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Durham University


LL36 Anthropology and Sociology BA Undergraduate  2019


UCAS code LL36
Degree BA
Mode of study Full Time
Duration 3 years
Location Durham City
Typical Offers A Level
International Baccalaureate
Please also check Requirements and Admissions.
Alternative qualifications
More information Still have questions?
Department(s) Website

Course Summary


There are several areas of overlap between Anthropology and Sociology, making them particularly suitable for combination in a joint honours degree. The BA Anthropology and Sociology course combines modules from the BA Anthropology and BA Sociology providing a comprehensive understanding of humans as social and cultural beings.

Year 1

In the first year, students currently take core (compulsory) modules (two from each Department) and select two additional elective (optional) modules (one from Anthropology and one from Sociology, with the option of substituting one of those elective modules with a modern foreign language module).

Compulsory modules currently available:

  • People and Cultures
  • Human Evolution and Diversity
  • Societies in Transition (double module). 

Optional modules currently available:


  • Being Human
  • Health, Illness and Society


  • Introduction to Research
  • Conceptualising Society

Year 2

Students currently select three modules from Anthropology and three modulesfrom Sociology. One of your second year modules should be on research methods, either in Sociology or in Anthropology. Research Methods Modules:

  • Social Research Methods (Sociology)


  • Fieldwork Module (Anthropology)


Optional modules currently available in Sociology: 

  • Sociological Imaginations
  • Social Research MethodsSelf, Identity and Society
  • The Sociology of Social Exclusion
  • Crime, Power and Social Inequalities

Optional modules currently available in Anthropology

  • Interrogating Anthropology
  • Kinship and Religion
  • Politics and Economics
  • Global Health and Disease
  • Sex, Reproduction and Love
  • Evolutionary Variation and Adaptation
  • Our Place in Nature

Year 3

You take a 40-credit Dissertation in Anthropology or a 40-credit Dissertation in Sociology (provided you have the necessary preparatory modules for your chosen dissertation). Additionally students currently take 40 credits of modules in each Department.

Optional modules in Anthropology

  • Specialised Aspects in Social Anthropology (20 or 40 credits)
  • Specialised Aspects in Health and Medical Anthropology (20 or 40 credits)
  • Specialised Aspects in Evolutionary Anthropology (20 or 40 credits)


Example modules in Sociology:

  • Social Policy
  • Sociology of Health and Medicine
  • Drugs, Crime and Society
  • Issues in Criminal Justice
  • Sociology of Gender and Sexuality
  • Sociology of Forensic Science and Criminal Investigation
  • Cybercrime: Crime in the Information Age
  • Rural Studies and Social Policy
  • Sociology of Work and Professions
  • SASS Community Placement

Study Abroad


Study abroad or placement activities undertaken as part of a degree are not only enjoyable but can give a significant edge when it comes to employability. ERASMUS exchanges are possible on our programmes, and we currently have links with the University of West Bohemia (Czech Republic), the University of Iceland, the University of Ljubljana (Slovenia) and the University of Malta, with new opportunities being added every year. We also run a third-year Field Course module, involving fieldwork at our South African field site.

Sociology and Criminology

We are part of the SOCRATES/ERASMUS programme which encourages students to study for part of their course in a university of another EU country.

We currently have links with the universities of Helsinki in Finland and Duisburg-Essen in Germany. Students can also apply to the university-wide international exchange programme with universities in North America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

Course Detail

To find out more about the modules available to students studying at Durham University please click here.

Please note: Current modules are indicative. Information for future academic years may change, for example, due to developments in the relevant academic field, or in light of student feedback.

Course Learning and Teaching

As a student on the BA Sociology and Anthropology degree, your learning will be supported by formal teaching sessions, such as lectures and smaller-group teaching in seminars and practical classes.

As you move through your BA Sociology and Anthropology programme, you will shift from being consumer of knowledge in the classroom to a generator of knowledge, ready for professional or postgraduate life. To help develop this independence, you will spend part of your time engaged in self-directed study, which will include reading, project work and preparation for classes. In your third year, you will undertake a dissertation on a sociological or anthropological topic of your choice, preferably one that overlaps the two subjects, giving you the chance to engage in a major piece of independent work.

Assessment on the BA Sociology and Anthropology degree varies by module, but may include written examinations, coursework in the form of essays or research projects, and presentations. 

You will be given an Academic Adviser when you start your degree, and will normally keep the same Adviser for the duration of your studies. Where possible, you will be given an Academic Adviser who has an interest or background in both sociology and anthropology. Academic Advisers are there to support your academic work by providing advice about such things as study skills, module choices, dissertation topics, and applications for further study or employment. As well as discussing your academic work with your nominated Adviser, you are encouraged to make use of the Feedback and Consultation hours provided by academic staff during term-time. These Feedback and Consultation hours give you the opportunity to discuss your work with module tutors, for example to seek clarification on complex ideas, get suggestions for additional readings, and receive further feedback on assessments.

As a student in the Sociology and Anthropology Departments, you will be welcomed into the wider Departmental communities, for example being able to attend an extensive programme of research-focused seminars in both Departments, where academic staff, postgraduate students and visiting scholars present their cutting-edge research, which may provide inspiration for your dissertation topic and even future study or employment. 

Admissions Process

Subject requirements, level and grade

In addition to satisfying the University’s general entry requirements, please note:

  • We welcome applications from those with other qualifications equivalent to our standard entry requirements and from mature students with non-standard qualifications or who may have had a break in their study. 
  • Typical IB score 36 to include 665 in higher level subjects
  • If you do not satisfy our general entry requirements, the Foundation Centre offers multidisciplinary degrees to prepare you for a range of specified degree courses.
  • We are pleased to consider applications for deferred entry.

Science A Levels

Applicants taking Science A Levels that include a practical component will be required to take and pass this as a condition of entry. This applies only to applicants sitting A Levels with an English examination board.

English Language requirements

Please check requirements for your subject and level of study.

How to apply

Information relevant to your country

Fees and Funding

Full Time Fees

EU Student £9,250.00 per year
Home Student £9,250.00 per year
Island Student £9,250.00 per year
International non-EU Student £19,250.00 per year

Note: Fees are subject to review and change in-line with inflation.

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.

Scholarships and funding 

Career Opportunities


Durham Anthropology graduates have excellent employment prospects in a wide range of possible careers


Career Opportunities and Employability

With an anthropology degree our students acquire a knowledge base which is both fascinating and useful as well as having an unusual mix of intellectual and practical skills. This combination is much sought after by employers worldwide and particularly so where creativity, curiosity and the ability to understand human culture and society are at a premium - which, in practice, is in most situations.

Our graduates use their anthropology directly in fields such as health, community work, conservation, education, international development, culture and heritage. A significant number progress into careers which at first sight have no direct link to Anthropology but which nonetheless utilise the broad understanding of human society and behaviour and the many important transferable skills that come with the study of Anthropology. Employment fields falling into this category include advertising, publishing, journalism, human resource management, public relations, finance, law, consultancy and marketing.

The quality of teaching on our programmes is further underpinned by a wide range of opportunities for work placements, research internships, study abroad and fieldwork both the UK and abroad.

Of thse students who graduated in 2017:

  • 78% are in paid employment or further study 6 months after graduation across all our programmes

Of those in employment:

  • 85% are in a professional or manegerial job
  • Average salary of £21,000 (compared to average UK salary for similar courses of £19,000)


A large proportion of our students progress onto higher level study following their degree in Anthropology. Many remain within their academic field of interest and pursue higher level anthropological research, notably at Durham but also other prestigious institutions including Imperial, University College London, London School of Economics, Manchester and York. Others take a different route and pursue professional postgraduate programmes in both related (development studies, international relations, public health, nursing, medicine, youth work, social work, human resource management, education, social policy, museum studies) and non-related fields (law, finance, marketing, management, journalism and publishing.

The Anthropology degree gives you a thorough grounding in anthropology: offering interesting optional modules enabling you to explore people's customs, health care systems and cultures all over the world both past and present. I feel lucky to have found a degree that grabbed my interest from the onset. Since graduating, I’ve qualified as a teacher and as a Careers Advisor working in graduate positions.

Employment Development Opportunities

The Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre works with closely the department in facilitating student access to job and work experience opportunities, careers and employability events, employer workshops and presentations, skills programmes and tailored individual careers guidance. A dedicated Careers Adviser is available to support Anthropology students individually and collectively.

We're interested in talented students applying to us with strong academics, but just as important are your employability skills – including impact, drive, flexibility, curiosity, integrity and commercial awareness. The skills students develop throughout university shape their employability and our aim is to help students to understand how they can transfer these skills in to the workplace. Applicants who stand out are those who've done research and are well prepared. As a leading employer of graduates, we recognise the important role played by the Careers and Employability Centre at the University of Durham by encouraging students to meet local and national employers and producing high-calibre, motivated individuals who are ready to enter the world of professional services. We recruit a number of students every year onto our Insight and graduate programmes from Durham University.

Durham University Anthropology graduates progress into an incredibly diverse range of careers and employment sectors. Some graduates apply their academic study directly within a number of relevant sectors including health, community, conservation, education, international development, culture and heritage. A significant number progress into careers with no direct link to Anthropology but which utilise the transferable skills developed including advertising, publishing, journalism, human resource management, public relations, finance, law, consultancy and marketing. Examples of high profile recent employers of Anthropology graduates include Shell, NHS, Office for National Statistics, CST Advertising as well as interntaionally recognised organisations such as Save teh Children, Survival and Amnesty International.


Work Experience & Study Abroad

Via the Erasmus programme we have agreements with universities in Czech Republic, Iceland, France, Spain, Germany, Slovenia and Malta.

Students are encouraged to undertake fieldwork or appropriate laboratory work as part of research methods and dissertation modules on their degree courses. These activities give them valuable 'real world' experience. We also encourage our students to take advantage of volunteering and other opportunities whenever they can.

Read more about Study Abroad options for our undergraduate students.

As well as medical students on their community placements, Thrive Thornaby has benefited from the involvement of an Anthropology student working with Student Community Action. The arrangement has been beneficial to both parties. For Thrive, we have benefited from highly capable volunteers, 'self-starters' - capable of sourcing, developing and maintaining relationships with households on low-income who were deemed by other agencies as 'hard-to-reach'. From the students' point of view, the work offered them the opportunity to engage with people in poverty on terms they hadn't done so far and might not do in their future careers. They learned first-hand about the complex nature of debt, health and how people get by. This experience will stand them in good stead, whatever they go on to do, I'm sure.

Sociology and Criminology

Further details on career opportunities can be found here:

Open days and visits

Pre-application open day

Pre-application open days are the best way to discover all you need to know about Durham University. With representatives from all relevant academic and support service departments, and opportunities to explore college options, the open days provide our prospective undergraduates with the full experience of Durham University.

Please see the following page for further details and information on how to book a place:

Discover Durham Tours

Discover Durham tours offer a brief introduction to the University. The tour begins at one of our undergraduate colleges, where you will receive an introductory talk from a member of college staff, followed by a tour of the college by current students.

Overseas Visit Schedule

Department Information



Have you ever really thought about what it means to be human?

If you have and you wanted to learn more, then anthropology is for you. Our degrees are distinctive for their breadth and interdisciplinary approach. They introduce you to the comparative and evolutionary study of humans and draw on a range of social, cultural and biological approaches. Our teaching is research-led and places a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary perspectives. The value of
an anthropology degree is increasingly recognised by employers, and the broad training provided at Durham University makes our graduates highly sought after.

We will expand your world in four directions: by showing you new intellectual horizons; by teaching you about the wider world and our place in it; by equipping you for a host of opportunities;
and by influencing your world through research that has global significance.

In Year 2, you will have the opportunity to take part in our residential Field Course module, which includes a two-week stay at a fieldsite in the UK or overseas. Here you can learn
about the interdisciplinary approaches we use.


  • Ranked 6th in The Complete University Guide 2018.


For a current list of staff, please see the Anthropology Department web pages.


The Department offers excellent facilities including superb collections of primate/human skeletal material and fossil hominid casts, an impressive collection of ethnographic art and material culture items, and an expanding collection of online films and video content. You will benefit from modern, purpose-built facilities, including comprehensively equipped teaching laboratories and use of lecture theatres and classrooms with excellent audio-visual equipment. We have a range of research labs (Sleep Lab, Hormone Lab, Physical Activity Lab, Bioinformatics Lab, Paleoanthropology Lab) and other facilities such as the Material Culture Collection that can be used by students for undergraduate and MAnth Dissertation research and training.


Sociology and Criminology



Criminology involves considering urgent and important questions such as ‘What should count as a crime?’, and ‘How should those convicted of crimes be punished?’. You will study crime, deviance and criminal justice in relation to wider society and focus on both national and international topics. There is a strong emphasis on contemporary issues, such as the modern criminal justice system, crimes of the powerful and cyber crime, as well as on providing you with an understanding of theories of crime and justice.

Studying at Durham University enables you to work with recognised national and international experts within specific fields of criminology. You will acquire a wide range of transferable skills that are crucial for broader personal and professional development, including the capacity to assemble and evaluate evidence, to think quickly, to write efficiently and to construct persuasive arguments. Criminology is strongly engaged with the real world. Criminologists contribute to shaping the knowledge and practice of criminal justice agencies and relevant voluntary organisations, as well as influencing criminal justice policy.


  • 6th in The Complete University Guide 2018.
  • 10th in The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2018.


Develop an in-depth understanding of society and social issues. Sociology contributes to transformative social change, highlighting salient social trends, advising on social policy and tackling forms of social exclusion. Our Sociology degrees focus on the application of theory and method to real-life social problems in areas such as health, gender and work.

The student experience at Durham includes teaching delivered by internationally recognised experts in sociology and social policy. You will acquire a range of transferable skills in critical analysis, data collection and its dissemination. This includes a practical focus on personal development and employability.


  • 2nd in The Complete University Guide 2017.


For a current list of staff, please see the School of Applied Social Sciences web pages.


The library’s resources for the study of criminology are among the best in northern Britain, and college libraries also hold copies of some of the main textbooks. We make extensive use of duo (Durham’s online teaching resource), and undergraduates can enjoy the use of the resources room within the Department, which has additional published material and networked computer access.