School of Social and Cultural Studies

Photo by Andrew Connelly

Cultural Anthropology

Please note: Information on this page relates to the 2014 academic year unless otherwise specified.

This subject is taught by the School of Social and Cultural Studies.


Why are human groups and their ways of life so different around the world? Why, for example, do many New Zealanders believe it is disgusting and cruel to eat dog, while Muslims don't eat pork, and Hindus think cows are sacred? Why do most New Zealanders think marriage should only involve two partners, while the President of South Africa, following a Zulu custom, has three wives? Why do so many young people in New Zealand decide to get tattoos while many youths in Papua New Guinea willingly undergo painful scarification rituals? Why do such cultural differences develop and how might we understand them better?

Andrew Connelly (ANU)

Undergraduate information

BA major requirements

  1. ANTH 101 and 102
  2. 40 points from ANTH 200-299
  3. 40 points from ANTH 300-399

Postgraduate information

Postgraduate qualifications in Cultural Anthropology

For information specific to Cultural Anthropology, please see our Postgraduate Study page. For information about the postgraduate qualifications, please click on the Faculty links below.

How to find out more

You can order more information on this subject using our Request for Study Material form.

Victoria's Student Recruitment, Admission and Orientation Office offers advice on courses and help with planning your degree.

Contact the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences' Student and Academic Services Office for information on admission, qualifications and courses, course advice and selection criteria, exemptions and prerequisites.

Cultural Anthropology courses are taught within the School of Social and Cultural Studies.

School Office: Murphy 921, tel: 04-463 5317, email:

List of courses

For a complete course listing, see the list of all Cultural Anthropology courses.

100 Level Courses

ANTH 101 – Foundations of Society and Culture

ANTH 102 – Social and Cultural Diversity

200 Level Courses

ANTH 201 – Kin, Class and Caste

ANTH 204 – Modern Anthropological Thought

ANTH 208 – Culture and Experience

ANTH 209 – Conflict and Reconciliation

ANTH 213 – Ritual in the Modern World

ANTH 215 – Special Topic: Culture and the Material World

300 Level Courses

ANTH 308 – Anthropology in Oceania

ANTH 312 – Representing Others: The Challenges of Ethnography

ANTH 314 – Special Topic: Kinship

ANTH 315 – Selected Topic: Medical Anthropology

ANTH 316 – Visual Anthropology

ANTH 317 – Migration, Culture and Identity

400 Level Courses

ANTH 406 – Special Topic: Culture through an Ethnographic Lens

ANTH 407 – Ideas and Approaches

ANTH 408 – Ethnographic Research

ANTH 409 – Perspectives and Problems: The Anthropology of Food

ANTH 410 – Current Directions in Anthropological Thought

ANTH 411 – Topics in Social and Cultural Anthropology: Inequality and Identity

ANTH 412 – Anthropological Perspectives on Development

ANTH 489 – Research Project