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Human Sciences at Oxford - Course Outline

First Year


Students need to take the following five courses.

  • Genetics and evolution
  • The biology of organisms including humans
  • Society, culture and environment
  • Quantitative methods for the human sciences
  • Sociology and demography


First University exams
Five written papers and satisfactory practical record

Second Year


Students need to take following five compulsory courses, a start on the dissertation and two optional courses.

  • Human ecology
  • Human genetics and evolution
  • Behaviour and its evolution, animal and human
  • Either Sociological theory or Anthropological analysis and interpretation
  • Demography and population

Third Year


  • Dissertation must be completed by the starting of the final term
  • Option courses from a list that may vary depending upon teaching availability: Anthropology of medicine, Anthropology of a selected region, Biological conservation, The archaeology of Southern African hunter-gatherers, Computational neuroscience, Evolutionary and Cognitive anthropology, Education and psychology, Developmental questions in religion and science, Language, Health and disease, Sociology of industrial societies and Quantitative methods


Final University exams
Seven written papers and a dissertation

International Opportunities

It must be noted that there are no formal arrangements for work placements; however, students are encouraged to participate in small-scale research projects and exhibitions during the summer holidays.

A Weekly Timetable

Students' work in the first and second year is divided between tutorials and lectures. Additionally, some practical experience in physiology, genetics, statistics and demography is offered in certain terms. Computers are used in small group teaching in demography. In the third year, the class and tutorial requirement is lessened to allow more time for option papers and students' research for their dissertation.

Entrance Requirements

  • A-levels: AAA
  • Advanced Highers: AA/AAB
  • IB: 38 - 40 comprising core points
  • Or any academic equivalent

Candidates who wish to apply for this course need to have Mathematics or Biology to A-level, Higher level or Advanced Higher in the IB or any other academic equivalent that may be useful to complete this course; however, they are not necessary for admission.

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