Best UK Universities For Anthropology – 2023 Guide

Welcome to our guide on the top UK universities for Anthropology. Choosing the right university is a crucial step in shaping your academic journey and laying the foundation for a rewarding career in anthropology. In this guide, we’ll explore institutions that stand out for their commitment to excellence in anthropology education, research, and the unique opportunities they offer to students.

Best UK Universities For Anthropology

Table of Contents

Why Study Anthropology in the UK?

Studying anthropology in the UK presents a compelling academic journey. The UK’s rich history in anthropological research, featuring influential figures like E.B. Tylor and Bronisław Malinowski, adds a historical dimension to the learning experience. This academic tradition, coupled with access to extensive resources, provides students with unparalleled opportunities for research and engagement with cutting-edge anthropological studies. 

The cultural diversity within the UK further enriches the experience, offering students exposure to various communities and perspectives, while vibrant cities like London and Edinburgh serve as dynamic hubs for academic and cultural exploration.

Additionally, studying anthropology in the UK affords students an international perspective. Diverse faculty and student populations, coupled with opportunities for fieldwork and participation in global conferences, contribute to a comprehensive understanding of anthropology as a discipline with broad global relevance. 

The English language advantage, the cultural capital of UK cities, and the potential for networking with professionals in the field further enhance the overall appeal of pursuing an anthropology degree in the UK.

Top Anthropology Universities in the UK

Here are the best universities for anthropology degrees in the UK entering 2024 using the latest Complete University Guide rankings. 

1. University of Oxford Anthropology Review

Oxford’s anthropology programme emphasises a rigorous approach to critical thinking and research, fostering a deep understanding of human cultures and societies. The university’s historic setting, combined with state-of-the-art facilities, creates a conducive learning environment for aspiring anthropologists. 

Moreover, Oxford’s commitment to interdisciplinary collaboration allows students to engage with diverse academic perspectives, enhancing their ability to address complex global challenges. Studying anthropology at the University of Oxford is not only an academic pursuit but also an immersion into a tradition of excellence that has defined the field for centuries.

  • Entrance requirements: AAA
  • Successful admissions: 19%
  • Duration: 3 years

2. University of Cambridge Anthropology Review

University of Cambridge offers a distinguished anthropology programme, solidifying its reputation as one of the foremost academic institutions globally. With a rich history and commitment to scholarly excellence, Cambridge provides an exceptional environment for students embarking on the study of anthropology. 

The Department of Social Anthropology at Cambridge is known for its comprehensive curriculum, covering cultural, social, and biological aspects of human societies. Under the guidance of esteemed faculty members, students delve into the complexities of anthropological research, benefitting from the university’s long-standing tradition of intellectual rigour.

  • MRes in Social Anthropology
  • Entry requirements: 1st Class Honours degree in social anthropology, IELTS 7.5

3. London School of Economics and Political Science Anthropology Review

LSE’s central location in London, a multicultural and dynamic global city, provides students with unique opportunities for firsthand exploration and interaction with diverse communities. The anthropology programme at LSE emphasises a multidisciplinary approach, encouraging students to connect anthropological insights with broader societal and political contexts. 

With its strong focus on research and global perspectives, LSE’s anthropology department prepares students to address contemporary challenges and contribute meaningfully to the discipline. Choosing to study anthropology at LSE not only offers a world-class education but also an immersive experience in the heart of one of the world’s most influential cities.

  • Entrance requirements: AAB
  • Fees: £9,250 – £26,184 per year (international)
  • Duration: 3 years with an opportunity for 1 year abroad

4. King's College London Anthropology Review

King’s College London, part of the University of London, is recognised for its esteemed anthropology programme. Situated in the heart of the UK capital, King’s College London provides an exceptional academic environment for students pursuing anthropology studies. 

The Department of Anthropology at King’s is dedicated to a comprehensive exploration of human societies, covering cultural, social, and political aspects. With a faculty comprised of accomplished scholars, students at King’s engage in rigorous inquiry and research, benefitting from the university’s commitment to academic excellence.

  • Entrance requirements: AAB
  • Fees: £9,250 – £25,284 per year (international)
  • Duration: 3 years

5. University of St Andrews Anthropology Review

St Andrews’ picturesque location and close-knit academic community contribute to a unique learning experience. The anthropology programme at St Andrews encourages interdisciplinary perspectives and provides students with the tools to understand and address complex societal issues. 

The university’s commitment to research and global perspectives ensures that students graduate with a well-rounded understanding of anthropology in contemporary contexts. Opting to study anthropology at the University of St Andrews offers not only a top-tier education but also an immersive experience in a historically rich setting.

St Andrews has particular strengths in the societies of:

  • East and West Africa
  • the Pacific
  • South America
  • the Caribbean
  • Europe
  • Central Asia

Anthropology University Rankings in the UK

Here is the latest list of the best universities for anthropology in the UK as we enter 2024:

RankInstitutionEntry StandardsStudent SatisfactionResearch QualityContinuationGraduate prospects outcomesGraduate prospects on trackOverall Score
1University of Oxford1873.833.251009292100
2University of Cambridge1943.0299.3907699
3London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London1764.063.6194.8769097.1
4King's College London, University of London1863.883.497.6827296.1
5University of St Andrews1964.043.2798.994
6UCL (University College London)1764.063.1994.7907893.1
7University of Manchester1584.123.4398.4706890.7
8Durham University1723.793.2996.7748690.7
9University of Bristol1473.883.3999.2788090.1
10University of Aberdeen1714.143.09100907889.7
11SOAS University of London1403.913.4293968489.1
12University of Reading12543.3197.99086.2
13The University of Edinburgh1833.633.2397.9726486
14University of Birmingham1473.693.5693.2706883.8
15University of Sussex1373.963.3396.3647282
16University of Plymouth1243.863.1810080.1
17University of Exeter1543.943.1697.7545079.3
18University of Southampton1373.843.35606278.2
19University of Kent1193.813.2489.4647071.4
20Queen's University Belfast1453.722.9594.7484468.7
21Goldsmiths, University of London1273.223.2487.6605865.2
22Bournemouth University1073.773.2487.7566264.3
23Brunel University London4.233.0578.8565663.4
24University of Winchester3.612.2100606263.3
25Oxford Brookes University1053.762.9197.1525861.7
26Liverpool John Moores University1304.122.7990.3463459.8

How are the Rankings Measured?

The ranking methodology includes several key indicators, such as teaching quality, research output and reputation, industry connections and engagement, international diversity, and citations. These indicators help evaluate the academic environment, resources, faculty expertise, and global impact of relevant institutions. The rankings also consider factors like student satisfaction, graduate employability, and the influence and reach of research conducted by the universities.

Dissertation Topics for Anthropology

Cultural Anthropology:

  • Impact of Digital Technology on Indigenous Communities: Explore how the introduction of digital technology affects the cultural practices, communication, and identity of indigenous groups.
  • Cultural Representations in Media: Analyse the portrayal of specific cultural groups in popular media and assess the implications for cultural understanding and identity.
  • Globalisation and Local Responses: Investigate how local communities respond to and negotiate the challenges posed by globalisation, focusing on economic, social, and cultural dimensions.
  • Identity Construction in Online Communities: Examine how individuals construct and express their identities within online communities and the implications for traditional notions of identity.

Biological Anthropology:

  • Human Evolutionary Genetics: Investigate genetic variation in human populations, exploring evolutionary patterns and the impact of factors like migration and natural selection.
  • Health Disparities in Urban vs. Rural Settings: Compare health outcomes and disparities in access to healthcare between urban and rural populations, considering socio-economic and environmental factors.
  • Impact of Environmental Change on Human Health: Examine how environmental changes, such as climate change, impact human health and well-being from a biological perspective.
  • Cultural Influences on Biological Responses to Stress: Explore how cultural practices and social structures influence biological responses to stress and their implications for health.

Frequently Asked Questions about UK Anthropology Universities

Studying anthropology at degree level will most often lead to a job as a:
  • charity worker.
  • county council officer.
  • market researcher.
  • community worker.
  • international aid and development worker.
  • equality, diversity and inclusion officer.
  • PR officer.
  • chaplain.
Anthropology encourages students to look beyond their own cultural norms and examine the various ways that different cultures interact with each other. This can be beneficial when working in a multicultural environment, such as a large metropolitan city.

Employment of anthropologists and archeologists is projected to grow 4 percent from 2022 to 2032, about as fast as the average for all occupations. About 700 openings for anthropologists and archeologists are projected each year, on average, over the decade.

Anthropology compares human societies across the globe and across time. We compare present and past forms of government or legal and religious belief systems, for example. We compare social structures, like family dynamics, and study transnational corporations.

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