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School of Social Sciences

Beka Smith

Social Anthropology BSocSc

Beka Smith, Social Anthropology BSocSc
In addition to her studies, Beka Smith has completed an internship and received funding to travel.

Why did you choose Manchester?

I chose Manchester due to the reputation of the Anthropology course. It is one of the best in the country but still friendly and accessible. There’s also lots of contact time with the lecturers.

Why did you pick your course?

Anthropology is the science of everything. It combines all of my interests – history, literature, languages and philosophy – with rigorous scientific enquiry. It also teaches me how to understand the world around me – things I was once curious about, I’ve learned how to analyse and understand fully now. I also have a huge amount of choice in what I can study, for example, one day I learnt about gift exchange in Malaysia and the next day about the meaning of democracy in Bosnia.

What are the best things about your degree?

The intellectual challenges. The world makes more sense now. I see anthropology everywhere. Things I once took for granted I can now understand and know how to challenge them. Anthropology is not just a degree; it is a whole mind-set. Everyone is incredibly passionate about what we do.

Are there any units you’ve particular enjoyed? What made them stand out?

'Anthropology of the Modern State' and 'Political and Economic Anthropology’ have empowered me to see what’s really going on when we talk about ‘politics’ and the ‘economy’ and what we can do to change the ways we live. I understand exactly how we are all connected through global processes and what has happened / is happening to make the world what it is today.

How will you degree prepare you for life after Manchester?

Critical analysis, research excellence and confidence in arguing. The best think about anthropology is that it can be applied in literally any career field and there is a growing need for these skills in today’s world. This degree has made me understand what is behind some of the challenges facing the world today, like inequality and poverty. Using the skills my degree has taught me, I can challenge these and make an impact on the world. Manchester’s heritage has inspired me to think big.

What extracurricular activities/societies you’ve been involved in?

I am President of the Anthropology Society which includes lively social events, debates, film screenings, dinners, talks and seminars. It is a close-knit department where the people are incredibly friendly and approachable. I also did an internship through the University and learnt a language. Through receiving a bursary I was also able to do some travel.

Why should a prospective applicant choose Manchester?

Anthropology is an excellent department in an excellent University. This degree has changed my life and it has been the best three years of my life. I now have confidence, skills and experience that you wouldn’t get outside this city or course. I’ve loved every minute of this course and the new challenges it poses every day.