Foundations in Cultural Anthropology


Foundations in Cultural Anthropology is a five-week online course that will introduce you to the concepts, theory and practice of cultural and social anthropology.

From definitions of cultural identity to the complexities of gender, race, religion and kinship, you will explore key concepts in the study of human societies and behaviour, and nurture a deeper appreciation for cultural diversity.

Drawing from a range of fieldwork case studies, we adopt a comparative cross-cultural perspective that challenges cultural assumptions. Our enquiry-based approach will help us to understand contemporary issues, like family ties, religion, and the interaction between global world systems and indigenous communities.

By introducing, applying and critiquing fundamental theories and methods of anthropological research, we will deepen our understanding of human society and begin to view the world through an anthropological lens.

We’ll also discover how anthropological theory complements and informs related disciplines like archaeology, and how anthropologists use research methods such as ethnography to study human behaviour, relationships and cultural practices. We will also find out where cultural anthropologists are working today, and how they are contributing to our understanding of the modern world.


African totem mask

Course Details

Next start date:

Monday 25th June, 2018.

Course duration:

Five weeks of guided tuition.

Level of study:

Level 3 Certificate.

Student time commitment:

Recommended 2 to 5 hours per week (flexible).

Learner support:

Learners are fully supported by the tutor throughout the course.


Dr. Mark Anderson PhD MCIfA FRAI FRGS FSA.

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of the course, participants should be able to:

  • Discuss key anthropological terms, concepts and practices;
  • Analyse a range of themes and concepts around marriage and kinship;
  • Compare religious ideas and ritual practices among different cultural groups;
  • Examine ethnographic case studies through the lens of a cultural anthropologist.

Syllabus overview

In this course we explore the following topics:

Module 1: What is anthropology? Essential concepts and ideas

Module 2: Doing anthropology: key research methods

Module 3: Marriage, family and kinship

Module 4: Belief systems: ritual and religion

Module 5: Sex, gender and sexuality

Tutor profile

Dr. Mark Anderson is Head of the Akkadium School of Anthropology and Archaeology. He is a Teaching Fellow at Imperial College London, and a tutor in archaeology and anthropology at the Oxford University Department for Continuing Education.

Mark is a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute, a Member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London. He is the author of Marothodi: The Historical Archaeology of an African Capital.

Mark Anderson
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Additional information

Academic prerequisites

This course is open to anyone, and no prior knowledge or experience of anthropology is required. The only prerequisite is a healthy curiosity about the richness and diversity of cultures around the world, and a willingness to engage and contribute to course discussions.


Upon successful completion of this course, participants will receive an Akkadium College Level 3 Certificate in Cultural Anthropology, and an academic transcript with details of completed modules and learner achievements.

Technical requirements

The course materials and discussions are shared completely online in a virtual learning environment (VLE), so you will need access to an internet-connected computer or mobile device, and basic computing skills. Our team will be on hand to give you both academic and technical support as needed.

Other information

Please note that places on Certificate courses are limited to harness the educational value of small-group learning. However, most courses run multiple times throughout the year. If your preferred course is fully booked, please ask us about the next available opening.