Anthropology has been taught as a major for the Bachelor of Arts (BA) since 1966. The major normally takes three years and requires a minimum of nine papers in the subject, out of 20 papers for a BA. We also offer our graduate students a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and
a Postgraduate Diploma in Arts, which are both one-year courses available following the completion of a BA. Those students who do not want to major in Anthropology can pick up some anthropology papers as part of their degree, or do a minor in the subject, which requires a minimum of five papers.
Two first-year papers provide an introduction to Anthropology:
ANTH 103 Introduction to Anthropology
An introduction to the fundamental concepts and history of general anthropology, including archaeology and social anthropology.
ANTH 105 Global and Local Cultures
Being human, and humane, in a world where worlds collide. An introduction to cultural studies of globalisation, multiculturalism, tourism, media.
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, drawing on the specialisations and research interests of our internationally recognised lecturing staff.
Topics include Pacific societies, current issues in anthropology, and the ethics, politics and practice of ethnographic representation, a chance for 'hands-on' learning through immersion in the ongoing friendship research project, cultural politics, grieving and ritual, new reproductive technologies, the anthropology of money, the study of religion and the supernatural, and ideologies of health.
These subjects lead to our strong postgraduate programme, which offers papers in the Anthropology of Evil, Transnationalism, Medical Anthropology, Anthropology and the Past, and independently studied research dissertations. Students may then continue to a Master of Arts or a PhD.
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.
Double major/degree options
It is possible to qualify with an Anthropology degree in which all of the papers are social anthropology, although we recommend taking some archaeology papers.
In addition, some useful double major options include History, Classics, Politics, Film and Media Studies, Māori Studies, Pacific Studies, Languages, Gender, Sociology, Criminology, and Religious Studies. Social Anthropology (because of its diverse subject area) also combines well in double degrees with subjects in Commerce, Law, Science and Health Sciences.
The University of Otago has exchange agreements with more than 70 institutions in over 30 countries. If your marks average B or better, you may qualify to attend one of these institutions for one semester or one year. Exchange programmes are particularly beneficial to Anthropology students for the learning experience of deep immersion into another culture.
There are no specific subjects you need to have studied at school in order to study Anthropology.