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.
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Apply for the Diploma for Graduates (DipGrad) through the Dunedin campus in 2021Apply Now
Apply for the Master of Archaeological Practice (MArchP) through the Dunedin campus in 2021Apply Now
Apply for the Master of Arts (Coursework) (MA(Coursework)) through the Dunedin campus in 2021Apply Now
Apply for the Master of Arts (Thesis) (MA(Thesis)) through the Dunedin campus in 2021Apply Now
Apply for the Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Subjects (PGDipArts) through the Dunedin campus in 2021Apply Now
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.
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.
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.
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.
Explore your study options further. Refer to enrolment information found on the following qualification pages.
- Bachelor of Arts (BA)
- Bachelor of Arts and Commerce (BACom)
- Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc)
- Bachelor of Arts with Honours (BA(Hons))
- Diploma for Graduates (DipGrad)
- Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Subjects (PGDipArts)
- Master of Archaeological Practice (MArchP)
- Master of Arts (Coursework) (MA(Coursework))
- Master of Arts (Thesis) (MA(Thesis))
- Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Bachelor of Arts (BA) majoring in Anthropology
|100-level||Two 100-level ANTH papers||36|
Two further 200-level ANTH papers
Four 300-level ANTH papers
198 further points; must include 54 points at 200-level or above.
Up to 90 points may be taken from outside Arts
Bachelor of Arts with Honours (BA(Hons)) in Anthropology
Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Subjects (PGDipArts) in Anthropology
Master of Arts (Coursework) (MA(Coursework)) in Anthropology
Master of Arts (Thesis) (MA(Thesis)) in Anthropology
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
|Five ANTH papers, at least three of which must be above 100-level, including at least one above 200-level||
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a selection of on-campus papers will be made available via distance and online learning for eligible students.
Find out which papers are available and how to apply on our COVID-19 website
|Paper code||Year||Title||Points||Teaching period|
|ANTH103||2021||Introduction to Anthropology||18 points||Semester 1|
|ANTH105||2021||Global and Local Cultures||18 points||Semester 2|
|ANTH106||2021||Human Origins and Civilisations||18 points||Semester 2|
|ANTH203||2021||Asian Archaeology||18 points||Semester 2|
|ANTH204||2021||Pacific and New Zealand Archaeology||18 points||Semester 1|
|ANTH205||2021||Anthropology and the Contemporary Pacific||18 points||Not offered in 2021|
|ANTH206||2021||Anthropology of Globalisation||18 points||Semester 2|
|ANTH208||2021||Archaeological Methods||18 points||Semester 1|
|ANTH209||2021||Special Topic||18 points||Not offered in 2021|
|ANTH210||2021||Translating Culture||18 points||Semester 1|
|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||Semester 1|
|ANTH225||2021||Rites of Passage: Death, Grief and Ritual||18 points||Semester 2|
|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||Semester 2|
|ANTH310||2021||Special Topic||18 points||Not offered in 2021|
|ANTH312||2021||Cultural Politics||18 points||Semester 1|
|ANTH316||2021||Labour and Society||18 points||Not offered, expected to be offered in 2023|
|ANTH317||2021||Historical Archaeology||18 points||Semester 2|
|ANTH321||2021||Archaeozoology||18 points||Semester 1|
|ANTH322||2021||Conceiving Reproduction||18 points||Not offered, expected to be offered in 2022|
|ANTH323||2021||Anthropology of Health||18 points||Semester 1|
|ANTH324||2021||Archaeological Practice||18 points||Semester 2|
|ANTH325||2021||Rites of Passage: Death, Grief and Ritual||18 points||Semester 2|
|ANTH326||2021||Special Topic: Sex and Culture||18 points||Not offered in 2021|
|ANTH327||2021||Anthropology of Money||18 points||Semester 2|
|ANTH328||2021||Anthropology of Religion and the Supernatural||18 points||Not offered, expected to be offered in 2022|
|ANTH329||2021||Landscape Archaeology||18 points||Semester 2|
|ANTH330||2021||New Zealand Archaeology||18 points||Semester 1|
|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||Semester 1|
|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||Semester 1|
|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|