Undergraduate programs

Anthropology Major

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.

Archaeology Major

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.

Biological Anthropology Major

Biological Anthropology is the branch of anthropology that explores what it means to be human using evolutionary and biological theory. We view human populations as varied and dynamically changing sets of biological individuals that are both adaptable and vulnerable to the ever-changing social, biological, and environmental circumstances we live in. There are four major branches within biological anthropology. Primatologists study non-human primates to understand human evolution and behaviour. Osteologists and Human Behavioural Ecologists investigate these questions by working with archaeological  skeletal remains and living modern humans respectively. Paleoanthropologists study the human ancestors in between our primate cousins and moden populations.

The major in biological anthropology is a sequence of courses. You will begin by completing two first-year courses in biological anthropology and anthropology, archaeology or biology, and will progress towards more specialised training in biological anthropology in the later years of your programme. These more specialised courses are drawn from all four branches of biological anthropology, although there is also considerable scope to shape the degree towards your interests. Undergraduate courses in biological anthropology can be counted towards either a BA or a BSc degree.

Career opportunities in Biological anthropology

Graduates in biological anthropology have a range of skills, making them highly desirable members of today’s workforce. Through undergraduate study or postgraduate research in this field, you will gain science communication skills (reading, writing, and presenting work across a range of media), critical thinking, analysis, interpretation and evaluation skills, social skills, and practical fieldwork skills.

Our graduates have gone on to work in a variety of interesting and exciting careers across both the public and private sectors. These careers have included working as researchers, technicians, and teachers in universities and research institutions, as well as working in policing, consultancy, healthcare, government, science communication, museum curation, and charitable organisations.

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.

Australian Indigenous 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.

Honours programs

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.

Bachelor of Development Studies (Honours)
Bachelor of Archaeological Practice (Honours)


Updated:  13 September 2023/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications