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What will I learn?

Anthropology is the study of what makes us human. It considers the range of human diversity, accounting for how people in different times and places have developed distinctly different societies. It exposes us to a vast variety of different beliefs and health practices, economic and political systems, material culture, and even different notions of beauty, the environment, food, family … and the good life. How do we account for such diversity? Do we even experience pain, happiness, and love the same way in every society? How are climate change, racism, and inequality understood and dealt with in different societies? Together, these and a litany of other questions invite us to explore the variations and commonalities of the human experience. In the process, anthropology overturns our common-sense views of the world and opens our eyes to the possibilities of human existence.

Anthropology is much sought after for the sort of training it offers its students – a ground up approach to developing deep understanding on just about every aspect of the human condition. The conceptual tools it offers, and the sensibilities it engenders, make us particularly attuned to the complexities of life on the ground. It equips us with analytical and methodological skills to carefully observe and interpret human behaviour holistically. Ethnography, as a hallmark of anthropology’s distinctive approach to studying human societies, offers intimate views of social life as they happen and how they are linked to the larger forces and global systems to which they may be connected. The application of anthropological theory to understand cultural behaviour and the ethnographic method to study contemporary social issues and problems allow us to better understand and deal with the chaos, uncertainty, and ambiguity that characterise the contemporary age.

Career Prospects

Anthropology graduates are trained observers who are particularly adept at collecting data systematically and contextually; listening and observing what others are doing; researching and appreciating the historical and socio-political context; applying various explanatory cultural models; and adopting a broad and comparative perspective to frame and understand issues.

These provide Anthropology students and researchers with comprehensive knowledge of and adequate skillsets to confront human problems, advocacy, and community development in today’s world. Cultural expertise, one component of anthropological training and research, is a sought-after skillset by employers and institutions covering a wide-ranging scope of industries.

Anthropology graduates have entered a variety of professions including market and social research and policy formulation; research companies and audit consultancies; advertising and sales; health and social work; business and finance; civil service; journalism and mass-media; non-governmental organisations; arts and events management; and conservation, museum and heritage management. In more recent years, the emergence of disruptive technologies has seen an upsurge in interest in business anthropology and consumer ethnography, and in the hiring of anthropologists to optimise organisational culture, design user-friendly products and interfaces, and study consumer behaviour in foreign markets.

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Study options

Full Time (4 years)

Tuition fees
SG$17,650.00 (9,96,612) per year

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

Start date

1 August 2022, 9 January 2023


Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

The Shaw Foundation Building, Block AS7, Level 5,

5 Arts Link,

117570, Singapore

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Applicants should have completed a high school. English Language Requirements: EL1119 minimum acceptable score C6; IELTS - 6.5 overall with 6.5 in Reading and Writing components; MUET-200; TOEFL - 580 for paper-based / 92-93 for internet-based.

For international students

If you are an international applicant seeking admission to NUS, you should have completed or are completing high school, that is, at least twelve years of general education by July of the year of application.

English Language requirement: IELTS - 6.5 overall with 6.5 in Reading and Writing components; MUET – 240; TOEFL: 92-93 for internet-based; EL1119 - C6; PTE Academic: 62 overall with 62 in Reading and Writing components; C1 Advanced / Cambridge English: Advanced - 180


About National University of Singapore (NUS)

Along with the highest education standards, students at NUS benefit from an excellent overall experience with excellent research facilities.

  • Ranked 11th in the world (QS World rankings 2022)
  • Excellent graduation rate of over 97 percent
  • Leading research teams using cutting-edge facilities
  • Outstanding selection of courses across 17 faculties

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