Anthropology and Sociology BSc

Placement Offered This course has a Professional Development option.

  • Overview
  • Course Content
  • Special Features
  • Teaching & Assessment
  • Employability
  • Fees
  • Entry Criteria

About the Course

This degree is particularly suited to students who are curious about their own and other societies, and who are interested in understanding social processes and meanings in the world around them.

Rigorous training is provided in a range of methodologies and research skills appropriate to anthropology and sociology.

Anthropology at Brunel

Anthropology at Brunel is one of the more outward-looking and cosmopolitan social sciences, its subject being the documentation and explanation of cultural diversity. The course differs from Anthropology courses at other universities because of the broad social science perspective from which it is taught.

Research has an international reputation, with particular expertise in child-focused anthropological research and medical anthropology.

Sociology at Brunel

A central theme of Sociology at Brunel is the study of the development of techno-cultural phenomena such media and information technology, and environmental issues, which straddle traditional conceptual distinctions between the social, the natural, the technical and the material.

Within this broad framework, a central theme of Sociology at Brunel is the study of the development of techno-cultural phenomena such media and information technology, and environmental issues, which straddle traditional conceptual distinctions between the social, the natural, the technical and the material.

It also needs to be stressed that, at Brunel, Sociology has developed a particularly close relationship with Communication and Media Studies, reflecting and emphasising the central and ever-increasing importance of the communications media within our culture.

Among the more specific interests of Brunel sociologists are, for example, social theory, celebrity culture, the influence of the media, environmental risk, media regulation, media discourses, and contemporary social structure and change, urban spaces, and addiction and deviance. These various interests strongly reflect the options available in the third level of our degree course.

Anthropology brochure
Sociology and Communications brochure


You will apply Anthropology ideas to practical issues and will gain a solid grounding in a broad range of social science topics, including sociology, social theory, social anthropology, psychology, communications and media the social sciences. Special emphasis is placed on cross-cultural studies.


Admissions and Course Enquiries
Web: Admissions Enquiries Information
Tel (before application): +44 (0)1895 265599 (Course Enquiries)
Tel (after application): +44 (0)1895 265265 (Admissions Office)
Contact Admissions or Course Enquiries Online

Admissions Tutor: Dr William Rollason

Related Courses

Course Content

Level 1 (Core)

You will gain a broad social science training in your first year. This includes an introduction to key theoretical issues and practical training in research methods, such as interviewing and participant observation.

Level 2

Anthropology modules introduce students to the history and theory of Anthropology, and to some of the current issues in the fields of ethnicity, gender, religion and kinship. Sociology topics include sociological theory, methods and contemporary social institutions. You also continue your studies of research methods, and conduct your own research exercises.

Level 3

You can choose from a wide range of advanced options in topics as varied as family, gender, kinship, ethnicity, medical anthropology and cultural patterns of consumption.


All students produce a dissertation of about 10,000 words in their final year. This is based on a topic of your choice, but is usually related to your second work placement.

Typical Modules

Please note that module availability is subject to change

Level 1

  • Introduction to Anthropology: Themes
  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Introduction to Anthropology: Beliefs and Ways of Thinking
  • Anthropology, Objects adn Images
  • Research Methods in Anthropology
  • Globalisation

Level 2 Core

  • Political and Economic Issues in Anthropology
  • Social Divisions
  • Classical Anthropological Theory
  • Work and Society
  • Sociology of Everyday Life: Issues in Contemporary Culture

Level 2 Optional

Students take one module from the following list:

  • Ethnicity, Culture and Identity
  • Ethnography of a Selected Region: South Asia

Level 3 Core

  • Social Anthropology and Sociology Dissertation

Level 3 Options

Students take two modules from the following list:

  • Anthropology of the Body
  • Anthropology of Childhood and Youth
  • Anthropology of Disability and Difference
  • Themes in Psychological and Psychiatric Anthropology
  • Ethnography of a Selected Region: South Asia
  • Anthropology of International Development
  • Anthropology of the Person
  • Medical Anthropology in Clinical and Community Settings
  • Anthropology of Education and Learning
  • Anthropological Perspectives on War and Humanitarianism
  • Global Health in Anthropological Perspective

And two modules from the following list:

  • City Lives and Urban Cultures
  • Crime, Deviance and Addiction
  • Multiculturism
  • Popular Music and Popular Culture
  • Understanding Audiences
  • The Age of New Media
  • Forensic Science and Society

Special Features

We are fourth in London for Sociology in the subject rankings and 1st for Anthropology in the UK for student satisfaction in the Complete University Guide 2014

The latest thinking

You will be taught by an internationally respected team of anthropologists who have conducted fieldwork in five continents on religion, witchcraft, disability, memory, nationalism, political violence, social hierarchies, race, ethnicity, and ecology. Their innovative research feeds directly into teaching.

Best of both worlds

Brunel offers you a foundation in core topics such as politics, religion and kinship, and the chance to venture into specialised areas like medical anthropology, psychological anthropology and the anthropology of childhood, education and youth and international development.

Fieldwork based research for dissertations and work placements abroad

All our students undertake fieldwork for their dissertations. Projects have included work in a Nepalese monastery, a South African women’s refuge, the Police Complaints Authority (on the Stephen Lawrence case), as well as in schools and charities. Uniquely for a British university, studying anthropology at Brunel will always mean applying what you have read to what you discover in real-life situations. Half our students on the four-year degree spend their second placement abroad, doing research in countries like South Africa, Botswana, India and Nepal.Find out about some of our students’ experiences on the Anthropology work placements page

International exchange programme

You will have the opportunity to study abroad at one of a number of European universities.

Brunel Anthropology Society

Brunel has a thriving Anthropology Society which organises talks, socials, pub quizzes, film screenings, fieldtrips and other events - a great way to meet people and take anthropology beyond the classroom. For the latest events, see Brunel Anthropology Society Facebook page.

Best employment rates

As a result of the unique profession-enhancing research experiences we offer, Brunel’s anthropology graduates have one of the best employment rates in the UK. Our graduates find jobs in education, NGOs, international development, the charity sector, medical and health professions, film, journalism and business.

Teaching and Learning

Our approach

We pursue excellence in both teaching and research. Our aim is to produce degree programmes which combine innovative and classical teaching methods with leading-edge research, and which recognise the value of practical work experience in the learning process. We take great pride in both the quality of teaching and the extensive pastoral care of our students.

The latest thinking

All members of the academic staff are actively engaged in research and many have international reputations in their field. Their innovative findings feed into your courses to help to ensure that teaching is topical and interesting.

How will I be taught?

The course is taught through a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical laboratory sessions and small group projects.

Lectures – Most modules involve one or two hours of lectures a week. These provide a broad overview of key concepts and ideas relating to your course and provide you with a framework from which to carry out more in-depth study.

Seminars – These relatively small groups (3 to 15 students) are used to discuss the content of lectures as well as issues arising from the modules. Seminars are often student-led. You can use them to clarify your own ideas in an atmosphere of discussion and debate.

Tutorials: In addition to lectures and seminars, in the first year you meet weekly, usually in groups of three or four, with your personal tutor. These tutorials - unusual outside the Oxbridge system - provide an opportunity to develop academic skills in an informal and highly supportive context. They also help create a real sense of belonging within the department -- something our students tell us they really value.

In addition to lectures and seminars, in the first year you meet weekly, usually in groups of three or four, with your personal tutor. These tutorials - unusual outside the Oxbridge system - provide an opportunity to develop academic skills in an informal and highly supportive context. They also help create a real sense of belonging within the department -- something our students tell us they really value.

Research work – All students take part in practical modules. In the first year you will experience the similarities and contrasts between methods of enquiry used in psychology, sociology and anthropology. The investigative methods used in projects include observation, interviewing, questionnaire design and more specific research techniques. As you progress through the course, direction by staff over the design and implementation of projects is reduced.

One-to-one – You will have one-to-one supervision on your final year dissertation and at all levels you will have a personal tutor who is available to discuss personal and academic problems. When you go on placement, you will also be allocated a work placement tutor who will monitor your progress and provide further support if you need it. Lecturers are usually available to answer particular queries outside of scheduled hours – either in one-to-one tutorials or by email.


Level 1 does not count towards your final degree mark but you have to pass this level to continue with your degree. Level 2 is worth a third, and Level 3 the rest. The final year dissertation is worth a third of Level 3 marks.

Methods of assessment vary and depend on which modules you select. Some courses are assessed on coursework only, some by (seen or unseen) examination only, and some by a combination of the two.

See Undergraduate Anthropology Handbook for further information (student handbooks are not exhaustive and subject to change).


Students who pursue the three-year degree in Anthropology and Sociology undertake empirical research for their final year projects, gaining experience and contacts vital for future employment in a world that increasingly expects job candidates to offer something more than a degree certificate. Brunel anthropology graduates are amongst the most employable in the country.


Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey

These statistics relate to graduates who studied Social Anthropology as well as those who combined the subject with Sociology. 

Graduates from this subject are frequently interested in a career in the public or charity sectors, research, social care professions and international aid and development. Others use their degree as a route into careers unrelated to the subject studied.

In 2012/13, six months after graduating:

Read more about graduate destinations for this subject area

This degree provides a good general education, from which students can take up wide-ranging careers in, for example, television and radio production, press and publishing, the media, marketing, advertising, market research, public relations, IT work and consultancy, industrial relations, local and central government and administration, and academic research.


Placements can be an integral part of your education and can help to boost your employability and career prospects.

Brunel aims to improve the employability of all students and graduates by delivering high quality guidance, information, careers education, work placement and recruitment services.

For more information on combining a work placement with your degree visit our placements web page  to find out more.

At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.

» More about Employability

Fees for 2015/6 entry

UK/EU students: £9,000 full-time; £1,000 placement year

International students: £13,500 full-time

See our fees and funding page for full details of scholarships available to Brunel applicants

Fees quoted are per annum and are subject to an annual increase.

Entry Requirements 2015/6

  • GCE A-level ABB (all subjects considered).
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma D*DD in a related subject.
  • BTEC Level 3 Diploma DD in a related subject with an A-Level at grade A.
  • BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma D in a related subject with A-Levels grade AB.
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma 31 points.
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma Complete and pass a related subject Access course with 45 credits at Level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher.

GCSE Mathematics grade C and GCSE English grade C are also required.

Please check our Admissions pages for more information on other factors we use to assess applicants as well as our full GCSE requirements and accepted equivalencies in place of GCSEs.

Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.

EU Entry Requirements

If your country is not listed here please contact Admissions

English Language Requirements

  • IELTS: 6.5 (min 5.5 in all areas)
  • Pearson: 58 (51 in all subscores)
  • BrunELT: 65% (min 55% in all areas)

“Brunel University London strongly recommends that if you will require a Tier 4 visa, you sit your IELTS test at a test centre that has been approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as being a provider of a Secure English Language Test (SELT). Not all test centres have this status. The University can accept IELTS (with the required scores) taken at any official test centre or other English Language qualifications we accept as meeting our main award entry requirements. However, if you wish to undertake a Pre-sessional English course to further improve your English prior to the start of your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider. This is because you will only be able to apply for a Tier 4 student visa to undertake a Pre-sessional English course if you hold a SELT from a UKVI approved test centre. Find out more information about it.

Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accept a range of other language courses. We also have a range of Pre-sessional English language courses, for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English.

Our International Pathways and Language Centre offers a range of foundation and pre-masters courses to provide you with the academic skills required for your chosen course.”

Page last updated: Thursday 25 June 2015