Anthropology and Archaeology

At Bristol we are proud to be the only department in Britain teaching the four fields of archaeology, social anthropology, evolutionary anthropology and linguistic anthropology under one roof.

Our courses encompass the cross-cultural study of human behaviour and society past and present, and we offer archaeological and anthropological fieldwork opportunities in Bristol and beyond.

Why study Anthropology and Archaeology at Bristol?

Our research-led teaching has four broad perspectives: global reach, relevant interests, collaborative work and analytical skills. Our archaeologists and anthropologists study inequality and adversity, cultural diversity, the developing world, globalisation and adaptation in far-flung places and closer to home.

Our department is at the heart of the campus and we have our own lecture theatres, seminar rooms, computing facilities and scientific laboratories. We also house a radiocarbon accelerator, currently one of only five in Britain.

In our research and teaching we emphasise collaboration with other disciplines, such as psychology, sociology, religion and theology, engineering, and chemistry. All of our students undertake fieldwork as well as training in scientific analysis and dealing with data.

Download the Anthropology and Archaeology leaflet (PDF, 156kB)

What kind of student would this course suit?

Are you fascinated by human nature and cultural diversity? Are you intrigued by different cultures and languages in distant continents and time periods? Perhaps you are interested in different cultures closer to home?

Do ancient sites and monuments hold a special attraction for you or are you captivated by artefacts and material culture from societies long gone? Are you concerned about contemporary challenges of environment, inequality and development?

These courses are an excellent choice if you wish to learn about human cultural diversity past and present and seek the opportunity to conduct fieldwork and gain valuable transferable skills.

The student-run Archaeology and Anthropology Society hosts guest lectures and provides numerous ways to get involved.

Your dissertation project in your final year provides the opportunity to conduct original archaeological or anthropological research in an area of particular interest to you.

How is this course taught and assessed?

Teaching is primarily through lectures, discussion groups and tutorial sessions. The programme structures are modular, with mandatory units each year on theory and practice. Optional units include more specialised themes, regions or periods.

Field trips and outings are a regular component of the curriculum. There is also the opportunity to study abroad for one semester in the second year.

We use a variety of assessment methods, including essays, exams, class tests, reports, notebooks, poster presentations and oral presentations.

In your third year you will produce a dissertation of 12,000 words on an original topic of your choice.

What are my career prospects?

A degree in anthropology or archaeology and anthropology will equip you with a wide range of transferable skills. You will develop cross-cultural understanding, intellectual versatility, excellent written and oral communication skills, critical analysis and independent thought.

You will be skilled in self-directed learning and in the use of IT and data analysis and interpretation.

Having gained experience in the study of behaviour and society, our graduates find work in business, heritage management, policymaking, education, international development and non-governmental organisations.

Find out more about what our students do after graduating.


Important disclaimer information about our courses.

Every day my inbox is flooded with opportunities – internships, research projects, extra-curricular activities – all of which are the University getting students involved. The University is constantly updating its facilities, which reinforces its friendly and inclusive environment.

Alexandra (LLB Law)

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