Subject specialists

Learn from experts in a broad range of global challenge-led research interests, currently including language diversity, human demography and health, museums and cultural heritage and the anthropology of resource-extraction and climate change.

Unique subject breadth

The only department in the UK to offer the four fields of social anthropology, evolutionary anthropology, linguistic anthropology and archaeology.

World-class facilties

Access our cutting-edge radiocarbon accelerator, one of only five in the UK. Our archaeological practice laboratories house geophysics equipment and digital and imaging computational facilities.

Anthropology and Archaeology at Bristol

At Bristol, we will introduce you to the history, theories and practice of anthropology and archaeology, delivered by a friendly academic community at the forefront of their fields of research.

You'll learn first-hand from the knowledge and experience of our expert staff, and get the chance to participate in their research projects around the world. You'll also have exciting opportunities for excavation and anthropological fieldwork as part of your course.

Our courses will equip you with the ability to handle ethnographic data and theoretical concepts, and to develop an in-depth understanding of cultural diversity and human evolution.

I like the stunning architecture of the University. Bristol is a nurturing and exciting environment, keen to help students.

Roshney, BA Anthropology

Career prospects

Students working on an archaeological dig site.

Our students gain a wide range of transferable skills, including understanding cultural diversity, intellectual versatility, excellent written and oral communication skills, critical analysis, and independent thought.

Many graduates undertake further research in anthropology, archaeology or related disciplines; others pursue careers in museums, heritage, policy, development, health and business. Our graduates also find work in non-governmental agencies, the arts sector, broadcasting, editing, finance, and many other fields.

Our staff hold long-standing links with the thriving creative and media-tech industry in Bristol, which can lead to internship and work opportunities for our students - such as the Bristol Zoo, museums, film and animation, and both local and national charities and organisations.

What our students do after graduating

Course structure

The hands of a student cleaning an artefact with a brush

Teaching is delivered through lectures, discussion groups and tutorial sessions, but also creative techniques such as art-based interactive workshops, image-making, and more.

Core units each year cover essential elements of theory and practice. These are combined with optional units in more specialised periods, themes or regions, and there is the opportunity to study abroad for one teaching block during the second year or take a work placement unit in the third year. For more information, visit the Centre for Study Abroad.

Your dissertation project in your final year provides the opportunity to conduct original research in an area of particular interest to you, supervised by a specialist in the field.

Sample units may include:

  • Visions: Experiments in Creative Anthropology
  • Evolution and Human Behaviour
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Planetary Caribbean
  • Forensic Anthropology
  • Anthropology of Sport and Bodily Practice
  • Lives on the Move: Migration and Mobility from a Global Perspective

Unique surroundings

A close up showing the skull of a model skeleton in a classroom.

The department is housed in a historic arts and crafts building in the centre of the University precinct. We share this space with the bones of over 600 skeletons, excavated in the South West, which will be examined before being reburied. Our community of students and staff across the four fields of Anthropology mix regularly through a programme of informal and academic events.

The city boasts an extraordinary range of archaeological sites nearby, including Roman sites, prehistoric landscapes and castles.

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