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BSocSc Social Anthropology / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

Course description

Beka Smith

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.

Beka Smith / BSocSc Social Anthropology

The BSocSc Social Anthropology course is a single honours course for Social Anthropology specialists, providing comprehensive knowledge past and present.

You will learn the diverse ways human beings live in the world today.

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

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

You will learn about our distinctive character and focus on economic and political aspects of social and cultural life, the anthropology of visual and other sensory media, and anthropological study of kinship and new technologies.

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

Special features

Learn from experts

We focus on economic and political issues, we are specialists in visual and sensory media, the impact of new reproductive and genetic technologies, AIDS, sexuality, death, masculinities, social class, multiculturalism, race, cities and infrastructures, migration, border politics, humanitarianism and development, religion, and climate change.

Study abroad

You can apply in Year 2, if successful, you will put together a package of course units at your host university in consultation with your Academic Exchange Advisor in Manchester.

Paid placement opportunities

Apply for a paid Q-Step internship between Years 2 and 3.

It is an excellent opportunity to gain work experience and future contacts. Recent placements include the Home Office, Ministry of Justice, and the College of Policing.

Teaching and learning

Course units feature formal lectures supported by smaller tutorials or seminars where you explore the contents of lectures and recommended reading in greater depth.

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

You are assigned an Academic Advisor who can advise you on selecting course units and career opportunities.

Coursework and assessment

The range of methods is designed to promote in-depth learning and understanding, including:

  • Essays, coursework and other mid-term evaluations allow development and feedback on your knowledge and understanding.
  • Dissertations promote the development of argument, understanding of academic material and test how you work independently.
  • Presentations or group projects promote the development of teamwork as well as communication skills.

Course content for year 1

Year 1 provides you with a strong foundation in key concepts, approaches and questions.

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
Anthropology of Art, Sound and Images SOAN10090 20 Mandatory
Power and Culture: Inequality in Everyday Life SOAN10301 10 Mandatory
Cultural Diversity in Global Perspective SOAN10312 10 Mandatory
Key Ideas in Social Anthropology SOAN10321 10 Mandatory
Intro to Ethnographic Reading SOAN10322 10 Mandatory
Regional Studies of Culture: 1 SOAN10331 20 Mandatory
Regional Studies of Culture: 2 SOAN10352 20 Mandatory
Introduction to Business Anthropology: Consumers, Companies and Culture SOAN10361 20 Optional

Course content for year 2

Year 2 offers a more in-depth look at the anthropological contribution to particular thematic areas of the study of human life, developing your research skills and learning about our cutting-edge research.

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
Anthropology of Kinship, Gender and Sex SOAN20802 20 Optional
Anthropology of Religion SOAN20811 20 Optional
Political and Economic Anthropology SOAN20821 20 Optional
Materiality and Representation SOAN20852 20 Optional

Course content for year 3

Year 3 focuses on specialist course units which build on the research expertise of our staff and includes independent dissertation research on a topic of your choice.

Course units for year 3

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
Anthropology of Development and Humanitarianism SOAN30111 20 Optional
The Anthropology of Health and Wellbeing SOAN30251 20 Optional
Anthropology of Childhood, Youth and Education SOAN30372 20 Optional
Anthropology of Britain SOAN30382 20 Optional
The Good Life: An Anthropology of Ethics SOAN30392 20 Optional
Black Identities and Cultures in Latin America SOAN30662 20 Optional
Screening Culture SOAN30791 20 Optional
Anthropology of Vision, Senses and Memory SOAN30811 20 Optional

Course content for year 4

If you study abroad in Year 3, you focus on specialist course units that build on the research expertise of our staff.

You have the opportunity to do a dissertation on a topic of your choice in Year 4.

What our students say

Read profiles of our students to find out more about studying Social Anthropology at Manchester.


You will benefit from:

  • one of the UK's largest academic libraries;
  • 24/7 access to computer facilities; and
  • a wide variety of extra-curricular facilities, all in the heart of the UK's most popular student city.

Find out more about facilities at Manchester .

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: