Admission requirements for 2020 are currently under review, please note the admission requirements listed on this page relate to 2019 admissions.

2020 admission requirements will be published by 1 May 2019.

single degree

Master of Anthropology

A single two year graduate degree offered by the ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences

  • Length 2 year full-time
  • Minimum 96 Units
  • Length 2 year full-time
  • Minimum 96 Units

Anthropology is the study of contemporary human cultural lives. This degree centres on anthropology’s ethnographic approach, which is employed to understand how people live their lives, on their own terms. Such an approach enables anthropologists to examine key global challenges and events, like climate change and xenophobia, as well as how government policies, technologies, and products and services are incorporated into people’s lives. Designed for those whose work or interest is in understanding people in specific contexts, this program equips students with the necessary ethnographic skills and opportunities to undertake analysis of human lives, and to make cross-cultural comparisons.  

Why study anthropology at the ANU?
The Master of Anthropology at the ANU is a highly sought-after program that places very strong emphasis on anthropological theory and methods with the intention of turning out graduates ready to work in applied research contexts in the public and corporate sectors. The program provides students with central skills in anthropological and ethnographic theory and methods, which includes training in research and analysis, a broad suite of optional language training, field-schools, internship placements as well as a thesis option. We offer graduates comprehensive training in ethnographic methods and anthropological theory, followed by thematised progression in accordance with the student's interests and future intentions for work or study.

Career Options

Graduates from ANU have been rated as Australia's most employable graduates and among the most sought after by employers worldwide.

The latest Global Employability University Ranking, published by the Times Higher Education, rated ANU as Australia's top university for getting a job for the fourth year in a row.

Employment Opportunities

In a globalised world, cross-cultural literacy has never been more important. Beyond further academic study, anthropology graduates work across a large range of sectors including government (multicultural affairs, migration, health, development aid), corporate sector (market research, social use of technology, cross-cultural management, consumer behaviour) and community work (non-governmental organisations in Australia and abroad).

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the skills and knowledge to:

1. understand when and how to apply ethnographic research techniques;
2. select from a range of anthropological methods those most suitable to a particular research or policy problem;
3. demonstrate knowledge of the history of anthropological theory and the different ethnographic methods associated with different periods;
4. articulate and demonstrate the value of conducting ethnographic work in a given context;
5. design ethnographically based programs of investigation ready for application in a given field or work or study.
6. apply anthropological knowledge to cross-cultural work environments and problem solving.


Further Information

  • Interested in writing a thesis? Check out the advanced version of this degree.
  • Please be aware that any courses taken as part of the 24 units from completion of elective courses offered by ANU list will not count towards the advanced degree should you decide to transfer. This is because the advanced degree has no free electives, as they are in practice replaced by a 24 unit thesis.

Admission Requirements

A Bachelor degree or international equivalent with a minimum GPA of 5.0/7.0.

Cognate Disciplines

Anthropology, Cultural Heritage Studies, Development Studies, History, Human Ecology, Human Geography, Indigenous Studies, International Relations, Linguistics, Literary Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, Sociology

English language Requirements

All applicants must meet the University’s English Language Admission Requirements for Students

Assessment of qualifications

Unless otherwise indicated, ANU will accept all Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) qualifications or international equivalents that meet or exceed the published admission requirements of our programs, provided all other admission requirements are also met.

 Where an applicant has more than one completed tertiary qualification, ANU will base assessment on the qualification that best meets the admission requirements for the program. Find out more about the Australian Qualifications Framework:

ANU uses a 7-point Grade Point Average (GPA) scale. All qualifications submitted for admission at ANU will be converted to this common scale, which will determine if an applicant meets our published admission requirements. Find out more about how a 7-point GPA is calculated for Australian universities:

Unless otherwise indicated, where an applicant has more than one completed tertiary qualification, ANU will calculate the GPA for each qualification separately. ANU will base assessment on the best GPA of all completed tertiary qualifications of the same level or higher.

Application for course credits

Applicants with a Bachelor Degree or Graduate Certificate in a cognate discipline may be eligible for up to 24 units (one semester) of credit. Applicants with a Graduate Diploma or Bachelor degree with Honours in a cognate discipline may be eligible for up to 48 units (one year) of credit. 

Some CSP places are available for domestic students on a competitive basis. Please refer to the Graduate commonwealth support places website for further information.

Annual indicative fee for domestic students

For more information see:

Annual indicative fee for international students


ANU offers a wide range of scholarships to students to assist with the cost of their studies.

Eligibility to apply for ANU scholarships varies depending on the specifics of the scholarship and can be categorised by the type of student you are.  Specific scholarship application process information is included in the relevant scholarship listing.

For further information see the Scholarships website.

Program Requirements

The Master of Anthropology requires completion of 96 units, which must include:

96 units must come from completion of 6000-level, 7000-level and 8000-level courses

A minimum of 72 units must come from completion of, credit for, or exemptions for courses on the following lists:
Introductory component
Compulsory research courses 
Thematic courses
THES8103 Thesis

24 units from completion of the following introductory component:

A minimum 6 units from completion of courses from the following list:

ANTH6002    Culture and Human Diversity: Introducing Anthropology
ANTH6003    Global Citizen: Culture, Development and Inequality

A maximum 18 units from completion of courses from the following list:

ANTH6004    Spirit Rising: Religious Resurgence in its Local Context
ANTH6009    Culture and Development 
ANTH6017    Culture, Social Justice and Aboriginal Society Today 
ANTH6025    Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective
ANTH6026    Medicine, Healing and the Body 
ANTH6057    Culture and Person
ANTH6134    States and Citizens: Anthropological Perspectives 
ANTH6138    Doing Medical Anthropology
ANTH6515    Crossing Borders: Migration, Identity and Livelihood 
ANTH6516    Violence and Terror
ANTH6518    Food for Thought: Anthropological theories of food and eating 
ANTH6519    Social Animals: anthropological perspectives on animal-human relationships 
ESEN6101    Extended University English

24 units from completion of the following compulsory research courses:

ANTH8035    History of Anthropological Theory Extended 
ANTH8059    Doing Ethnography: Research Practicum in Applied Anthropology 
ANTH8070    Research Design and Field Methods in Anthropology

A maximum of 24 units from completion of courses from any of the following thematic lists:

Ethnography and Research Methods
ANTH8001    Graduate Reading Course (Anthropology)
ASIA8038    Writing Ethnography in Asia and the Pacific
ASIA8047    The Death of God in the Asia-Pacific
ASIA8051    Language and Power in Asia and the Pacific
CHMD8014    Perspectives on Culture, Health and Medicine
ENVS6014    Qualitative Research Methods for Sustainability
HUMN8001    Interdisciplinary Humanities Research: Methods, Theories and Skills
HUMN8034    Collaborative Storytelling and Cultural Production
LING6311    Language and Social Interaction
SOCR8006    Online Research Methods
SOCR8008    Qualitative Social Research

Field Schools and Internships:
ANIP6503    Australian National Internships Program Internship A (Graduate)
ANIP6505    Australian National Internships Program B
ANIP6507    Australian National Internships Program D
ANTH6065    Indonesia Field School: Contemporary Change in Indonesia
ANTH6066    Indonesia Field School Extension
ANTH6135    Vietnam Field School
ANTH6137    Vietnam Field School
HUMN8037    Culture and Heritage in China Field School
MUSC8004    Internship 1
MUSC8005    Internship 2
PASI6005    Pacific Islands Field School

Food Culture, Sustainability, and Society
ANTH6064    Anthropology of Environmental Disasters
ANTH6518    Food for Thought: Anthropological theories of food and eating
ANTH8058    Inequality and Development
ASIA8021    Activism and Social Change in Asia and the Pacific
ASIA8050    Social Conflict and Environmental Challenges in Asia and the Pacific
BIAN6119    Nutrition, Disease and the Environment
BIAN6120    Culture, Biology & Population Dynamics
CHMD8013    Life, Waste and Sustainability
CHMD8020    The Future of Food and Human Health
EMDV8082    Food Wars: Food Security and Agricultural Policy
ENVS6101    Environment and Society: Geography of Sustainability
ENVS8003    Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation
SOCY6065    Excessive Appetites: Sociocultural Perspectives on Addiction and Drug Use

ANTH6136    Piracy: Property Wars from the High Seas to Anonymous 
BIAN6124    Evolution and Human Behaviour
CHMD8021    Indigenous Medicines, Health and Healing
CHMD8022    Biotechnologies in Biomedicine
GEND6501    Posthuman bodies
SOCR8006    Online Research Methods
SOCY6064    Surveillance and Society
SOCY6170    Sociology of Emergent Media

Workplace and the social person
BUSI7280    Managing in a Global Context
MGMT7107    Managing Across Cultures

Migration and Travel
ANTH8042    Migration, Refugees and Development
ASIA8040    Engaging Asia: Australia and the Asian Century
ASIA8046    Maps and Mapping for the Social Sciences and Humanities
BIAN6120    Culture, Biology & Population Dynamics
CHMD8016    International Migration of Health Workers: Sociological and Ethical Aspects
HUMN8027    Critical Issues in Heritage and Museum Studies
HUMN8019    World Heritage: conserving cultural heritage values
HUMN8033    Tourism, Heritage and Globalization
HUMN8035    Critical Issues in Intangible Heritage 
MUSI6007    Music and Globalisation
PASI8008    Gender and Sexuality in the Pacific

A maximum of 24 units from completion of courses from any of the following language specialisations and courses:

Arabic Language and Culture specialisation
Australian Indigenous Languages and Society specialisation
Chinese Language and culture specialisation
French Language and Culture specialisation
German Language and Culture specialisation
Hindi Language and Culture specialisation
Indonesian Language and Culture specialisation
Italian Language and Culture specialisation
Japanese Language and Culture specialisation
Korean Language and Culture specialisation
Persian Language and Culture specialisation
Portuguese Language and Culture specialisation
Russian Language and Culture specialisation
Sanskrit Language and Culture specialisation
Spanish Language and Culture specialisation
Thai Language and Culture specialisation
Turkish Language and Culture specialisation
Vietnamese Language and Culture specialisation
INDG6003     Gamilaraay- introduction to an Australia Indigenous Language
INDG6004    Continuing Gamilaraay
BURM6002    Burmese 1
BURM6003    Burmese 2
TETM6002    Tetum 1
TETM6003    Tetum 2
TETM6104    Tetum 3
TETM6105    Tetum 4
TIBN6002    Tibetan 1
TIBN6003    Tibetan 2

24 units from completion of elective course offered by ANU

Unless otherwise stated, a course used to satisfy the requirements of one list may not be double counted towards satisfying the requirements of another list


Study Options

Year 1 48 units Introductory Component course 6 units Introductory Component course 6 units Thematic list course 6 units Thematic list course 6 units
ANTH6003 Global Citizen: Culture, Development and Inequality 6 units Introductory Component course 6 units Thematic list course 6 units Thematic list course 6 units
Year 2 48 units ANTH8035 History of Anthropological Theory Extended 12 units - ANU elective course 6 units ANU elective course 6 units
ANTH8060 Exploring Gender, Resources and the Environment 6 units ANTH8059 Doing Ethnography: Research practicum on applied anthropology 6 units ANU elective course 6 units ANU elective course 6 units
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