Why study Anthropology at the LSE? What our students say about us
"My time at the LSE has been ‘eye opening’. I put this down to studying Anthropology and learning from some of the world’s best experts in their fields, along with other curious students.
Anthropology is about thinking outside the box, it challenges individuals to understand how and why other human beings live life a certain way. But it doesn’t stop there. As an Anthropology student I was faced with innovative theories that are open to debate, which the department actively encouraged me to take a central role in. The department held weekly public lectures, where you were invited to openly ask questions. However, the most fulfilling learning experience for me was the small classes, because I was being taught by the very people who had already spent several years studying and writing about the people I was studying.
Throughout the years I developed multiple transferable skills, which are invaluable for a diverse range of careers. When thinking about life after the LSE the career possibilities were endless: I looked into journalism, development work and the legal profession. This is one of the key advantages of studying a course that equips students with creative thinking skills and develops them as an individual."
"Before starting the course I kept reading/hearing anthropologists say that when you finish a degree in Anthropology, you will never see the world in the same way again. And it’s actually true. It is very hard to stress how invaluable this discipline is. Applying to study Anthropology was undoubtedly the best decision of my life.
I felt the warmth of the department from day one – it was quite obvious that the teachers were excited to have us there. The department really values its undergraduate students. Then followed the tutorial system: meeting our tutors in groups of three, every three weeks during the whole degree, offered a very calming, informal and enriching intellectual stepping stone between topics. Writing two to three tutorial essays a term for our tutors was invaluable: it helped me perfect my essay writing (analytic, thinking skills), which was a great practice for our assessed essays, but also meant we had at least three weeks/topics per term which we had mastered by being forced to think in depth about it. From year one we were encouraged to seek out our teachers via email or office hours, something I did with enthusiasm, and found unlimited advice (personal and academic) and a humbling level of intellectual sharing/generosity on behalf of the teachers.
Anthropology engages the mind, more than any other social science. Its study requires and engenders a huge level of critical inquiry, in line with its own tradition of self-criticism, which promotes a rigorous kind of 'disciplinary self-awareness' which in turn means anthropologists rarely hide from all the crucial epistemological power/knowledge implications of being an academic discipline. And yet it remains a very imaginative, experimental, playful and (for me, magical) space which can only aid intellectual inquiry.
This hybridity enables Anthropology’s holism. And again, although Anthropology is often relegated (by other social scientists) to the periphery of the social sciences, I see it as the centre, drawing on and looking at (and combining) the psychological, the historical, the economic, the political, and the philosophical of the human condition."
"In a world obsessed with money, power, oil and numbers, to have at my fingertips a community of people who are motivated out of a genuine desire to learn and understand for the sake of knowledge and tolerance, and to make the world a better and more just place..... That is a pleasure no amount of words can express. When I came to the Anthropology department at LSE, I truly felt like I was coming home after a long walk out in the cold."