Course information

Entry requirements

UCAS code


Entry requirements

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


3 years full-time or 4-5 years part-time



Course overview

A challenging and critical synthesis of two humanities disciplines which are absolutely key to our understanding of human life, culture, and society in the past and present.

This programme, jointly delivered by the Departments of History and Anthropology, stimulates and enables explorations and analyses of contemporary social, cultural and anthropological issues with a view to historically contextualising those issues.

Bringing together History and Anthropology foregrounds the relevance and importance of historical understanding, perspective, and emotional intelligence for comprehending and analysing the complex present-day world that surrounds us.

Why study BA History and Anthropology at Goldsmiths?

  • History - the study, analysis, and understanding of the past - is as important today as it has ever been, and it continues to make vital contributions to how we comprehend and interact with the world around us. It is a relevant, dynamic, fascinating and important field of study which, at Goldsmiths, is approached in creative, innovative and exciting ways.
  • Anthropology – the study, analysis, and understanding of contemporary societal and cultural issues – continues to make valuable insights into the complex and global world we live in. At Goldsmiths, we offer a fresher approach than other institutions. You'll look at the subject from a contemporary perspective, and be able to apply what you learn to your everyday life.
  • Understanding past societies fosters emotional intelligence and allows us to appreciate the diversity and adaptability of human life. Understanding our pasts can help us to shape our futures and, crucially, help us shape those futures intelligently, insightfully, fairly, and with compassion.
  • An international body of staff research and deliver modules covering a wide geographical range including Asia, Africa, the Americas, the British Isles, Eastern and Western Europe, and the Middle East. Academic staff in both departments are nationally and internationally recognized award-winning experts in their fields who are at the forefront of research excellence and research-led teaching.
  • Interdisciplinary approaches and perspectives to the subject mean you learn much more than just ‘traditional’ anthropology. From basic anthropological concepts, such as kinship, ritual, world systems, and development, through to investigating anthropology in relation to history, politics, religion, philosophy and psychology; we challenge you to think differently.
  • The programme culminates with a linking interdisciplinary dissertation project. Co-supervised across both departments, this allows you to pursue your particular interests and aspirations while testing the knowledge, understanding, skills and experience acquired in both disciplines across all years of the programme.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Professor Alex Watson or Dr Helen Cornish.

What you'll study

The programme can be undertaken full-time (three years across three levels) or part-time (four to six years across three levels). You take a total of 360 credits, 120 credits at each level.

Year 1

You take both the Reading and Writing History and Historical Perspectives modules which each run for 10 weeks in the autumn term. You also choose to take either the Global Connections OR Historical Controversies module (both of which run for 20 weeks across the autumn and spring terms) OR choose two 10-week option modules (both of which run in the spring term) from a list approved annually by the Department of History. You also take the Introduction to Social Anthropology module (which runs for 20 weeks across the autumn and spring terms), the Anthropological Methods module (which runs for 10 weeks in either the autumn or spring term) and complete an ethnography of a selected region (completed over 10 weeks in either the autumn or spring term).

Year 1 compulsory modules Module title Credits
  Reading and Writing History 15 Credits
  Historical Perspectives 15 credits
  Introduction to Social Anthropology 30 credits
  Anthropological Methods 15 credits

You will also complete an Ethnography of a Selected Region, worth 15 credits.

As well as the compulsory modules above, will study one of the following modules, or two 15-credit modules from a list approved annually by the Department of History.

Module title Credits
  Global Connections: the violence and exchanges that shaped the modern world 30 credits
  Historical Controversies 30 credits

Year 2

You have a free choice of modules to the value of 60 credits from a list approved annually by the Department of History. Some modules, worth 30 credits, run for 20 weeks across the autumn and spring terms and other modules, worth 15 credits, run for 10 weeks, some running in the autumn term and others in the spring term.

You also take the Politics, Economics and Social Change module in the autumn term and Anthropology and Political Economy module in the spring term. You also take the Anthropology of Religion module and the Anthropology and the Visual 1 module, both of which run for 10 weeks in either the autumn or spring term.

Up to 30 credits can be a ‘related studies’ module taken in another Goldsmiths department and up to 30 of your history credits can be a University of London Intercollegiate Group II module from a list approved annually by our partner institutions. Partners include: Birkbeck; King’s College London; Queen Mary; Royal Holloway; University College London.

See the full list of year 2 History option modules


Year 2 modules Module title Credits
  Politics, Economics and Social Change 15 credits
  Anthropology and the Visual 1 15 credits
  Anthropology of Religion 15 credits
  Anthropology and Political Economy 15 credits

Year 3

You complete a 30-credit interdisciplinary linking-dissertation project, that is jointly supervised by staff in both departments, and the 15-credit Anthropological Approaches to History module, which runs in the autumn term. You then have a free choice of modules to the value of 75 credits. Some modules, worth 30 credits, run for 20 weeks across the autumn and spring terms and other modules, worth 15 credits, run for 10 weeks, some running in the autumn term and others in the spring term. You must select at least 30 credits from the Department of History.

As part of your History credits, you can elect to take a 60-credit Special Subject module (including dissertation) or a 30-credit Special Subject module (excluding dissertation) from a list approved annually by the Department of History or from a list of University of London Intercollegiate Group III Special Subject modules approved annually by our partner institutions. Partners include: Birkbeck, King’s College London, Queen Mary, Royal Holloway, University College London.

See the full list of year 3 and Special Subject History modules

Year 3 core module Module title Credits
  Anthropological Approaches to History 15 credits

You may choose to take a Special Subject History module from a wide range of subjects offered not only at Goldsmiths but also by history departments throughout the University of London. Special Subject modules offer in-depth study using original historical sources.

Teaching style

The programme is cumulative and progressive, with knowledge and skills building on previous years and growing year on year. Basic skills and competencies are delivered in the first year which sets the broad agenda for the programme as a whole. In the second year, the modules contain increasingly challenging and demanding material which provides the foundations for the significant independent scholarly work required and undertaken in the final year.

Teaching may be delivered in the form of lectures and seminars or other forms of contact time such as extended seminars, workshops, field trips, and film screenings. Lectures introduce subject specific skills and understandings and provide the basis for discussions, activities, group work, and debates. Seminars linked to lectures provide a space for further exploration of the lecture topics and materials and they reinforce the knowledge gained from the lectures and from independent reading and studying. Seminars also involve field-trips and site visits to relevant places including museums, galleries, archives, and sites of historical interest.

Throughout the programme students are taught to critically engage with the inter-relationship between history and anthropology. In the final year, this interdisciplinary knowledge, understanding, skill, and experience is tested through the compulsory interdisciplinary linking dissertation project. The variety of theoretical and empirical material throughout the programme, covering a wide range of topics, periods and regions, provides students with the opportunity to pursue their own interests while examining and interrogating the linkages between the two disciplines. Under close co-supervision from both departments, students develop a substantial and sustained individual project in which they form and present their own critical arguments in an extended format. In the context of this joint degree, students are required to produce a genuinely interdisciplinary piece of work that reflect their abilities to analyse and assess historical evidence, their awareness of anthropological methods and concepts, and a knowledge of relevant empirical work and debates in each discipline.

Lecturers also make themselves available for tutorials either during their Consultation and Feedback hours or by appointment. These provide opportunities to ask questions about modules and their content, to receive support and guidance on independent work, and to receive feedback on submitted work.

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

  • Year 1 - 15% scheduled learning, 85% independent learning
  • Year 2 - 13% scheduled learning, 87% independent learning
  • Year 3 - 15% scheduled learning, 85% independent learning

How you’ll be assessed

A wide and innovative variety of different methods are used to assess learning, these include essays, reviews, source analyses, blogs, videos, walks, presentations, exams, and dissertations. Some modules are assessed by portfolios of coursework, or by a combination of coursework and an examination. Others are assessed by long essays or dissertations on topics approved with the tutor. Assessments vary in length according to the type of assessment and/or level of module.

Assessment supports student progression across the programme, as assessments in the first year aim to measure a set of baseline skills and competencies which are enhanced, deepened and broadened in subsequent years. Lecturers return assessments and provide useful and constructive feedback in a timely manner so as to ensure that students learn from the feedback and have the opportunity to improve subsequent work.

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

  • Year 1 - 44% coursework, 56% written exam
  • Year 2 - 88% coursework, 13% written exam
  • Year 3 - 100% coursework

*Please note that these are averages are based on enrolments for 2019/20. Each student’s time in teaching, learning and assessment activities will differ based on individual module choices. Find out more about .

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. 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.

What our students say


"Goldsmiths changes your perspective for life"

"I always feel proud to say that I graduated from Goldsmiths, and I never regret having chosen a joint honours degree. I loved getting to grips with how Anthropology and History complemented each other whilst also being independent studies.

My degree gave me the critical thinking and drive I needed to pursue a career in the Museum and Gallery sector. Since graduating in 2011 I have pursued a career working in numerous museum and gallery roles including positions at Tate, National Maritime Museum and the Science Museum. 

The community and reputation of Goldsmiths as an institution helped me to embrace all aspects of my course, London life and the wider art world. When you study at Goldsmiths there is no going back, you learn it’s ok to question, challenge and critique life, art, politics and knowledge itself. It changes your perspective for life."

Entry requirements

We accept the following qualifications:

A-level: BBB
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%, preferably including History
Irish Leaving Certificate: H2 H2 H2 H2

Additional requirements

At Goldsmiths we offer innovative and challenging degrees, in a stimulating environment, amongst a diverse and exciting community of students. Many of our students have achieved high A-level grades, and that is reflected in our standard A-level offer.

Above all, though, we are looking for potential students who can demonstrate the range of skills, talents, and interests necessary for this work, either through traditional A-levels or otherwise. We believe that all able students, of whatever age and background, who have the ability, should have the opportunity to study at Goldsmiths. We actively encourage applications from students with a wide range of relevant qualifications, especially the access diploma.

We also offer a foundation year for students who need more preparation and experience before embarking on the BA. This is a longstanding commitment and practice and, over many years, a large number of our students have come from non-traditional backgrounds.

If you're interested in applying to Goldsmiths, whether you're currently studying or have been out of education for some time, we'd be delighted to hear from you. If you'd like further advice or have specific questions, please get in touch with the Admissions Officer listed above.

Given the range of students that the programme is designed to attract, applicants may be asked to attend an interview, where the following criteria are evaluated:

  • reasons for applying to study this particular degree
  • reasons for applying to Goldsmiths
  • background knowledge/expectations of the discipline(s)
  • intellectual potential and analytic skills
  • ability to express ideas verbally and engage in debate
  • motivation to complete the programme

Performance at interview can alter the usual criteria for entry on a case-by-case basis.

Above all, we're looking for potential students who can demonstrate the range of skills, talents and interests necessary for this degree, either through traditional A-levels or otherwise. We actively encourage applications from students with a wide range of relevant qualifications, especially the access diploma.

International qualifications

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 (or equivalent English language qualification) 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.

Fees & funding

To find out more about your fees, please check our undergraduate fees guidance or contact the Fees Office, who can also advise you about how to pay your fees.

Additional costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such as buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.

There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments. Please check the programme specification for more information.

Funding opportunities

We offer a wide range of scholarships and bursaries, and our careers service can also offer advice on finding work during your studies. Find out more about funding your studies with us.


Career-orientated Skills

Equipping graduates with the flexibility, skills, and confidence needed to achieve their ambitions and ensuring that all students have clear opportunities to develop within, and beyond, their curriculum (through, for example, work placements and overseas study) are essential components of this degree programme.

History and Anthropology is a very transferable degree and both the Departments of History and Anthropology at Goldsmiths have an excellent pedigree in providing careers-orientated opportunities for students.

A wide array of transferable skills is acquired throughout the programme. All modules foster skills in: effective reading; critical analysis and evaluation; assessment of arguments, ideas, and evidence; independent thinking and working; academic writing within a specified word-limit; group-working and collaboration; designing and delivering presentations; and creating a wide variety of outputs and materials. Students learn how to: effectively manage their time and their timetable; meet deadlines, to sensibly and pragmatically schedule time and activities; present themselves with self-assurance and confidence. Information and resource management skills are developed and honed as part of wider research processes and a wide range of library and IT skills are also delivered.

Links with employers, placement opportunities and career prospects

The departments of History and Anthropology establish and fosters a range of partnerships with some of the leading historical and cultural organisations in London and beyond, including the Black Cultural Archives, the George Padmore Institute, English Heritage, Historic England, Historic Royal Palaces, the Horniman Museum, the National Archives, and Queer Britain.

Students on the BA History and Anthropology programme can choose to undertake the Department of History’s work placement module, History in Practice. The module runs for two terms and, in the first term, students prepare for their placement through a series of classes and workshops on public history, museum studies, and working in archives and libraries. Students also choose their placement partner and visit them to identify and plan the activities they will be undertaking during their placement. The placement itself takes place in the second term of the module and consists of one day per week at the placement partner. Students continue to be supported throughout by the module convenor and, at the end of the module, are assessed on the work they have undertaken with the placement organisation.

In addition to the resources provided by the programme and by the department, the Goldsmiths Careers Services offer significant support to students as they pursue their career, with general support in such areas as preparing a CV and interview skills, as well as bespoke events that work in partnership with the degree programme.

You can also read more about career options on our dedicated History and Anthropology careers pages. Find out more about general employability at Goldsmiths