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Course content

Oxford Brookes is one of very few UK universities where social and biological anthropology are taught alongside each other.

This course emphasises the holistic and comparative breadth of anthropology - studying humans from a variety of social, cultural, biological and evolutionary perspectives.

Why choose this course?

  • We are one of the few universities in the UK to teach social and biological anthropology side by side.
  • You get opportunities to work alongside leading, research-active academics such as Professor Anna Nekaris, Professor Jeremy McClancy and Professor Kate Hill.
  • You will benefit from excellent learning resources, both at Oxford Brookes and at Oxford’s museums and libraries including the Bodleian Library, the Radcliffe Science Library, the Pitt Rivers Museum and the Museum of Natural History.
  • We have a dynamic community of research scholars undertaking internationally recognised and world-leading research.
  • There is the option to join MSc students on a field trip to Apenhuel Primate Park in the Netherlands.
  • The Graduate Diploma in Anthropology enables graduates from other disciplines, and those with equivalent qualifications or work experience, to gain a qualification in anthropology at advanced undergraduate level.

This course in detail

This course provides students with intensive training in selected aspects of anthropology at advanced undergraduate level. 

It can constitute a conversion course for students wishing to continue with anthropology at master's level or higher, eg, a PhD, depending on their background and achievements. Students usually opt to follow pathways focusing on social or biological aspects of anthropology. 

However, it is equally possible to select a programme aimed at gaining broad training across both aspects of the subject.

The course is built around two pathways - social and biological anthropology. Each pathway has two compulsory modules: one introductory and the other a more advanced theoretical module. For the rest of the course, in discussion with the course tutor, you will put together a programme of six modules according to your aims and interests.

To gain the award, students must pass eight modular credits from the broad range of acceptable anthropology modules offered, including the two compulsory modules.

Compulsory Modules

One of:

  • The Study of Biological Anthropology 
  • The Study of Social Anthropology 

And one of: 

  • The Study of Social Anthropology Theory
  • The Study of Methods and Analysis in Biological Anthropology 

Acceptable optional modules include:

  • The Study of Anthropology of Art
  • The Study of Anthropology of Ritual
  • The Study of European Societies
  • The Study of Work and the Japanese
  • The Study of Personhood, Gender and the Body in Contemporary Japan
  • The Study of Humans and Other Primates
  • The Study of Primate Societies
  • The Study of Human Ecology
  • The Study of Research Methods in Social Anthropology
  • The Study of Human Evolutionary Biology and Geography
  • Anthropology in Action
  • Minorities and Marginality in Japan
  • Palaeopathology
  • Dawn of Civilisation
  • Advanced Topics in Social Anthropology
  • People and Other Animals
  • Cognitive Evolution
  • Anthropology Independent Study

NB: As courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the module list you choose from may vary from that shown here.

Teaching and learning

We provide a broad range of learning experiences, including independent study, work in small groups, seminars and lectures. 

We also use a wide range of assessment techniques, including essays, book reviews, class presentations, fieldwork reports and exams.


Visit the Graduate Diploma in Anthropology page on the Oxford Brookes University website for more details!

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