5 benefits of studying anthropology

Students walking through Aberdeen campus

Anthropology is the study of what makes people human. Completing a degree in anthropology will allow you to investigate the complexities of human beings. Anthropologists look into different people’s lifestyles, how the human species has evolved and how humanity’s past has impacted on the present. If you’re fascinated by how people live and behave, anthropology could be a great subject and career path for you.

Why study anthropology?

1. International opportunities

Anthropology studies humans in an international context. As you might expect this opens doors for global travel. When you graduate, you could choose to live and work among different groups of people around the world, researching how they live.

To better understand what a career like this might entail, you may have abroad work experience and field trip opportunities while studying.

2. Flexibility

Anthropology has many subdisciplines, providing you with flexibility to concentrate on your specific area of interest. The four main fields of anthropology are archaeology, linguistic anthropology, physical anthropology, and sociocultural anthropology. There are also other subjects you can study alongside anthropology, including archaeology, English, history, geography, politics, and international relations. The flexibility of the subject means that you’re sure to find your preferred niche.

3. Transferable skills

A degree in anthropology will give you a range of skills useful to many job roles and industries. In addition to anthropology-related skills, you’ll improve in other areas such as communication, research, problem-solving, reasoning writing, independent and collaborative work, and information organisation. These skills are highly respected by employers. With an anthropology degree, you could choose work in anything from community development to journalism.

4. Postgraduate opportunities

Once you graduate with your anthropology degree, you may want to further develop your skills on a Masters or doctoral degree programme and become an academic or researcher. A postgraduate qualification will allow you to specialise in a chosen subfield of anthropology and can mean entering the job market at a higher level.

5. Broad range of career paths

Anthropology graduates can follow many career paths in different sectors. You’ll find anthropologists working in government, business and academia, among others. Graduates may decide to specialise in archaeology, ethnology, primatology, or palaeontology. With skills in perception, assessment of needs, cross-cultural understanding, sampling, and surveying, and participation in groups, anthropology not only welcomes other professionals from different backgrounds but also offers many different paths.

Benefits of studying anthropology in the UK

Globally recognised degrees

The United Kingdom hosts of one of the most diverse and largest departments in the world for anthropology and is a great place to study for your degree. UK degrees are internationally recognised and respected, meaning that wherever you wish to work after graduation, you’ll be seen favourably by employees. The UK higher education system is known for its rigorous academic standards and research prowess. The University of Aberdeen was ranked 10th in the UK for anthropology by Complete University Guide 2022 and ranked 178th by World University Rankings 2021.

Prepare for your career

Studying abroad is a great way to prepare for your career in anthropology. Your working life may entail traveling the world and learning about new cultures and how people live. Living and studying in the UK will help you to develop the skills necessary for a career in anthropology. At University of Aberdeen International Study Centre, you’ll also discover your own areas of personal strength and create a personal development plan which you can use during your time at university, to best prepare you for graduation.

Develop your English

Studying in the UK is a great opportunity to improve your English language skills. Living in the country and immersing yourself in its culture will allow you to become proficient in using the language academically and socially. Learning a second language will allow you to stand out to prospective employees, particularly if you want a career that involves international travel or working with international clients.

Work placements

Graduate employability are a great way to develop your CV while completing your degree. A placement with a prestigious employer will stand out when it comes to applying for jobs after graduation. University of Aberdeen students benefit from many placements, ranging from those included in degree programmes to optional internships. Aberdeen students have gone to work in corporations like AstraZeneca, Chevron, BP, Aberdeenshire Council, Marathon Oil and Norco.

Study anthropology in Scotland

Why study anthropology at the University of Aberdeen?

  • The university’s anthropology programme was ranked 10th in the UK by Complete University Guide 2022
  • Aberdeen has the largest concentration of anthropologists in the UK – the university specialises in anthropology of ‘the North’ UK, as well as Canada, the Central Asian republics, Siberia, and Tibet
  • You’ll have access to extensive anthropological and ethnographic museum collections, and the award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library with first-class study facilities and state-of-the-art learning technology
  • In Aberdeen, you’ll experience a packed programme of student and public events, exhibitions, seminars, the annual May Festival and the ‘Being Human’ festival

Start your journey at the International Study Centre

The University of Aberdeen International Study Centre is based in the middle of the main University of Aberdeen campus. It offers pathway programmes all designed to prepare international students for a successful experience abroad.

Our programmes combine subject-specific classes with English language and study skills modules, giving you the tools you’ll need you to progress to your chosen undergraduate degree at the University of Aberdeen.

Aberdeen is focused on community and, when you join the International Study Centre, you will be a part of this thriving community straight away. The support of your tutors and classmates will help you to settle in and feel at home in Aberdeen.

Undergraduate Foundation Programme in Humanities, Law and Social Science

The International Study Centre offers a pathway to undergraduate study at the University of Aberdeen. Our Undergraduate Foundation Programme in Humanities, Law and Social Science takes place over three terms and will prepare you for your anthropology degree. Upon successful completion of the Undergraduate Foundation Programme, you will transition into the second year of your anthropology degree at Aberdeen.

To start your anthropology career, apply to the University of Aberdeen International Study Centre today.


Is studying anthropology worth it?

Anthropology is an excellent degree option for students who are interested in the behaviour, development and structures of our society. There are multiple disciplines to choose from and the versatile degree allows graduates to work in a wide range of jobs. 

What skills does studying anthropology give you?

Studying anthropology allows students to develop valuable transferable skill such as problem-solving and analytical thinking. You will also study interesting theories and have the opportunity to analyse fascinating case studies. 

How does anthropology help students?

The study of anthropology allows students to investigate the complexities of human beings and gives them the ability to see the world from the perspective of different cultures.