The Department of African Studies and Anthropology is a small department, whose strong sense of community and support among its undergraduates, postgraduates and staff is well known in the University.
Studying Anthropology will enable you to develop a distinctive set of skills and attributes. Like other students, you will learn how to search for, select from and evaluate sources of information, weigh up arguments, and present your findings effectively. As an anthropologist however, you will also become sensitive to the assumptions and beliefs that underlie behaviour in a range of social and cultural contexts, and this gives you a critical edge.
The Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology will offer you the opportunity to explore not only the classical civilisations of Greece and Rome, but also the cultures of Egypt and Ancient Western Asia, as well as the Byzantine Empire.
You will learn in a variety of different contexts, such as lectures, seminars, interactive workshops, independent research and field trips.
Why study this course
- Taught by experts – you will study alongside some of the finest minds at Birmingham. The Classics Department was ranked in the top five Russell Group departments in the Research Excellence Framework 2014.
- You will benefit from an intellectually challenging and stimulating environment for your undergraduate studies, focused on ensuring you are a fully supported and active learner. Our unique degrees are designed to provide both academic excellence and vocational development; a balance that’s highly sought after by employers in today's intellectual and creative industries.
- Our wide variety of Anthropology and Classical Literature and Civilisations modules are very flexible, allowing you to specialise more and more as you progress.
- The Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology provides a diverse range of opportunities to enrich your student experience. For example, students have been involved in the Classics in the Community Project, working with teachers on developing new ways of telling ancient stories.
Hear from our students
Open day talks
Three full videos on YouTube of recent open day talks relevant to this course:
The optional modules listed on the website for this programme may unfortunately occasionally be subject to change. As you will appreciate key members of staff may leave the University and this necessitates a review of the modules that are offered. Where the module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.
In the first year of a Joint Honours degree programme study is split equally between the two disciplines. Following this you have the option to alter the balance of your study, meaning that you could change to a major-minor weighting. In your final year you have the option to maintain your second-year balance, switch your major subject to your other discipline or revert to an equal balance. If you wish, you can maintain an equal balance throughout your degree. This flexibility allows you to tailor the course throughout your degree programme, once you have had the time and experience to consider where your strengths and interests lie. The list of modules below are based on studying half of your modules (60 credits) in Anthropology and half in Classical Literature and Civilisation (60 credits).
In your first year you take three compulsory modules in Anthropology. Focus on Studying Societies is concerned with core study skills, taking you through all the steps of researching, planning and editing an essay, and enabling you to pursue a group investigation and present your findings orally. Thinking Anthropologically takes a series of core questions (e.g. What is work? What is dirt?) and shows how anthropologists study societies around the world, explaining how people can think very differently about questions that might initially appear simple or obvious. African Societies allows students to see how core anthropological terms have been applied to specific societies in order to explain social structures, behaviours and beliefs. In Classics, the first year introduces you to literature, culture and history of the Graeco-Roman world. In core lectures you will study key texts such as the Homeric epics and Virgil’s Aeneid, and immerse yourself in Greek and Roman history from the Bronze Age to the early Roman empire. In small group tutorials you will acquire new study skills and study aspects of Greek or Roman culture in detail. If you already have GCSE or AS/A level in Greek or Latin you will be able to continue your study of the language and literature.
- Focus on Studying Societies
- Thinking Anthropologically
- African Societies
- Introduction to Greek Literature
- Introduction to Roman Literature
- Group Research (Classical)
- Project A
- Classics Option:
- Barbarians and the Transformation of the Roman World
- Early Civilisations of Western Asia
- Early Civilisations: Egypt
- Greek Art and Archaeology
- Byzantium and the Transformation of the Roman World
- Introduction to Greek and Roman History
- Roman Art and Archaeology
- Beginners Language Options x 2
In this year you take Theory, Ethnography and Research (40 credits). This module explains the history of anthropology and its major theories. It finishes with an ethnographic project in which students behave like anthropologists, and engage in close observation and analysis of the social behaviour around them. In addition, students choose 20 credits of African Studies optional modules that have an anthropological focus. In Classics, core modules take you to the heart of the cultures of Athens and Rome: In Rome, you will be immersed in the age of Cicero and the dying days of the Roman republic, studying authors such as Catullus, Sallust and Lucretius as well as the many and varied works of Cicero himself. You also make your choice from our unique range of options in literature, culture, language, myth, religion, art, philosophy, archaeology and history. If you want to learn Latin or Greek as a beginner, you have the opportunity to do so now. If you are continuing past GCSE or AS/A level study, you will now have the chance to take part in advanced text-reading seminars.
- Theory, Ethnography and Research
- Option (with an anthropological focus)
- Athenian Drama
- Age of Cicero
- Classics Option
In your third year, you may write an Anthropology Dissertation (10,000 words, 40 credits) or take an Independent Study (5,000 words, 20 credits) and Anthropology Options. The highlight of the final year in Classics is your dissertation: a substantial research project, developed in collaboration with your supervisor, on a subject of special interest to you. In addition to this, you make free choices from our unique range of options. If you studied a language, you have now gained expertise in this, and are able to read and translate a wide repertoire of texts.
- Dissertation or Independent Study
- Options (Anthropology)
- Classics Dissertation
- Classics Options
Fees and funding
Number of A levels required: 3
Typical offer: ABB
International baccalaureate update
Please note that we have reviewed our policy on the IB Diploma for 2016 entry and our offers will now focus on performance in Higher Level subjects. For more information and details please read our 2016 IB Diploma requirements.
We welcome applications from international students and invite you to join our vibrant community of over 4500 international students who represent 150 different countries. We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.
Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in the Birmingham Foundation Academy, a specially structured programme for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on the foundation academy web pages.
How to apply
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