Majors | Honours programs | Specialist degrees
Bachelor of Arts Majors in the School of Archaeology & Anthropology
Socio-cultural Anthropology documents and interprets the diversity and similarity in the ways people live across the modern world.
The anthropology major consists of two first year courses in which the conceptual foundations of the discipline are introduced, followed by five later year courses chosen from a wide range of area-specific and thematic courses. It is an ideal foundation for a contemporary liberal-arts education.
Career opportunities in Anthropology
Career opportunities for anthropologists can be found in government, non-government organizations, academia, museums and other cultural institutions, as well as in private industry. Anthropologists are employed in areas of development, international relations, immigration, multiculturalism and community organizations.
For more information on undergraduate anthropology courses see Anthropology Major on Programs and Courses.
Archaeology is the study of past human activities emphasising interpretations of material evidence.
The major in archaeology is a sequence of courses, starting with first-year courses in archaeology, and proceeding to a selection of later-year courses. Large selections of later-year courses are available and there is considerable scope for choice. The major can be counted towards either the Bachelor of Arts or the Bachelor of Archaeological Practice. The Tall Scholarship is available for students studying archaeology honours.
Career opportunities in Archaeology
Archaeology graduates have careers in many fields. Some continue archaeological research, attached either to universities or other institutions. Many graduates use the skills they have gained in related fields, such as in museums, Aboriginal Affairs, Urban and Environmental planning, High School teaching, Library and Archival management, or mining or tourism ventures. Many graduates have lucrative careers in the protection of archaeological heritage, and the implementation of planning protective legislation has created new opportunities. Today archaeologists are employed in every environmental impact assessment that accompanies development in Australia; they are on the staff of Commonwealth and State heritage agencies, such as the Australian Heritage Commission, and they also work with the National Parks and Wildlife Services or as independent consultants. Graduates in archaeology have many different and successful careers.
For more information on undergraduate archaeology courses see Archaeology Major on Programs and Courses.
Biological anthropology Major
Biological Anthropology is the branch of anthropology that focuses on the evolutionary and biological aspects: Homo sapiens as a species – human populations as varied and dynamically changing sets of biological individuals, adaptable but also vulnerable to ever-changing circumstances. All undergraduate courses in biological anthropology can be counted towards either a BA or a BSc degree.
The major in biological anthropology is a sequence of courses, normally starting with two first-year courses in anthropology, archaeology or biology, and proceeding to a selection of later-year courses in biological anthropology. Later-year courses are weighted towards the subject’s core topics but there is considerable scope for choice.
Career opportunities in Biological anthropology
Our graduates have proceeded to a variety of interesting and exciting careers in the public or private sectors including universities and research institutions. In some cases their specific bioanthropology backgrounds have directly provided a basis, either for academic research or for related employment (e.g. Aboriginal-related, health-related, museum, archaeological and/or consultancy work). In other cases it has been more the general skills they have acquired in research – of searching investigation, critical thinking and lucid writing – that have enabled them to find successful and fulfilling employment.
For more information on undergraduate courses in biological anthropology see Biological Anthropology Major on Programs and Courses.
Archaeology Practice Major
The Archaeology Practice Major is only available to students enrolled in the specialist degree, Bachelor of Archaeological Practice. It is designed to give students a broad basis for work as professional archaeologists. Courses within the major emphasise the development of applied, technical skills involving fieldwork and analysis. The major consists of courses from the disciplines of archaeology, geology and geography.
Arch Prac Major Checklist
Arch Prac Specialisms Checklist
For more information on undergraduate courses in the archaeology practice major see Archaeological Practice Major on Programs and Courses.
Development Studies Major
Development Studies refers to a broad range of courses that address the planning, implementation and consequences of social, political and economic change among peoples of the Third and Fourth worlds. These courses examine the nature of relations between wealthier countries of the world and those peoples and countries who are, or consider themselves to be, disadvantaged in a rapidly globalising world.
The Development Studies major consists of two first year courses chosen from the disciplines of anthropology, economics, political science, sociology, geography, history, Asian studies. The five later years courses must include three core courses which focus on the theoretical and practical problems of development, plus two area courses.
For more information on undergraduate courses in the development studies major see Development Studies Major on Programs and Courses.
Forensic Anthropology Major
Forensic anthropology is concerned with developing and applying a range of anthropological and archaeological skills to questions of medical and legal importance. Courses involve the methods for identifying and analysing human remains, the management and investigation of crime scenes containing human remains, and understanding biological, environmental and cultural processes affecting bodies. The major consists of courses chosen from the disciplines of anthropology, archaeology, law, political science, sociology, and psychology.
Health, Medicine & the Body Major
Health, sickness, and healing are not simply biological phenomena but, crucially, exist in historical, social, cultural, and economic contexts which also demand to be understood. Medical anthropology, biological anthropology and population health, the sociology of health and illness, health psychology, the history of medicine, philosophy and ethics, and gender studies all complement each other as well as biomedicine in the perspectives they offer on these phenomena.
Cultural, class, ethnic, and gender differences shape our understanding of the body and the experience of illness. Belief systems about illness and healing, the role of doctors and hospitals, historical innovations and movements, power differentials, and individual attitudes and behaviour all vary greatly. Globalisation processes, too, have impacts on the environment, society and health. The history of medicine leads us to investigate changing conditions of life over time and place, past perceptions of sickness and death, and the interplay between political and economic environments and the development of medical systems. And the provision of health care raises complex choices for which bioethics is highly relevant.
The Health, Medicine and the Body major consists of two first year courses chosen from the areas of anthropology, archaeology, biology, philosophy, history, gender, psychology and sociology, plus five later year level courses chosen from at least three of these disciplines.
Indigenous Australian Studies Major
Indigenous Australian Studies is concerned with the place of indigenous people in Australian society, in social, political and historical terms. ANU offers many courses in the broad field of Indigenous Australian Studies that engage a wide range of themes including the history of Indigenous-state relations, Indigenous literature, music, and other forms of cultural expression. The Indigenous Australian Studies major enables students to take a set of interrelated courses in different disciplines without the normal prerequisites required in each course. Within the major it is possible to combine courses that provide a broadly-based understanding of indigenous Australian societies and cultures, both past and present.
The major consists of two first year courses in the Faculty of Arts, followed by five later year courses chosen from across the fields of anthropology, archaeology, art, English, gender sexuality and culture, history, linguistics, politics and music.
For more information on undergraduate courses in the Indigenous Australian studies major see Australian Indigenous Studies Major on Programs and Courses.
Honours programs are offered in anthropology, archaeology, biological anthropology and development studies. Honours is undertaken in a Fourth Year after the completion of the three year Bachelor degree. A combined honours course may be arranged within the School. The Tall Scholarship is available for students of archaeology.
For more information on visit the CASS Honours page.
Specialist undergraduate degrees offered by the School of Archaeology & Anthropology
Bachelor of Arts (Development Studies)
The specialist degree in Development Studies comprises a major in Development Studies, three further core courses in Development Studies, and a major in one of the social sciences. It is possible to include a third major in a language. The focus of the degree is on issues concerning development in the ‘Third World’ and the ways this is conceived in the ‘First World’. In the final year of the degree students can undertake an internship, which involves working with a government department or non-government organization on a project of their choice. This project provides students with practical work experience within development-related fields.
Career opportunities in Development Studies
There are a variety of careers that attract graduates in Development Studies. Government and International Development agencies, Development Banks, non-government organizations and community organizations require people with development expertise. The skills and perspectives highlighted in Development Studies are readily transferable to other areas that focus on the planning and implementation of social, political and economic change.
For more information on the Bachelor of Arts (Development Studies) see Bachelor of Development Studies on Programs and Courses.
Bachelor of Archaeological Practice
The Bachelor of Archaeological Practice is specifically designed to prepare students for a career in archaeology, either as researchers or as heritage consultants. To achieve this, the specialist degree in Archaeological Practice comprises two majors, one in Archaeology and another in Archaeological Practice. Students are trained in the many technical skills required to discover, excavate, report and interpret archaeological materials.
Career opportunities in Archaeological Practice
Graduates are often employed in private enterprise companies undertaking environmental impact assessment that accompanies development in Australia. Some of our graduates are on the staff of Commonwealth and State heritage agencies, such as the Australian Heritage Commission or the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Islander Studies. They also work with the National Parks and Wildlife Service, as independent consultants, or as advisers to Aboriginal Land Councils.
For more information on the Bachelor of Archaeological Practice see Bachelor of Archaeological Practice on Programs and Courses.
Read more information about online courses at the School of Archaeology and Anthropology.