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Social and Cultural Anthropology IB (Block B) at St Simon Stock Catholic School

Course description

This course is part of the IBCP Pathway and must not be chosen alongside A Levels.

Imagine you could have lived a thousand different kinds of lives, but you end up having lived only one (Geertz paraphrased in Eriksen, 2009: 11).

Anthropology is about finding out about the thousand other lives you could have lived if you had been born in a different time or place. It is about “making sense of other people’s worlds, translating their experiences and explaining what they are up to, how their societies work and why they believe in whatever it is that they believe in” (Eriksen, 2006: ix). More than this, in an increasingly interconnected world, anthropology seeks to unravel the complexities of what makes us human by exploring what makes people as social beings in different cultures different from each other

Course content

An important characteristic of the social and cultural anthropology course is that students examine contemporary human experience in different societies and cultures in a contextual way. Due to the interconnectedness of the 21st-century world, many global challenges manifest themselves in students’ local or otherwise significant communities as powerfully as at national and international levels. The ethos of the CAS programme is to engage students in experiential learning in a similarly contextual way.

The course is broken into three separate learning sections:

  • Engaging with anthropology
  • Engaging with ethnography
  • Engaging in anthropological practice

Entry requirements

The general entry for the IBCP is five Grade 4's and above at GCSE level. IB subjects have the option of a higher or standard level though all students will initially be put forward for the higher. This will be decided after student enrolment on the course.


Assessment includes two test papers and 25% coursework.

Future opportunities

Social and cultural anthropology may be a beneficial choice for CP students considering careers in, for example, the hospitality industry, the technology industry, or international business. Social and cultural anthropology helps students to understand the interconnections of cultures and societies in the 21st century world and to engage with similarity and difference in human experience.

Further information

To find out more about this qualification, contact us or talk to your school/college careers staff.

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 11 October 2018
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September