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 History (60 credits).
In your first year you take five compulsory modules. 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. Practising History (A): Skills in History (Autumn semester) and Practising History (B): Approaches to History (Spring semester), which look more closely at the techniques of the historian and at the nature and evolution of key historical debates.
You then choose two out of the following five modules, one in the Autumn term and one in the Spring term: Discovering the Middle Ages (Autumn), Living in the Middle Ages (Spring), Reformation, Rebellion and Revolution: the Making of the Modern World 1500-1800 (Autumn), The Making of the Contemporary World: Modern History 1800-2000 (Spring) and War and Society (Spring). These explore fundamental themes and issues focused on key periods and indicate the kinds of questions historians explore and some of the methods they employ in answering them.
- Focus on Studying Societies
- Thinking Anthropologically
- Anthropology of Africa
- Practising History A: Skills in History
- Practising History B: Approaches to History
Choose two out of these five modules, one in Autumn Term and one in Spring Term:
- Discovering the Middle Ages (Autumn)
- Reformation, Rebellion and Reformation: the Making of the Modern World 1500-1800 (Autumn)
- Living in the Middle Ages (Spring)
- Making of the Contemporary World: Modern History 1800-2000 (Spring)
- War and Society (Spring)
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. You engage in a Group Research module and extend your historical knowledge through a History Option B (20 credits) in the Spring term chosen from a wide range available. You can choose one module from History in Theory and Practice (20 credits), Research Methods (Dissertation Preparation (20 credits) (please note that this module must be studied if a History 40 credit dissertation is to be taken in the final year) and may also be able to take a Professional Skills module (20 credits) (please note that places on this module are limited). In addition, students choose 20 credits of African Studies optional modules that have an anthropological focus.
- Theory, Ethnography and Research
- Option modules in the Department of African Studies and Anthropology with an anthropological focus
- Group Research
- History Option B
Choose from one of the following:-
- History in Theory and Practice
- Research Methods (Dissertation Preparation) (please note: this module must be studied if a History 40 credit dissertation is to be taken in the final year)
- Professional Skills
This four year route offers you the additional educational benefit of a year of study in a host University which is approved by the University of Birmingham’s International Office within the Study Abroad and Exchanges scheme, and which the Department deems offers modules relevant to the degree programme and comparable with modules offered at Birmingham. Students with grades of 2.1 or above in their first year are invited to apply for a Year Abroad in their second year and go abroad in their third year. They return to Birmingham for their final year of study.
In your third year, you may write an Anthropology Dissertation (10,000 words, 40 credits) or take an Independent Study module (5,000 words, 20 credits). However, if you are undertaking independent research in your History credits, we allow you to choose mainly taught modules in Anthropology so as to guarantee a reasonable amount of contact time. You hone your historical skills in Advanced Option A or Advanced Option B and you also undertake an in-depth Special Subject module, which is chosen from a variety of available subjects.
- Independent Study
- Option in Anthropology
- History Special Subject
- Either Advanced Option A or Advanced Option B (Students can substitute an Advanced Option for a Joint Honours History 6,000 word Dissertation (20 credits)