What is Anthropology?
Anthropologists explore the biological and social features that make us human to gain a deeper understanding of the cultural and ethnic differences in our beliefs and perspectives. Studying Anthropology will give you an insight into the behaviour, beliefs and attitudes of societies all over the world, finding connections between aspects of life such as family, economics, politics and religion and themes including ethnicity and nationalism.
Social anthropologists address ‘what it is to be human’ by studying social and cultural diversity – how people live, think and relate to each other around the world. Biological anthropology focuses on the study of human evolution and adaptation. Biological anthropologists are particularly interested in investigating why variation arose and how it is maintained, as well as trying to explain how people are adapted to the environments in which they live.
To study Social Anthropology at Cambridge, you can study it through our Human, Social and Political Sciences Course. Biological Anthropology can be studied through a few different courses at Cambridge including Archaeology and Natural Sciences, for more information see here.
What can I do with an Anthropology degree?
Graduates in Anthropology develop skills in critical thinking and analysis which enable them to work with people in a variety of cultural contexts. Many graduates progress to work in research, teaching, the media, and politics and for private and public sector organisations.
Graduates in Biological Anthropology might go into areas such as; professional biological anthropology, science journalism, curating, forensic science and work with non-government organisations and with development agencies such as the World Health Organisation.
What might I need to study Anthropology?
Most universities do not stipulate specific A-Level subjects. Subjects that might be regarded as useful preparation for this course include; History, English and Sociology or other essay-based subjects.
If you are interested in applying to study Biological Anthropology then most universities do expect an A-Level in Biology in the first instance, though some institution do consider other sciences too.
Resources within this subject
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Anthropology at the University of Cambridge
Undergraduate students and staff talk about studying Human, Social, and Political Sciences (HSPS) which contains Anthropology at the University of Cambridge.
Human Social and Political Sciences at Cambridge
Find out about studying HSPS at Cambridge.
A monthly blog from the Royal Anthropological Institute.
Camthropod is a podcast produced by a collective of staff and students from the Cambridge Department of Social Anthropology.
Cambridge Encyclopedia of Anthropology (CEA)
The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Anthropology (CEA) is a growing open-access teaching and learning resource. Its goal is to facilitate access to scholarship in Social Anthropology for experts and non-experts worldwide.