Distance Learning Programmes

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Distance or online learning programmes allow students the flexibility of studying at a university without having to take classes on-site. Students are able to incorporate their studies alongside other personal or professional commitments, as well as following access courses which might not be otherwise be available to them through their local institutions. Self-directed study is an essential component of the distance learning programmes. Students are supported through a combination of online tutorials, virtual classes, discussion forums, and personal tutors.

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A number of universities that offer anthropology have one or two online modules which students can take as part of their taught degrees. In general however, relatively few universities offer an entire degree (either at undergraduate or postgraduate level) through distance learning.

The following is a non-exhaustive list of institutions around the world that offer undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in anthropology through distance learning.


A collection of resources featuring key anthropological themes and a teach yourself online guided module.



The University of Southern Queensland offers a BA online degree in Anthropology

The Australian National University offers a Master of Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development online course


Athabasca University offers a BA online degree in Anthropology

United Kingdom:

The University of Wales Trinity St. David offers an MA Engaged Anthropology via distance learning

The University of Exeter offers an MA in Anthrozoology via distance learning

United States:

Charter Oak State College offers online degrees where students can choose a concentration in Anthropology.

The University of Arizona Global Campus offers online BA degrees in Social Science where students can choose a concentration in Anthropology.

The University of North Texas offers postgraduate degree courses (MA or MSc) in Applied Anthropology.

The University of Alaska Fairbanks offers an Introduction to Anthropology course online

The University of Kansas offers some parts of its course through online distance learning

Foothills College offers an Associate in Arts degree with a major in Anthropology. 

Arizona State University Online offers a BA in Anthropology. The BA in Anthropology is offered completely online and consists of approximately 120 credit hours. ASU also offers help developing your professional online presence, research employment opportunities, explore intern opportunities and apply for full-time career opportunities. 

Important aspects to consider when choosing a distance learning programme:

  • Are you the type of learner who will enjoy self-study and the virtual classroom environment? Do you have the time-management skills needed to balance your studies with other personal and professional commitments?
  • What kind of accreditation will you receive with the programme? Is the accreditation internationally recognised? It is important to check with your local universities whether they will acknowledge a distance learning degree from a particular institution.
  • What is the national or international reputation of the institution? Does it appear in any of the published university rankings? Find out whether the institution is accredited through a professional accrediting body, and do your research by talking to alumni, career advisers, and local university professors.
  • It’s a good idea to find out: who the teaching staff will be, which instructional technologies will be used, and how much individual support will be available.

Get involved in anthropology through the RAI’s Education Outreach Programme

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The RAI’s Education Department organises events, activities, contests as well as produces teaching and learning materials for anyone interested in learning about anthropology. Take a look at the many ways to get involved with like-minded people who are passionate about the subject:

  • Become an RAI member: take a look here for all the benefits associated with joining the RAI.  
  • Attend an event: take a look at our events page for a list of various anthropological events which take place nationally. 
  • Take part in discussions by joining our Facebook Group
  • Become a volunteer: the RAI’s Education Department is always looking for enthusiastic individuals to help out with our outreach events such as the London Anthropology Day. If you are interested in volunteering email the RAI’s Education and Communications Officer.
  • Apply for an internship: interns form an essential part of the RAI’s Educational Outreach Activities. A minimum of two months is required in order to be considered. For further information about internships at the RAI please visit the getting involved page.