BA Anthropology (4 yr)

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

The programme aims to provide undergraduate students with a solid grounding in Anthropology, a field of study that is concerned with what it means to be human. The programme will familiarize learners with the breath of anthropological knowledge, theories, and methods as well as teach them how these are applicable to the world beyond the classroom. As the first Bhutanese programme in Anthropology, it will also seek to demonstrate the value and relevance of the discipline within the context of Bhutan, which has always recognized the value of its rich cultural heritage. Hence, this programme will focus mainly on cultural anthropology, which is a core sub-discipline of Anthropology. However, the programme will also seek to introduce learners to the other major sub-disciplines, namely linguistic anthropology, biological/physical anthropology, and archaeological anthropology.

Anthropology as a discipline offers learners both the tools to record and preserve culture (in all its various forms) as well as the theoretical frameworks to understand, discuss, predict and manage cultural change. Learners will also acquire training in anthropological research methods. The skills and knowledge gained will open career pathways in government, civil society, business, and academia. Graduates will also be well prepared for higher degree studies in Anthropology.

Programme Handbook - see complete programme details here

Programme Structure

I I AFD101
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
Anthropology of the Himalayas
Dzongkha Comm.
Writing Ethnography
Anthropological Methods
Anthropology of Identity and Ethnicity
Anthropology of Globalization
Analytical Skills
Anthropology of Religion and Rituals
Anthropology of Gender
Anthropology of South East Asia
Anthropology of Development
UGR303 Undergraduate Ethnographic Research
(24 credits)
Contemporary issues in Anthropology
Ethnography of Bhutan
Applied Anthropology
Visual Anthropology


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 the foundational anthropological method of ethnography.

KU4.    Explain the relevance and value of anthropological knowledge and practices in the context of contemporary Bhutan.

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.

AS5.    Record and analyze cultural continuities and changes.

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 ongoing interactions with tutors 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 preference patterns, market research, and to operate effectively in transnational endeavors); 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.