Career expectations

Our graduates in Archaeology and Anthropology go on to pursue a very wide range of careers all over the world. The subject is a excellent basis for future careers in both public and private sectors. Several of our graduates have become successful lawyers or have fast-tracked to become civil servants, for example in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, while others now work in overseas development for NGOs, or in museums, journalism, teaching, research, finance and the arts. Recent changes in planning legislation and policy are opening up increasing opportunities for graduates to work as consultants.


Eugenie Reidy, 2001

I remember an enriching energised time that forged the path I am on now. Lectures, tutorials, museums and films that took us to other worlds and put determined (sometimes foolish) wings on our feet so that I’m pretty sure we are all spread far and wide today…. I went on to do an MA in Anthropology of Development at London’s SOAS, to various projects in India, Pakistan and South Africa, and most recently Kenya where I now live and work.

Mark McGranaghan, 2004

For me, the Archaeology and Anthropology degree initially seemed something of a risky choice: coming from a state school background, I was moving into an unfamiliar Oxbridge environment and joining a course that introduced two subjects completely new to me (indeed, before coming to Oxford, I had little idea what exactly anthropology was!). I am happy to say that on both counts there was no need for trepidation – the college system and small class sizes for this degree created a welcoming social and academic environment. With a mixture of arts and science subjects at A Level and an enthusiasm for all things pertaining to the past, I was looking for a subject that combined a basically scientific approach with the opportunity to explore complex and often-unresolved issues, and the ‘Arch and Anth’ course certainly did not disappoint. Core modules provide grounding in the tools necessary to approach any conceivable anthropological issue, exploring the historical development of both disciplines with essay-based teaching that hones skills in constructing arguments and debating ideas; optional courses that tackle everything from the evolution of our species, to the application of scientific techniques to archaeological data, to the examination of cross-cultural representations of gender, ensure that there is something for everyone. A welcome addition to essays and lectures, practical classes draw upon Oxford’s superlative museum collections, with the potential to develop topics of particular personal interest (no matter what this, there’s sure to be at least one graduate student working on it, begging for assistance in analyses!), while the fieldwork requirements offer amazing opportunities to partake in a broad range of activities – in my case, this included experiences as diverse as excavating a peristyle garden in Pompeii, and surveying for rock art from horseback, in the highlands of Lesotho. My experience of the undergraduate course encouraged my passion for topics archaeological and gave me the intellectual tools necessary to take my studies on to a post-graduate level, with my doctoral research developing directly from interests stimulated in the option courses I pursued. From an initial somewhat naive enthusiasm, this course completely redefined my understanding of human society, introducing me to the sheer range of human experience and to the diversity of tools we have developed to try to understand this range; I would encourage anyone with a general interest in humans and all that they do, or have done, to apply, and experience this diversity for themselves.

Lisa Lodwick, 2010

Arch&Anth provided me with both the inspiration, knowledge and skills to continue my academic career into a DPhil in Archaeobotany. Tutorials with world class researchers heightened my interest in my chosen field of study, whilst fieldwork opportunities provided by college tutors allowed me to join fieldwork projects in the Roman town of Herculaneum and at an Aurignacian rock shelter in southern France. The high standards of teaching and expertise strongly influenced my decision to stay in Oxford for my MSt and Doctorate, whilst the supportive Arch&Anth student community at Hertford combined with the dedication of the tutors make this college a great location to undertake the course.