Red X iconGreen tick iconYellow tick icon

We offer courses in:

  • Asian and Pacific cultures
  • Reproduction
  • The anthropology of money
  • Rites of passage
  • Death studies
  • Health studies
  • Food and society
  • Cultural politics
  • Anthropological technique and theory

Learn about other groups of people and, in the process, find out more about yourself!

Degrees and papers in Social Anthropology

Anthropology has been taught at Otago University as a major for the Bachelor of Arts since 1966. The major normally takes three years and involves a minimum of nine papers (162 points) in the subject. We also offer a BA (Hons) that includes more papers and takes four years to complete. For those students who do not want to major in the subject but would like to pick up some Anthropology papers as part of their degree, we also offer the minor made up of five papers (90 points).

First year papers

Two first year papers provide an introduction to Social Anthropology:

  • ANTH 103 Anthropology, Culture and Society
  • ANTH 105 Global and Local Cultures

In ANTH 103 you will be introduced to the broad discipline of Anthropology, with lectures on both Archaeology and Social Anthropology. The relationship between these different branches of Anthropology will be explained, along with some history of the discipline, basic concepts, and the principal means of conducting anthropological research.

In ANTH 105 using global and local examples, as well as ethnographic research by social anthropologists, you will examine systems of kinship, the importance of gifts and exchange, rites of passage, and local organisation in order to study how social hierarchies, political organisation, ethnicity religion and globalisation have developed.

Second year onwards

At the second and third year levels of the degree, you will begin to specialise in the areas of Social Anthropology that interest you the most. At second year we teach about Pacific societies, contemporary issues in anthropology, and the politics of ethnographic representation.

At third year we offer papers about labour and society, cultural politics, grieving and ritual, new reproductive technologies, the anthropology of money amongst others.

These subjects lead on to our strong postgraduate programme in which students may do the Bachelor or Arts (Honours), Postgraduate Diploma in Arts, a Master of Arts, or a PhD.

Study for a Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Postgraduate study


Archaeology is the study of past human societies through their material remains and the origins, spread and regional development of human culture.

More about Archaeology

Back to top