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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

Our Health and Human Sciences course synthesizes biological and evolutionary research into human genetics and physiology with comparative ethnographic approaches to the social, political, ideological and ecological contexts that shape health risks and treatments. This degree will equip you to critically debate discourse surrounding healthcare from an interdisciplinary, anthropological perspective that draws together local, regional and international scales of analysis.

Year 1

In your first year, you will receive a thorough grounding in the theory and practice of anthropology in the broadest sense, addressing the core disciplines of social and biological anthropology as well as interdisciplinary perspectives on culture, society, and health. Currently, students take five modules in Anthropology and select one elective module offered by another department, including the option to study a module in a modern foreign language.

Compulsory modules:

  • Peoples and Cultures
  • Human Evolution and Diversity
  • Being Human: An introduction to the history and practice of Anthropology
  • Doing Anthropological Research
  • Health, Illness, and Society.

Year 2

In your second year, you will develop a deeper and more complex grasp of the anthropology of health and continue to gain "hands-on" experience of conducting research through a series of regional field trips and activities that form our Anthropological Research Methods in Action module. You will also begin preparation for your dissertation through modules that are designed to support you to follow either a more social or biological pathway as you design your own research project, in addition to a core module that will help you develop plans for your dissertation and prepare to do your own research. You will also take two elective modules that will enable you to pursue your interests in specific topics from the wider anthropological discipline.

Compulsory modules:

  • Anthropological Research Methods in Action
  • Research Project Design
  • Global Health and Disease
  • Sex, Reproduction and Love

And one of the following modules:

  • Biology, Culture & Society
  • Reading Ethnography

Examples of optional modules:

  • Evolution, Variation and Adaptation
  • Our Place in Nature
  • Kinship and Religion
  • Politics and Economics.

Year 3 (Year 4 if undertaking a Year Abroad)

In your final year, you will design and carry out your own dissertation project and take part in our Anthropology Field Course Module. The Field Course usually takes place in September prior to your final year and offers an intensive two-week fieldwork experience at one of the department’s residential field schools. You have a choice of up to 6 advanced optional taught modules, and you can take an elective option from another department if you wish.

Optional modules are generally based on the research expertise of staff, and reflect the University’s ideal of research-led education. Options available in the Department cover the full disciplinary spectrum, from the entirely biological to the entirely socio-cultural, or a mixture of anthropological sub-disciplines. Options change slightly from year-to-year, with a minimum of 18 different options to choose from every year.

Throughout your degree you are also invited to attend the regular round of departmental research seminars given by visiting scholars or Durham-based researchers, and can participate in a key forum for current innovative research.

Core module:

  • Dissertation
  • Field School Module

Examples of optional modules:

  • Anthropology of Tobacco
  • Anthropology of Health Inequality
  • Anthropology of Physical Activity and Health
  • Decolonising Anthropology
  • Evolutionary Medicine: Maternal and Infant Health
  • Human Reproductive Ecology
  • Development, Conflict and Crisis in the Lower Omo
  • Poison, Pollution and the Chemical Anthropocene
  • Exhibiting Anthropology
  • Capitalism in Ruins
  • Social Anthropology of Hormones
  • Anthropology of Ethics and Morality
  • Anthropology of Sport
  • Anthropological Skills for Climate Change Survival
  • Power and Governance
  • Violence and Memory
  • Evolution of Cooperation
  • Comparative Cognition and Culture
  • Cultural Evolution of Music
  • Technological Primates
  • Primates in Peril
  • Primates, Predators and the Ecology of Fear
  • Homo narrans: Evolutionary Anthropology of Fiction
  • Forensic Anthropology
  • Palaeoanthropology and Palaeoecology
  • Anthropology in the Contemporary Middle East
  • Anthropology, Art, and Experience


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

Study abroad

Study abroad or placement activities undertaken as part of a degree are not only enjoyable but can give a significant edge when it comes to employability. We currently have links with the University of West Bohemia (Czech Republic), the University of Iceland, the University of Ljubljana (Slovenia) and the University of Malta.


As a student on the BSc (Hons) Health and Human Sciences degree, your learning will be supported by formal teaching sessions, such as lectures and smaller-group teaching in seminars and practical classes.

Our curriculum places a strong emphasis on inquiry-based learning, with a particular focus on carrying out field-based research. At the start of your second year, you will visit one of our residential field schools to carry out project work, and put your emerging qualitative and quantitative research skills into practice.

The Anthropology Department also has anthropometric equipment, a skeletal collection, a fossil cast collection, a material culture collection and other practical resources that are used in relevant modules, and you may also be able to use these independently, to supplement your learning or for project work.

As you move through your BSc (Hons) Health and Human Sciences course, you will shift from being a consumer of knowledge in the classroom to a generator of knowledge, ready for professional or postgraduate life. To help develop this independence, you will spend part of your time engaged in self-directed study, which will include reading, project work and preparation for classes. In your third year, you will undertake a dissertation on an anthropological topic of your choice, giving you the chance to engage in a major piece of independent work.

Assessment on the BSc (Hons) Health and Human Sciences degree varies by module but may include written examinations, podcasts, museum displays and outreach activities, coursework in the form of essays or research projects, and presentations.

You will be given a Year Tutor when you start your degree, and will normally keep the same tutor for the duration of your studies. Year Tutors are there to support your academic work by providing advice about such things as study skills, module choices, dissertation topics, and applications for further study or employment. As well as discussing your academic work with your tutor, you are encouraged to make use of the drop in hours provided by academic staff during term-time. These drop in hours give you the opportunity to discuss your work with module tutors, for example to seek clarification on complex ideas, get suggestions for additional readings, and receive further feedback on assessments.

As a student in the Anthropology Department, you will be welcomed into the wider departmental community and can attend an extensive programme of research-focused departmental and research group seminars where academic staff, postgraduate students and visiting scholars present their cutting-edge research, which may provide inspiration for your dissertation topic and even future study or employment.

Entry requirements

A level offerAAB.

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma/OCR Cambridge Technical Extended DiplomaDDD.

IB Diploma score36 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.
  • If you are an international student who does not meet the requirements for direct entry to this degree, you may be eligible to take an International Foundation Year pathway programme at the Durham University International Study Centre.
  • 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 £23,750 per year
Island students £9,250 per year
International students £23,750 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


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

Department information


Have you ever really thought about what it means to be human? If you have and you want to learn more, then anthropology could be for you.

Anthropology is the study of all aspects of humanity, from our evolutionary origins to our extraordinary social and cultural diversity. At Durham, we pride ourselves on the breadth of our research, learning and teaching, encompassing all aspects of anthropology, and influencing the wider world through research that has global significance.

For more information see our department pages.


  • 29th in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2022
  • 4th in The Complete University Guide 2023.


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 Department of Anthropology hosts a range of state-of-the-art research facilities that are used and run by academic members of staff and their postgraduate students. Given our commitment to research-led teaching, undergraduates and taught postgraduates frequently conduct research projects using these facilities.

More information about our facilities and equipment.


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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