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Programme Specification for the 2022/3 academic year

BSc (Hons) Anthropology

1. Programme Details

Programme nameBSc (Hons) Anthropology Programme codeUFS3HPSHPS02
Study mode(s)Full Time
Academic year2022/3
Campus(es)Streatham (Exeter)
Programme start date


NQF Level6 (Honours)

2. Description of the Programme

Anthropology offers a distinctive comparative outlook on human social and cultural life. The discipline has traditionally focused on the study of small-scale and pre-industrial societies, and at Exeter you will have opportunities to learn about anthropological discoveries in this area. However, Anthropologists have increasingly applied their distinctive insights to modern living, and today are as interested in the practices of multinational companies and the impact of natural resource exploitation on local communities as in the rituals and ceremonies of native Amazonians.

Following the BSc path in Anthropology at Exeter you'll learn to use the variety of methods of research and analysis applied in anthropology, and develop different types of skills and knowledge of the contemporary world relevant to a broad spectrum of careers. The BSc is designed to give you a particular strength in a range of methodological approaches – both quantitative and qualitative – to equip you for professional and academic fields in which research skills are key (from applied social sciences to marketing, from organisational studies to consultancy work). You will also have the opportunity to trace the human story from pre-history onwards through modules in archaeology and physical anthropology. You'll examine examples from across the globe at different points in history and learn how human beings have adapted and formed societies. In addition you will have the opportunity to take a wide variety of modules based on research at the cutting edge of Social Anthropology which explore topics such as human-animal interactions, global health, postcolonial politics, development, cultures of race and ethnicity, consumerism and the anthropology of music and sound. 

The BSc in Anthropology at Exeter will equip you with a full range of critical analytical perspectives as well as research methods to start your own exploration of the nature and complexity of human social life. 

3. Educational Aims of the Programme

1. Provide an excellent Honours-level education in Anthropology, which meets the criteria for Honours level awards as set out in the FHEQ and the University’s statement of Levels and Awards, and which meets the standards set in the national Subject Benchmarking statements for the subject area.
2. Facilitate graduates to become useful, productive and questioning members of society.
3. Provide a stimulating and supportive environment for students that is informed by research and scholarship.
4. Work in partnership with students to produce graduates who are grounded in the main themes of Anthropology through a combination of modules which develops a good understanding of how societies, institutions and practices of all kinds came into being, how they are currently organised, and how they might change in the future.
5. Offer a structured framework of study which ensures that within the time span of the programme every student follows a balanced and complementary range of modules, whilst allowing sufficient choice to ensure that students are able to follow individual areas of learning.
6. Work in partnership with students to produce graduates who understand the various methods which Anthropologists use to study human societies; and who can analyse the organisation and development of societies and gain competence in dealing with the various types of evidence and the methodological problems associated with studying historical and contemporary cultures.
7. Develop students’ competence in the subject-specific skills required in Anthropology through practical engagement with primary and empirical data.
8. Expose students to different teaching and assessment methods within an appropriate learning environment, supported by feedback, monitoring and pastoral care.
9. Provide a range of academic and personal skills which will prepare students from varied educational backgrounds for employment or further study, which will foster mental agility and adaptability, and which will enable them to deploy their knowledge, abilities and skills in their entirety, displaying balance and judgement in a variety of circumstances.

4. Programme Structure

5. Programme Modules

The following tables describe the programme and constituent modules. Constituent modules may be updated, deleted or replaced as a consequence of the annual programme review of this programme.

The Anthropology degree programme is made up of compulsory (core) and optional modules, which are worth 15 or 30 credits each. Full-time undergraduate students need to complete modules worth a total of 120 credits each year. 

Depending on your programme you can take up to 30 credits each year in another subject, for instance a language or business module, to develop career-related skills or just widen your intellectual horizons. 

Please note that modules offered are subject to change, depending on staff availability, timetabling, and demand.

Stage 1

The first year gives you a foundational knowledge of anthropological theory and concepts, and how to think critically about the key challenges of studying diverse human societies. You will also be introduced to the fundamentals of the archaeological study of human society in the past, and gain important analytical techniques that will be useful across a range of subjects and research tasks.

90 credits of compulsory modules, 30 credits of optional modules(ANT or ARC level 1 credits.)

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
ANT1004 Introduction to Social Anthropology-Theorising the Everyday World 15No
ANT1005 Introduction to Social Anthropology: Exploring Cultural Diversity 15No
ARC1010 Themes in World Archaeology 15No
ARC1020 Essential Archaeological Methods 15No
SOC1004 Introduction to Social Data 15No
SOC1041 Data Analysis in Social Science 15No

Optional Modules


 View option modules here


Please note that modules are subject to change and not all modules are available across all programmes, this is due to timetable, module size constraints and availability.


CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
ARC S1 BA Archaeology opt 2017-8
ARC1007 Archaeological and Forensic Science Practicals 15 No
ARC1008 Forensic Archaeology 15 No
Total Credits for Stage 1


Stage 2

In the second year you will advance your grasp of anthropological knowledge and methods through a set of compulsory modules. You will learn about the current issues and problems that attract anthropologists’ attention, and acquire the research methods that anthropologists use in their studies; you will even develop your own small research project where you can put these skills to the test. Optional modules enable you to develop specialist knowledge on a range of topics.

75 credits of compulsory modules, 45 credits of optional modules.

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
ANT2002 Ethnography Now 15No
ANT2003 Current Debates in Anthropology 15No
ANT2004 Into the Field 15No
ANT2005 Current Debates in Anthropology: Practice 15No
ARC2514 Forensic Anthropology 15No

Optional Modules


 View option modules here


Please note that modules are subject to change and not all modules are available across all programmes, this is due to timetable, module size constraints and availability.

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
ARC S2 BA Archaeology opt 2017-8
ARC2117 The Archaeology of the Indian Subcontinent 15 No
ARC2121 Brooches, Beads, Swords and Shields: Early Medieval Material Culture 15 No
ARC2406 Medieval Castles in Context 15 No
ARC2504 Zooarchaeology 15 No
ARC2513 Aerial Survey 15 No
Total Credits for Stage 2


Stage 3

The centre-point of the final year is the  dissertation . This provides you with the opportunity to explore an area of interest and to demonstrate what you have learned over the previous years of your degree. You will also take up to three other specialist modules to create a programme of work fully reflecting your interests.

30 credits of compulsory modules, 90 credits of optional modules

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
ANT3040 Anthropology Dissertation OR ARC300030No
ARC3000 Archaeological Dissertation OR ANT304030No

Optional Modules


 View option modules here


Please note that modules are subject to change and not all modules are available across all programmes, this is due to timetable, module size constraints and availability.

Total Credits for Stage 3


6. Programme Outcomes Linked to Teaching, Learning and Assessment Methods

Intended Learning Outcomes
A: Specialised Subject Skills and Knowledge
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

1. Demonstrate an analytical understanding of anthropology, taking into account different anthropological perspectives, modes of social analysis and their concomitant theoretical and conceptual frameworks
2. Show awareness of the social, political and historical, origins of anthropology when analysing social problems and accounting for social theories.
3. Demonstrate competence in describing and applying a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods of social investigation
4. Account for some of the main challenges in obtaining and conveying information about a range of societies and assess the ethical implications of anthropological enquiry and research
5. Conceptualise social, psychological and personal issues in a specifically anthropological manner
6. Describe, explain and critically discuss the social organisation, economy and cosmology of a range of societies
7. Demonstrate understanding (at increasing depth, according to level) of issues (increasingly complex, according to level) arising from the subject matter of the elective modules taken.
8. Conduct anthropological research, within supportive guidelines, drawing on primary and secondary sources
9. Present work in the format expected of social scientists, including footnoting and bibliographical references.

1. This skill is developed on all anthropology modules through lectures, tutorials and guided independent study, and is a core aim of the sociology side of the programme, especially on ANT1004, ANT1005, ANT2003 and ANT2005.

2. These skills are developed initially through lectures, seminars and essay work for ANT1004 and ANT1005 and are developed on subsequent modules.

3-4. The relevance of these skills is introduced at stage one by reflecting on empirical studies and they will be systematically developed in a focused way in the methods courses ANT2002, ARC1020, SOC1041 and SOC1004. They will find application in subsequent options and specifically in the dissertation (ANT2004 and ANT3040) – either through original research or by critical reflection on such reported empirical research.

5-6. These skills will be developed throughout the programme in all modules pertaining to the substance matter of anthropology, beginning with the introductory lectures at level one (ANT1004, ANT1005, ARC1010) and then in option choices at stages 2 and 3.

7. This skill is developed through the optional modules taken. The level of competence expected of students intensifies at each stage of the programme.

8.-9. These skills will be practised through coursework and examination and seminar work in all modules, and consolidated specifically in modules ANT 2002, ANT2004and ANT3040 at 2nd year and 3rd year level. 

Exams (1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7)

Essays (1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9)

Other coursework (e.g. written analytical reflections, posters, research proposals) (3, 4, 5, 8, 9)

Presentations (1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7)

Dissertation (1-9)

Intended Learning Outcomes
B: Academic Discipline Core Skills and Knowledge
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

10. Draw thematic comparisons between material from different sources
11. Show awareness of contrasting approaches to research
12. Understand and demonstrate the different uses of qualitative and quantitative data, and evaluate their relative advantages and disadvantages.
13. Specify some of the basic philosophical questions arising from academic research.
14. Use library and the world-wide web to find appropriate and relevant information.
15. Develop and deploy argument, grounded in theoretical frameworks and empirical evidence.
16. Identify problems of reliability and bias in, and more generally evaluate, empirical evidence
17. Collate data from a range of sources.
18. Produce accurate reference to sources in written work.
19. Answer questions concisely and persuasively in written work.
20. Present work and answer questions orally
21. Deploy complex terminology in a comprehensible manner

These skills are developed throughout the degree programme, but the emphasis becomes more complex as students move from stage to stage. They are developed through lectures and seminars, written work (including essays, reports, research outlines, dissertation), and oral work (both presentation and class discussion).

Exams (11-15, 19, 21)

Essays and other written assignments (10-19)

Presentations (10-17, 20, 21)

Dissertation (10-20) 

Intended Learning Outcomes
C: Personal/Transferable/Employment Skills and Knowledge
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

22. Undertake independent study and work to deadlines.
23. Ability to evaluate validity of a wide variety of sources, including online material.
24. Secure use of word processing to produce written work to high standards
25. Digest, select and organise material for written work and oral presentations, and write to varying word lengths.
26. Critically evaluate own work.
27. Sit timed, unseen examinations of a challenging nature.
28. Participate in oral discussions; present and evaluate complex arguments and ideas orally; digest, select and organise material for oral presentations.
29. Work with others as part of a team on challenging material.
30. Interact effectively with peers and staff.
31. Undertake group work, including the presentation and discussion of material in groups.
32. Communicate and argue effectively, both orally and in writing.
33. Express and defend opinions on a wide range of current and abstract issues
34. Plan the execution of demanding work over a long time scale.

22. This skill is an essential part of the successful completion of the programme and will be developed through regular assignments such as essays and presentations towards vigorously monitored and enforced deadlines. 

23. This skill is developed in all modules where students independently research topics, e.g. when writing essays for specialist options and particularly in the dissertation module. 
24. This skill is developed through the requirement that all written work be word-processed. 
25. This skill is developed through essay and presentation work throughout the programme. 
26. This skill is encouraged and developed throughout, and is aided by personal tutor meetings at least once per term and the electronic Personal Development Planning system. 
27. This skill is developed through practice: at all stages, students are partly assessed by timed, unseen examinations.
28. This skill is developed through seminars and tutorials, which form the whole or part basis of all modules. 
Skills 29-33 are developed to some extent in all modules, through interaction in seminars and in discussion with tutors about essay work, and in response to criticism both collective and individual. 
34. This skill is developed through the through the Dissertation, which has a single end of year deadline.

Exams (25, 27, 32, 33)

Essays (22-26, 32, 33)

Individual Presentations (22, 23, 25, 28, 32, 33)

Group Presentations (22, 23, 25, 28, 29, 30, 31 32, 33)

Dissertation (22-26, 32, 33, 34)

7. Programme Regulations

University Regulations on the number of credits to be taken and at what level for each stage of the programme can be found in the Credit and Qualifications Framework.


Condonement is the process that allows you to be awarded credit (and so progress to the next stage or, in the final stage, receive an award), despite failing to achieve a pass mark at a first attempt. You are not entitled to reassessment in condoned credit. Regulations on condonement can be found in the Handbook for Assessment, Progression and Awarding for Taught Programmes.

Assessment and Awards

For undergraduate degrees assessment at stage one does not contribute to the summative classification of the award. Details of the weightings for each year of all programme lengths can be found in the Handbook for Assessment, Progression and Awarding for Taught Programmes.


Full details of assessment regulations for undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes and the classification of awards can be found in the Handbook for Assessment, Progression and Awarding for Taught Programmes.

You can also read details of Generic Marking Criteria.

8. College Support for Students and Students' Learning

Personal and Academic Tutoring

It is University policy that all Colleges should have in place a system of academic and personal tutors. The role of academic tutors is to support you with individual modules; the role of personal tutors is to provide you with advice and support fo the duration of your programme, and this support extends to providing you with details of how to obtain support and guidance on personal difficulties such as accommodation, financial difficulties and sickness. You can also make an appointment to see individual teaching staff.

Information on the College Personal Tutoring system, library provision, ELE resources and access to College support services can be found on the College webpages for current students.

Student Staff Liaison Committee (SSLC)

SSLCs enable students and staff to jointly participate in the management and review of the teaching and learning provision.

9. University Support for Students and Students' Learning

Learning Resources

The University Library maintains its principal collections in the main library buildings on the Streatham and St Luke's campuses, together with a number of specialist collections in certain Colleges. The total Library collection comprises over a million volumes and 3000 current periodical subscriptions.

IT Services

A wide range of IT services are provided throughout the Exeter campuses, including open-access computer rooms, some of which are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Helpdesks are maintained on the Streatham and St Luke's campuses, while most study bedrooms in halls and flats are linked to the University's campus network.

Student Support Services

The University provides many support services including health and wellbeing, multifaith chaplaincy, family support, the Students' Guild and international student support.

10. Admissions Criteria

All applications are considered individually on merit. The University is committed to an equal opportunities policy with respect to gender, age, race, sexual orientation and/or disability when dealing with applications. It is also committed to widening access to higher education to students from a diverse range of backgrounds and experience.

Candidates for undergraduate programmes must satisfy the undergraduate admissions requirements of the University of Exeter.

11. Regulation of Assessment and Academic Standards

Each academic programme in the University is subject to an agreed College assessment and marking strategy, underpinned by institution-wide assessment procedures.

The security of assessment and academic standards is further supported through the appointment of External Examiners for each programme. External Examiners have access to draft papers, course work and examination scripts. They are required to attend the Board of Examiners and to provide an annual report. Annual External Examiner reports are monitored at both College and University level. Their responsibilities are described in the University's code of practice. See the University's TQA Manual for details.

12. Indicators of Quality and Standards

Certain programmes are subject to accreditation and/or review by professional and statutory regulatory bodies (PSRBs).

13. Methods for Evaluating and Improving Quality and Standards

The University and its constituent Colleges draw on a range of data to review the quality of education provision. The College documents the performance in each of its tuaght programmes, against a range of criteria on an annual basis through the Annual Student Experience Review (ASER).

Subject areas are reviewed every five years through a College Academic Audit scheme that includes external contributions.

14. Awarding Institution

University of Exeter

15. Lead College / Teaching Institution

College of Social Sciences and International Studies (CSSIS)

College of Social Sciences and International Studies (CSSIS)

College of Social Sciences and International Studies (CSSIS)

16. Partner College / Institution

Partner College(s)

Not applicable to this programme

Not applicable to this programme

Not applicable to this programme

Partner Institution

Not applicable to this programme.

17. Programme Accredited / Validated by


18. Final Award

BSc (Hons) Anthropology

19. UCAS Code


20. NQF Level of Final Award

6 (Honours)

21. Credit

CATS credits


ECTS credits


22. QAA Subject Benchmarking Group

23. Dates

Origin Date


Date of last revision