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School of Social Sciences

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BSocSc Social Anthropology
Explore human behaviour and relationships and the challenges across different cultures.

BSocSc Social Anthropology

Year of entry: 2018

Overview

Degree awarded
BSocSc
Duration
3 or 4 years
Typical A-level offer
ABB.
Typical International Baccalaureate offer

6,5,5 at Higher level, 33 points overall.  Applicants offering Mathematics or Maths Methods at standard or higher level must achieve a minimum of grade 5.

 Applicants not holding GCSE English Language or equivalent must achieve grade 5 in standard or higher level English. 

Full entry requirements

Number of places/applicants

In 2017 there were 374 applications for 51 places for this degree.

How to apply
Apply through UCAS .

Course overview

  • Are you interested in how people behave and organise their economic, social and political lives?
  • Are you fascinated with the diversity in human societies and cultures?
  • Would you like to develop analytical and communication skills for your next career move?
  • Would you like to study abroad in one of our partner institutions for your third year?
  • Take the right course units and you can apply for a paid summer internship through Manchester's Q-Step programme.
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Lars tells us why he chose to study Social Anthropology

Open days

  • Find out more and register for an Open Day

Post-offer visits

If you are made an offer we will email you an invitation to visit us late January, February or early March. These afternoons are organised by the School of Social Sciences and include a tour, a talk, refreshments and a chance to talk to students, lecturers and recruitment staff.

If you are visiting Manchester and would like to visit our admissions office please make an appointment in advance. (Call +44 (0)161 275 4470/1473 or email socialsciences@manchester.ac.uk )

Fees

Tuition fees for home/EU students commencing their studies in September 2018 will be announced once confirmed by the UK government. As a guide, the 2017 tuition fees were £9,250 per annum for home/EU students, and are expected to increase slightly for 2018 entry. Tuition fees for international students will be £18,000 per annum. For general information please see the undergraduate finance pages.

Contact details

Academic department
School of Social Sciences
Contact name
Amanda Grimshaw
Telephone
+44 (0)161 275 1473
Facsimile
+44 (0)161 275 4751
Email
Website
http://www.manchester.ac.uk/socialsciences
Academic department overview

Compare this course

Entry requirements

A-level

  • ABB
  • We do not accept two A/S Levels grades in place of one A Level.
  • Applicants must be studying at least one of the following A-level subjects: Accounting; Economics; Finance; Business Studies; Development Studies; Government and Politics; Economic and Social History; Mathematics; Anthropology; Sociology; Philosophy; Religious Studies; English Language; English Literature; Geography; Psychology; Classical Civilisation; History; Archaeology; Communication Studies; Environmental Studies; World Development; Biology; Chemistry; Physics; Modern Languages.
  • General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted for entry.

Unit grade information

The University of Manchester welcomes the provision of unit grade information which, like all other available information, will inform the consideration of applications.  Unit grades will not normally form part of offer conditions, except for Mathematics programmes.

GCSE

Minimum grade C in English Language and grade C in Mathematics. In the newly reformed GCSEs in England you will require a grade 5 in English Language and grade 5 in Mathematics.

International Baccalaureate

6,5,5 at Higher level, 33 points overall.  Applicants offering Mathematics or Maths Methods at standard or higher level must achieve a minimum of grade 5.

 Applicants not holding GCSE English Language or equivalent must achieve grade 5 in standard or higher level English. 

Irish Leaving Certificate

H1, H1, H2, H2.

Scottish requirements

AAABB in Scottish Highers.  Applicants taking a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers should contact  socialsciences@manchester.ac.uk    Applicants not taking English Language or Mathematics at Higher level must achieve grade C in English Language and Grade B in mathematics at SCQF Level 5.

Welsh Baccalaureate

The Welsh Baccalaureate is accepted as equivalent to an A-level on a grade-for-grade basis.

European Baccalaureate

Applicants studying the European Baccalaureate are expected to achieve 77% overall and no lower than 80% in English.

Other international entry requirements

The University of Manchester has a rich academic heritage and is one of the world's leading research-intensive universities. It also has a long history of welcoming international students and seeks to continue this tradition by admitting excellent students from across the world.

Our country specific entry requirements and requirements for foundation years can be found on our International Entry Requirements page . If you cannot find your country or have any questions about our entry requirements then please contact socialsciences@manchester.ac.uk

Pearson BTEC qualifications

The School accepts Pearson BTEC qualifications for entry as long as it is in a relevant subject and taken alongside A-levels.

National Extended Diploma - accepted with grades MMM, alongside an A-level at grade A in a different subject area to the diploma.

National Diploma - accepted with grades MP, alongside two A-levels at grades AB in different subject areas to the diploma.

Foundation Diploma - accepted with grade M, alongside two A-levels at grades AB in different subject areas to the diploma.

Subsidiary Diploma - accepted with grade D, alongside two A-levels at grade AB in different subject areas to the diploma.

OCR Cambridge Technical qualifications

The School accepts OCR Cambridge Technicals (CTEC) Level 3 qualifications for entry as long as it is in a relevant subject and are offered along with A levels.

Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma- accepted with grades MMM, alongside an A level at grade A in a different subject area to the diploma.

Cambridge Technical Diploma - accepted with grades MM, alongside an A level at grade A in a different subject area to the diploma.

Cambridge Foundation Diploma - accepted with grades MM, alongside an A level at grade A in a different subject area to the diploma.

Cambridge Technical Extended Certificate - accepted with grades M, alongside two A levels at grades AB in different subject areas.

Access to HE Diploma

  • Typical applicant - A mature student returning to education after a number of years.
  • Typical offer - Pass Access to HE Diploma with 45 level 3 credits (36 Distinctions / 9 Merits).
  • `Pass' in Level 2 English and Mathematics.

Contact: Tom McCunnie tom.mccunnie@manchester.ac.uk

Cambridge Pre-U

Applicants are expected to achieve D3, M1, M1 in the Cambridge Pre-U. Applicants can either take three Pre-U qualifications or study them in conjunction with A Level subjects. 

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

The University recognises the benefits of the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and the opportunities it provides for applicants to develop independent study and research skills. Although the Extended Project will not be included in the conditions of your offer, we strongly encourage you to provide information about the EPQ in your personal statement and at interview. A number of our academic Schools may also choose to take your performance in the EPQ into account should places be available in August for applicants who narrowly miss the entry grades for their chosen course.

Home-schooled applicants

If you have followed a non-standard educational route (eg home educated) we will consider your application against the standard entry criteria for the course to which you apply.

You must also provide a reference which should be written by somebody who knows you well enough, in an official capacity, to write about you and your suitability for higher education.

English language

All applicants are expected to have a minimum of grade C in GCSE English Language or equivalent. For international students equivalent qualifications would be:
  • IELTS of 6.5 overall with no lower than 6 in any component.
  • TOEFL (IBT) 92 overall with minimum of 21 in listening and speaking, 22 in reading and 23 in speaking.
  • iGCSE English (First Language) grade C
  • iGCSE English (Second Language) grade B
If you have other English language qualifications and want to find out if they would be acceptable, please email socialsciences@manchester.ac.uk .

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Application and selection

How to apply

Apply through UCAS .

Advice to applicants

Potential candidates are expected to demonstrate why they have chosen this particular degree in their personal statement and express why the course interests them.

Applicants submitting mitigating circumstances

If you are submitting information about mitigating circumstances that have affected, or are likely to affect, your academic performance, you should include this in the referee's report.

We cannot usually take into account information that is supplied after an adverse decision has been made on an application by the admitting school.

(Examples of mitigating circumstances include family illness, problems with school facilities or an unusual curriculum followed by your school of college.)

How your application is considered

Applications are considered on the basis of an assessment of past and predicted academic achievements, the academic reference and personal statement.

Interview requirements

We do not interview.

Returning to education

We welcome applications from anyone who is returning to education.

Contact: Tom McCunnie tom.mccunnie@manchester.ac.uk

Overseas (non-UK) applicants

Applicants classed as international students who are studying Foundation Year Programmes, will be considered on the basis they have completed their High School education in full. Please see our list of approved UK foundation programmes and entry requirements  for more information. We also accept a number of qualifications from around the globe. For further information please see our country-specific information pages. If you still need help please email us  socialsciences@manchester.ac.uk .

Deferrals

Applications for deferred entry are considered equally to other applications up to the point of confirmation. Deferred entry is granted on the discretion of admissions staff, and is normally granted for one year only.

NB Some English Language test results, such as IELTS of TOEFL, are only valid from two years from the test date.

Policy for applicants who resit their qualifications

We consider applicants who are resitting.

Contact: socialsciences@manchester.ac.uk

Re-applications

If you applied in the previous year and your application was not successful you can apply again. Your application will be considered against the standard course entry criteria for that year of entry.

In your new application you should demonstrate how your application has improved. We may refer back to previous applications or registrations at the University.

If you are applying for a place for the same year of entry through UCAS Extra, you should include additional evidence of your suitability for the course.

If you are applying through clearing you will need to meet the clearing requirements. In both UCAS Extra and clearing places will be subject to availability.

Course details

Course description

  • Are you interested in how people behave and organise their economic, social and political lives?
  • Are you fascinated with the diversity in human societies and cultures?
  • Would you like to develop analytical and communication skills for your next career move?
  • Would you like to study abroad in one of our partner institutions for your third year?
  • Take the right course units and you can apply for a paid summer internship through Manchester's Q-Step programme .

Contemporary Social Anthropology is a critical discipline that tackles an enormous variety of topics.

These range from the social and cultural implications of new reproductive and information technologies through the analysis of ritual, kinship, and material culture to the study of violence, poverty and the means for resolving conflicts and alleviating human suffering.

Although anthropological studies are now conducted everywhere, from middle class suburbs and inner cities, to rural settlements, boardrooms and labour camps, what all our studies have in common is an awareness of, and attention to, human diversity.

The programme provides a comprehensive knowledge of the diversity of cultural, social and material aspects of human existence in contemporary societies.

It has both regional and global scope, focusing on particular peoples and areas, while considering much wider issues, including current processes of globalisation and migration.

Social Anthropology at Manchester draws on ethnographic expertise in Melanesia, South Asia, Eastern, Southern and Western Europe, East Africa, the Andes, Latin America and Amazonia.

Students who choose to study with us are interested in the diverse ways in which human beings live in the world today.

They are interested, amongst other things, in cultural difference and similarity, in the social and economic relationships between different parts of the world and in the varied ways in which people make families, communities and societies.

What better way to expand the understanding of cultural diversity that you gain in studying Social Anthropology by also spending a year overseas?

Therefore, Social Anthropology at Manchester offers a pathway for this course: BSocSc (Hons) in Social Anthropology with International Study .

Students on this pathway have the opportunity to study in one of our partner universities in the third year of their studies.

By the end of your degree programme you will have gained practical cross-cultural experience of another student culture, as well as acquiring knowledge, through experience and participation, of the society in which it is embedded.

You can find more information about this on our 'Study abroad' page .

Special features

  • Students on this pathway have the opportunity to study in one of our partner universities in the third year of their studies.
  • The Research Excellence Framework ( REF2014 ) confirms Manchester as one of the leading centres for Social Science research in the UK and puts Social Anthropology first in the UK.
  • Founded in 1949 the Social Anthropology discipline area at The University of Manchester has grown to become one of the largest departments in Britain with an unrivalled reputation for ethnographic film making, photography and sound.
  • The Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology houses a film library with some of 1500 titles from classic ethnographic film to contemporary documentary and world cinema. To complement the film titles, it boosts a comprehensive collection of written materials by anthropologists and film makers, including a selection of journals.

Our students

Social Anthropology students in figures (2014):

  • Students on the course came from 7 countries
  • Their ages ranged from 18 - 40
  • The male / female ratio was 24 : 76

Meet our students

Teaching and learning

Most course units feature formal lectures supported by smaller tutorials or seminars, in which you will be able to explore the contents of lectures and recommended reading in greater depth.

Tutorials and seminars are also key elements in improving your written and oral communication skills through group discussions, essay-writing and presentations.

Students are assigned an Academic Advisor, an academic member of staff who takes a friendly interest in your progress and can advise you on selecting course units and career opportunities.

Coursework and assessment

The way that you study and are assessed will depend on which units you choose. The range of methods is carefully designed to promote in-depth learning and understanding.

  • Essays, coursework and other mid-term evaluations allow fuller development of and feedback on students' knowledge and understanding.
  • Coursework, essays and dissertations promote the development of argument and fuller understanding of academic material and test the extent to which students can carry out work independently.
  • Presentations or group projects promote the development of teamwork as well as communication skills.

Course content for year 1

In your first year you will take 120 credits of units (around 7 individual courses) across the year. Current examples include:

Compulsory units (100 credits)

  • Power and Culture: Inequality in Everyday Life
  • Cultural Diversity in a Global Perspective
  • Key Ideas in Social Anthropology
  • Regional Studies of Culture: 1 (Melanesia and Mediterranean)
  • Regional Studies of Culture: 2 (Brazil and Central Asia)
  • Anthropology Today: Making Sense of the Contemporary World

Optional (20 credits) could include the following.

  • Introduction to Business Anthropology: Consumers, Companies and Culture
  • First Level Free Choice from outside Social Anthropology

Course units for year 1

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Power and Culture: Inequality in Everyday Life SOAN10301 10 Mandatory
Cultural Diversity in Global Perspective SOAN10312 10 Mandatory
Key Ideas in Social Anthropology SOAN10320 20 Mandatory
Regional Studies of Culture: 1 SOAN10331 20 Mandatory
Regional Studies of Culture: 2 SOAN10352 20 Mandatory
Anthropology Today SOAN10370 20 Mandatory
Introduction to Business Anthropology: Consumers, Companies and Culture SOAN10361 20 Optional

Course content for year 2

In your second year you take 120 credits.

Two compulsory units (40 credits)

  • The Ethnographer's Craft
  • Anthropological Theory

Three core courses (60 credits)

  • Sex, Gender and Kinship
  • Anthropology of Religion
  • Political and Economic Anthropology
  • Materiality and Representation

Free choice units from final year options (20 credits) could include the following.

  • Anthropology of Science, Magic and Expertise
  • Medical Anthropology
  • Anthropology of Development and Humanitarianism
  • Contemporary Issues in the Social Anthropology of the Middle East
  • Anthropology of Childhood and Education
  • Anthropology of Britain
  • The Good Life: An Anthropology of Ethics
  • Black Identity and Culture in Latin America
  • Screening Culture
  • Anthropology of Vision, Memory and the Senses

In your second year you can also make up your free choice units from across the University:

Course units for year 2

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Anthropological Theory SOAN20830 20 Mandatory
The Ethnographer's Craft SOAN20842 20 Mandatory
Sex, Gender and Kinship SOAN20802 20 Optional
Anthropology of Religion SOAN20811 20 Optional
Political and Economic Anthropology SOAN20821 20 Optional
Materiality and Representation SOAN20852 20 Optional
An Anthropology of Science, Magic and Expertise SOAN30052 20 Optional
Medical Anthropology SOAN30061 20 Optional
Anthropology of Development and Humanitarianism SOAN30111 20 Optional
Contemporary Issues in the Social Anthropology of the Middle East SOAN30122 20 Optional
Anthropology of Childhood and Education SOAN30371 20 Optional
Anthropology of Britain SOAN30382 20 Optional
The Good Life: An Anthropology of Ethics SOAN30391 20 Optional
Space and Power in Central Asia SOAN30402 20 Optional
Black Identities and Cultures in Latin America SOAN30662 20 Optional
Screening Culture SOAN30792 20 Optional
Anthropology of Vision, Senses and Memory SOAN30811 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 17 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

In the third year, you may be able to study for a full year abroad with one of our exchange partners. In order to qualify for this you will need to achieve a minimum of 60% for all courses.

Core course

  • Study Abroad: Experience, Reflection and Analysis (20 credits)
  • You will complete the remaining 100 credits at the University you are on exchange with.

Students who take this option will return Manchester to complete their final year of study and be awarded the BSocSc Social Anthropology with International Study (a four-year degree course). More about studying abroad .

If you do not take the full year abroad option your third year modules will made up instead from the course content for year 4 (below). These modules will be your final year of a three-year degree course.

Course content for year 4

In your final year you will complete a compulsory dissertation as part of your overall 120 credits.

Compulsory units (40 credits)

  • Dissertation A

Optional courses (80 credits) could include the following.

  • Anthropology of Science, Magic and Expertise
  • Medical Anthropology
  • Anthropology of Development and Humanitarianism
  • Contemporary Issues in the Social Anthropology of the Middle East
  • Anthropology of Childhood and Education
  • Anthropology of Britain
  • The Good Life: An Anthropology of Ethics
  • Black Identity and Culture in Latin America
  • Screening Culture
  • Anthropology of Vision, Memory and the Senses

Course units for year 4

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Dissertation A SOAN30610 40 Mandatory
An Anthropology of Science, Magic and Expertise SOAN30052 20 Optional
Medical Anthropology SOAN30061 20 Optional
Anthropology of Development and Humanitarianism SOAN30111 20 Optional
Contemporary Issues in the Social Anthropology of the Middle East SOAN30122 20 Optional
Anthropology of Childhood and Education SOAN30371 20 Optional
Anthropology of Britain SOAN30382 20 Optional
The Good Life: An Anthropology of Ethics SOAN30391 20 Optional
Space and Power in Central Asia SOAN30402 20 Optional
Black Identities and Cultures in Latin America SOAN30662 20 Optional
Screening Culture SOAN30792 20 Optional
Anthropology of Vision, Senses and Memory SOAN30811 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 12 course units for year 4

What our students say

'The BSocSc Social Anthropology degree course is focused enough whilst broad in scope, covering topics as far ranging as development and globalisation to gender and ritual. As a result I have developed invaluable life skills and training which encourages a reading of life and the world that does not take anything for granted, and an awareness of a range of issues pertaining to the contemporary world; skills I feel will be important and transferable when deciding to pursue a career. Aside from the strong friendships I have formed on the course, I have been inspired by the work and teachings of the diverse lecturers at Manchester.'

Myia Fray , Social Anthropology student.

'Without a strong idea of a career that I wanted to pursue I decided to choose a degree based on my own interests. Three years later I couldn't be more certain that I made the right decision - Social Anthropology is a degree that provides a huge range of transferable skills, and as such it is one that offers limitless career opportunities.  It has undoubtedly been a fascinating course which has not only taught me about 'exotic' cultures, but which has opened my eyes to things that I've always taken for granted in my own culture. The city is busy and vibrant, and with the prestige anthropological background of The Manchester School, The University of Manchester has met my needs and expectations both socially and academically.'

Alicia Kidd , Social Anthropology student.

  • 96% of students agreed that our staff are good at explaining things and make the subject interesting (Source: Unistats)

Facilities

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk

Careers

Career opportunities

A degree in Social Anthropology would give you the skills and knowledge that you need to able to succeed in the future. Graduates from Social Anthropology are highly sought after and are able to use their skills and knowledge in a wide range of different areas.

Employers:  Department for Work and Pensions, Manchester City Council, Social Services, Royal Bank of Scotland. (Source: DLHE)

  • 80% of students are in work / study six months after finishing.
  • 65% of students were in a professional/ managerial job at six months. (Source: Unistats)

See also

Throughout your studies and after you graduate you will have to access our Careers Service , which can help you:

  • find summer internships or work experience;
  • apply for jobs and provide practice interviews;
  • access online and interactive services such as practice psychometric tests.

Our students can also apply for a valuable summer work placement in their second year through our Q-Step programme.

A favourite with employers, the University also organises careers fairs and events throughout the year to give you a chance to meet graduate recruiters.