Curriculum Subjects


See our Anthropology Curriculum below at Bentley Wood for KS5


KS5 | Anthropology

Is Anthropology the subject for you?

Anthropology is the study of people – their evolutionary history, how they behave and adapt to different environments, as well as the ways in which they communicate and socialise. The study of anthropology is concerned both with the biological features that make us human (such as physiology, genetic makeup, and evolution) and with social aspects (such as language, culture, politics, family and religion). Whether studying the Maasai of East Africa or Goths in London, anthropologists examine diverse aspects of people’s lives: the everyday practices, as well as the more dramatic rituals and ceremonies which define us as human beings. This course is for students who enjoy learning about different cultures, societies and ways of life. They should welcome the opportunity to develop their literacy skills – the ability to read and understand complex texts, to express ideas in spoken and written form, and the opportunity to develop analytical and research skills.

Course content

The Anthropology A-level provides an opportunity for students to engage with fundamental questions of what it means to be human – from how we have evolved, to the ways in which we organise our social relations and form distinct political and socioeconomic systems. Topics studied at AS are: evolution, race, cosmetic surgery, tattooing, dress, language, religion, witchcraft, marriage, kinship, gift-exchange, power, environmental adaptation, personhood, stages of life, coming of age, gender and sexuality, symbols, history and space, ethnic and religious conflict. At A2 students are able to expand and deepen their knowledge to explore topics such as globalisation, sustainable development and human rights. Students finish the course by applying their understanding of anthropological principles to a small-scale investigation on a research topic of their choice.

Methods of study

  • On the course students will:
  • Take part in structured debates and discussions
  • Analyse first-hand research through texts and films
  • Develop skills of critical enquiry to explore global issues

Write extensive essays as part of assessment and examinations How will it be examined? This course is 100% exam-based. However, in Unit 4 (A2), half of the questions are based on a small practical investigation student will carry out beforehand.

Career opportunities

Anthropology is a rigorous academic subject which allows students to develop essential transferable skills needed for higher education, employment and training. Universities value the subject because of its traditional academic nature. Anthropology can lead to a wide variety of career paths ranging from education, charity and international development, to film, business and po