One of the most exciting, relevant and varied subjects you can take at university level, anthropology is the study of humankind and explores the rich diversity of human society and culture across the globe.


Optional modules reflect the research interests of staff including the anthropology of addiction, childhood, human/animal interactions, health and warfare.

Why study Anthropology at Exeter?

  • Research-inspired teaching in cultural, social and physical anthropology
  • 8th for Anthropology in The Complete University Guide 2017
  • Exciting options including anthropology of addiction, childhood, human/animal interactions, health and warfare
  • Distance-Learning MA Anthrozoology
  • Flexible programme giving you opportunities to explore other disciplines

At Exeter, you will be introduced to the discipline through a broad range of case studies in different geographical and cultural settings, from kinship in a Malay fishing community, to witchcraft in post-apartheid South Africa, to ways of reading the landscape among the Apache of North America. You will also have the opportunity to trace the human story from pre-history onwards by combining social anthropology with the study of archaeology and physical anthropology.

You will have a choice of a wide range of options on topics as varied as human/animal interactions, the city, addiction, consumerism, health and illness, and the politics of nature as well as regional options, such as the anthropology of Africa. You'll learn to use the variety of methods of research and analysis used in anthropology and develop different types of skills and knowledge of the contemporary world relevant to a broad spectrum of careers.

Anthropology is taught and studied in the department of Sociology, Philosophy and Anthropology, and also draws on expertise from other departments, in particular, Archaeology. The close relationship between these subjects is indicative of the interdisciplinary focus in which Anthropology can be studied either as Single Honours, or in combination with other arts and social science subjects such as Sociology and Archaeology. The department is a small, ambitious and highly successful unit and you'll benefit from a friendly atmosphere and exposure to important new approaches and advances in social science research.

Our academic staff have a wide range of research interests in anthropology, sociology and philosophy. We have several trained anthropologists who are dedicated to the teaching of the programme but also conduct their own research on a range of innovative topics.

In the Research Excellence Framework 2014, we were 9th in the UK for world-leading and internationally excellent research1. As an undergraduate you'll benefit from this lively research environment as your teachers will be contributing to current debates, giving you access to the latest thinking and resources.

Having studied Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Exeter for two years, it’s fair to say that my assumptions have been challenged, my horizons broadened and new questions have arisen. The structure of the Anthropology programme is designed to question your perception of how people think and behave, giving you an invaluable multicultural perspective. What really appealed about this course was the diversity of topics that are relevant to current day issues as well as being analytical of historical events.

After studying modules about the social construction of gender, the cultural understanding of time and space and the politics of people, nature and resources, I have come to the conclusion that Anthropology is a discipline built for those who have a thirst for understanding the human condition. Without a doubt, my Exeter experience so far has helped shape my own identity and furthered my understanding of what it means to be human. 
Samuel Lunn-Rockliffe, BA Archaeology and Anthropology

1Research Excellence Framework 2014 based on the percentage of research categorised as 4* and 3*.