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Course information

UCAS code

LV61

Entry requirements

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

Length

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

Department

History
Anthropology

Course overview

This degree is a challenging, critical introduction to two disciplines key to understanding human life, culture and society in the past and present. It enables you to explore contemporary cultural issues from an historical perspective.

Why study BA History & Anthropology at Goldsmiths?

  • You'll have the opportunity to gain precious industry-standard experience and apply your academic skills within the workplace through our History at Work placement scheme
  • We offer something different and exciting – we use innovative, interdisciplinary approaches to history and anthropology, and will encourage you to explore issues, controversies and themes rather than chronological periods
  • You'll work with staff who are enthusiastic researchers as well as being excellent teachers, many being recognised as international leaders in their field
  • The departments are large enough to provide a wide range of modules, but small enough to let you get to know other students and staff
  • The degree will give you access to a wide range of careers by developing your critical, analytical and communication skills; we help you think beyond the traditional boundaries of subjects in ways which employers really value
  • Through your degree, you'll learn to solve complex problems, think critically and creatively, and communicate with clarity
  • 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 John Price or Dr Helen Cornish

What you'll study

Overview

Taught jointly by the Departments of History and Anthropology, this programme emphasises a creative engagement with processes of social change and cultural interaction. You also examine the history of past societies (non-Western and Western) through a culturally informed framework. You'll be introduced to debates surrounding the nature of evidence, the role of memory, cultural representation and interpretation, and the use of oral, literary and visual sources. You'll also have the opportunity to apply your academic skills within the workplace, through our History at Work scheme.

Year 1 (credit level 4)

Your first year introduces you to key methods and perspectives in history and anthropology. You'll also learn about the role of ethnography by focusing on the linguistic and cultural groupings of a particular region. In addition, you'll pick another history option.

You take the following modules:

Year 1 modules Module title Credits
  Introduction to Social Anthropology 30 credits
  Anthropological Methods 15 credits
  Concepts and Methods in History 30 credits

You also take one of the other first year 30-credit History modules.

Year 2 (credit level 5)

In Year 2 you investigate ‘classic’ theories and key anthropological texts on religion, magic, myth, ritual, morality, symbolism and belief, and you’ll explore interactions between changing economic and political structures in modern life via ethnographic examples. 

You take these three Anthropology modules:

Year 2 modules Module title Credits
  Anthropology of Religion 15 or 30 credits
  Anthropology and the Visual 15 credits
  Politics, Economics and Social Change 30 credits

You also take 60 credits' worth of modules in History from an approved list, 30 credits of which may be a Group 2 module. 

Year 3 (credit level 6)

During your third year you take:

  • An individual project that consists of independent, interdisciplinary study supervised by staff from both departments. Assessment by: dissertation
  • A choice of History and Anthropology options

You take the following core module:

Year 3 core module Module title Credits
  Anthropological Approaches to History 15 or 30 credits

You also take a combination of option modules from both departments to the value of 75 credits. Anthropology option modules include:

Year 3 options Module title Credits
  Anthropology and Gender Theory 15 or 30 credits
  Anthropology and the Visual II 30 credits
  Anthropology and the Visual: Production Course 15 credits
  Anthropology of Art I 15 or 30 credits
  Anthropology of Art II 15 or 30 credits
  Anthropology of Health and Medicine I 15 or 30 credits
  Environmental Anthropology 15 or 30 credits
  Indian and Peasant Politics in Amazonia 15 or 30 credits
  The Anthropology of Rights 15 credits
  Anthropology of Human Animal Relations 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 (UG) 30 credits (PG)
  Digital Anthropology Level 6 15 credits
  Staff/Student Research Project 15 credits

Find out more about the Level 6 modules from History, and information on Special Subjects

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

This programme is mainly taught through scheduled learning - a mixture of lectures and seminars. 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 - 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

You’ll be assessed by a variety of methods, depending on your module choices. These include written exams, practical projects, a dissertation, or coursework; all modules contribute to your final result.

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 - 62% coursework, 38% written exam
  • Year 3 - 81% coursework, 19% written exam

*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%, preferably including History
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.

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.

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 (unless this is covered by a reasonable adjustment agreement).

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.

Careers

Degrees in history and combined subjects develop your critical and analytical skills, your ability to express ideas clearly and your expertise in gathering insights from a range of subjects. Historical research enables you to gather and select from a range of materials – literary and visual. It teaches you to write with imagination and clarity.

Former students have forged careers in journalism and the media, museums and galleries, the Civil Service, teaching and research, law and the commercial world, but the skills learned are also applicable to many more industries and roles.

History at Work

History at Work is an exciting and innovative new initiative which offers some second and third year students taking History single and joint honours programmes the chance to apply their academic skills within the workplace.

Students spend one day a week over one term undertaking a project within a museum, archive or library: places which collect, process and present the 'raw material' of history. These organisations include the Wellcome Library, Royal Pharmaceutical Society, London Transport Museum and the V&A Museum of Childhood.

The project might involve archiving, conservation, building an exhibition, or developing a public engagement project. Students will be invited to apply for places on the programme each February. It should give students a great chance to test out their career ideas, develop skills and increase their employability.

Find out more about these learning and teaching approaches. You can also read more about career options on our dedicated History and Anthropology careers pages

What our students say

Terri

"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."

Esther

"I have made myself a good network from all around the world and in many different fields of work, which is fascinating and useful too."

"Goldsmiths gave me great practice in research whilst letting me research what I was interested in. The tutors and lecturers I chose to discuss my courses with were very attentive to where I wanted to go and encouraged me to try out various methods of researching and of looking at things. I met people from all over, including the members of staff, and this was beneficial on all grounds. I have made myself a good network from all around the world and in many different fields of work, which is fascinating and useful too.  

I'm currently interning on a short documentary about white males and females who have dreadlocks in South London. The doc will observe their experience in areas where dreadlocks are strongly associated to the Rastafarian community. The aim is to give an idea of cross-cultural relationships in South East London and also to discuss individualism in London. I've assisted all aspects of the pre-production, and have been in charge of archive research, general biographical research, locating potential interviewees, etc. I've also participated in a more creative aspect too by helping the director tab entire folders of transcripts we got from the various interviews."