What’s it like studying Anthropology?

Maria Erazo

Now to answer everyone’s burning question – What’s it like studying Anthropology?

One unique thing about studying Anthropology in Durham…

…is that, through your degree, you will be taught different branches of anthropology that include the health, biological, and social side of this field, allowing you to obtain a well-rounded degree that places great focus on the practical side of anthropology. This includes going to museums, creating surveys, attending the zoo to study primates (e.g., lemurs), and having a fully funded field trip abroad at the end of your second year! These may be to either Cyprus, Fuerteventura, Gibraltar…!

Lemurs playing together at the zoo

What is Anthropology? and why Durham?

Anthropology is the study of society and cultures that provides insight into what influences human behaviour and human biology. I chose to attend Durham as I was intrigued by the content of the degree. Instead of only focusing on one area of anthropology, in your first year, you get to explore different areas and how they might influence each other, allowing you to have more options and ideas for your dissertation. As someone who was solely interested in the social side of anthropology, this course opened a new perspective of the field by allowing me to experience different forms of research, that being qualitative research (through interviews, participant observation) and quantitative research (analysing data). However, at the same time, I enjoyed the perks of the social side of anthropology by being able to analyse different researching pieces of literature within anthropology that are known as “ethnographies”.

Such a friendly and supportive department

The department team are always so friendly and dedicated to their jobs, by always trying to find time for students, to come to them and ask questions, or if they are in need for further support. It has a homely feel, by having a common room accessible at any time of the day, which is always prepped for you to have a nice cuppa!

As a university, they are attentive to providing opportunities for students to immerse themselves into their degree outside of the lecture rooms! Therefore, through the setting of the Anthropology society, students can socialise and share their common interest of this wonderful degree! This may include visiting the Oriental Museum, the museum of Archaeology, or simply organising socials (events to meet up with the different members of the society). Durham University has opened so many doors for me to expand my work experience in this field, through the department’s weekly newsletter publicising various volunteering projects within the university and external projects. Recently, I was able to volunteer for the yearly ‘Anthropology, AI and the Future of Human Society’ virtual conference as a panel supporter, and this summer will be attending an internship programme in Fiji!

on a fieldtrip with coursemates

I can only praise this department on how wonderful the staff are, and the setting of this programme, which has allowed me to enjoy my degree even further!

Discover more

Our Anthropology Department is one of the largest in the UK and is ranked 23rd globally (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023).  

Fieldwork is core to our taught programmes, and we offer research-led teaching and hands-on experience to equip our students with the knowledge and skills they need for a successful future.  

Feeling inspired? Visit our Anthropology webpages for more information on our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. 

Create your own personalised prospectus here

Follow our students on Instagram, TikTok and YouTube

Maria Erazo

Hi! My name is Maria and I am a second year from St Mary’s College, studying BA Anthropology. Outside of the Anthropology department, I enjoy a variety of sports and hobbies, such as handball, netball, and theatre.

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