Anthropology is the study of humanity (the Greek anthropos means ‘human being’). It is a very wide-ranging discipline, made up of a variety of sub-topics.
You will study culture, society, and the wide variety of ways in which people around the world live. By appreciating what humans have in common, and the fundamentals on which social life is based, comparisons across societies and observations about the nature of human beings can be made. In this sense, Anthropology promotes cross-cultural awareness and self-understanding.
Traditionally, anthropology concentrated on the study of non-western societies, but now Anthropology students can expect to learn about a variety of things relevant to western societies. These include areas such as ethnic relations, migration, social change, environmental policies, and the preservation of cultural resources.
- The kind of Anthropology taught at UC is known as social and cultural Anthropology. This branch of Anthropology intersects with other academic disciplines taught at UC such as Geography, History, Sociology, Political Science and International Relations, Māori and Pacific studies, Philosophy, Cultural Studies, and Fine Arts.
Acquaintance with subjects such as geography, history, languages, or art can be helpful but is not necessary for the introductory courses in Anthropology.
If you want to major in Anthropology, it is recommended that you take 30 points at 100-level. However, 15 points at 100-level is sufficient as a prerequisite for 200-level.
Anthropology offers insights into many of the social issues and problems facing Aotearoa New Zealand and the world today. Anthropologists therefore have an important role to play in areas of public policy, international relations, foreign affairs, and human rights.
For professional anthropologists, there are employment opportunities in research, museum work, and university teaching, as well as in certain sectors of local and central government (eg, where research skills are needed) and in non-governmental agencies dealing with issues such as third-world development.
A major in Anthropology will provide you with skills and expertise that can be utilised in a wide variety of employment situations, especially where sensitivity to people, an appreciation of cultural diversity, and an ability to grasp alternative ways of seeing the world are required.
Recent graduates have also gained work in journalism and other branches of the media, public relations, social work, adult education, museums and libraries, tourism, international agencies, human resources, resource management, and in a variety of government departments.
Find out more about what you can do with a degree in Anthropology.
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College of Arts | Te Rāngai Toi Tangata
University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha
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