What can I do with an anthropology degree?

An anthropology degree can provide you with a wide range of analytical, practical and social skills, easily applied to the workplace.

From facilitation and group work skills, developing excellent verbal and written communication skills (including writing for technical and lay audiences), to IT and numeracy skills, anthropology graduates are well-equipped to make significant contributions from their first day of employment. The practical application of anthropology through fieldwork opens the way to opportunities in sectors as diverse as international development, agriculture, health and social work. As a result, anthropologists are well-placed to choose from careers in many different fields.

Politics, advocacy and policy environments

With their cross-cultural expertise, anthropologists are highly sought after in the international arena, working for governmental bodies such as the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DfID) or intergovernmental organisations such as the United Nations, and non-governmental organisations like Action Aid and Oxfam. These bodies seek expertise about human behaviour, particularly human responses to major world challenges, such as endemic poverty, climate change and global health.


Anthropologists study the complex interaction of biology and society, identifying the conditions that underlie the poor health of many people worldwide. Anthropologists also play a key role keeping track of the implications of new health technologies on communities, finding opportunities in academia, biotechnology development and again, NGOs.


Anthropology is the study of how people behave together and so, has many applications in the business world. Knowledge of human behaviour has a range of implications for marketing, business-to-business communications and social networking in particular, where anthropologists are employed to study the connectivity of people on social networking websites, how this affects commercial behaviour and how this behaviour spreads.

Postgraduate opportunities

Around 20 per cent of our undergraduate students go on to further study, mostly following research-based programmes such as MPhils and PhDs, but also including taught-based Master's programmes and applied programmes like PGCEs.

As an anthropology undergraduate, you will develop a range of skills that will open up a spectrum of career paths to you. However, you might want to develop your skills and specialist knowledge further with a postgraduate programme.

My degree at Bristol has equipped me with a range of transferable skills that I believe can be applied to almost any future career. I have secured a graduate job in the technology sector, a role in which I will be pushed to take on new challenges different from anything that I have experienced so far. I am confident that I will be able to tackle these challenges with resilience, something that I owe to the people who have made my time at Bristol as valuable as it has been.

Holly (Anthropology and Innovation, 2020)

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Lily, one of our third year Anthropology students, spent the summer of 2020 completing an internship with a Public Relations company.

Read about her experience in this blog post.

Further information

Find out more about Anthropology graduates on our Careers Service web pages

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