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Social Anthropology (Certificate of Higher Education)

Social anthropology raises questions about people, societies and cultures, not only 'other' societies but also our own lives and our engagement with other places, cultures and people. On this course, you'll explore global questions of power and resources, as well as anthropological perspectives on gender, material culture, identity, religion and culture. This course provides valuable insights, particularly for people working in health, education, development and policy-making.


  • Birkbeck's innovative, creative and interdisciplinary courses will help you become a competent, critical and responsible student of the social world and the psychological and social forces that shape individuals.
  • In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Sociology at Birkbeck was ranked 13th in the UK.
  • You will have access to the Birkbeck Library, as well as other university libraries in Bloomsbury and Stratford. 

Progression to degrees at Birkbeck

Upon successful completion, you can progress into Year 2 of our part-time BSc Social Sciences.

If you are awarded the Certificate of Higher Education you may apply for admission to the foundation or undergraduate degrees in related subjects at Birkbeck.

Course structure

To gain the Certificate of Higher Education, you must successfully complete four modules worth a total of 120 credit points. You are advised to take the modules in the order shown.

Module groups

Module 1

Module 2

Module 3

Module 4

Please note: you may be exempt from Module 1 if you already have a degree, and you may instead take an option module from the Certificate of Higher Education in Development Studies.

The exemption will be granted on a case-by-case basis with the approval of the Programme Director and must be from the options listed.

  • Entry Requirements

    Entry requirements

    None. However, all modules are taught at university level and you should be able to read, write and speak English fluently. If you need help, we offer a range of academic English and language development modules.

    Visa requirements

    If you are not from the European Economic Area (EEA) and/or Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa.

    The visa you apply for varies according to the length of your course:

    • Courses of more than six months' duration.
    • Courses of less than six months' duration.
    • Pre-sessional English language courses.

    International students who require a Tier 4 visa should apply for our full-time courses (with the exception of modular enrolment certificates of higher education and graduate certificates), as these qualify for Tier 4 sponsorship. If you are living in the UK on a Tier 4 visa, you will not be eligible to enrol as a student on Birkbeck's part-time courses (with the exception of some modules).

    For full information, read our visa information for international students page.

  • Fees


    Fees are payable per module and vary depending on the course. Please view the Course Structure and then click on the title of individual modules to see the fees for each module. The overall cost of the certificate will depend on the modules you choose.

    Please note: if you intend to study this certificate part-time and fund your studies via a student loan, this may affect your entitlement for future full-time funding. Find out more about funding your studies with a student loan.

  • Teaching and assessment


    Student-centred approaches to learning, including lectures, use of visual material, discussions, seminars, and individual and group work.


    100% coursework.

  • Careers and employability

    Careers and employability

    Graduates can pursue careers in local or national government, education, social work or research. This course may also be useful in becoming a charity officer, journalist, social researcher or further education lecturer.

    We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.

  • How to apply

    How to apply

    This is a modular enrolment certificate, so you will need to enrol onto individual modules (rather than onto the entire programme of study). Please view the Course Structure and then click on the title of individual modules to see class dates and times and to enrol.