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Major: Anthropology



Department of Anthropology
Faculty of Arts

This major must be completed as part of an award. The general requirements for the award must be satisfied in order to graduate.

Requirements for the Major:

Completion of a minimum of 24 credit points including the following prescribed units:

Credit points

100 level

3cp from
ANTH units at 100 level

200 level

6cp from
ANTH units at 200 level

300 level

Doing Ethnography (3)
9cp from
ANTH units at 300 level

Any level

3cp from
ANTH units


Units marked with a C are Capstone units.
Overview and Aims of the Program A degree in anthropology gives students an understanding of theoretical and practical problems involved in the study of culture and society and policy issues concerning how diverse peoples of this nation and planet can find sustainable ways of living together.

Anthropology at Macquarie offers a stimulating education based on a critical engagement with questions of culture, knowledge and social transformation as they are experienced in a variety of sites around the globe. Our program includes studies of traditional societies as well as contemporary cultural and social issues in a wide range of cultural contexts.

Staff members have a strong commitment to both teaching and research and years of first-hand field experience, particularly within Asia, the Pacific and Australia. Courses in the department cover a broad range of areas such as:
• culture, power and identity
• health and illness
• religion
• gender, sexuality and culture
• media and modernity/postmodernity
• development, international aid, and post-colonialism
• globalization and transnationalism.

We also offer units on Australian indigenous cultures, Indian studies, drug use across cultures, psychological anthropology, myth and ritual, religion and spirituality, visual anthropology, human rights, and urban anthropology.

A coherent study or major in Anthropology is offered within two degree structures, a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Social Science. Each of these offers possibilities for linking study in Anthropology with study in related disciplines such as Critical and Cultural Studies, Aboriginal Studies or Sociology. The Bachelor of Social Science gives a particular shape and coherence to programs of study in social science units. The Bachelor of Arts allows students to combine Anthropology with other units in a wide variety of disciplines.

Anthropology can also be included in a number of interdisciplinary degrees and as an elective in most other degrees offered by the University.
Graduate Capabilities

The Graduate Capabilities Framework articulates the fundamentals that underpin all of Macquarie’s academic programs. It expresses these as follows:

Cognitive capabilities
(K) discipline specific knowledge and skills
(T) critical, analytical and integrative thinking
(P) problem solving and research capability
(I) creative and innovative

Interpersonal or social capabilities
(C) effective communication
(E) engaged and ethical local and global citizens
(A) socially and environmentally active and responsible

Personal capabilities
(J) capable of professional and personal judgement and initiative
(L) commitment to continuous learning

Program Learning Outcomes By the end of this program it is anticipated you should be able to:

1. recognize and assess common topics and theoretical approaches within anthropology and other cognate bodies of theory (K, T)
2. analyse anthropological texts (print, oral, film, multimedia) and data sources and assess such information within their historical, social and theoretical contexts (K, I, T, P, C)
3. apply anthropological concepts and methods to a range of practical personal and professional situations, social and cultural contexts, and topics of study (K, T, P, E, A, J)
4. explain human variability and describe how human beings are shaped by interactions with their social, cultural, and physical environments (K, A)
5. explain the processes of globalization, culture change and the ways in which humans influence and are influenced by the movement and variation of culture and power relations (K, T, E, A)
6. demonstrate contexts in which relations of power, gender, ethnicity, race and other forms of difference and exclusion configure identities and communities (K, T, C, E, A)
7. distinguish the fundamentals of ethnographic research, analysis, and writing and appreciate the importance of ethnographic research and other qualitative methods as the basis of anthropological fieldwork and the generation of anthropological theory (K, P, C, J)
8. practice critical thinking and observation skills to analyse problems from a holistic perspective and articulate the interconnections in oral or written forms (T, P, C, E, A).
Learning and Teaching Methods Learning and teaching in the Anthropology Department takes place through a variety of methods and styles. Lectures, tutorials, and a range of assignments are designed to be lively, participative, interactive, and encourage you to challenge your assumptions, beliefs, and ideas. The Department caters to a variety of learning styles and students will have the opportunity to learn through individual and collaborative study, discussion, debate, research, practical application, and self-directed methods.

Common strategies include:
• Using learning activities that encourage students to draw upon personal knowledge of various issues and themes under scrutiny, thus connecting anthropological theory and ideas to familiar experiences.
• Employing a variety of teaching and assessment formats that engage diverse learning styles and encourage student participation, discussion, and collaboration.
• Developing and presenting learning materials in written, oral and digital formats to support key concepts and knowledge.
• Facilitating inquiry and research-based assignments where students practice skills and apply knowledge to practical problems and contexts.
• Drawing upon the experience and expertise of Department staff and visiting scholars.
• Developing collaborative projects for students.
• Offering frequent assessments and feedback that identify student strengths and weaknesses and offer suggestions for improvement and further learning opportunities.

The Department will enact these strategies through the following teaching methods:
• Lectures: staff and invited guest lecturers deliver information and other unit material, provide demonstrations, and offer invaluable information that is used to further individual and group study. Lecturers are frequently interactive, integrate multimedia and allow students to ask questions and offer their own examples.
• Tutorials: smaller than lectures, tutorials allow for more interactive discussion of topics, lecture material, student research and projects, and assigned readings. They provide an opportunity to discuss or debate a topic usually following an introduction by the tutor or by one or more students.
• Seminars: students have the opportunity to attend Department seminars and events. During research seminars, students will be exposed to innovative new research and ideas. Professionalization seminars are held to assist with career preparation, postgraduate study opportunities, networking, and familiarizing students with employment strategies and opportunities.
• Independent learning: students will have the opportunity to engage in a variety self-directed study and research projects. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in University programs that facilitate practical learning opportunities and study abroad.
• Group learning: students will work within small teams or study groups on selected assignments and class projects. Group work enables students to develop valuable team working skills, peer networks, and experience working with individuals holding diverse perspectives.
• Online media: students will have access to a variety of on-line resources to facilitate and enrich their learning process. For example, study and tutorial aids, case studies, videos, discussion forums, and supplementary on-line readings and other materials are used.
Assessment • exams to include subjective (essays) and objective assessment (multiple choice) questions
• quizzes to include subjective and objective assessment questions
• self-assessment activities that help the student check to see if they mastered a topic.
Recognition of Prior Learning

Macquarie University may recognise prior formal, informal and non-formal learning for the purpose of granting credit towards, or admission into, a program. The recognition of these forms of learning is enabled by the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy (see and its associated Procedures and Guidelines. The RPL pages contain information on how to apply, links to registers, and the approval processes for recognising prior learning for entry or credit.

Information can be found at:

Support for Learning

Macquarie University aspires to be an inclusive and supportive community of learners where all students are given the opportunity to meet their academic and personal goals. The University offers a comprehensive range of free and accessible student support services which include academic advice, counselling and psychological services, advocacy services and welfare advice, careers and employment, disability services and academic skills workshops amongst others. There is also a bulk billing medical service located on campus.

Further information can be found at

Campus Wellbeing contact details:
Phone: +61 2 9850 7497

Program Standards and Quality

The program is subject to an ongoing comprehensive process of quality review in accordance with a pre-determined schedule that complies with the Higher Education Standards Framework. The review is overseen by Macquarie University's peak academic governance body, the Academic Senate and takes into account feedback received from students, staff and external stakeholders.

Graduate Destinations and Employability Professional anthropologists work in a variety of areas of cross-cultural significance, for example in specialist teaching, social work and welfare, counselling, medical services and the media. They work in organisations concerned with human rights, indigenous issues, migration and women's development programs. They are employed in museums and in academic institutions. Many anthropologists work as private consultants to Aboriginal Land Councils and contribute to policy development and shaping interventions. They are increasingly employed in the development world, by government, non-government and multilateral aid agencies, as consultants and evaluators. They are also employed in the corporate world, for example in market research and consumer behaviour studies.

More specifically, the work of professional anthropologists includes such activities as:
• fieldwork to identify Aboriginal sacred sites and identify claimants, traditional owners and native title holders
• analysis and recommendations regarding community development projects
• feasibility studies, reviews, evaluations and social impact studies for development projects both in Australia and abroad
• humanitarian and human rights projects
• market and consumer research, analysis and design
• collection, identification, documentation, preservation and preparing displays of cultural objects such as those held in museums or other collections
• liaison with art organisations curating exhibitions of indigenous or other artefacts or art works
• lecturing, curriculum development, and supervision of students
• making, editing and presenting film and videos such as ethnographic films or other
• field research
• archival research, documentary records, genealogical research and presentation
• acting as an expert witness in legal cases.

Students with a degree in Anthropology, or those who have taken Anthropology as an undergraduate subject in their degree, will find employment usually in administrative or public service contexts where skills such as research and the evaluation of information, identification and critical examination of issues and report writing will be of use. However, anybody employed in a cross-cultural context will find anthropology an essential aid to their work.
Assessment Regulations

This program is subject to Macquarie University regulations, including but not limited to those specified in the Assessment Policy, Academic Honesty Policy, the Final Examination Policy and relevant University Rules. For all approved University policies, procedures, guidelines and schedules visit

Inherent requirements are the essential components of a course or program necessary for a student to successfully achieve the core learning outcomes of a course or program. Students must meet the inherent requirements to complete their Macquarie University course or program.

Inherent requirements for Macquarie University programs fall under the following categories:

Physical: The physical inherent requirement is to have the physical capabilities to safely and effectively perform the activities necessary to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

Cognition: The inherent requirement for cognition is possessing the intellectual, conceptual, integrative and quantitative capabilities to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

Communication: The inherent requirement for communication is the capacity to communicate information, thoughts and ideas through a variety of mediums and with a range of audiences.

Behavioural: The behavioural inherent requirement is the capacity to sustain appropriate behaviour over the duration of units of study to engage in activities necessary to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

For more information see

2019 Unit Information

When offered:
S1 Day
Permission of Executive Dean of Faculty
HSC Chinese, CHN113, CHN148