Comparing societies and human diversity

Investigate the strange and see how the familiar can suddenly seem odd.

As humans, we’re fascinated by each other: our similarities and differences, our creativity and ingenuity. With humans constantly evolving and adapting to the changes in the world around us, there is a continual flow of new social and cultural innovation to explore.

man on elephant with another man following behind in a field.

With a degree in anthropology, you’ll:

  • uncover the strange and investigate how the familiar can suddenly seem odd
  • develop skills that are applicable in a range of professions
  • be employed by government, non-government or multilateral aid agencies as consultants, researchers and evaluators
  • conduct  market research, design research, and consumer behaviour studies when employed within the corporate world.

Our courses

You can study anthropology within a number of degrees, including the Bachelor of Arts. The Department also teaches a number of majors that incorporate core anthropology subjects, including Global Health, and Religion and Society.

For students who wish to pursue research in anthropology, the Masters of Research in Anthropology (MRes) is an excellent option. This two year postgraduate qualification involves a year of coursework and a year pursuing a self-chosen but supervised research project.

Our undergraduate offerings encompass an amazing range of subjects and concerns, as is befitting a discipline that takes human relationships and social creativity as its primary topic.

Each semester we offer the following subjects:

ANTH1006 Drugs Across Cultures

ANTH1051 Human Evolution

ANTH2021 Development Studies: The Anthropology of International Aid

ANTH 2024 Mad, Bad, Sad

ANTH2004 Art and Material Culture

ANTH2010 Culture, Myth and Religion

ANTH3021 Globalisation and Conflict

ANTH3005 Anthropology and Indigenous Australia

ANTH3023 Human Rights and Law

ANTH3024 Doing Ethnography

ANTH1050 Identity and Difference: Introduction to Anthropology

ANTH1007 Saints, Shamans, Cults and Demons: Religion in Contemporary World

ANTH2002 Illness and Healing

ANTH2003 Food Across Culture

ANTH2007 Psychological Anthropology: Brain, Body and Culture

ANTH3002 Anthropology of Power and Politics

ANTH3003 Anthropology of the City

ANTH3022 Gender, Sexuality and Global Health

ANTH3024 Doing Ethnography


The Chandra Jayawardena Memorial Prize

Chandra Jayawardena was the Foundation Professor of Anthropology at Macquarie, and a great influence over the development of anthropology in Australia.

Prizes awarded in his memory are open each year to students studying first, second or third year anthropology units.

At Macquarie he brought together an all-Australian group of scholars, at a time when most Australian university appointments were English or American. He taught and published tirelessly, with particular interests in social theory, the Caribbean, Fiji and Indonesia.

In 1981, Professor Jayawardena died of a heart attack, aged just 52. After his death many, including his widow Mrs Yvonne Jayawardena, contributed to a fund set up in his memory. This fund continues to offer prizes to undergraduate students at each level of study.

The Chandra Jayawardena Memorial Prize is awarded each year. Each level is open to all students studying Bachelor degrees.

  • Proficiency in 100-level Anthropology units totalling 20 credit points. Value $500
  • Proficiency in 200-level Anthropology units totalling 20 credit points. Value $500
  • Proficiency in 300-level Anthropology units totalling 30 credit points. Value $500
Page owner

Last updated: 17 Dec 2019