BA Social Anthropology and Archaeology

Start date
September
Duration
3 years
UCAS code
LV64
Course Type
Undergraduate, Single Honours
Fees

Annual tuition fees for 2023/24:
£9,250 (UK)
£21,780 (International)
More detail.

Social Anthropology and Archaeology seek to understand the nature of human societies, the material worlds they inhabit and the extraordinary variety of cultural life over time.

This integrated undergraduate degree programme is run jointly by the Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology, and the Department of African Studies and Anthropology, who together provide an exceptionally diverse and dynamic learning environment.  It is designed both for future archaeologists and anthropologists, and for those seeking an exciting and dynamic non-vocational degree course.

Every aspect of human experience and expression is open to archaeological and anthropological enquiry, including ritual and religion, social organisation, art, architecture, music, mythology, dress, identity, technology, health, violence, migration, economy, and landscape. Each discipline complements and enriches the other and, in combination, guide contemporary understanding of global human culture and its diverse forms, achievements and changing character.

In this degree programme there is great emphasis on student choice, small-group teaching, individual research and thematic study.  Areas of study in the course are diverse and the coverage global, ranging from Europe to Africa, Asia and the Americas, and embraces all human cultural life from the Palaeolithic to the present day.

Over the last three years I have studied a variety of topics including human remains, ritual activities and excavated a medieval hunting lodge. Studying Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Birmingham has enabled me to challenge my understanding of social behaviours and explore ideologies and belief systems of differing cultures across millennia. I have developed a variety of transferable skills which means I'm well equipped to join the graduate job market.

Evadne

Why study this course?

  • Exceptional learning resources – You will have access to a range of learning resources including environmental and material culture teaching collections at the University of Birmingham; the Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology Museum; the Eton Myers Collection and the Danford Collection of African art and artefacts.
  • Field work opportunities – There are many opportunities to take part in undergraduate field work and develop your practical archaeology experience. Recent digs include a middle-saxon site in nearby Shropshire and a long-term project to uncover an imperial palace in Carnuntum, Austria.
  • Be a part of an exciting department – You will join a lively environment with many opportunities to enhance your student experience, including the highly active Birmingham Ancient History, Classics and Archaeology Society (BACAS), which organises events such as film nights and museum trips throughout the academic year.
  • Unrivalled career support- we are the 4th most targeted UK University by Graduate Employers (High Fliers Report 2022). 

Modules

Please note: You will take 120 credits of modules in each year of study. The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2023. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.

First year

Archaeology compulsory modules

  • Project A (10 credits)
  • Project B (10 credits)
  • Understanding Archaeology (20 credits)
  • Practice of Archaeology (20 credits)

There are no optional modules for CAHA

Social Anthropology compulsory modules

  • Studying Societies: Social Anthropology (10 credits)
  • Around the World with Anthropology (10 credits)
  • Thinking Anthropologically (20 credits)

Optional modules

  • Writing Worlds: Ethnography as Craft (20 credits) or
  • Urban Encounters: Anthropology in Birmingham (20 credits)

Detailed descriptions of first year modules

Second year

Archaeology

  • 80 credits; optional modules including if you wish a Future of Professional Skills module
  • 60 credits; optional modules including if you wish a Future of Professional Skills module
  • 40 credits; optional modules 

Social Anthropology 

  • 80 credits; Theory and Ethnography (20 credits); Research in Practice (20 credits); optional modules including if you wish a Future of Professional Skills module
  • 60 credits; Theory and Ethnography (20 credits); Research in Practice (20 credits); optional modules including if you wish a Future of Professional Skills module
  • 40 credits; Theory and Ethnography (20 credits); Research in Practice (20 credits)

Descriptions of second year modules

Year Abroad

You can apply to study abroad for a year in an approved university around the world. If you achieve a grade of 2.1 or above in your first year, you will be eligible to apply for a Year Abroad in your second year. If your application is successful, you will go abroad in your third year and return to us for your final year. Find out more.

Final year

Archaeology

  • 80 credits; CAHA Dissertation (40 credits); optional modules including, if you wish, the Professional Skills module if not undertaken the previous year or Special Subject modules (40 credits)
  • 60 credits; CAHA Dissertation (40 credits) or Special Subject modules (40 credits); optional modules including, if you wish, the Professional Skills module if not undertaken the previous year
  • 40 credits; optional modules including, if you wish, the Professional Skills module if not undertaken the previous year or Special Subject modules (40 credits) 

Social Anthropology 

  • 80 credits; DASA dissertation (40 credits) ; optional modules including, if you wish, the Professional Skills module if not undertaken the previous year
  • 60 credits; DASA dissertation (40 credits); optional modules including, if you wish, the Professional Skills module if not undertaken the previous year
  • 40 credits; optional modules 

Descriptions of third year modules

Fees

For UK students beginning their studies in September 2023, the University of Birmingham will charge the maximum approved tuition fee per year. The fees for your first year of study will therefore be £9,250. Visit our tuition fees page for more information.

Fees for 2023/24 are as follows:

  • UK: £9,250
  • International: £21,780

Eligibility for fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students.

For further information on tuition fees, living costs and available financial support, please see our pages on undergraduate fees and funding.


Tuition fees when studying abroad

For those spending a whole academic year abroad (where available):

  • Students who are classed as UK for fees purposes are required to pay 15% of their normal annual tuition fee
  • Students who are classed as International for fee purposes are required to pay 50% of their normal annual tuition fee

For those studying abroad for just one semester (where available), normal annual tuition fees apply.

Note - Study abroad opportunities vary between courses; please see the course description for details of study abroad options offered.

How To Apply

Standard offer

International Requirements



Number of A levels required:
3
Typical offer:
ABB
General Studies:
accepted

IB Diploma:
6,5,5 in Higher level subjects plus 32 points overall.

BTEC qualifications:

  • BTEC Extended Diploma: DDD.
  • BTEC Diploma: DD, plus B at A-level.
  • BTEC Subsidiary Diploma: D, plus AB at A-level.

T Levels:
Distinction overall with B in the Core Component; all subjects considered.

Other qualifications are considered - learn more about entry requirements.

Pathways to Birmingham

The University of Birmingham has a long history of welcoming students from a wide variety of social and cultural backgrounds. We are proud to offer prospective applicants at one of our partner institutions the support of our Pathways to Birmingham programmes to access a degree at the University.

We have a range of initiatives for Year 12 students to help make informed decisions about higher education. Our Access to Birmingham (A2B) scheme, for Year 13 students, allows participants to experience university study and prepare for the transition to university.

Successful completion of one of our Pathways to Birmingham programmes means students may be eligible for extensive financial support and an alternative offer, typically up to 2 grades below the standard offer, along with other benefits.

To find out more, please visit the Pathways to Birmingham webpage.

International Students

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 one of our foundation pathways, which offer specially structured programmes for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on Birmingham International Academy web pages.

The Ancient Greeks believed that the gods were angry with humans and decided to wipe them all out in a great flood. One man survived, Deucalion. His son Hellen was born from the Earth and he is the first Greek.

Dr Andrew Bayliss

Support

You will have access to a comprehensive support system to help you make the transition to higher education when you start at Birmingham. 

Personal tutors – You will be assigned your own personal tutor who will get to know you as you progress through your studies. They will provide academic support and advice to enable you to make the most of your time here at Birmingham.

Wellbeing Officers –You will also have access to dedicated wellbeing officers who provide professional support, advice and guidance to students across a range of issues. They can meet with you to discuss extensions, disabilities, reasonable adjustments, extenuating circumstances, or to talk through any problems you might be experiencing, and help you access wider support on campus and beyond if you need it.

Our Academic Skills Centre helps you to become a more effective and independent learner through a range of high-quality support services. The centre offers workshops on a range of topics, such as note-taking, reading, academic writing and presentation skills.

The Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) provides guidance on writing essays and dissertations if you need it. You can receive individual support from an academic writing advisor and meet with postgraduate tutors who specialise in particular subjects too.

Our Student Experience Team will help you get the most out of your academic experience. They offer research opportunities, study skills support, and help you prepare for your post-university career. They also organise social events, including trips.

Teaching staff

Students at the University of Birmingham are taught by a mixture of professors, senior lecturers, lecturers and doctoral researchers, thereby receiving a rich diversity of academic knowledge and experience. Many of our teaching staff have published important works about their areas of expertise, whilst others have taught at international institutions and can offer unique perspectives of their subjects.

You can find out more about the members of staff (including their qualifications, publication history and specific areas of interest) in their academic profiles linked below.

Contact hours

In your first year, you can expect to have 9-12 contact hours, depending on your module choices. These will consist of a mixture of lectures and small-group teaching. 

In your second year, you can expect to have 8-12 contact hours, depending on your module choices. These will consist of a mixture of lectures, small-group teaching, and supervision.

In your third year, you can expect to have 8.5-9.5 contact hours, depending on your module choices. As before, these will consist of a mixture of lectures, small-group teaching, and supervision. There are also many additional activities that are also available to students. 

Assessment Methods

Assessments - you will be assessed in a variety of ways to help you transition to a new style of learning. At the beginning of each module, you will be given information on how and when you will be assessed. Assessments methods will vary with each module and could include:

  • coursework, such as essays
  • group and individual presentations
  • and exams

Feedback - you will receive feedback on each assessment within three weeks, so you can learn from each assignment. You will also be given feedback on any exams that you take. If you should fail an exam, we will ensure that particularly detailed feedback is provided to help you prepare for future exams.

 

Year one

The above data provides an indication of the type of activity a student is likely to undertake during a typical pathway on their chosen programme of study. The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. 

Year two

The above data provides an indication of the type of activity a student is likely to undertake during a typical pathway on their chosen programme of study. The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. 

Year three

The above data provides an indication of the type of activity a student is likely to undertake during a typical pathway on their chosen programme of study. The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. 

Our unique degrees are designed to provide both academic excellence and vocational development – a balance that is highly sought after by employers in today’s competitive graduate market.

Studying BA Archaeology and Anthropology involves analysing evidence of human activity throughout human history. This develops skills in research, analysis of complex information, working independently and as part of a team, and communicating judgments and arguments.

In your Archaeology-based modules, you will study material remains in addition to other sources such as written evidence, and use scientific principles and concepts. You will have the opportunity to carry out self-directed project work, which improves self-management, organisation and research skills.

You will be in high demand and well placed to forge a rewarding career in a variety of areas, including:

  • Professional archaeology
  • Museums and curatorial work
  • Education
  • Civil Service
  • Media

Some example of jobs that our Anthropology and Archaeology graduates have included archives, conservation, heritage and museums roles, project officer and recruitment consultants. Some graduates will go onto undertake further study and research in pursuit of higher degrees.

Developing your career

The University of Birmingham is the 4th most targeted university by the country’s top graduate employers according to The Graduate Market 2022 report. Our Careers Network are here to offer you tailored, expert advice on your career plans and support you with finding and applying for jobs, internships and further study. There are hundreds of events to help you meet potential employers and learn more about the breadth of opportunities and career sectors available to you.

Support will be offered to you covering the whole job application process, including CVs, LinkedIn, application forms, interviews and assessment centres.  You can also email our experienced Careers Advisers and College Teams to review your applications or answer any careers related question, alongside our on campus and online 1:1 appointments.

We have a number of exclusive Internship Programmes such as our Cultural Internships, which will give you paid, professional experience to set you apart in the graduate market. We also offer work experience bursaries, which allow you to apply for funding to support you during any unpaid internships. 

First years can take part in the The Birmingham Project, with themes including celebrating arts and culture and shaping a global society. There’s also a successful Mentoring Programme, where you can gain access to experienced Mentors who can empower, inspire and inform you about their experiences.  As a University of Birmingham student you will also be given access to LinkedIn Learning giving free access to real world training courses to kick start your careers.

If you want to earn money WorkLink advertises convenient part-time job opportunities on campus to fit round your studies.  

Extra-curricular activities

To enhance your career prospects even further, you may want to engage in extra-curricular activities to broaden your skills and your network of contacts. Our employer-endorsed, award-winning Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme.

There are more than 500 student groups and volunteering opportunities offered by the Guild of Students (our Students’ Union) so you’re bound to find activities that you want to be involved in whilst meeting friends who share your interests.

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