Career opportunities

An anthropology degree can provide you with a wide range of analytical, practical and social skills, easily applied to the workplace. From facilitation and group work skills, developing excellent verbal and written communication skills (including writing for technical and lay audiences), to IT and numeracy skills, anthropology graduates are well-equipped to make significant contributions from their first day of employment. The practical application of anthropology through fieldwork opens the way to opportunities in sectors as diverse as international development, agriculture, health and social work. As a result, anthropologists are well-placed to choose from careers in many different fields.

Politics, advocacy and policy environments

With their cross-cultural expertise, anthropologists are highly sought after in the international arena, working for governmental bodies such as the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DfID) or intergovernmental organisations such as the United Nations, and non-governmental organisations like Action Aid and Oxfam. These bodies seek expertise about human behavior, particularly human responses to major world challenges, such as endemic poverty, climate change and global health.


Anthropologists study the complex interaction of biology and society, identifying the conditions that underlie the poor health of many people worldwide. Anthropologists also play a key role keeping track of the implications of new health technologies on communities, finding opportunities in academia, biotechnology development and again, NGOs.

Expertise in the department

Contact Dr Mhairi Gibson or Dr Margherita Margiotti for advice on the role of anthropology and world health.


Anthropology is the study of how people behave together and so, has many applications in the business world. Knowledge of human behavior has a range of implications for marketing, business-to-business communications and social networking in particular, where anthropologist are employed to study the connectivity of people on social networking websites, how this affects commercial behaviour and how this behaviour spreads.

Postgraduate opportunities in anthropology

Around 20 per cent of our undergraduate students go on to further study, mostly following research-based programmes such as MPhils and PhDs, but also including taught Masters and applied courses like PGCEs.

As an anthropology undergraduate, you will develop a range of skills that will open up a spectrum of career paths to you. However, you might want to develop your skills and specialist knowledge further with a postgraduate programme.

An undergraduate degree in archaeology enables you to develop a suite of highly transferable skills to prepare you for any number of fascinating and diverse careers; from media and broadcasting to teaching and the civil service.

During your studies, you will develop practical skills, such as eye for analysis, written and verbal communications, interpretation and numeracy, ensuring that you can hit the ground running on your first day at work after University.

Considering a postgraduate qualification in archaeology will help you fine-tune your skills yet further. Our postgraduate programmes will develop your ability to analyse and observe processes, work as a team, plan your work and conduct field studies, as well as writing and presenting reports. We train postgraduates to produce high quality materials, such as desktop studies and conservation management plans, which are suitable for the business world. Other useful skills include survey techniques, geophysics, air photography, GIS and data processing, all of which are essential for an archaeological career.

Postgraduate opportunities in archaeology

Possible destinations for UK postgraduate students might include:

  • National heritage organisations, such as English Heritage, the National Trust and CADW
  • Local authority heritage and environment services
  • Archaeological units
  • Museums - particularly curatorial and education/outreach jobs
  • National park authorities
  • Environmental and heritage consultants
  • Universities

Overseas students also have a strong track record of finding employment in their national heritage sector. For further information, see the prospectus.