This course has concessions available

New: Anthropology In Everyday Life – ONLINE

'Anthropologytells us that people are the same the whole world over - except when they are different' (Nancy Banks Smith). Working with this paradox, anthropologists compare and contrast how people think and behave in different cultures and societies across the world. Crucially, they do this holistically and non-judgmentally, challenging commonplace assumptions and sometimes subverting conventional wisdom as a result. Find out how their discoveries can be applied to enhance our understanding of key current issues in the world we know.

Who is this course for

The course is for anyone who is interested in discovering what Anthropology is about and ways of applying it to help make greater sense of the world we are familiar with. The only requirements are that you are open-minded, prepared to contribute to class discussion, and are interested in people and current affairs.

What does this course cover

We will discuss a variety of topical and everyday issues, for example race and ethnicity, class, gender, identity, health, fashion, humour and food. In each case our learning objectives will essentially be (a) to consider what anthropologists and other thinkers have made of the topic in question; and then (b) to propose how their findings apply (or don't) to our own everyday experience of them. Students may optionally research and present a relevant case study to the class at the end of the course.
Given the intentionally wide scope of the course, we will inevitably draw from time to time on other disciplines such as psychology, sociology, philosophy and politics. Underpinning this is the recognition that each student brings their own unique experiences and beliefs, and that sharing these across the class as a whole enriches everyone's learning experience.
By the end of the course, students should be able to:
- Explain the scope of Anthropology and where it fits among the social sciences and other disciplines
- Appreciate and critique the methodologies used by practitioners
- Show how Anthropology has sharpened their understanding of at least three topics recently or currently in the news.

What will it be like

The course will be run online using Zoom for the live class sessions and either the Moodle page for the course or some other system for the distribution of the electronic resources for the session sitting alongside this. Although there will be some adjustments that need to be made for the online version of this course, we will aim to keep the experience as close as possible to that of a face to face course taught in the Centre.

Learning and teaching methods include tutor presentation, class discussion, small group activities with feedback to the whole class, watching documentary film, individual research. Students may choose to work on their own project which they can present to the whole class at the end of the course.

What else do you need to buy or do

The course will be run on Zoom, please make sure you have installed it in advance of your first class on your computer or mobile device. You can sign up for free here:

You will need a microphone (it's fine to use whatever is built into your device) and camera, so we can see you via video. You may also want to use headphones during the session.

You can participate in class sessions through the use of a computer, laptop, tablet or other similar internet enabled device. Please note that if you only have access to a smartphone, you will be able to attend the class sessions and participate in them but you will find it more difficult to benefit from the full range of materials and activities involved in the course if this is your only means of connection.

Make sure you have a small space to work in during the session and that as far as possible that you can keep this space quite and clear of interruption so that you can concentrate on what is happening in the class.

By signing up to the course you are consenting to being on camera. The content of the lesson may occasionally be recorded by the tutor for internal education and training purposes but any such recordings will not be made available to anyone outside of the Mary Ward Centre organisation without us asking you again for further permission to do so.

You only need paper and pen. You should read the material provided by the tutor. This will help you to participate fully in class.

What this course could lead to

This course could lead to a range of anthropology and other social science courses at the Mary Ward Centre and other colleges.

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I've been to many Centres to study in London and the Mary Ward Centre is one of the nicest I've studied in.

MWC student


This course has concessions available for people who meet certain criteria

Got a Question about this Course?

Contact The Departmental Administrator.

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Why choose Mary Ward?

Mary Ward Centre is the adult education centre with a difference. We provide a wide range of subjects for people at all levels and run courses during the day, evening and weekends to suit your timetable. You can learn face to face at one of our centres (Bloomsbury or Waterloo) or take an online course

Get inspired and enjoy excellent teaching in an environment where each individual’s learning experience is valued. That’s what makes Mary Ward Centre ‘the friendly place to learn.’