Biological Anthropology

2021/22 entry

BSc (Hons) Biological Anthropology with Foundation Year

Course fees

Tuition fee type Cost (per annum)
Full time home/EU tuition fee: £9,250 per annum*
Full time international tuition fee: £11,000 Foundation year
Full-time industrial placement year fee: £1,850 per annum
Full-time international placement year fee £3,650 per annum

Course type

BSc (Hons)

Bachelor of Science

UCAS info

Points required: 88

UCAS code: SBA2

Institute code: L51

Study mode

4 years full time 5 years sandwich

About your course

The BSc (Hons) Biological Anthropology with Foundation Year at Liverpool John Moores University is the ideal course if you are interested in this subject but lack the necessary qualifications to study it at degree level.

  • Access to a large, in-house skeletal collection of human skeletal remains
  • Training in the excavation of human remains on the Poulton Archaeological ProjectExclusive placement opportunities on flagship Neanderthal excavation sites in Gibraltar (Gorham’s Cave Complex) and Belgium (Scladina Cave), and in primate conservation areas in Africa (Tanzania)
  • State-of-the-art scientific laboratories for undertaking a range of scientific studies pertinent to biological anthropology
  • Research-active teaching staff who regularly publish and attend academic conferences
  • Field trips to zoos, archaeological sites and museums across the UK
  • Start month: September
  • Campus location: City Campus
Additional course costs​
Practical and field activities underpin all programmes in the School. PPE is provided for all necessary practical work. There are no costs for day field trips for core and optional modules. Residential field trips associated with core modules are subsidised and include travel and half-board accommodation costs. Any residential field trips for optional modules will have costs involved. Locations may be subject to change and also subject to national and international travel restrictions. 

The transferrable scientific skills and practical experience that you will attain from completing this course will set you up for postgraduate research or an excellent career in biological anthropology or a related field

Richard Jennings, Programme Leader

The study of Biological Anthropology has added significance today given the many critical themes in the world today, such as over-population, a global decline in biodiversity, human-induced climate change, human diversity, and pandemics

Richard Jennings, Programme Leader

Work-related learning

Plenty of opportunities for first-hand experience

Work experience is a vital part of your studies and we strongly recommend that you undertake a 12-month sandwich placement after your second year, either in the UK or abroad. You will also have the chance to do a short 4-6 week long work-based learning placement before your final year. Placements not only give you a chance to put what you have learnt into practice, but they also develop your personal and subject-related skills and help you acquire new skills to enhance your CV.

Support and guidance

Dedicated personal tutor plus study skills support.

All students are assigned a Personal Tutor (PT) to provide academic and pastoral support and, when necessary, signpost students to the appropriate University support services. Your PT will be one of the lecturers on the course.

Students meet with their PT on a one to one basis twice per semester during designated tutorial sessions and complete a Personal Development Planning form, which aims to allow you to reflect on previous performance and set targets for your learning and development.

Go abroad

LJMU aims to make an international opportunity available to every student. You may be able to study abroad as part of your degree, either in Europe or the US. You could take part in a work placement in Europe under the ERASMUS+ scheme or apply for one of our prestigious worldwide internship programmes. There are also opportunities to attend a two-week summer school with one of our worldwide partners.

Our Go Global Fund can help with costs towards volunteering, individual projects or unpaid placements anywhere in the world. With all these opportunities at your feet, why wouldn’t you take up the chance to go abroad?

Find out more about studying or working abroad or email us at: goabroad@ljmu.ac.uk.

Course details

Extraordinary biological advances and new fossil discoveries are challenging long-standing theories on the evolution of our species. This course brings you up to date with latest developments.

About the Foundation Year

The Foundation Year is ideal if you have the ability to study for a degree but don’t have the qualifications to enter directly onto the Forensic Anthropology honours degree programme. Once you pass the Foundation Year you will progress directly onto the first year of the honours degree. If you are a full-time UK student, you will qualify for student financial support for the full duration of your course (subject to eligibility criteria).​About the BSc (Hons) Biological AnthropologyThis course is characterised by its strong scientific approach and is focused on allowing you to develop a range of transferrable scientific skills that will enhance your career prospects. It is estimated that 50% of learning activity will be non-lecture-based in LJMU's cutting-edge laboratories for human osteology, laser scanning, GIS, genetics and environmental analyses, and off site. You will learn how to excavate human remains on the Poulton Archaeological Project, Cheshire, and have access to large skeletal assemblages for your final year research project and for lab practicals.You are encouraged to take part in exciting placements opportunities to gain archaeological fieldwork experience and training on the Gorham’s Cave Complex UNESCO World Heritage Site, Gibraltar and at Scladina Cave, Belgium. The teaching team are research-active and are engaged on exciting projects all around the world. This means that we are up-to-date with the latest developments in the field, and we incorporate our own research into your learning activities.

Drawing on the diverse disciplines of evolutionary anthropology, primatology, environmental science, archaeology, geography and genetics, the course gives you the chance to develop skills in scientific research and to explore our evolutionary origins and our relationship with other living primates.

The programme focuses on six topics that are central to the field of biological anthropology.

  • Palaeoanthropology - examines the human evolutionary record through the fields of human skeletal biology, genetics, archaeology and environmental science.
  • Primatology - explores contrasts and similarities between humans and other primates; primate adaptation, diversity and conservation.
  • Human and other primate ecology - covers topics such as diet, subsistence, health and disease.
  • Human variation - uses genetics and anatomy to explore human diversity.
  • The evolutionary study of human behaviour - considers how behavioural traits such as the use of material culture can inform us about the evolution of cognition in hominins.
  • Forensic anthropology - focuses on the identification of human remains and palaeopathology.

What you will study on this degree

Please see guidance on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.

Level 3 (core modules)

  • Skills and Perspectives in Science 1  
  • Building Blocks of Life
  • Wildlife Studies
  • Skills and Perspectives in Science 2
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Understanding the Environment
Level 4 (core modules)
  • Genes and Evolution
  • Primate Social Systems
  • Introduction to Biological Anthropology
  • Introduction to Archaeology
  • Human Variation, Adaptation and Ecology 
  • Climate and Human Evolution
Level 5 (core modules)
  • Primate Adaptation and Behaviour
  • GIS and Employability
  • Human Osteology
  • Excavation and Analytical Techniques
  • Palaeoanthropology 
Level 5 (option modules)
  • World Archaeology 
  • Human Anatomy and Genetics

Level 6 (core modules)

  • Research Project 
  • Primate Conservation 
  • Current Topics in Biological Anthropology 
Level 6 (option modules)
  • Work Based Learning
  • Environmental Modelling and GIS
  • Environmental Change
  • Palaeopathology
  • Advanced Forensic Anthropology

Further guidance on modules

The information listed in the section entitled ‘What you will study’ is an overview of the academic content of the programme that will take the form of either core or option modules. Modules are designated as core or option in accordance with professional body requirements and internal Academic Framework review, so may be subject to change. Students will be required to undertake modules that the University designates as core and will have a choice of designated option modules. Additionally, option modules may be offered subject to meeting minimum student numbers.Please see the programme specification document for further details on this course.

Teaching and learning

Excellent facilities and learning resources.

​You will attend lectures, interactive workshops, laboratory sessions and small-group tutorials. Teaching accounts for approximately 12-15 hours of your week. The rest of your time should be spent in private study with the aid of resources available from our virtual learning environment, Canvas and Learning Resource Centre, so you can learn in your own time, at your own pace. Independent study becomes increasingly important as you work on your research project in your final year.

Your lecturers

Expert tuition and support.

​You will be taught by a dedicated, research-active team, whose expertise includes evolutionary anthropology, primatology, human osteology and anatomy, archaeology, human ecology, genetics, health and disease, forensic anthropology and environmental reconstruction. Most of the teaching is provided by LJMU’s Research Centre in Evolutionary Anthropology and Palaeoecology. This expertise feeds directly into course content, and ensures that the course is tailored to meet the needs of employers in the field.

Assessment and feedback

Assessment varies depending on the modules you choose, but will usually include a combination of exams and coursework.

We understand that all students perform differently according to how they are assessed, which is why we use a combination of assessment methods. These include:

  • exams in the form of multiple choice, short answer, interpretative, problem-based learning and essay questions
  • coursework, including phase tests, fieldwork/practical reports, data handling, oral presentations, poster presentations, podcasts, online or real-time group discussions, essays or the evaluation of practical skills

As some of the modules are highly practical, they are assessed by coursework only. For the final year research project, you will be expected to write a literature review and short scientific write-up. Work-based learning placements are assessed through a reflective diary, portfolio and student presentation.

Constructive feedback is vital in helping you to identify your strengths as well as the areas where you may need to put in more work. This is normally provided within three weeks of submission and may be via Canvas (our virtual learning environment), face-to-face or in writing.

Entry requirements

Please choose your qualifications below to view requirements

Minimum points required from qualifications

88

GCSE and equivalents

  • • Applicants must have obtained grade 4 or grade C or above in English Language and Mathematics GCSE or • Key Skills Level 2 in English/ Maths • NVQ Level 2 Functional skills in Maths and English Writing and or Reading • Skills for Life Level 2 in Numeracy/English • Higher Diploma in Maths/ English • Functional skills level 2 in Maths/ English Prior to starting the programme.
  • Are functional skills acceptable? No

A Levels

  • Minimum number of A Levels required: 1
  • Is general studies acceptable? No
  • Are AS level awards acceptable? Yes
  • Average A Level offer: CCD
  • Maximum AS Level points accepted: 20

BTEC qualifications

  • BTEC certificate: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
  • 90 credit diploma: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
  • Diploma (QCF): Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
  • Extended diploma (QCF): Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Extended diploma subjects / grades required: 88 UCAS Points
  • Level 3 in childrens play, learning and development: N/A

Access to Higher Education Diploma

  • Access to Higher Education Diploma acceptability: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Further information: Overall Pass

International Baccalaureate

  • International Baccalaureate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Additional information: 24 IB Points

Welsh awards

  • Welsh Baccalaureate: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications

Irish awards

  • Irish Leaving Certificate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Grades / subjects required: 88 UCAS points
  • FETAC acceptability: All modules accepted

Scottish awards

  • Scottish Higher: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Additional information: 88 UCAS points
  • Scottish Advanced Higher: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Additional Information: 88 UCAS points

Key skills

  • Will Key Skills tariff points be counted towards an offer? No
  • What minimum Key Skill level is appropriate?

OCR National acceptability

  • National Certificate: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
  • National Diploma: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
  • National Extended Diploma: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications

NVQ

  • Are Level 3 NVQs acceptable? Acceptable when combined with other qualifications
Will I be interviewed?

No interview required

IELTS

6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any component

Can this course be deferred?

Yes, please contact us to discuss your options

Is a DBS check required?

No

Is RPL accepted on this programme?

Yes

International requirements

Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check via NARIC.

Finance and fees

Find out more about the student funding that you may be eligible for from either LJMU or the government. This section will give you information about grants and loans as well as targeted support for students with children, adult dependants or those with a disability.

Please note that the amount of money you will receive as a student is dependent on where in the UK you normally live (i.e. England, Wales, Northern Ireland or Scotland).

The information below relates to the 2019/20 academic year as the Government has not yet released information for 2020/21. As soon as this is available, we will update these web pages and associate information.

LJMU scholarships

LJMU's scholarships are open to all new full-time Home and EU undergraduates that are liable to pay tuition fees. These awards are not income assessed, they are based on excellence. If successful, you will be awarded a scholarship for each year of your course subject to satisfactory progress. In 2019/20 scholarships are worth between £1,000 and £10,000 per year. The money you receive doesn’t have to be paid back.

LJMU bursary

The LJMU bursary is automatically paid to eligible students – you do not need to apply for it. In 2019/20 the annual bursary is £500, which works out at £1,500 over a three year degree.

LJMU bursaries are means-tested and you don’t have to pay them back; they are intended to help you meet some of the costs associated with being a student.

Tuition fees

In 2019/20 the annual tuition fee for full time, undergraduate, home and EU students is £9,250. You will be charged a fee for each year of your course. The University reserves the right to increase fees up to the maximum permitted by law or government policy in the second and subsequent years of your course. Generally, these fee increases are linked to RPIX inflation (Retail Price Index excluding mortgage interest payments).

The important thing to remember is that you don't have to pay your tuition fees upfront - subject to meeting eligibility criteria, you can take out a tuition fee loan for each year of your course.

You can also take out a maintenance or living cost loan for each year of your course to cover your living expenses, such as rent and food.

You don’t start repaying your student loans until after you’ve left university and start earning at least £25,716**.

For more information on eligibility and tuition fee loans, go to: 

www.gov.uk/studentfinance

LJMU is committed to ensuring that students understand the full cost of studying at the University. Your tuition fee will cover or contribute to, as appropriate, expenses associated with your core modules, including:

  • safety equipment, such as lab coats and goggles
  • uniforms for nurses, paramedics and other professional placements
  • UK field trips and other educational visits
  • student exchanges
  • DBS checks (Disclosure and Barring Service – formerly CRB)
  • Professional sector regulatory body membership

** Repayment threshold for students normally resident in England and Wales.

Living expenses (maintenance) loan

In addition to your tuition fees, eligible full-time undergraduate students can also apply for a maintenance loan to cover living costs. If you’re eligible, you can take out a loan for each year of your course.

The amount you’ll receive will depend on where in the UK you normally live and your household income. This money will be paid into your bank or building society account in three instalments and it’s up to you to budget for your living costs.

Part time students starting in 2018 or later can also apply for a maintenance loan.

For more information on student loans, go to: www.gov.uk/studentfinance

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Paying back your student loans

You only start repaying your student loans the April after you have graduated or left university and start earning £25,716* or above. Repayments are based on a percentage of your salary not how much you have borrowed from the Student Loans Company. Repayments are currently set at 9% of any income over the threshold (which is currently set at £25,716).*

* Repayment threshold for students normally resident in England and Wales.

Career prospects

A Biological Anthropology science degree opens doors to a range of careers in stimulating fields.

​Future careers include many areas of healthcare, epidemiology, nutrition, primate conservation, genetics, forensic anthropology, field archaeology and archaeological science, zoology, environmental science, animal husbandry, veterinary science, museum curation, humanitarian organisations, social sciences, and academic research. 

Beyond the directly applied career potential, graduates can gain employment in the teaching profession, the civil service and a range of field and laboratory science-related roles across a range of employment sectors. 

On top of your academic studies, you will have the opportunity to undertake a short (4-6 week) work-based placement or a year's sandwich placement in the UK or abroad. Placements give you a chance to put your skills and knowledge into practice, as well as developing personal and subject-related skills and acquiring new skills to enhance your CV. They could lead to employment with the same organisation or through the contacts you make.

CareerSmart programme

All students in their first year of study will have an opportunity to engage with the CareerSmart programme as an integral part of a core module of study. Once you have completed this, a wide range of other career-related provision and services will be available to support your development throughout your studies.
The new CareerSmart e-learning tool will introduce you to the steps involved in making informed choices about your career. It will enable you to consider your strengths and development areas, your career motivators, the options available to you and the necessary steps to take to achieve your career goals.

International Scholarships

Studying at LJMU offers international students excellent value for money and the opportunity to secure an internationally-respected qualification plus outstanding career prospects.

LJMU offers scholarships for international students. The provision and range of these scholarships can change from year to year so it is important that you always check the website for the most up-to-date information. The University also accepts a range of external funding, should you be awarded a scholarship or sponsorship from elsewhere.

International Foundation Year and International Year One programmes

LJMU offers international students the option of completing International Foundation Year and International Year One programmes at the University’s International Study Centre. These courses are managed and taught by Study Group, a world leader in education and training for international students – visit the International Study Centre.

English language qualifications

All international applicants must have an internationally recognised English language qualification, such as IELTS (International English Language Testing Service). Your English language qualification must have been certified within the last two years for verification purposes. LJMU will accept other UKVI-recognised English language tests providing you attain the appropriate level.

This table summarises the minimum scores required by LJMU, although specific course requirements may differ depending on the programme you want to study.

For course-specific English Language requirements, click the Entry requirements tab above.

To find out what qualifications are applicable in your country, please visit the international pages.

Type of Programme IELTS Pearson
International Foundation Programme 4.5 50-57 (Min. 51 in each component for UKVI Purposes)
Undergraduate degrees 6.0 57 (Min. 51 in each component for UKVI Purposes)
MPharm 7.0 Not accepted

English language support to improve IELTS

If your English language level does not meet the required entry requirements for your course you may still be offered a place on the condition that you successfully complete an English for Undergraduate Study course at LJMU’s International Study Centre.

Tuition fee deposits

As an international student, unless you are exempt, you will need to pay a tuition fee deposit.  See further information on deposits and additional payments needed prior to enrolment. 

Living Costs

When you apply for your visa or entry clearance, you will need to provide evidence of having enough money to support yourself for the duration of your programme and to pay for all of your living expenses. The good news is that the cost of living in Liverpool is one of the lowest in England, which means your money will go even further, allowing you to enjoy your student experience to the full.

In addition to academic fees, you must budget for living costs such as accommodation, food, clothing, books, local travel and entertainment. UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) states that students studying outside London must have £1,015 per month for a maximum of nine months to cover their living costs.

We estimate that a single student living in LJMU-approved accommodation is likely to need an average of £5,000 to cover just their rent for a full academic year.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme Certificate (ATAS)

If you have applied to study an Enhanced Undergraduate Degree (such as an MEng) course at LJMU, you should check if you require an Academic Technology Approval Scheme or ATAS certificate.

You can find out more on the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website: www.fco.gov.uk/en/about-us/what-we-do/services-we-deliver/atas/who-atas/

Alternatively, contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team for guidance. It is important to note that, if required, an ATAS certificate must be obtained before your Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies can be released to you.

Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)

Before you can apply for permission to enter or remain in the UK under Tier 4 you will require a valid Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies or CAS. LJMU will only assign a CAS once you have satisfied the conditions of any offer made to you and you satisfy the University’s obligations as a Tier 4 Sponsor. For more details, visit the international students section.

Your visa application

As soon as you have received an offer of a place at LJMU you should contact the Entry Clearance Office at the British Embassy, British High Commission or Consular Office in your own country to check whether you need a visa for entry into Britain. You are advised to do this as soon as you can as the visa application process can take a long time.

Please Note: To obtain an Entry Visa you should go to the British Embassy or High Commission in your own country, and present the following documents:

  • Passport
  • A valid LJMU Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)
  • Evidence of financial support for the programme
  • Two recent photographs of yourself (passport-size)
  • All relevant educational diplomas and certificates (as stated in your CAS)
  • A declaration of your intent to return home on completion of your course of study

The university reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the university. Where this does happen, the university operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.
Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.

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