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Archaeology and Anthropology

Archaeology and anthropology together incorporate the study of humankind from the distant origins of the human species to the present day. Archaeology and anthropology have a long history. Archaeology developed from eighteenth century antiquarianism whereas anthropology began even earlier during the days of colonial encounter.

Presently, both subjects encompass a wide range of sophisticated approaches shared with various disciplines such as social sciences, arts and physical sciences. The anthropological study of early humans and primates helps archaeologists using the physical remains recovered whilst scientific dating techniques generate the time-frame and the newest genetic analyses define their relationship to contemporary human populations.

Archaeology and Anthropology at Oxford

The University of Oxford is a leading centre for teaching and research in anthropology and archaeology. There are six institutions specialize in these subjects:

  • Pitt Rivers Museum
  • The Ashmolean Museum
  • Oxford University Museum of Natural History
  • The Institutes of Archaeology and Social and Cultural Anthropology
  • The Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art

These institutions are supported by well stocked libraries and are well equipped with computing resources and laboratories. The Oxford degree is unique in the way it incorporates anthropology and archaeology throughout the course offering an outstanding broad perspective on human societies from ancient prehistory to the present.


Some of the Archaeology and Anthropology graduates continue to further research and study to become professional archaeologists and anthropologists whereas others get into diverse field. Students who have completed graduation in this course have grabbed opportunities in museum curation and education, heritage management, international development, regional archaeological services, advertising marketing, the civil service, energy supply, computing and community relations. Students who have done a graduation in Archaeology and Anthropology may include a financial analyst, management consultant, a medical student and a trainee solicitor.

Entrance Requirement

Students who wish to take admission for the Archaeology and Anthropology course need to have following eligibility criteria.

  • Advanced Highers: AA/AAB
  • A-levels: AAA
  • IB: 38 - 40 including core points
  • or any other equivalent

Students with a background of studying science and arts subjects may be useful to completing this course; however, there are no particular subject requirements for admission.

What are tutors looking for?

The tutors look for an interest in and enthusiasm for the study of humans and their material culture from the science viewpoints combined with the capability to assimilate and digest significant quantities of data. Students do not require any prior experience in anthropology or archaeology. However, general reading in the subject and any fieldwork experience may further demonstrate student interests and commitment.

If students are short listed for interview, then they will generally be asked to talk about the relationship between the sub-disciplines and to consider problems from anthropological and archaeological points of view. Students may be given maps, artefacts and other materials to interpret. Some of the sources of information may be useful.

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