So… You’re thinking of studying Anthropology

What is Anthropology?

Anthropology asks what it means to be human, a social animal capable of extraordinary imagination in a rapidly-changing world. Anthropology is an exciting discipline that challenges us to rethink who we are, where we came from and what our place is in the world today. The discipline ranges from the natural and social sciences to the arts and humanities studying all aspects of humanity from our evolutionary origins to our amazing social and cultural diversity – and unity. 

THE best subject!

First off – congrats on picking the best subject! It’s always a risk picking a subject that you (probably) haven’t done before, but trust me – anthropology is worth that risk. I only heard about anthropology as a discipline during my first year at sixth form as I was originally thinking of doing sociology. I picked anthropology instead because as much as British culture is interesting, I knew there were other interesting cultures out there. Turns out this was absolutely true, and through studying this subject I have questioned all my ideas of what is normal – and also pestered my friends on different degrees by getting them to question their own ideas of normality too!

anthropology

Working independently

The time leading up to going to uni was stressful as I didn’t know if I was going to be able to keep up with the pace and learn independently, and I’d heard all kinds of horror stories from my parents about whole groups of students fighting over the one hard copy of the book. Thankfully, things have definitely changed since then and almost all the readings set are available online, meaning those without fighting skills can still access the books!

As for independent learning, everyone is in the same boat so it’s a learning curve for everyone. I found I work way better in the library than in my room, but there are all kinds of work spots to help you find out where you study best. Another concern I had coming to uni was the workload – I’d heard stories of students sleeping in the library during the exam period and stress levels through the roof. However, I soon found out these are exaggerations and the workload is very manageable – I work at times that suit me and the texts are so interesting a lot of it doesn’t feel like work at all.

Good luck with your A levels and hopefully you’ll be joining us in the coming year!

More information

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Fliss Barrows

I'm Fliss Barrows, a second year anthropology student at Durham. Although I am mostly interested in social anthropology, I also enjoy looking at ancient hominins and osteology. Outside my degree, I am heavily involved in the LGBT+ community as the Finance and Sponsorship officer for the Durham University LGBT+ Association, and also the Hild Bede Film Society in which I am the Social Secretary. In my spare time I enjoy cooking and charity shopping for clothes!
Fliss Barrows

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