School of Humanities and Performing Arts

BA (Hons) Anthropology

Are you interested in working to solve human problems? BA Anthropology mixes cultural and applied anthropology as a unique offer within the UK that will allow you the opportunity to explore personal topics of interest and future employment, and learn while doing. You are encouraged to see the world holistically, taught how to hone your intercultural communication and people skills, and participate in work and study opportunities both home and abroad.

As a graduate, you’ll be equipped to analyse and impact on the ways in which human beings shape, and are shaped, by social, cultural and environmental contexts, and ready to work in a variety of professions including: development, education, health, government, heritage, social enterprise, business and finance, and cultural resource management.

Careers with this subject

Employers of all kinds desire staff with intercultural awareness and communication skills, analytical and problem solving skills, and who are not afraid of working with others across sectors. The Plymouth degree in Anthropology will allow you to specialise within the curriculum, and prepare you for a range of jobs in a globalised world including: development, health, marketing, business, government, the creative industries, and cultural resource management.

Career opportunities

Key features

  • Build fieldwork skills and competence right from the beginning of your degree. 
  • Learn and understand how anthropology can be applied in real-world situations.
  • Take the opportunity to specialise in particular areas of interest including: development, health, museums, or social justice. 
  • Learn within a multidisciplinary environment – the programme, assessments and set projects are designed to allow you to benefit from, and make use of, a far-reaching range of disciplines. 
  • Work with staff who are leading experts in their field. 
  • Industry and professional connections – we work with you to identify your areas of specialisms and employ University and external networks to create contacts.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • In your first year, we introduce you to the core of the discipline, with a focus on social and applied anthropology. You will have the chance to start actually doing your own ethnographic fieldwork, not just reading about it, and learn how to interpret visual and material culture.

    Core modules
    • ANTH401 Introduction to Anthropology

      This intensive module provides an introduction to core concepts relating to the subfields of anthropology, with a focus on socio-cultural anthropology, but also including a grounding in archaeology, biological anthropology and linguistics to afford students an introductory holistic insight into the human condition.

    • ANTH403 Fieldwork & Ethnography

      This module provides students with both an introductory understanding, and first-hand experience, of ethnographic fieldwork.

    • ANTH404 Understanding Yourself & Others Through Intercultural Communication

    • ANTH405 Understanding the Body

      This module introduces students to the idea of the body as both a cultural and lived experience, through spoken, written, and visual mediums.

    • ANTH407 Introduction to Visual Anthropology and Art History

      This module provides Anthropology students with a comprehensive understanding of the paradigms of Art History and their methodological implications for visual culture. Basic research literacy will be developed in a number of exercises and group-based activities.

    • ANTH408 Cultural Practices in Context

      This module is geared toward fieldwork and independent study in a museum and/or gallery context. Following a Fieldtrip to public collections in London and/or the Southwest students complete an Object Report on an object of their choice seen in situ.

  • Year 2
  • During your second year, you will develop your anthropological methods and skills through continuing to engage in fieldwork, thinking about the politics and priorities in creating and exhibiting different cultural artefacts, and learning about marginalized communities in early modern Europe. You will have the opportunity to explore a specialist subject area to increase your interdisciplinary understanding and explore potential areas for work or further study.

    Core modules
    • ANTH502 From Oral Life Histories to Participant Observation; Applying Anthropological Methods

      This module introduces students to a range of anthropological methods used by cultural anthropologists.

    • ANTH503 Applying Anthropology

      Professionalism, activism, development anthropology, medical anthropology public participation, criticism and colonialism.

    • ANTH504 Ethics & Ethnography

      This module provides students with the opportunity to critically reflect on ethical positions, and engage in the production of a substantial piece of ethnographic work.

    • ANTH505 Different Ways of Knowing

      This module allows students to explore a specialist subject area to increase their interdisciplinary understanding and explore areas for work or further study

    • ARHI502 Collecting and Exhibiting Cultures in the 19th and 20th Centuries

      This module examines historical and contemporary cultures of collection, exhibition, and display. Artworks and objects will be considered from a range of international contexts. Specific attention will be given to the politics and ideologies of art ownership, theft, looting, and repatriation.

    • HIST522 Talking History, Seeing History: Research Methods in Visual and Oral History

      This module investigates the use of oral, material & visual sources as a means of investigating the past. Also, the contextualisation of historical sources and questions in the wider historiographical literature.

  • Final year
  • In your final year, you will be able to focus on those areas of anthropology that you have become most interested in. You will produce your own year-long dissertation on any topic of your choice, which you'll work on with the focused support of your personal supervisor. At the same time, you will also take on the role of live consultant to apply anthropology to solve a particular problem, ideally in an area in which you wish to work or pursue further study. 

    Core modules
    • ANTH601 Current Issues in Cultural & Applied Anthropology

      The module establishes a basis from which students can recognise and reflect upon current concepts, trends, and issues related to the cultural and applied fields of anthropology.

    • ANTH602 Dissertation

      In this module students prepare the ground and complete a dissertation on an anthropological subject of their own choosing. Lecturing staff provide tutorial support and assistance with research and writing.

    • ANTH603 Anthropology on the Ground

      In this module students will take on the role of live consultant to apply anthropology to solve a particular problem, ideally in an area in which they wish to work or pursue further study.

    • ANTH604 Coastal Cultures

      This module draws together previous experience of ethnography, interrogating visual and material sources from different disciplinary perspectives for application to coastal cultures.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BA Hons Anthropology programme specification 6236

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

104 - 112

UCAS tariff
Typical offer will be 104 points, minimum of 2 A levels, General Studies accepted.

26 points overall

Grade DMM

Access courses  
Pass a named Access to HE Diploma (including GCSE English and Maths grade C/4 or above or equivalent) with at least 33 credits at Merit and/or Distinction.

Mathematics and English language grade C / 4. If you do meet this criteria please seek further advice with the admission team on

14-19 Diplomas are accepted. Other combinations and non-A level qualifications also considered.

Short of the entry requirements for this course? Don’t worry you may be able to engage with an access course to prepare you for possible entry onto this programme for the following year.

We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

EU applicants should refer to our dedicated Brexit webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

New Student 2019 2020
Home/EU £9,250 £9,250
International £13,400 £13,800
Part time (Home/EU) To be confirmed £770
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances.

Undergraduate scholarships for international students

To reward outstanding achievement the University of Plymouth offers scholarship schemes to help towards funding your studies.

Find out whether you are eligible and how you can apply

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Faculty of Arts and Humanities additional costs.

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email

Personalise your course

Ethnographic fieldwork opportunities are built into the curriculum to allow you to research your personal and professional interests, from crowd behaviour, ethnomusicology, health, or the surfing subculture. In your final year as well as a Dissertation, you’ll take on the role of consultant to solve a practical human problem.

Dr Steve Butts is unique in the UK as an applied anthropologist, having a PhD in Applied Anthropology from the University of South Florida, and inducted as a Fellow of the Society for Applied Anthropology in 2002. His research and teaching background are in development, intercultural communication, and cultural experience management, and he has lived and worked in a range of environs including the US, The Netherlands, South Africa, Czech Republic and Denmark. He holds an award as a University of Plymouth Outstanding Lecturer, and in his Associate Dean: Teaching and Learning role enjoys the opportunities to inspire and motivate students across a range of disciplines. Having come to the University of Plymouth in 2001, he has stayed because of the great atmosphere and quality of people, staff and students alike.