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Study Anthropology at Otago

Making the familiar strange, and the exotic familiar.

There are two broad areas of Anthropology studied at Otago: Social Anthropology and Archaeology. These are two separate programmes, but have key shared papers at undergraduate level.

Social Anthropology explores the cultural grounding of social life. By studying people who are ‘not like us’ – from whichever group of people it is that ‘we’ as researchers might belong – anthropologists learn about the surprising differences in everyday living around the world. 

We offer courses in Pacific cultures, friendship, reproduction and kinship, the anthropology of money, rites of passage, death studies, health studies, sex, cultural politics, religion and the supernatural and courses in anthropological technique and theory. Learn about other groups of people and, in the process, find out more about yourself.

Apply for the Bachelor of Arts (BA) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

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Apply for the Bachelor of Arts and Commerce (BACom) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

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Apply for the Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

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Apply for the Bachelor of Arts with Honours (BA(Hons)) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

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Apply for the Diploma for Graduates (DipGrad) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

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Apply for the Master of Arts (Coursework) (MA(Coursework)) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

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Apply for the Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Subjects (PGDipArts) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

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Why study Social Anthropology?

Anthropology will broaden your understanding of the human condition and the way in which this is changing around the world. What are the patterns by which people organise their lives? How do ideas of difference and sameness come about? How does the movement of people through a globalised world impact on the meaning and experience of culture and our sense of belonging and heritage?

Life as an anthropologist means that you visit many other parts of the world, ask major questions about human variation and human difference, and study some of the pressing issues for different societies such as changing economic and political arrangements of power, sustainable living alternatives, the tensions around community inclusion and exclusion and the contributions of local revivalisms, resurgences and resistance to our changing worlds.

Anthropology gives you the academic tools to create meaningful connections with a wide diversity of peoples. You will learn to engage with cultural groups ethically and to explain social life through systematic questioning and critical analysis.

Career opportunities

A degree focussed in Social Anthropology provides the sort of broad-based training that can lead to a wide range of careers. Students acquire a high level of expertise in skills which employers report are much sought after in the employment market. These include problem solving, analysis of information, research and writing skills, emotional and ethical intelligence, independent thinking, project management and expertise in audiovisual presentations.

Graduates in Social Anthropology find work in museums, as policy advisors for the government or local bodies, in community development, the police force, and project co-ordination and management for non-governmental organisations such as Volunteer Service Abroad.

Other interesting careers include journalism, film and media industries, foreign affairs, international aid, teaching, tourism, working with refugees, disaster relief, management, historic preservation, social impact assessment, environmental management – the list is almost endless!

There are also opportunities for pursuing careers specifically in Anthropology and these opportunities, such as working in universities, museums, consultancy, applied research, require further postgraduate training after finishing the Bachelor of Arts.

Background required

No special high school papers are needed as preparation – Anthropology has been described as the most scientific of the arts and the most humanistic of the sciences.

Teaching style

Our programme offers a relaxed intellectual exchange with staff dedicated to good learning outcomes for students. All of our staff are active researchers and award-winning teachers who incorporate their research findings into their teaching.

Qualifications

Explore your study options further. Refer to enrolment information found on the following qualification pages.

Programme requirements

Bachelor of Arts (BA) majoring in Anthropology

Level Papers Points
100-level Two 100-level ANTH papers 36
200-level

One of ANTH 208, ANTH 210 or ANTH 211

Two further 200-level ANTH papers

BIOA 201, GEOG 210, GLBL 211, MUSI 268 or any 200-level GEND or SOCI paper may be substituted for one 200-level ANTH paper.

18

36

300-level

Four 300-level ANTH papers

BIOA 301, GEOG 381, GLBL 311, MUSI 368, MUSI 386 or any 300-level GEND or SOCI paper may be substituted for one 300-level ANTH paper.

72
Plus

198 further points; must include 54 points at 200-level or above.

Up to 90 points may be taken from outside Arts

198
Total   360

Bachelor of Arts with Honours (BA(Hons)) in Anthropology

Papers

Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Subjects (PGDipArts) in Anthropology

The Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Subjects (PGDipArts) programme in Anthropology is the same as the programme for the degree of Bachelor of Arts with Honours (BA(Hons)).

Master of Arts (Coursework) (MA(Coursework)) in Anthropology

Papers

Master of Arts (Thesis) (MA(Thesis)) in Anthropology

Thesis
  • Thesis 5

Note: Students who have not completed a Bachelor of Arts (BA(Hons)) in Anthropology or a Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Subjects (PGDipArts) in Anthropology must complete the required papers for the BA(Hons) in Anthropology prior to undertaking the thesis.

Minor subject requirements

Anthropology as a minor subject for a BA, MusB, BPA, BTheol, BSc, BAppSc, BCom, BHealSc, BACom, BASc or BComSc degree

Available as a minor subject for a Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Music (MusB), Bachelor of Performing Arts (BPA), Bachelor of Theology (BTheol), Bachelor of Science (BSc), Bachelor of Applied Science (BAppSc), Bachelor of Commerce (BCom), Bachelor of Health Science (BHealSc), Bachelor of Arts and Commerce (BACom), Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) or Bachelor of Commerce and Science (BComSc) degree

Level Papers Points
100-level Two 100-level ANTH papers

36

200-level

Two 200-level ANTH papers

36

300-level

One 300-level ANTHpaper

18
Total   90

Papers

Paper code Year Title Points Teaching period
ANTH103 2021 Introduction to Anthropology 18 points First Semester
ANTH105 2021 Global and Local Cultures 18 points Second Semester
ANTH106 2021 Human Origins and Civilisations 18 points Second Semester
ANTH203 2021 Asian Archaeology 18 points Second Semester
ANTH204 2021 Pacific and New Zealand Archaeology 18 points First Semester
ANTH205 2021 Anthropology and the Contemporary Pacific 18 points Not offered in 2021
ANTH206 2021 Anthropology of Globalisation 18 points Second Semester
ANTH208 2021 Archaeological Methods 18 points First Semester
ANTH209 2021 Special Topic 18 points Not offered in 2021
ANTH210 2021 Translating Culture 18 points First Semester
ANTH211 2021 Contemporary Ethnographic Research 18 points Not offered in 2021
ANTH222 2021 Conceiving Reproduction 18 points Not offered, expected to be offered in 2022
ANTH223 2021 Anthropology of Health 18 points First Semester
ANTH225 2021 Rites of Passage: Death, Grief and Ritual 18 points Second Semester
ANTH228 2021 Anthropology of Religion and the Supernatural 18 points Not offered, expected to be offered in 2022
ANTH231 2021 The Emergence of Agriculture: An Archaeological Journey 18 points Second Semester
ANTH310 2021 Special Topic 18 points Not offered in 2021
ANTH312 2021 Cultural Politics 18 points First Semester
ANTH316 2021 Labour and Society 18 points Not offered, expected to be offered in 2023
ANTH317 2021 Historical Archaeology 18 points Second Semester
ANTH321 2021 Archaeozoology 18 points First Semester
ANTH322 2021 Conceiving Reproduction 18 points Not offered, expected to be offered in 2022
ANTH323 2021 Anthropology of Health 18 points First Semester
ANTH324 2021 Archaeological Practice 18 points Second Semester
ANTH325 2021 Rites of Passage: Death, Grief and Ritual 18 points Second Semester
ANTH326 2021 Special Topic: Sex and Culture 18 points Not offered in 2021
ANTH327 2021 Anthropology of Money 18 points Second Semester
ANTH328 2021 Anthropology of Religion and the Supernatural 18 points Not offered, expected to be offered in 2022
ANTH329 2021 Landscape Archaeology 18 points Second Semester
ANTH330 2021 New Zealand Archaeology 18 points First Semester
ANTH405 2021 Archaeological Excavation 20 points 1st Non standard period
ANTH409 2021 Material Culture Studies 20 points Not offered in 2021
ANTH410 2021 Special Topic: Archaeological Science 20 points First Semester
ANTH411 2021 Special Topic: The New Ethnography of Development 20 points Full Year
ANTH413 2021 Oceanic Prehistory 20 points Not offered in 2021
ANTH423 2021 Bodies, Technologies and Medicines 20 points Full Year
ANTH424 2021 The Anthropology of Evil 20 points Not offered in 2021
ANTH425 2021 Anthropology of Transnationalism and Diaspora 20 points Not offered, expected to be offered in 2022
ANTH427 2021 Archaeological Theory 20 points Full Year
ANTH430 2021 Advanced New Zealand Archaeology 20 points First Semester
ANTH490 2021 Dissertation 60 points Full Year
ANTH495 2021 Dissertation 60 points Full Year
ANTH505 2021 Advanced Archaeological Excavation 30 points 1st Non standard period
ANTH550 2021 Archaeology and Heritage Practice 30 points Full Year
ANTH590 2021 Research Dissertation 60 points 1st Non standard period, 2nd Non standard period

Key information for future students

Contact us

Social Anthropology Programme
School of Social Sciences
Email anthropology@otago.ac.nz
Web otago.ac.nz/anthropology