Anthropology

Anthropology is the comparative study of different ways of life. It explores an ‘insider’ perspective on interpreting human behaviour by asking questions about what people do, why they do it, what they mean by it, what motivates them to do it and what people value in diverse societies and cultures. Anthropologists gain this knowledge and understanding experientially by immersing themselves in the lives of others. Through a method called fieldwork, they observe the lives of others by living with them, sharing their experiences and discussing their perspectives to gain a detailed understanding of their cultural world.

Available as a major or minor.

What is it?

Since opening its doors, Monash University has been a centre for studying the world’s diversity. Traditionally, studies have focused on the societies of Australia, Asia and the Pacific, but more recently we have become interested in phenomena in a far greater range of areas. Studies in Anthropology will enable you to reflect on your own cultural world from perspectives that may differ radically from your own. This reflection is a two-way process, anthropology can make the strange seem familiar, but it can also make the familiar seem strange as it challenges our assumptions about the way the world works.

How to Study

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Click here for fees, entry requirements and intake information for domestic and international students.

Major: 8 units (48 points) taken over 3 years. This is the area of study you choose to specialise in.

Minor: 4 units (24 points) taken from an area of study that is different to your major.

You must complete 48 credit points (8 units) of your course before you are eligible to go on exchange. Usually this means waiting until your second or third year of study to go on exchange.

We consider you an international student if you are not:

  • an Australian or New Zealand citizen, or
  • an Australian permanent resident.

Note: We consider Australian and New Zealand citizens and Australian permanent residents as local students.

Find out more information on how to apply as an international student

An extended major made up of 12 units (96 points) taken over three years.

Student Opportunities

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Course Overview

Being an anthropology student allows you to develop an understanding of cultural difference. The field of anthropological inquiry covers many areas. For this reason, we offer a program that provides you with core units, as well as specialised study. You can study areas ranging from political anthropology to cross-cultural approaches to religion to methods in fieldwork.

Image: 'Working at the rice field' by Aitor Garcia Vinas. 
URL: http://flic.kr/p/nGKa2K
License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

Study Overseas

Anthropologists travel more than scholars in any other discipline. Taking part in anthropological studies, you’ll get the opportunity to venture into unique areas where you can apply your expertise. Recently, our staff and students have travelled to environments in outback Australia, Indonesia, Iran, Timor-Leste – just to name a few.

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Exciting Career Prospects

Anthropologists are playing an increasingly important role in the modern world. In fields as diverse as journalism, climate change, mining, dispute resolution and peacebuilding, social policy, Indigenous issues, development aid and emergency assistance, anthropologists are called upon to contribute their specialised knowledge and understanding.