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Durham University

Department of Anthropology

Student Experience

We are committed to delivering a world-class education that benefits our graduates both academically and personally


Dynamic, Research-Led Teaching

We employ a range of teaching methods to equip our students with diverse knowledge and skills. These include traditional lectures, small-group seminars, student-led presentations, hands-on practicals, the creation of posters and exhibits, field trips (e.g. to Edinburgh Zoo or our South Africa field station), and training in experimental methods, interview techniques, and statistical/computer skills.

As a research-intensive department, you will benefit from being taught by active, world-leading researchers, who are making a real impact in acamdemia and the wider world. In the last Research Excellence Framework (REF) assessment of UK universities, Durham Anthropology ranked in the top ten of the discipline overall and in the top five for research impact.

The university was also granted a Gold Award in the recent Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) assessment of UK universities.

Unlike many other departments, we have expertise across the full breadth of anthropology, encompassing biological, evolutionary, socio-cultural and health-related approaches to the study of humanity. Students benefit from a wide range of modules on each programme (including elective modules from other departments and foreign languages) and can always find dissertation supervisors in their area of interest.

The National Student Survey (NSS)

In the latest National Student Survey (2017), 86% of our final-year students reported being satisfied with the quality of their course and 88% felt that our staff were good at explaining things.

Behind these statistics lie some glowing recommendations:

“I feel ready to leave university with a wide skill set that I believe I would otherwise not possess. Not only am I more 'expert' in my subject area. But my team working skills, lateral-thinking skills, presenting skills and overall confidence have been vastly improved.”

“Staff are extremely passionate about what they teach and are often well published in their respective subjects. They are always happy to help or will arrange someone else to help. Their interest is infectious.”

“Very interesting and useful to have both biological and social sides taught together. Plenty of flexibility to pursue your own personal interests.”

“I can't put into words how much I have enjoyed the last three years and how much it has changed me as a person. I have learnt so much and while it has been hard going it has been worth every minute!”


Life in Durham

Described by Bill Bryson as "a perfect little city", Durham is small but steeped in history and tradition. Students enjoy many outdoors activities, from university-organised sporting events to rambles in one of the nearby National Parks and the university itself is at the heart of much of the activity in the city. For those with more urban tastes, the bustling city-life of Newcastle is just a 15 minute train ride away.

Durham University Anthropology Society

Durham University Anthropology Society is a student-led group run by and for enthusiasts of the subject. The society strives to provoke thought and interaction regarding all aspects of and perspectives on human science, society and culture, beyond the department and within the wider circle of our university. This is achieved through the diverse fun and challenging activities organised by the society, such as social events, discussion groups, film showings and trips as well as engagement with the other societies in the university. Input by members in the running of the society is welcomed, with elected positions on the exec committee available for those who wish to take a larger role in running their community. To learn more or join the society contact DurAnthSoc or visit the group's Facebook Page.