BA Anthropology and Law

  • Undergraduate
  • Department of Anthropology
  • UCAS code ML16
  • Starting 2024
  • Home full-time: Closed
  • Overseas full-time: Closed
  • Location: Houghton Street, London


The BA Anthropology and Law brings together two quite different, but complementary fields in a joint honours programme, with equal emphasis in each subject area. It combines all the benefits of a qualifying law degree with the intellectual and philosophical challenge of anthropology: the study of what it means to be human. Students on the programme have a wide variety of interests, backgrounds and motivations.

Studying anthropology will provide a framework to help you see what is universal to all human societies and what is variable. You will learn to analyse social and political relations and to engage productively in major contemporary debates concerning social justice, multiculturalism and the direction of political and economic change in today's world.

The law components of the programme provide an insight into the legal system, as well as teaching you the technical procedures needed to practice law. It is a qualifying degree, meaning you can go straight from graduating to taking the LPC (Legal Practice Course).

The programme also offers full training in anthropological research methods. You will have the opportunity to undertake an in-depth ethnographic study during your second year, take part in our Summer Fieldwork Placements scheme, and spend a year abroad at one of the Anthropology department's global partners.

Visit the Department of Anthropology Virtual Undergraduate Open Day page to find out more about studying in the department, access virtual resources and watch event recordings from the Virtual Undergraduate Open Day. 

Programme details

Key facts

Academic year (2024/25) 30 September 2024 - 20 June 2025
Application deadline 31 January 2024
Duration Three years full-time
Applications/places/ratio 2022 326/18/18:1

For information about tuition fees, usual standard offers and entry requirements, see the sections below.

Assessing your application

We welcome applications from all suitably qualified prospective students and want to recruit students with the very best academic merit, potential and motivation, irrespective of their background. The programme guidance below should be read alongside our general entrance requirements information.

We carefully consider each application on an individual basis, taking into account all the information presented on the UCAS application form, including your:

- academic achievement including predicted and achieved grades (see 'Entry requirements' for programme specific information)
- subjects and subject combinations (see 'Entry requirements' for programme specific information)
- personal statement (see below for programme specific information)
- teacher’s reference
- educational circumstances

You may also have to provide evidence of your English proficiency, although you do not need to provide this at the time of your application to LSE. See our English Language requirements page.

Personal characteristics, skills and attributes

For this programme, we are looking for students who demonstrate the following characteristics, skills and attributes:

- an interest in diverse cultures and societies
- an ability to ask incisive questions
- strong analytical skills
- an ability to adopt a creative and flexible approach to study
- intellectual curiosity
- motivation and capacity for hard work
- excellent time management skills
- an equal interest in both anthropology and law

Personal statement

In addition to demonstrating the above personal characteristics, skills and attributes, your statement should be original, interesting and well-written and should outline your enthusiasm and motivation for the programme.

You should explain whether there are any aspects of particular interest to you, how this relates to your current academic studies and what additional reading or relevant experiences you have had which have led you to apply. We are interested to hear your own thoughts or ideas on the topics you have encountered through your exploration of the subject at school or through other activities. Some suggestions for preliminary reading can be found above in the preliminary reading section, but there is no set list of activities we look for; instead we look for students who have made the most of the opportunities available to them to deepen their knowledge and understanding of their intended programme of study.

You can also mention extra-curricular activities such as sport, the arts or volunteering or any work experience you have undertaken. However, the main focus of an undergraduate degree at LSE is the in-depth academic study of a subject and we expect the majority of your personal statement to be spent discussing your academic interests.

Please also see our general guidance about writing personal statements.

Entry requirements

Below we list our entry requirements in terms of GCSEs, A-Levels (the entry requirements should be read alongside our A-level subject combinations information) and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma. We accept a wide range of other qualifications from the UK and from overseas.

A strong pre-16 academic profile such as several GCSE grades of A (or 7) and A* (or 8-9)
A good set of GCSE grades or equivalent across a broad range of subjects, with a minimum of grade B (or 6) in GCSE English and Mathematics

We also consider your AS grades, if available.

Contextual admissions A-level grades**

IB Diploma
37 points overall, with 666 in higher level subjects

Contextual admissions IB grades**
36 points overall, with 665 at higher level

*Read our A-level subject combinations information below.

**Read our UG Admissions Information to learn more about contextual admissions.

A-level subject combinations

  • We consider the combination of subjects you have taken, as well as the individual scores.
  • We believe a broad mix of traditional academic subjects to be the best preparation for studying at LSE and expect applicants to have at least two full A-levels or equivalent in these subjects.
  • For the BA Anthropology and Law, we are looking for students who have studied a broad and eclectic mix of subjects, therefore there is no one ideal subject combination. In the past, successful Anthropology and Law applicants have studied such diverse subjects as English, History, Economics, Languages, Sociology, Music, Biology, Chemistry, Geography, Mathematics, Physics, RE, Psychology and Art.
  • We are happy to consider applicants offering Mathematics and Further Mathematics in combination with an essay writing subject for this programme.

Find out more about A-level subject combinations.

Competition for places at LSE

Competition for places at the School is high. This means that even if you are predicted or if you achieve the grades that meet our usual standard offer, this will not guarantee you an offer of admission. Usual standard offers are intended only as a guide, and in some cases applicants will be asked for grades which differ from this.

Fees and funding

Every undergraduate student is charged a fee for each year of their programme.

The fee covers registration and examination fees payable to the School, lectures, classes and individual supervision, lectures given at other colleges under intercollegiate arrangements and, under current arrangements, membership of the Students' Union. It does not cover living costs or travel or fieldwork.

Tuition fees

Home students:

The 2024 tuition fee for new Home students is £9,250 per year. The Home student undergraduate fee may rise in line with inflation in subsequent years.

Overseas students:

The 2024 tuition fee for international students is £26,184. The overseas tuition fee will remain at the same amount for each subsequent year of your full-time study regardless of the length of your programme. This information applies to new overseas undergraduate entrants starting their studies from 2024 onwards.

The Table of Fees shows the latest tuition amounts for all programmes offered by the School. 

Fee status

The amount of tuition fees you will need to pay, and any financial support you are eligible for, will depend on whether you are classified as a home or overseas student, otherwise known as your fee status. LSE assesses your fee status based on guidelines provided by the Department of Education.

Further information about fee status classification

Scholarships, bursaries and loans

The School recognises that the cost of living in London may be higher than in your home town or country. LSE provides generous financial support, in the form of bursaries and scholarships to UK, EU and overseas students. 

In addition, UK Government support, in the form of loans, is available to UK and some EU students. Some overseas governments also offer funding.

Further information on tuition fees, cost of living, loans and scholarships

Information for international students

LSE is an international community, with over 140 nationalities represented amongst its student body. We celebrate this diversity through everything we do. 

If you are applying to LSE from outside of the UK then take a look at our Information for International students.

1) Take a note of the UK qualifications we require for your programme of interest (found in the ‘Entry requirements’ section of this page).

2) Go to the International Students section of our website.

3) Select your country.

4) Select ‘Undergraduate entry requirements’ and scroll until you arrive at the information about your local/national qualification. Compare the stated UK entry requirements listed on this page with the local/national entry requirement listed on your country specific page.

Programme structure and courses

The degree involves studying courses to the value of 12 units over three years, plus LSE100. You will also have the opportunity to apply for a year abroad at one of our global exchange partners. 

First year

In your first year, you will take four compulsory courses equally divided between anthropology and law, plus a course on Foundational Legal Skills and an introductory course on legal systems. In addition, you will ​also take LSE100.

(* denotes a half unit course)

Introduction to the Legal Systems (non-assessed)
Familiarises law students with the basic characteristics and functioning of legal systems.

Being Human: Contemporary Themes in 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.

A History of Anthropological Theory
Introduces the works of classic social science theorists and how they have been applied to ethnographic analyses of particular societies.

Contract Law
Introduces the general principles of contract law, including contract formation, interpretation, defences (eg misrepresentation, duress), breach, and remedies.

Criminal Law
Examines the "general part" of criminal law and selected areas of the special part of criminal law in the context of theories of the aims and functions of criminalisation

Legal Studies Skills (non-assessed)
Helps students develop their legal skills.

A half unit, running across Autumn and Winter Term in the first year, LSE100 is compulsory for all LSE undergraduate students. This innovative and interactive course is designed to build your capacity to tackle multidimensional problems as a social scientist through interdisciplinary, research-rich education.

Second year

In your second year you will take two compulsory courses in law, and a further compulsory course in political and legal anthropology. You will also choose one further anthropology course (or two half units) from a list of approved options; previous topics have included kinship, the study of selected world regions, development, and globalisation. 

Political and Legal Anthropology
Explores how a wide range of societies handle conflict, dispute, violence and the establishment and maintenance of political and legal systems

Public Law
Covers the conceptual framework of public law; central government and the executive; parliament; multi-layered government (the European Union, devolution and local government); judicial review; and civil liberties and human rights.

Tort Law
Examines the fundamental principles, applications and functions of tort law.

Anthropology options to the value of one unit

Third year

In your third year you will take one compulsory course in law. You also choose one unit’s worth of options in law – options available include anything from medical law and family law to corporate insolvency, modern criminology, and legal philosophy (jurisprudence). Finally, you choose two units’ worth of options in anthropology.

Examines the principles of land law and the law of trusts, completing your requirements for qualification.

Law options to the value of one unit

Anthropology options to the value of two units


For the most up-to-date list of optional courses please visit the relevant School Calendar page

You must note, however, that while care has been taken to ensure that this information is up-to-date and correct, a change of circumstances since publication may cause the School to change, suspend or withdraw a course or programme of study, or change the fees that apply to it. The School will always notify the affected parties as early as practicably possible and propose any viable and relevant alternative options. Note that 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 events outside of its control, which includes but is not limited to a lack of demand for a course or programme of study, industrial action, fire, flood or other environmental or physical damage to premises.

You must also note that places are limited on some courses and/or subject to specific entry requirements. The School cannot therefore guarantee you a place. Please note that changes to programmes and courses can sometimes occur after you have accepted your offer of a place. These changes are normally made in light of developments in the discipline or path-breaking research, or on the basis of student feedback. Changes can take the form of altered course content, teaching formats or assessment modes. Any such changes are intended to enhance the student learning experience. 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.

Teaching and assessment


Format: Most courses involve weekly lectures of one hour each, and associated classes where you discuss reading assignments in a small group with a teacher.

Contact hours: In the first two terms you will typically have eight or more contact hours of formal tuition a week. Hours vary according to courses and you can view indicative details in the Calendar within the Teaching section of each course guide. In addition, we show films about anthropology and the world's cultures throughout the first two terms. There are tutorial meetings, linked to essay assignments, which vary in number depending on the degree. 

Independent study: You are also expected to complete independent study outside of class time. This varies depending on the programme, but requires you to manage the majority of your study time yourself, by engaging in activities such as reading, note-taking, thinking and research.

LSE Teaching: LSE is internationally recognised for its teaching and research and therefore employs a rich variety of teaching staff with a range of experience and status. Courses may be taught by individual members of faculty, such as lecturers, senior lecturers, readers, associate professors and professors. Many departments now also employ guest teachers and visiting members of staff, LSE teaching fellows and graduate teaching assistants who are usually doctoral research students. You can view indicative details for the teacher responsible for each course in the relevant course guide.

Academic Support

Academic mentor: You will have an academic mentor who will provide general guidance and assistance with both academic and personal concerns. 

Other academic support: There are many opportunities to extend your learning outside the classroom and complement your academic studies at LSE.

LSE LIFE: LSE LIFE is the School’s centre for academic, personal and professional development. Some of the services on offer include: guidance and hands-on practice of the key skills you will need to do well at LSE: effective reading, academic writing and critical thinking; workshops related to how to adapt to new or difficult situations, including development of skills for leadership, study/work/life balance and preparing for the world of work; and advice and practice on working in study groups and on cross-cultural communication and teamwork.

Disability and Wellbeing Service: LSE is committed to enabling all students to achieve their full potential and the School’s Disability and Wellbeing Service provides a free, confidential service to all LSE students and is a first point of contact for all disabled students.


Your timetable


  • The standard teaching day runs from 09:00-18:00; Monday to Friday. Teaching for undergraduate students will not usually be scheduled after 12:00 on Wednesdays to allow for sports, volunteering and other extra-curricular events.
  • The lecture and seminar timetable is published in mid-August and the full academic timetable (lectures/seminars and undergraduate classes) is published by mid-September and is accessible via the LSE Timetables webpages.
  • Undergraduate student personal timetables are published in LSE for You (LFY). For personal timetables to appear, students must be registered at LSE, have successfully signed up for courses in LFY and ensured that their course selection does not contain unauthorised clashes. Every effort is made to minimise changes after publication, once personal timetables have been published any changes are notified via email.


Formative unassessed coursework:

All taught courses are required to include formative coursework which is unassessed. It is designed to help prepare you for summative assessment which counts towards the course mark and to the degree award. LSE uses a range of formative assessment, such as essays, problem sets, case studies, reports, quizzes, mock exams and many others.

Feedback on coursework is an essential part of the teaching and learning experience at the School. Class teachers must mark formative coursework and return it with feedback to you normally within two weeks of submission (when the work is submitted on time).

Summative assessment (assessment that counts towards your final course mark and degree award)

Summative assessment for anthropology courses is either by coursework (which usually involves one or two substantial essays per course), a take-home exam, or an unseen examination. Law courses are normally examined wholly by unseen examination. Please note that assessment on individual courses can change year to year. An indication of the current formative coursework and summative assessment for each course can be found in the relevant course guide.

You will receive feedback on any summative coursework you are required to submit as part of the assessment for individual courses (except on the final version of submitted dissertations). You will normally receive this feedback before the examination period. 

Find out more about LSE’s teaching and assessment methods

Student support and resources

We’re here to help and support you throughout your time at LSE, whether you need help with your academic studies, support with your welfare and wellbeing or simply to develop on a personal and professional level.

Whatever your query, big or small there are a range of people you can speak to and who will be happy to help.

Academic mentors – an academic member of staff who you will meet with at least once a term and who can help with any academic, administrative or personal questions you have. (See Teaching and assessment).

Academic support librarians – they will be able to help you navigate the library and maximise its resources during your studies.

Accommodation service  - they can offer advice on living in halls and offer guidance on private accommodation related queries.

Class teachers and seminar leaders – they will be able to assist with queries relating to a specific course you are taking.

Disability and Wellbeing Service – the staff are experts in long term health conditions, sensory impairments, mental health and specific learning difficulties. They offer confidential and free services such as student counselling, a peer support scheme, arranging exam adjustments and run groups and workshops.

IT help – support available 24 hours a day to assist with all of your technology queries.

LSE Faith Centre – home to LSE's diverse religious activities and transformational interfaith leadership programmes, as well as a space for worship, prayer and quiet reflection. It includes Islamic prayer rooms and a main space for worship. It is also a space for wellbeing classes on campus and is open to all students and staff from all faiths and none.  

Language Centre – the centre specialises in offering language courses targeted to the needs of students and practitioners in the social sciences. We offer pre-course English for Academic Purposes programmes; English language support during your studies; modern language courses in 9 languages; proofreading, translation and document authentication and language learning community activities.

LSE Careers ­- with the help of LSE Careers, you can make the most of the opportunities that London has to offer. Whatever your future career plans, LSE Careers will work with you, connecting you to opportunities and experiences from internships and volunteering to networking events and employer and alumni insights.

LSE Library - Founded in 1896, the British Library of Political and Economic Science is the major international library of the social sciences. It stays open late, has lots of excellent resources and it’s a great place to study. As an LSE student, you’ll have access to a number of other academic libraries in Greater London and nationwide.

LSE LIFE – this is where you should go to develop skills you’ll use as a student and beyond. The centre runs talks and workshops on skills you’ll find useful in the classroom, offer one-to-one sessions with study advisers who can help you with reading, making notes, writing, research and exam revision, and provide drop-in sessions for academic and personal support. (See ‘Teaching and assessment).

LSE Students’ Union (LSESU) – they offer academic, personal and financial advice and funding.

Sardinia House Dental Practice - offers discounted private dental services to LSE students.

St Philips Medical Centre - based in Pethwick-Lawrence House the centre provides NHS Primary Care services to registered patients.

Student Services Centre – our staff here can answer general queries and can point you in the direction of other LSE services.

Student advisers – we have a Deputy Head of Student Services (Advice and Policy) and an Adviser to Women Students who can help with academic and pastoral matters.


Student life

As a student at LSE you’ll be based at our central London campus. Find out what our campus and London have to offer you on academic, social and career perspective.

Student societies and activities 

Your time at LSE is not just about studying, there are plenty of ways to get involved in extracurricular activities. From joining one of over 200 societies, or starting your own society, to volunteering for a local charity, or attending a public lecture by a world-leading figure, there is a lot to choose from.

The campus

LSE is based on one campus in the centre of London. Despite the busy feel of the surrounding area, many of the streets around campus are pedestrianised, meaning the campus feels like a real community.

Life in London 

London is an exciting, vibrant and colourful city. It's also an academic city, with more than 400,000 university students. Whatever your interests or appetite you will find something to suit your palate and pocket in this truly international capital. Make the most of career opportunities and social activities, theatre, museums, music and more.

Want to find out more? Read why we think London is a fantastic student city, find out about key sights, places and experiences for new Londoners. Don't fear, London doesn't have to be super expensive: hear about London on a budget.

Student stories

Michael Soon

BA Anthropology and Law
London, UK


The two elements of my programme complement each other beautifully. The anthropology component provides you with the ability to have an innate understanding of a lot of other cultures, and this is essential if you hope to have an international legal career. An additional bonus to the programme is the exemption from the GDL, or law conversion course; at the end of the three years you end up in the same position as a straight LLB student... just more well-read! 

Preliminary reading

If you wish to gain further insight into social anthropology, we suggest that you look at one or more of the following books. The general introductory texts will allow you to get a sense of the discipline's coverage, while the ethnographies will allow you to dig deeper into specific isues and give you a flavour of the primary materials you will be engaging with during your degree. We have offered a wide selection to allow you to choose texts that mesh closely with your personal interests.

General introductions to anthropology

R Astuti, J Parry and C Stafford (eds) Questions of Anthropology (Berg, 2007)

C Geertz The Interpretation of Cultures: selected essays (Basic Books, 1973)

M Engelke Think like an Anthropologist (Pelican, 2017)


Gender, poetry and emotions:
L Abu-Lughod Veiled sentiments: honor and poetry in a Bedouin society (University of California Press, 1986)

Cyber-ethnography, the virtual:
T Boellstorff Coming of Age in Second Life: an anthropologist explores the virtually human (Princeton University Press, 2008). 

Gender, sexuality:
S G Davies Challenging Gender Norms: five genders among the Bugis in Indonesia (Thomson Wadsworth, 2007)

Hunter-gatherers, shamanism, cosmology:
P Descola The Spears of Twilight: life and death in the amazon jungle (The New Press, 1998)

Race, education and achievement:
S Fordham Blacked Out: dilemmas of race, identity and success at capital high (University of Chicago Press. 1996)

Economics, globalisation:
R J Foster Coca-Globalization: following soft drinks from New York to New Guinea (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008)

Medical ethics, law, feminism:
F Ginsburg Contested Lives: the abortion debate in an American community (University of California Press, 1998)

War, anti-colonialism/nationalism, religion:
D Lan Guns and Rain: guerillas and spirit mediums in Zimbabwe (University of California Press, 1985)

Postcolonialism, exchange, modernity:
C Piot Remotely Global: village modernity in West Africa (University of Chicago Press, 1999) 

Christianity, morality, conversion:
J Robbins Becoming Sinners: christianity and moral torment in a Papua New Guinea society (University of California Press, 2004) 

Introductions to law

J Adams and R Brownsword Understanding Law (Sweet and Maxwell, 2006)

T Bingham The Rule of Law (Penguin, 2011)

A Bradney et al How to Study Law (Sweet and Maxwell, 2005)

F Cownie, A Bradney and M Burton English Legal System in Context (Oxford University Press, 6th ed, 2013)

E Finch and S Fafinski Legal Skills (5th edition, Oxford University Press, 2015)

Legal issues explored from an anthropological perspective

A fascinating and influential overview of the ways in which legal systems and punishments reflect historical/cultural shifts in the way in which power is practiced and statecraft is conceptualised:
M Foucault Discipline and Punish: the birth of the prison (Penguin, 1979)

Current "gold standard" of legal anthropology; focuses on how law is brought into being:
B Latou The Making of Law. an ethnography of the conseil d'etat (Polity Press, 2009)

Colonial law, legacies for postcolonial societies:
M Mamdani From Subject to Citizen: contemporary Africa and the legacy of late colonialism (Princeton University Press, 1996)

Classic account of the paradoxes of legal practice:
S Merry Getting Justice and Getting Even: legal consciousness among working-class Americans (University of Chicago Press, 1990)

Fascinating insight into how law and punishment operates in Melanesia:
A Reed Papua New Guinea’s Last Place: experiences of constraint in a postcolonial prison (Berghahn, 2003)


Quick Careers Facts for the Department of Anthropology

Median salary of our UG students 15 months after graduating: £27,000

Top 5 sectors our students work in:

  • Education, Teaching and Research
  • Health and Social Care
  • Administration and Support Activities
  • Accounting and Auditing
  • Government, Public Sector and Policy

The data was collected as part of the Graduate Outcomes survey, which is administered by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). Graduates from 2019-20 were the third group to be asked to respond to Graduate Outcomes. Median salaries are calculated for respondents who are paid in UK pounds sterling and who were working in full-time employment.

Our BA Anthropology and Law graduates have proven very employable both inside and outside the legal profession. This is a qualifying degree, meaning you can go straight from graduating to taking the LPC (Legal Practice Course), and recent leavers have secured training contracts at world renowned law firms, whilst others have been taken on as analysts and consultants. Others still have used the legal and social insights gained in their degree to set up their own NGOs or start their own businesses.

The analytical, critical and communication skills and legal and social insights gained within the BA Anthropology and Law provide an excellent foundation for many careers and can be applied to a wide range of industries. For example, recent graduates have gone on to work in journalism, development, medicine and counselling, law, human rights, nursing, teaching, business, theatre and film. The programme also establishes a good grounding for research in critical legal studies, or vocationally-oriented training in fields such as policy and planning.

Further information on graduate destinations for this programme
Further information on the Bar Professional Training Course
Further information on the profession of solicitor

Support for your career

Many leading organisations give careers presentations at the School during the year, and LSE Careers has a wide range of resources available to assist students in their job search.


  • Our BA Anthropology and Law programme is accredited by the Bar Standards Board for the purpose of a qualifying law degree. Since Autumn 2021, the process to qualify as a solicitor in England and Wales is via the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE).

  • The new SQE assessment has two stages, with the first being focused on legal knowledge, broadly similar to that supplied in law degrees at present, and the second on practical vocational skills. While a law degree or diploma will no longer be necessary to the process of qualifying, a law degree is likely to remain the most effective and reputable way of acquiring the knowledge that is required to complete the first stage of the SQE.

    Please refer to our website and for further information and updates.

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