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Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Anthropology

Course content


* Protesters claim a dam financed by international development loans risks destroying the traditional culture of a nomadic people
* The failure of an internationally successful advertising campaign in a new market is blamed on cultural taboos
* A court is told that cultural norms require the circumcision of a ten-year-old immigrant girl


The Applied Anthropology program at Macquarie is one of the first in Australia that focuses on training current or future professionals to critically assess both cultural impacts and claims about them. Based on the research areas of its members, the Department of Anthropology offers coursework units and research supervision that address the issues that face those who deal with ‘culture’ in professional settings.

In recent years there has been a marked increase in interest in the cultural determinants of people's behaviour. Professionals working in a range of fields have been told that ‘culture matters’, but they have not been told how.

The theoretical insights and research methodologies of
anthropology provide an answer to this question. They offer both a critical understanding of ‘culture’ as well as a unique hands-on research methodology.


This qualification is designed for students who want to gain some expertise in the field of Applied Anthropology but do not want to engage in a sustained research project. This qualification would suit people working in the corporate, government and NGO domains who deal with issues of migration, aid and development, human rights, community development, and the management of ‘culture’.

The Diploma is made up of 5 coursework units and a 4 credit points short research unit in which students produce an extended essay on a topic of their choice.

Students may do one non-anthropology elective from the approved list.




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Recipient: Macquarie University

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