Durham University

Degree level: Undergraduate

Psychology and Anthropology

Course options

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Course summary

Durham’s Psychology and Anthropology Departments pride themselves on excellence in both teaching and research. The breadth of complementary research strengths across the two Departments means that you are guaranteed to be taught by staff who are actively engaged in the interaction of psychological and anthropological approaches, and are leading figures in their field of research. The joint honours degree is designed to enable you to understand what it means to be human in our rapidly changing world, including why we, and other animals, behave as we do and our interactions with each other and other animals. In Psychology you will study people (and animals) in terms of their internal mental processes, the biological mechanisms that underlie their behaviour, and the social and developmental context in which they act. In anthropology, you will use perspectives from human biology, cultural evolution, animal behaviour, and human evolution to illuminate inquiry into the mind and behaviour of past and present human and primate populations. You will learn how anthropology and psychology provide complementary and contrasting perspectives on what it is to be human, as well as a variety of quantitative and qualitative ways of addressing major questions. The interface of anthropology and psychology explicitly integrates intercultural, international and global issues. For example, in anthropology’s traditional focus on cultural diversity and the burgeoning recognition of psychology’s need to address cross-cultural issues and move away from studies biased by Western Educated Industrialised and Rich (WEIRD) samples. The degree provides the opportunity to develop extensive subject-specific, interdisciplinary, and transferable skills. The course follows the British Psychological Society (BPS) guidelines with an extensive range of options in the final year, drawing both from work in fundamental scientific research and in applied areas of psychology and anthropology. You may choose to take modules that deepen your understanding of a smaller number of anthropologically and psychologically relevant topics or choose to take a more broad and varied selection. Several coherent pathways – for example in animal behaviour, infant and child development, and health – are possible, using complementary modules from the two departments. Excellent research facilities are available, including a virtual reality suite, developmental testing facilities, and EEG labs (in psychology), as well as extensive collections of fossil hominin casts and material culture artefacts from around the globe, a sleep lab, hormone lab, and field station for primatology in South Africa (in Anthropology). You are encouraged to get involved in research being carried out by your lecturers, thus gaining a deeper and more hands-on understanding of the issues you are learning about in your degree, and adding to your contextual experience.

Course details


Year 1 Core modules give a broad introduction to methods, vital knowledge, and the most relevant theories in anthropology and psychology. Anthropology (40 credits): Doing Anthropological Research Human Evolution and Diversity Psychology (40 credits): Introduction to Psychological Research Optional modules allow the choice to follow and develop more specific interests. Examples include: Anthropology (20 credits): Being Human or Health Illness & Society or Peoples & Cultures (or a language option if desired) Psychology (20 credits): Introduction to Psychology 1 or Introduction to Psychology 2 Year 2 Modules continue to build on project design and quantitative skills, broaden theory and topical knowledge (ensuring British Psychological Society accreditation), and explore the interface between psychology and anthropology in preparation for the level 3 dissertation: Conceptual Issues in Anthropology & Psychology (10 credits) Research Project Design (10 credits) Statistics and Project Design (10 credits) AND Evolution Variation & Adaptation OR Sex Reproduction & Love OR Global Health & Disease Psychology (50 credits): Cognitive Psychology, Social Psychology, Biological Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Abnormal Psychology Year 3 Core modules include a dissertation that allows a deep, independently driven, exploration of a specific interdisciplinary research area, and the final psychology module required for British Psychological Society accreditation: Dissertation: Interdisciplinary Psychology & Anthropology (40 credits) Individual Differences (10 credits) Optional 10 credit modules allow the choice to follow and develop more specific interests (e.g. animal behaviour, child development, health), or maintain broad interests. Modules on offer vary but usually include: Anthropology (30 credits): Forensic Anthropology Homo Narrans (the Evolutionary Anthropology of Fiction) Comparative Cognition and Culture Cultural Evolution of Music Primates in Peril Evolution of Cooperation Palaeoanthropology El Sidron Neanderthals Tool Use in Primates Human Reproductive Ecology Infant and Maternal Health Global Health Human Ecology Western Diseases Reproduction and Ethics Medical Humanities Critical Medical Anthropology. Psychology (30 credits): Animal Cognition Foetal Development Child Health in a Social Context Cognitive Development Human Evolutionary Psychology Vision and Visual Neuroscience The Multisensory Body Mind, Brain and Consciousness Forensic Psychology Sport and Exercise Psychology The Psychology of Illness Psychology and Health Promotion Social Perception Psychology in the Workplace.

How to apply

Application codes

Please select a course option – you will then see the application code you need to use to apply for the course.

Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

GCSE Mathematics at grade B / 5 or above is required for this course. Our contextual offer for this programme is A level AAB (or equivalent), which we will reduce to A level BBB (or equivalent), GCSE grade C/4 in Mathematics, if you choose it as your firm choice. To find out if you’re eligible, please visit: www.dur.ac.uk/study/ug/apply/contextualoffers/.

Please click the following link to find out more about qualification requirements for this course


English language requirements

Durham University welcomes applications from all students irrespective of background. We encourage the recruitment of academically well-qualified and highly motivated students, who are non-native speakers of English, whose full potential can be realised with a limited amount of English Language training either prior to entry or through pre-sessional and/or in-sessional courses. It is the normal expectation that candidates for admission should be able to demonstrate satisfactory English proficiency before the start of a programme of study, whether via the submission of an appropriate English language qualification or by attendance on an appropriate pre-sessional course. Acceptable evidence and levels required can be viewed by following the link provided.

English language requirements


Unistats information

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Fees and funding

Tuition fees

Republic of Ireland £9250 Year 1
England £9250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9250 Year 1
Scotland £9250 Year 1
Wales £9250 Year 1
Channel Islands £9250 Year 1
EU £28500 Year 1
International £28500 Year 1

Additional fee information

No additional fees or cost information has been supplied for this course, please contact the provider directly.
Psychology and Anthropology at Durham University - UCAS