Archaeology and Anthropology

Archaeology and Anthropology


Dr Linda Hulin

Number admitted: average 2 – max. of 4 each year

Entry qualifications: students apply to us with a variety of qualifications. Some have taken A levels, others have studied for Access curses for Open University Credits. We would advise applicants to undertake formal study of some sort before applying. There is no special type of student that we are looking for, but to study for a degree in archaeology and Anthropology we are looking for a curiosity about how societies developed in the past and how they work in the present, as well as a good visual memory and an aptitude for examinations.

Applicants will be selected by means of two pieces of written work and a short essay of no more than 500 in response to the question: what can we learn abut people past and present from their material culture? If you are invited for interview you will be asked to read a short passage before the interview and will be asked questions on it during the interview. You will also be asked to interpret an artefact, photograph or other visual material; do not worry if you do not recognise the object, we are interested in how you would go about identifying it.

The course:

The course comprises Honour Moderations (examined at the year first) and the Final Honour School (examined at the end of the year). For Honour Mods four papers taken:

Paper 1 — Introduction to World Archaeology
Paper 2 — Introduction to Anthropological Theory
Paper 3 — Perspectives on Human Evolution
Paper 4 — The Nature of Archaeological and Anthropological Enquiry

The Final School comprises four core papers of

Paper 1 — Social Analysis and Interpretation
Paper 2 — Cultural Representations, Beliefs and Practices
Paper 3 — Landscape and Ecology
Paper 4 — Urbanisation and Change in Complex Societies

Students are able to pursue individual interests in their selection of three option papers taken from nearly 30 archaeology or anthropology subjects.

Students must also write a dissertation in their final year on a subject of their choice, an opportunity to pursue independent research.

In the summer of their first year, students are required to attend an excavation run by the School — currently Dorchester-on-Thames — for two weeks and to organise a further two weeks of excavation, or guided museum or archive studies.


Most papers are taught through lectures in the School of Archaeology and tutorials, and some object handling classes in the Ashmolean and Pitt Rivers museums. Tutorials will be held in college and by other tutors in other colleges. Tutorial groups are small, no more than a group of four.

Future careers:

A degree in Archaeology and Anthropology opens up a wide range of career opportunities, and graduates have moved on to work in conservation, advertising, journalism and overseas development, as well as archaeology and anthropology.

Competitive scholarships are available for students coming to study who already have an excellent first degree.

Want to see more? Then view Archaeology and Anthropology at Oxford on You Tube