I’ve only studied arts subjects: will I be able to cope with evolutionary anthropology?
This is an integrated anthropology department spanning the sciences, social sciences and even the arts and humanities. Our students come from a wide range of backgrounds so the first year is carefully designed to bring everyone up to speed in the methods and skills of anthropology across the board. There are always students with an arts or social sciences background who are encountering statistics and the scientific method for the first time. Your lecturers know this and are experienced in teaching students who have no background in science as well as those who do.
I’ve only studied science so far, how will I manage with social anthropology?
This is an integrated anthropology department spanning the sciences, social sciences and even the arts and humanities. Our students come from a very wide range of backgrounds so the first year is carefully designed to bring everyone up to speed in the methods and skills of anthropology across the board. There are always students with a science background who are encountering social sciences for the first time. Your lecturers know this and are experienced in teaching students who have no background in the social sciences as well as those who do.
I haven’t written an essay since I was 16! Help!
Study skills are part of the first year and how to write a good essay is part of that. In addition, there is plenty of time to practice writing plans and essays and getting feedback on writing style, developing arguments and structuring an essay via formative exercises. These are not part of any formally assessed grade but are there to help you improve. Additionally, we have an Academic Language Centre with highly trained specialists to advise on clear well-structured writing and Year Group Tutors can provide more guidance if necessary.
I’m signed up to one degree: what if I suddenly realize I want to be on another one?
It’s relatively easy to change degrees after the first year. After a conversation with your Year Group Tutors to help you think through the pros and cons of changing you can apply online for your request to be considered. It is possible to change after that but you do need t to be sure that you have taken the right second year modules to allow you to choose the ones you want in the third year. Again, you Year Group Tutors will advise you here. Many people do change degrees for a wide variety of reasons. Some discover a passion for something which is very different from what they have studied previously. Some think that an employer in their chosen career path might look more favourably on a BA or a BSc.
What is the difference between BSc and BA and Health and Human Sciences degrees?
Typically, people who graduate with a BSc degree will have taken a larger proportion of modules classified as Evolutionary Anthropology. The BA degree has more Social Anthropology Modules and the Health and Human Sciences Degree means you will have taken proportionately more modules in medical anthropology.
Will I have time for a part-time job while I am studying?
Many of our students do have part-time jobs. It is possible but demanding to undertake a full-time degree, and take advantage of the many other activities that Durham offers, alongside work. But it is manageable and your Year Group Tutor will be sympathetic and will help you to manage your time. It is worth remembering that we cannot make any concessions or extensions to examined work because of external commitments.
What kinds of jobs do Anthropology graduates get?
Our students graduate with an unusually wide range of skills that makes them attractive to employers in many different sectors. You will have skills in problem-solving, qualitative and quantitative research, analysis and writing skills. Our graduates have gone on to work for national and international NGOs, the public sector (e.g. the civil service), the city, law firms and so on. Many decide to take further degrees in Anthropology.
See our employability page
Can I take a foreign language?
Yes. There is an option in the first year to take a foreign language module
How supportive is the Department of disability and diversity?
Anthropology as a discipline is fundamentally concerned with understanding how and why humans are the same and different across the world. So, diversity is what we do, whether that means the different ways in which people identify themselves, or how they interact with other people or with the built and the learning environment. We also have a dedicated Disabilities Officer, an academic member of staff, who provides guidance and support for anyone who wants to see them and helps students to access the huge array of resources and specialized, professional support across the university if they need help.
Can I do a year abroad?
If I do a year abroad, is it as well as my 3 years of anthropology or does it replace a year?
A year abroad between your second and third year is an extra year so you’ll end up with a four-year degree. When you return, you’ll go into the third year, but your previous peer group will have graduated
How many contact hours do I get?
The number of contact hours you get depends on the modules you end up choosing. Typically, in your first year, each module you take has a weekly lecture as well as small, group guided discussions twice a term. In your second year, you have small group discussions for every two lectures (five a term). The second year also has a fieldwork module which has round the clock intensive contact hours! In the third year, you’ll have one-to-one supervision plus weekly lectures and seminars.
It’s worth bearing in mind that there are many different kinds of contact hours so just totting up the number can be misleading. Independent learning is also essential to your learning experience. The more you prepare for and participate in seminars and group work, the more you’ll get out of them.
What does independent study mean?
Although you will have a range of formal teaching such as lectures, practicals, and seminars, as well as feedback sessions with staff, independent study is one of the most important elements of a university degree. This is where through reading, writing and carrying out your own research you not only test your own understanding of what you’ve been taught but learn how to actively produce knowledge through synthesizing arguments and developing your own thoughts. Independent study also means learning how to manage your time effectively and efficiently as well as organizing your ideas. It is one of the most important skills that employers are looking for in graduates.
Are there alternatives to Open Days?
The best way to see the Department is via the open days but if you cannot attend these open days for any reason, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.