BA Anthropology

Bhutan's First and Only A+ Accredited Institution      Inspiring Education in Bhutan

This programme aims to provide undergraduate students with a solid grounding in Anthropology, a field that is concerned with understanding, documenting and analysing culture in all its various forms. As a nation, Bhutan has always recognized the value of its rich cultural heritage, and this is visible even in our development philosophy, Gross National Happiness, which designates culture as one of its pillars. In the face of globalization and concerns about rapid cultural change, Anthropology offers students the tools not only to record and preserve culture and tradition but also the theoretical frameworks to understand and discuss cultural change.


ADMISSIONS FOR 2018 OPEN SOON! Check out the all new Prospectus 2018 for more information.


Curriculum Structure and Map

All modules shown are 12-credit modules except for UGR303, which comprises 24 credits. Module codes are subject to change.


I I ANT101
Introduction to  Anthropology
Kinship and Family
Biological Anthropology
IT and Basic Problem Solving
Academic Skills
Heritage Studies
Ecological Anthropology
Medical Anthropology
Language and Culture
Grammar, Vocabulary, and Phonology in Context
Ethnographic Monographs
History and Theory of Anthropology
Political Anthropology
Ethnography of the Himalayas
Dzongkha Comm.
Writing Ethnography
Anthropological Methods
Anthropology of Identity and Ethnicity
Anthropology of Globalization
Analytical Skills
Anthropology of Religion
Anthropology of Gender
Anthropology of South East Asia
Anthropology of Development
Ethnographic Research UGR303
(24 credits)
Contemporary issues in Anthropology
Anthropology of Bhutan
Applied Anthropology
Visual Anthropology


Aims and Learning Outcomes of the Programme

Aims of the Programme

The programme aims to provide undergraduate students with a solid grounding in Anthropology as a diverse field of inquiry that looks at the functioning and meaning of culture and society, including among other topics, the study of social institutions, kinship and family, religion and rituals, social change and globalization, material culture, medical systems, ecology, and gender. The programme looks at these topics from a cultural perspective and through the eyes of diverse communities. It aims to educate students in anthropological knowledge, fundamental cultural themes, theories, and methods and to provide them with a set of transferable skills. Students will learn how to use anthropological knowledge to approach diversity as well as the ability to gather and critically analyse information.

The programme will focus mainly on sociocultural anthropology, which is a core sub-discipline of anthropology, concentrating on the study of culture and society. However, the programme will seek to introduce students to the other major sub-disciplines of anthropology namely linguistic anthropology (the study of language in relation to culture), biological/physical anthropology (the study of human evolution and biological diversity) and archaeological anthropology (the study of pre-historical societies, mostly through material remains). As anthropology seeks to understand what it means to be human across time and space, the programme will guide students through both cultural universals as well as what makes individual culture unique. It seeks to help students understand how culture both shapes societies and individuals and affects the way social institutions operate. The programme also reflects the discipline’s commitment to long-term empirical research, through which everyday experiences and local realities across the world take central stage. Points of emphasis also include a broad comparative inquiry into the human condition, and a critical engagement with social theory.

Learning Outcomes of the Programme

Graduates of this programme are expected to acquire not only a grounding within the field of anthropological knowledge (subject specific skills) but will also gain competency in the following skill areas: critical thinking skills, application skills and transferable skills. Specific learning outcomes based on these four different skill sets are the foundation of this programme, along with appropriately aligned teaching, learning and assessment tools.

Subject Specific Skills: This skill-set refers to knowledge and understanding (KU) of the field of anthropology.

KU1.    Explain key principles, theories and concepts within the field of anthropology.

KU2.    Define the scope and history of the field of anthropology.

KU3.    Explain and use the foundational anthropological method of ethnography.

KU4.    Identify, record and analyse cultural continuities and changes.

KU5.    Evaluate the relevance and value of anthropological knowledge and practices in the context of contemporary Bhutan.

KU6.    Explain and analyse contemporary issues in Bhutan and globally using anthropological tools and insights.

Critical Thinking Skills (CS):

CS1.    Communicate anthropological knowledge and practice in a clear and professional style in written and oral formats.

CS2.    Critically read and evaluate scholarly writing in the field of anthropology.

CS3.    Apply key anthropological theories and concepts to contemporary issues in Bhutan and globally.

CS4.    Evaluate and synthesize information from a range of relevant sources.

CS5.    Design, conduct and present a novel, self-directed, independent research project.

CS6.    Critically engage with the ethical issues around using anthropological knowledge and practices within both academic and real-world settings.

Application skills (AS): refers to the ability to use anthropological knowledge and practices within non-academic or real-world settings.

AS1.    Identify fields beyond academia in which anthropological knowledge and practice are an asset.

AS2.    Identify, gather and organize anthropological data that describes real-world problems and potential solutions

AS3.    Appraise the influences of cultural context and social discourse for individual and group experiences.

AS4.    Construct and employ evidence-based and logical arguments in real-world settings.

Transferable Skills (TS): Transferable skills will be integrated within modules whenever appropriate. Students will have the opportunity to practice and receive feedback on these skills both formally, through the use of assessments, and informally, through on-going interactions with faculty within the scope of everyday classroom activities.

TS1.    Become reflective, independent and life-long learners.

TS2.    Work collaboratively and effectively within a team.

TS3.    Demonstrate effective time-management and personal goal setting.

TS4.    Use ICT thoughtfully and effectively.

TS5.    Take personal responsibility for completing an independent research project.

TS6.    Undertake self-evaluation and preparation for employment.

TS7.    Develop a genuine sense of empathy and appreciation for the beliefs and experiences of other people.


Career-related Opportunities

A degree in anthropology opens doors to a number of career paths including: 1) academic careers in teaching and research; 2) corporate and business careers (as many businesses look explicitly for anthropologists, recognizing the utility of their knowledge and training to, for instance, work in a culturally diverse corporate team, to examine consumer reference patterns, market-research, and to operate effectively in transnational endeavours); 3) government careers (as state and local governmental organizations often employ anthropologists in planning, research and managerial capacities); 4) Non-profit and community-based careers (as these non-governmental organizations employ anthropologists to help design and implement a wide variety of programmes, and are also frequently involved in social impacts assessments, project evaluations, and consulting).

Graduates of this program would be valuable to organizations and agencies such as:

  • The Royal Government of Bhutan (particularly in the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Department of Culture, National Statistics Bureau and The Center for Bhutan Studies)
  •  Local CSOs such as Tararyana, Shejun and Music of Bhutan Research Center.
  •  As well as the tourism industry more generally, museums and heritage sites such as the Royal Textile Academy, National Museum Paro and Royal Heritage Museum in Trongsa.
  • International organizations with offices in Bhutan such as SNV, UNICEF, Helvetas and the World Bank.