Anthropology is fundamentally concerned with the human condition, and explores this in relation to human evolution, history, ecology, and social life in all its diversity. Traversing the social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences, it helps us understand where we came from, who we are, and where we might be headed.
Are you interested in the development of civilisation, the diversity of languages and cultures, or the ways we organise collective life? Perhaps you are curious about love, war, religion, or belonging? Would you like to explore how we each make a living, how technology expands its possibilities, or how they both might imperil ourselves and our planet? Anthropology addresses all these and more.
Dedicated to understanding all facets of human being and doing, anthropology takes a comparative approach, through time, and across space. Anthropologists explore human sociality in a distinctive way by immersing themselves in the realities of lived experience – an approach to research known as ethnography.
- 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.
One of the great things about Anthropology is that it has wide appeal and does not require a particular background. All that you need to bring is enthusiasm for learning about human experiences, an enquiring mind, and an openness to looking at different ways of living. Mature students are able to bring their wealth of life skills to the study of Anthropology.
This exciting discipline will appeal to students of all ages and backgrounds.
UC offers a major and a minor in Anthropology as part of the Bachelor of Arts.
To complete a major in Anthropology within the Bachelor of Arts, you will need to take the following courses throughout the degree:
- Three 200-level ANTH courses
For the Anthropology minor in the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Sport Coaching, or Bachelor of Youth and Community Leadership, you will need to take these courses throughout your chosen degree:
- 75 points in 100 to 300-level ANTH courses, with at least 45 points at 200-level or above
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 Māori organisations and 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, Māori development and iwi organisations, and in a variety of government departments.
Find out more about what you can do with a degree in Anthropology.
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