Anthropology is the study of humankind - our biology, culture and diversity, both past and present.

At the University of Auckland, Anthropology includes Archaeology, Biological Anthropology, Social Anthropology and Ethnomusicology. You can specialise in any one of these fields or you can choose to study across these areas.

Anthropology bridges the natural sciences, human sciences and humanities and we embrace a unified approach.

Areas of Study

You can study Anthropology as a Bachelor of Arts (BA) major or minor subject or as elective courses in the BA. To major or minor in Anthropology, you will need to choose a specialisation. This can be done in later years, though you should start planning in your first.

You can study Anthropology in the following programmes:

What you will learn

Archaeology uncovers the development of human culture from its earlier beginnings to the present through analysis of the material culture left behind by past peoples of New Zealand, the Pacific, and other regions.

Biological Anthropology investigates our species (Homo sapiens) and our fossil ancestors, as well as non-human primates, from an evolutionary, bio-cultural perspective.

Social Anthropology examines different cultures and ways of life, ranging from African tribal communities to contemporary Polynesia and modern New Zealand and Europe.  It aims to uncover local perspectives on a broad range of topics and the power dynamics that underpin them.

Ethnomusicology explores the connections between music and human culture – from Māori waiata and Aotearoa hip hop to the music of Bollywood and global reggae. Ethnomusicology can also be taken as a subject on its own.


Career opportunities

Skills gained from a degree in Anthropology are applicable to a wide range of careers, in areas such as diplomacy and international relations, journalism, education and teaching, law and human rights, health and medicine, youth and community work, aid and development, advertising and sales, administration and management, business and industry, policy advising, tourism, heritage management and museums, conservation.

Anthropology graduates can demonstrate cross-cultural understanding, communication skills and the ability to think critically about their own society.

More information

Find out more about studying Anthropology.