BA (Hons) Anthropology

  • UCAS
  • Entry requirements
    A-level: BBB
    IB: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655
  • Length
    3 years full-time or 4-6 years part-time
  • Department
Anna Dziubinska

Course overview

This degree introduces you to key issues and problems that have shaped anthropological thought. You'll study human society and culture, and will develop an understanding of the relevance of anthropology for understanding contemporary cultural issues.

In the first two years, you concentrate on basic anthropological concepts - such as kinship, ritual, world systems, and development - and on methods of studying and analysing these, including the use of video, film, and written texts. You can also study two regions of the world in depth. In your final year(s) you can specialise by choosing a selection of option topics. There's also the opportunity for individual project or dissertation work.

Why study BA Anthropology at Goldsmiths?

  • We offer a fresher approach to the subject than the 'traditional anthropology' taught at other institutions
  • 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
  • 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 and CSR consultancies

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Gavin Weston

Modules & structure

Level 4

Module title Credits
  Introduction to Social Anthropology 30 credits
  Ethnography of a Selected Region 15 credits
  Anthropological Methods 15 credits
  Ethnographic Film 15 credits
  Anthropology Today 15 credits
  Anthropology in London 15 credits
  Anthropological Ideas 15 credits

Level 5

Module title Credits
  Anthropology of Religion 15 or 30 credits
  Anthropology and the Visual 15 credits
  Politics, Economics and Social Change 30 credits
  Ethnography of a Selected Region II 15 credits
  Thinking Anthropologically 15 credits
  Anthropology at Work 15 credits

Level 6

At Level 6 you also take either:

  • an individual project (30 credits) examined by an 8,000-word dissertation


  • an extended individual project (45 credits) examined by a 12,000-word dissertation

Both of these modules are research projects of your own choosing and design, the topic to be agreed with the member of the department who acts as supervisor.

In addition you take modules totalling 120 credits. Options that have been available recently include:

Module title Credits
  Anthropology of Art 15 credits
  Anthropology of Art II 15 or 30 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 2 15 credits
  Anthropology and the Visual: Production Course 15 credits
  The Anthropology of Rights 15 credits
  Health, Medicine and Social Power 15 credits
  Anthropological Approaches to History 15 or 30 credits
  Indian and Peasant Politics in Amazonia 15 or 30 credits
  Urban Anthropology 15 credits
  Anthropology of Health and Medicine I 15 or 30 credits
  Borders and Migration 15 credits (UG) 30 credits (PG)
  Environmental Anthropology 15 or 30 credits
  Indian and Peasant Politics in Amazonia 15 or 30 credits
  Psychological Perspectives in Anthropology 15 credits
  Anthropology of Human Animal Relations 15 or 30 credits
  Learning from Social Movements 15 credits (UG) 30 credits (PG)
  Digital Anthropology Level 6 15 credits
  Staff/Student Research Project 15 credits


Seen and unseen papers, extended essays, practical projects, dissertations and coursework.

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

A-level: BBB
International Baccalaureate: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655

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

Equivalent qualifications
We accept a wide range of qualifications equivalent to the ones listed above. This includes:

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

If your qualifications are from another country, find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world

English language requirements
If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to meet our English language requirements to study with us. 

For this programme we require:

IELTS 6.0 with a 6.0 in writing and no element lower than 5.5

If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for degree-level study.

Read more about our general entrance requirements


Anthropology at Goldsmiths is ranked: 1st in the UK for effective teaching* 6th in the UK for the quality of our research** 30th in the world for this subject area***


Investigate a variety of fascinating areas that have real relevance to modern life.

As a department we’re interested in pushing the discipline forward. We’re known for pioneering new fields including visual anthropology and the anthropology of modernity. And we tackle other contemporary issues like urban planning, development, emotions and aesthetics, and new social movements.

Find out more about the Department of Anthropology

*Guardian University Guide League Tables 2017
**Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings
***QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017


Learning & teaching

On this degree you'll attend lectures and seminars where you'll hear about ideas and concepts related to specific topics, and where you'll be encouraged to discuss and debate the issues raised. This will enhance your academic knowledge of the subject, and will improve your communication skills.

But this is just a small proportion of what we expect you to do on the degree. For each hour of taught learning in lectures and seminars, we expect you to complete another 5-6 hours of independent study. This typically involves carrying out required and additional reading, preparing topics for discussion, or producing essays or project work. 

This emphasis on independent learning is very important at Goldsmiths. We don't just want you to accept what we tell you without question. We want you to be inspired to read more, to develop your own ideas, and to find the evidence that will back them up. Independent study requires excellent motivation and time management skills. These skills will stay with you for life, and are the kind of transferable skills that are highly sought after by employers. 

Learning and teaching on this degree will take place through:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Independent learning
  • Presentations
  • Assessments

Find out more about these learning and teaching approaches

Skills & careers


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, find out more on our Anthropology skills and careers page. 


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

Student profiles


"I came to visit the campus before I looked around and immediately it was amazing. It had this friendly vibe, it was in the middle of London but it somehow felt quite like its own little place in a really lovely way that I haven’t experienced with any other kind of London university"

I had never actually really heard of Goldsmiths, I discovered it through my mum who found out about it, and the integral part was I came to visit the campus before I looked around and immediately it was amazing. It had this friendly vibe, it was in the middle of London but it somehow felt quite like its own little place, its got its own little bubble in a really lovely way that I haven’t experienced with any other kind of London university. I immediately felt this sense of being at home that I never really felt in a university before and that’s how I knew, through visiting so that is really important to me.

I’ve always been torn between anthropology and literature so I originally studied literature when I first came to Goldsmiths I was studying American literature, which is a great department here, but at the same time I started hearing these rumours about anthropology being an amazing course and I did a trail week, I think it was my first week at Goldsmiths, and I tried out the lectures and seminars and immediately fell in love with the teaching style and just the subject as a whole and I knew I had to study anthropology.

Goldsmiths do social and cultural anthropology specifically, that involves studying different cultures around the globe and not just from our perspective but also learning about all of these obscure places and different societies and how that bares upon our society and the political structures here. I’ve studied witchcraft in Africa, I’ve studied South America, I’ve studied landscapes in Australia, just everything, for my dissertation I’m studying first nations in Canada just a completely global perspective which is something I’ve always wanted to learn about.

I was quite nervous about coming to Goldsmiths because I’d had some unfortunate experiences in the past, but most people at Goldsmiths are kind of really friendly and fun, quite arty, political individuals and generally quite similar as a demographic I guess. I was really lucky, I had amazing people in my halls, and we’re all best friends today and I fell in love with my course immediately.The thought of the experience I’ve had thus far on this campus where everything is in one place and your whole life is this one place that you love so much, it’s really hard to think about leaving.


"I’ve found a lot of people with similar goals to mine and have started short film productions with many people I’ve met here, as well as having made lifelong friends."

"I took the BA because I have aspirations to work in the film and TV industry, but wanted a theoretical grounding that went beyond media theory. Anthropology seemed like the perfect choice. The options to learn theory have all been widely varied over the two departments and the practical options in media have helped me learn new skills and production techniques. I’ve found a lot of people with similar goals to mine and have started short film productions with many people I’ve met here, as well as having made lifelong friends."


"The fascinating and engaging lectures and seminars allowed me to settle in to life in London."

"After investigating the university, I found that the Anthropology Department at Goldsmiths was quite renowned and high achieving. Once lectures commenced, I was quickly absorbed by topics I had never thought to consider before, and also by the work that staff carried out. The fascinating and engaging lectures and seminars allowed me to settle in to life in London, and talk with other students on my course, despite not living in halls.

Now in my final year I feel more engaged with the university, and not just the department to which I belong, but also especially the local area of New Cross, which really seems to be the social hub for Goldsmiths."

Fees & funding

Related content links

University statistics for this course