Home > Study > Undergraduate > Degree Programmes 2016 > Anthropology > BA/BSc Social Anthropology

BA/BSc Social Anthropology


UCAS code: BA L601
UCAS code: BSc L603

Usual standard offer:
A level: grades A A B

International Baccalaureate: Diploma with 37 points including 6 6 6 at Higher level

Other qualifications are considered and applications from mature students are welcomed.

For further details see lse.ac.uk/ug/apply/ant

BA Applications 2014: 208

BA First year students 2014: 30

BSc Applications 2014: 78

BSc First year students 2014: 7

First year:

(* half unit)

Second year:

Third year:

As anthropology may be considered an art or a science, we allow you a choice of BA or BSc in the title. The programme is the same.

Please note that not every course is available each year and that some courses may only be available with the permission of the course convenor and/or may be subject to space.

You can find the most up-to-date list of optional courses in the Programme Regulations section of the current School Calendar.


You must note however that while care has been taken to ensure that this information is up to date and correct, some circumstances may cause the School to subsequently change, suspend or withdraw a course or programme of study, or change the fees that apply to it. The School will neither be liable for information that after publication becomes inaccurate or irrelevant, nor for changing, suspending or withdrawing a course or programme of study due to circumstances outside of its control. You must also note that places are limited on some courses and/or subject to specific entry requirements. The School cannot therefore guarantee places on its courses. You should visit the School’s Calendar, or contact the relevant academic department, for information on the availability and/or content of courses and programmes of study. Certain substantive changes will be listed on the updated undergraduate course and programme information page.

Programme details

First year

There are three core courses. Introduction to Social Anthropology provides a general overview of the discipline, introducing a range of questions that anthropologists have focused on via their research in societies around the world. Among other things, it explores what is variable and what is universal (or at least commonly found) in human culture and society by examining a range of political, economic, family, and religious systems found among different peoples. Ethnography and Theory: Selected Texts introduces the works of classic social science theorists and how they have been applied to ethnographic analyses of particular societies. Reading Other Cultures: the Anthropological Interpretation of Text and Film develops anthropological analytical skills and the ability to read and to reflect on complete book-length texts, to make well-grounded comparisons and to generate independent opinions.

You choose one introductory option from a range of subjects such as economics, geography, international relations, law, philosophy, politics, sociology, social psychology, language and literature among others. 

Second and third years

There are six units of core courses, including an independent research project and an extended essay (each of which counts as a half unit) over the two years. The Anthropology of Kinship, Sex and Gender considers the varied ways in which the family, kinship, personhood, femaleness and maleness, birth and sex are understood in different cultures. Political and Legal Anthropology explores fundamental questions about how a wide range of societies handle conflict, dispute, violence and the establishment and maintenance of forms of political and legal order. Economic Anthropology (1) and (2) examine the institutions of pre-market and market economies and their transformation as a result of state policies, development initiatives and incorporation into the global market.

The Anthropology of Religion examines differences between local religious practices and world religions, explores the reasons why ritual is so central to the organisation of cultural life, looks at the character of particular cosmologies and symbolic schemes, analyses the logic of some non-Western systems of thought and philosophy, and considers the relationship between religion and modernity. Advanced Theory of Social Anthropology goes deeply into the roots of modern theory in social anthropology. It examines approaches such as structuralism, feminism, Marxism and postmodernism, and addresses contemporary perspectives and debates. For the course Research Methods in Social Anthropology you will design and carry out a small anthropological research project, and for the Special Essay Paper in Social Anthropology you will write an extended essay on an anthropological topic of your choice.

In the second and third years you will also take options equivalent to one course unit per year. Over the two years you must take at least one half-unit course which focuses on the anthropology of a selected geographical or ethnographic region (for example, South Asia, China or Melanesia). It may be possible, dependent on timetabling, for you to take options from the three other colleges of the University of London which have anthropology departments: Goldsmiths College, University College London, and the School of Oriental and African Studies.