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Degree type


Course length

3 years full-time


Durham City

UCAS code


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Typical offers

Typical offers
A Level AAB
International Baccalaureate 36

Course details

Anthropology and sociology are naturally complementary fields of study due to their common emphasis on understanding humans as part of wider cultural and social groups.

This degree combines modules from the BA Anthropology and BA Sociology degrees providing a comprehensive understanding of humans as social and cultural beings.

Based around a central core of theory and methods, the degree is highly flexible, allowing you to choose subjects across both disciplines. The course emphasises the application of theory and concepts to real-world cases. You will carry out a supervised research project and you can choose to take a placement with a local community organisation and make use of your knowledge in an applied setting.

In the first year of your degree, you will receive a thorough grounding in the theory and practice of Anthropology and Sociology in the broadest sense.

The second year will develop your understanding of key issues in anthropological and sociological theory and research. At this stage you can also apply to add a placement year or a year abroad to your degree, increasing the course from three years to four.

In your final year, you will design and carry out your own dissertation project in Anthropology or Sociology.

Course Structure

Year 1

In recent years, optional modules have included:

  • Doing Anthropological Research
  • Social Research Methods
  • People and Cultures
  • Classic Sociological Theory
  • Health, Illness and Society
  • Human Evolution and Diversity
  • Being Human: An Introduction to the History and Practice of Anthropology
  • Societies in Transition
  • Introduction to Criminological Theory
  • Critical Scholarship in the Social Science.

Year 2

In recent years, optional modules have included:

  • Research Methods in Action
  • Biology, Culture and Society
  • Politics and Economics
  • Evolution, Variation and Adaptation
  • Global Health and Disease
  • Environment, Climate, and the Anthropocene
  • Communities and Social Justice
  • Crime, Power and Social Inequalities
  • Modern and Contemporary Sociological Theory
  • Self, Identity and Society
  • Sociology of Education
  • Violence and Abuse in Society

Year 3 (Year 4 if undertaking a placement year or year abroad)

In your final year, you will design and carry out an Dissertation project. Your dissertation is an excellent opportunity to develop expertise in a topic of personal interest or relevance to a future career area.

In recent years, optional modules have included:

  • Anthropology, Art, and Experience
  • Social Anthropology of Hormones
  • Anthropology of Ethics and Morality
  • Anthropological Skills for Climate Change Survival
  • Violence and Memory
  • Evolutionary Medicine: Maternal and Infant Health
  • Primates, Predators and the Ecology of Fear
  • Forensic Anthropology
  • Food Security, Nutrition, and Sustainable Livelihoods
  • Drugs and Society
  • Globalisation and the Sex Industry
  • Sociology of Mental Health and Illness
  • The Body as Data: Technology, Power and Human Rights
  • Youth in Crisis: Young People, Crime and Justice

Additional pathways

Students on the Anthropology and Sociology BA can apply to be transferred onto either the ‘with Year Abroad’ or ‘with Placement’ pathway during the second year. Places on these pathways are in high demand and if you are chosen your studies will extend from three years to four.


You may be able to take a work placement. Find out more.


Your learning will be supported by formal teaching sessions, such as lectures and smaller-group teaching in seminars and practical classes.

You will have the opportunity to study through applied research, as part of the residential Anthropology Field Course module and/or as part of the Research Methods in Action module.

In Year 3, you will undertake a dissertation with one-to-one staff supervision to guide you through the process of creating and writing up a research project.


Assessment varies by module, but may include essays, examinations, presentations, research projects, podcasts, museum displays and outreach activities.

Our curriculum places a strong emphasis on inquiry-based learning, with a particular focus on learning how to carry out your own research. In your final year you will produce a dissertation which makes up one-third of your final-year marks.

Entry requirements

A level offer – AAB

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma/OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma – DDD

IB Diploma score – 36 with 665 in higher level subjects

In addition to satisfying the University’s general entry requirements, please note:

  • We welcome applications from those with other qualifications equivalent to our standard entry requirements and from mature students with non-standard qualifications or who may have had a break in their study. 
  • If you do not satisfy our general entry requirements, the Foundation Programme offers multidisciplinary degrees to prepare you for a range of specified degree courses.
  • We are pleased to consider applications for deferred entry.

Science A levels

Applicants taking Science A levels that include a practical component will be required to take and pass this as a condition of entry. This applies only to applicants sitting A levels with an English examination board.

Alternative qualifications

International students who do not meet direct entry requirements for this degree might have the option to complete an International Foundation Year.

English language requirements

Country specific information

Fees and funding

Full Time Fees

Tuition fees
Home students £9,250 per year
EU students £25,000 per year
Island students £9,250 per year
International students £25,000 per year

The tuition fees shown for home students are for one complete academic year of full time study and are set according to the academic year of entry. Fees for subsequent years of your course may rise in line with an inflationary uplift as determined by the government.

The tuition fees shown for overseas and EU students are for one complete academic year of full time study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.

Scholarships and Bursaries

We are committed to supporting the best students irrespective of financial circumstances and are delighted to offer a range of funding opportunities. 

Find out more about Scholarships and Bursaries

Career opportunities


With a degree in Anthropology, you will be equipped with a diverse and practical knowledge base, including highly transferable skills in designing and carrying out research projects. Employers worldwide value this skill set, particularly where creativity, curiosity and the ability to understand human culture and society are at a premium.

Our graduates apply their knowledge directly in fields such as health, community work, conservation, education, international development, culture, and heritage. Many progress into careers that require a broad understanding of human society and behaviour as well as the interpersonal, organisational, problem solving and independent thinking skills that come with the discipline. Such careers include advertising, publishing, journalism, teaching, human resource management, public relations, finance, law, consultancy and marketing.

A significant number of graduates progress onto higher level study with many pursuing anthropological research. Others take up professional postgraduate programmes in both related and non-related fields.

Of those students who graduated in 2019:

  • 85% are in paid employment or further study 15 months after graduation across all our programmes

Of those in employment:

  • 70% are in high skilled employment 
  • With an average salary of £24,000.

(Source: HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey. The survey asks leavers from higher education what they are doing 15 months after graduation. Further information about the Graduate Outcomes survey can be found

Sociology and Criminology


As well as building detailed subject-specific knowledge of criminological issues, our courses are designed to develop transferable skills that are valuable for both personal and professional development including, how to assemble and evaluate evidence, how to turn evidence into an effective argument, how to design a research project and analyse data.

Our graduates work in a wide range of employment settings worldwide, including the criminal justice system, the Civil Service, local and national government, banking, academic research and law (through graduate conversion programmes).


The combination of sociological knowledge and transferable skills gained during your studies will prepare you for a career in many different sectors. From interpreting and evaluating information to analysing situations and constructing a persuasive argument, these skills are highly valued by employers and will give you a competitive edge.

Sociology graduates work in a wide range of settings all over the world, including health and welfare, local and central government and the Civil Service, education, the police, social research, the media and non-profit organisations. Many recent graduates from the Department have progressed to careers with high-profile employers including M&S, Mencap, Accenture and Unilever. Others have moved on to postgraduate study and academic research.

Of those students who graduated in 2019:

  • 90% are in paid employment or further study 15 months after graduation across all our programmes

Of those in employment:

  • 65% are in high skilled employment 
  • With an average salary of £24,000.

(Source: HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey. The survey asks leavers from higher education what they are doing 15 months after graduation. Further information about the Graduate Outcomes survey can be found here

Department information


Join a diverse and welcoming Department that takes a distinctly broad-based approach to the study of humanity. Each year around 120 undergraduate students join one of our single or joint honours degree courses. We are among the largest Anthropology departments in the UK and one of the few to combine the study of the social, biological and medical aspects of anthropology. This gives you the chance to explore humanity from multiple perspectives, covering our species' evolution over millions of years up to the present day diversity of human societies.

The academic team are passionate about teaching the next generation, with many lecturers actively involved in research and teaching in numerous areas that overlap with other subjects, including culture, environmental issues, evolution, genetics, forensics, language, literature, health, music, politics, primate behaviour, religion, reproduction, skeletal anatomy and many others still. And with a research-led approach, our teaching is constantly evolving to incorporate the latest developments into the curriculum.

Our flexible courses offer the opportunity both to explore the breadth of Anthropology and to specialise in one of our sub-disciplinary areas. We offer a residential field course to all our undergraduate students, providing hands-on experience of varied anthropological methods in practice.

For more information see our department pages.


  • 23rd in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2023.
  • 8th in The Complete University Guide 2024.


For a current list of staff, please see the Anthropology pages.

Research Excellence Framework

  • 45% of our research was rated as world-leading (REF 2021)


The Anthropology department is housed in the Dawson Building. It is conveniently located next to the main library, and close to lots of other departments and university services.

The Department’s state-of-the-art research facilities include a skeletal collection, a fossil cast collection, a material culture collection and many other practical resources.

We also house a number of research centres and laboratories including an Infancy and Sleep Centre which investigates infant and child sleep; the Physical Activity Lab to monitor physical activity levels in our everyday lives and an Ecology and Endocrinology Laboratory which is equipped to analyse human samples.

More information about our facilities and equipment.

Sociology and Criminology


Examine crime and deviance through a social lens studying this thought-provoking subject which challenges you to think deeply about the society in which we live. As a Criminology student at Durham you will learn to accept nothing at face value. Our courses are designed to shape students into critical, curious social scientists who seek out evidence as they get to grips with the complex causes of crime and the impact of crime on society.

Undergraduate study is shaped by real-world engagement and up-to-date research. You will learn from internationally recognised experts who are engaged in innovative, socially conscious research into some of the most challenging issues in modern society, including intimate partner violence, sexual harassment and abuse, and youth crime. Our academics also have close links with voluntary and community sector organisations national and globally, with many actively engaged in shaping criminal justice policy. 

Criminological theory forms a key element of this discipline. You will develop the critical skills to understand the key issues around crime, deviance and criminal justice in relation to wider society. We place a strong focus on contemporary issues, such as youth justice and cybercrime, as well as on providing an understanding of theories of crime and justice. 

An essential element of Criminology at Durham is the opportunity to put theory into practice with work placements, community-based modules and international study to suit your interests and career goals.


The field of Sociology helps us to understand the ways in which human behaviour is shaped by the way we think, feel and respond to different social settings. Our courses apply sociological theory to the issues that affect our daily lives from education, work and families to crime, physical and mental health, and culture. Sociology at Durham will help you develop a deeper understanding of yourself, others and the world around you.

Learning takes place in the Department of Sociology, a dynamic learning and research community of students and staff. We take a research-led approach to learning which means that courses are informed by subject specialists who contribute to shaping society through their innovative, socially conscious research.

We offer a BA in Sociology or a joint honours degree in Anthropology and Sociology, and students on the BA Education Studies or the BA Combined Honours Social Sciences can choose sociology modules as part of a broader social sciences curriculum. You will also benefit from hands-on work placements, community-based modules and international study opportunities. Whichever route you travel, flexible pathways can be chosen to suit your interests and career goals.


  • 2nd for Criminology and 6th for Sociology in The Guardian University Guide 2023
  • 2nd for Criminology and 3rd for Sociology in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023
  • 8th for Sociology in the Complete University Guide 2024

For more information see our department pages.


For a current list of staff, please see the Department of Sociology pages.

Research Excellence Framework

4th in the UK for research impact (REF 2021).


Criminology at Durham is located at Old Elvet, within easy walking distance of the Students’ Union, the colleges and Durham’s historic centre with its imposing Castle and Cathedral. We also use the local area as a learning environment, examining the connection between power and justice and exploring the locations of ancient and modern prisons around the city.

The Department of Sociology is located at Old Elvet, near the medieval Elvet Bridge, and within easy walking distance of the Students’ Union, University Colleges and Durham’s historic centre with its Castle and Cathedral. Our buildings includes a student common space and networked computer access for our students to use.

Durham University library is one of the best in northern Britain and is well resourced with books, eBooks and journals supporting all of our areas of study. We make extensive use of Learn Ultra, the University’s virtual learning environment, and teach in facilities across the whole Durham campus.


Find out more:

Use the UCAS code below when applying:



The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) handles applications for all undergraduate courses.

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