 15 or 30 credits
  Psychological Perspectives in Anthropology 15 credits
  Borders and Migration 15 credits (UG) 30 credits (PG)
  Learning from Social Movements 15 credits
  Digital Anthropology Level 6 15 credits
  Staff/Student Research Project 15 credits

Teaching style

This programme is mainly taught through scheduled learning - a mixture of lectures, seminars and workshops. You’ll also be expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study. This includes carrying out required and additional reading, preparing topics for discussion, and producing essays or project work.

The following information gives an indication of the typical proportions of learning and teaching for each year of this programme*:

  • Year 1 - 16% scheduled learning, 84% independent learning
  • Year 2 - 14% scheduled learning, 86% independent learning
  • Year 3 - 12% scheduled learning, 88% independent learning

How you’ll be assessed

You’ll be assessed by a variety of methods, depending on your module choices. These include coursework, examinations, group work and projects.

The following information gives an indication of how you can typically expect to be assessed on each year of this programme*:

  • Year 1 - 35% coursework, 37% written exam, 28% practical
  • Year 2 - 68% coursework, 13% written exam, 19% practical
  • Year 3 - 85% coursework, 15% practical

*Please note that these are averages are based on enrolments for 2016/17. Each student’s time in teaching, learning and assessment activities will differ based on individual module choices.

Credits and levels of learning

An undergraduate honours degree is made up of 360 credits – 120 at Level 4, 120 at Level 5 and 120 at Level 6. If you are a full-time student, you will usually take Level 4 modules in the first year, Level 5 in the second, and Level 6 modules in your final year. A standard module is worth 30 credits. Some programmes also contain 15-credit half modules or can be made up of higher-value parts, such as a dissertation or a Major Project.

Download the programme specification, for the 2018-19 intake. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Entry requirements

We accept the following qualifications:

A-level: BBB
BTEC: DDM
International Baccalaureate: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655
Access: Pass with 45 Level 3 credits including 30 Distinctions and a number of merits/passes in subject-specific modules
Scottish qualifications: BBBBC (Higher) or BBC (Advanced Higher)
European Baccalaureate: 75%
Irish Leaving Certificate: H2 H2 H2 H2

We also accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score of 6.0 with a 6.0 in writing and no element lower than 5.5 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for degree-level study.

We don't assume you have any knowledge of anthropology or visual practice and welcome applications from anyone with arts, social sciences or science backgrounds. 

Fees & funding

Find out about our undergraduate tuition fees and funding opportunities.

Additional costs

Course reading is available digitally and through the library. You will be provided with a printed reading pack for some modules, however for the majority of modules you will need to cover the cost of photocopying or printing reading materials if you choose to do this.

Some modules require hard copy submission of written or practical work, which may involve associated costs such as printing and binding, artistic supplies, and USB drives.

Some modules will include field trips to free museums or sites within greater London and you'll need to cover the cost of transport to these venues. Occasionally field trips may be organised to venues which charge admission, but these are always optional.

If you undertake work placement modules or fieldwork as part of a module or final individual project or dissertation, you will be responsible for your transport and subsistence costs.

You'll be able to borrow a range of film, photography and sound recording equipment and ancillaries appropriate to your level of study from the Departmental Technical Store and Goldsmiths Media Equipment Centre. You'll also have access to practice labs equipped with desktop Macs and editing software to support your visual practice.

You'll need your own portable storage (normally an external hard drive) to store your work. The Department of Anthropology can recommend ones that should be sufficient for the duration of your studies. These normally cost between £45-£65.

Some modules may require hard copy submission of printed visual material such as photographs and you will be responsible for the cost of printing, developing and/or mounting this material.

Careers

Skills

Our Anthropology programmes and courses aim to equip you with a range of specialist and transferable skills.

As part of your studies, seminars and course work, you'll develop skills in:

  • communication (including public speaking, developing and presenting an argument, note taking, report writing)
  • analytical thinking
  • awareness of social, political and cultural processes
  • awareness of social and cultural difference
  • thinking 'outside the box'

These skills provide a good foundation for a number of career paths. You can find out more about the careers this course prepares you for on our Anthropology careers pages.

Careers

Our students have been successful in a range of areas, from postgraduate research and teaching in higher education, to film making and other media careers, journalism, and museum curating, to applied or advocacy work for NGOs and development agencies.

Our particular emphasis on public anthropology encourages our students to explore options in a range of practice-based and public sector career paths.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths

What our students say

Benji

"Something that’s been particularly significant to me is the friends that I’ve made on my course"

"I read about the Anthropology and Visual Practice course and I thought ‘this sounds really interesting’. I didn’t want to do a course that focused completely on photography, so this sounded like a great mix of practice and theory.

I’ve always been interested in studying people and culture, but I’ve never done it in depth. At Goldsmiths you cover so much material and so many different places as well. I’ve come to learn, from studying anthropology, that you have to forget your biases and your own ethnocentric opinions when you’re looking at other cultures because in no way is it the same experience to yours. I think that would be very helpful if everyone could have a deeper cultural understanding and knowledge.

Something that’s been particularly significant to me is the friends that I’ve made on my course. There’s such a diverse group of people at here, which has been really really nice."