Anthropology – Field of study catalogue MU
“Nature through culture”
Anthropology is an integral scientific discipline, the Science of Man, studying mankind from its origins until the present. In contrast to scientific disciplines which specially focus on a detailed study of particular areas of human life, anthropology concentrates primarily on the usually ignored connections between biological, social and cultural aspects of human nature. Anthropology regards these bio-socio-cultural interactions as the core for the unique human evolution, as the substance of groundbreaking turns in history and also as a chance for our kind to survive in the future. Anthropology studies the origins and mechanisms of the variations of human biological, social and cultural forms and their relationships in the process of adaptation of Man to the changing environment. The mission of the study programme of Anthropology is to prepare highly qualified specialists in the field of integral anthropology, adhering to the above stated concepts.
The study programme is suitable for students driven to searching for the essence of Man, wide perspective, versatile abilities and dedication to intensive study. During the three-year Bachelor's programme students are educated in the main anthropological concepts, they acquaint themselves in great detail with the structure and functions of the human body and obtain insight and understanding of the mankind’s sociocultural evolution from the prehistory until the modern era. Students also gain proficiency in standard methods in the subfields of biological anthropology and archeology and in basic procedures of elaboration and presentation of results. Practical training forms an integral part of the studies allowing students to acquire experience in realistic work-duty conditions at potential employers’ facilities. Students apply the acquired theoretical and practical skills in the preparation of their Bachelor's theses to wrap up their studies.
Students of this programme should gain orientation in the topics of anthropology, acquire extensive systematic knowledge of human biology, society and culture and learn to apply it to completing anthropological assignments. Theoretical and practical knowledge obtained within the Bachelor's study programme represents the foundation for the follow-up in the Master's degree programme in Anthropology.
After successfully completing his/her studies the graduate is able to:
- differentiate between the basic areas of anthropology, define their strengths and weaknesses and especially assess the importance of bio-socio-cultural interactions from the viewpoint of the property of mankind
- describe in detail biology of the human body, gross anatomy and histological structure, functions of organs and organ systems, their mutual relationships; and basic principles of heredity
- define the main phases of prehistorical and historical evolution of Man and human culture (both in the global and local contexts) and explain the main trends in the evolution of Man and human culture from the Paleolithic until today
- apply the basic biological anthropology methods to evaluate the body type, build, structure and functions of the living human
- apply basic methods of skeletal anthropology to assess properties of the deceased (sex, age at death, body height, ethnic affinity) based on the skeletal remains uncovered during archeological excavations
- perform practical duties of an anthropologist on an archeological on-site burial excavations, particularly uncovering, documentation and exhumation of human skeletal remains
- design a methodologically sound small scale anthropological research, statistically evaluate the results and interpret them in the context of applied anthropological theory
The graduates of Anthropology Bachelor's study programme at the Faculty of Science can find employment as staff with expertise in anatomy, human biology and anthropology, especially at biology- and medicine-centered academic institutions, in museums and archeological institutions. Graduates have to offer to the future employers the following: detailed and extensive knowledge of the human body structures and their complex organization, a vast socio-cultural perspective and experience with experimental data evaluation. Education introduces a vast range of situations and prepares students to face the possibility of uncommon tasks, which requires searching for new solutions. The major part of graduates is expected to follow their studies in the Master's study programme where they will extend their knowledge in synthesizing courses and expand their practical skills by gaining proficiency in additional special methods.
Study plans of the degree and study programmes at the Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, follow the Dean’s statement nr. 8/2012 “Tuition and Study Programme Formation”. Obligatory study regulations are quoted in the Course Catalogue for their year of matriculation with recommended study plans. To students who take this into account, the study plan ensures the correct sequence of courses and that all the obligatory requirements necessary to finish their university studies within the standard allocated time can be fulfilled.
The standard duration of the Bachelor's programme of Anthropology is six semesters. To be admitted to the final state examination, students must obtain in total 180 credits for required, selective and elective courses. The required courses constitute the basis of the study programme and selective courses represent a recommended extension of the required courses. Outside these two categories, elective courses offer the opportunity for students to extend their curricula and to find courses according to their interests or needs, for example, Bachelor's thesis. On-site training and Bachelor thesis (Bi6502 On-site Training I, Bachelor Thesis I and II) are also included in the required courses. In order to be able to enrole in the Bachelor's thesis course there is an obligation to pass an examination in English for Specific Purposes at the B1 level. Sports activity courses are also mandatory, students can choose from a variety of courses according to their preferences.
Practical training is an obligatory part of the curriculum in the extent of six weeks during this Bachelor's study programme - commonly two weeks per academic year. After completing, and/or being in the process of completing, their practical training assignments, students enrol in a required course Bi6502 On-site Training during the spring semester in the 3rd year of their studies for which they receive credits.
Practical training tuition is centred on archeological excavations of skeletal burial grounds provided by the Department of Anthropology. There, under expert supervision, students acquire hands-on experience of the entire scientific research procedure - a preliminary prospection and localization of the site, excavations of skeletal remains and artefacts, their written, measured and photographic documentations, reconstruction and analysis of the uncovered remnants, interpretation of results and finally formulation of conclusions in the final report. The final stages of the procedure are performed in the laboratory. The Bachelor's programme students are primarily trained in basic on-site techniques of burial site (grave) preparation and schematic drawing documentation. At least, one week of this on-site training is obligatory during their Bachelor's studies. The remaining practical training can be carried out at other selected workplaces (archeological institutions, scientific departments, museums, hospitals, Police of the Czech Republic departments, etc.) where anthropology-oriented activities take place. Such practical training allows students to establish professional contacts with potential employers. The relevance of the practical training to student's stufy programme is assessed by a guarantor. The certification of completion for the practical training (Bi6502 On-site Training) with a credit value is based on the consensus of the subject teacher and the head of the research (and/or of the organization where the practical training took place.)
General conditions are governed by the Masaryk University Study and Examination Regulations (https://www.muni.cz/general/legal_standards/study_examination_regulations). The final state examination in Anthropology consists of three partial exams: 1) Physical Anthropology, 2) Socio-Cultural Anthropology and 3) Bachelor's thesis defence.
During the oral examination in Physical Anthropology, students should prove complex understanding and knowledge of the structure and functions of the human body. They should demonstrate knowledge of modern methods of anthropology and their application in the research of the living human and human skeletal remains.
The oral examination in Socio-cultural Anthropology examines the knowledge of anthropological theories, the evolution of human society and the culture from prehistory, first civilizations, the Middle Ages to the present time. Students’ ability to familiarize themselves with an extensive space-time expanse and to integrate the findings of various disciplines in the scope of the thematic radius is assessed. A detailed list of topic subdivisions regarding both oral examinations is posted on the Department of Anthropology website (http://www.sci.muni.cz/anthrop/informace-o-szz/).
The Bachelor's thesis has to be submitted in the extent of minimum 30 text pages. The topic of the thesis must be authorized by the Head of the Department of Anthropology. Students usually enrol for the appropriate topic in the 4th semester of their studies. Formal rules for the Bachelor's thesis follow the Dean’s Statement nr. 5/2014 (http://www.sci.muni.cz/NW/predpisy/od/OD-2014-05.pdf).
The thesis is supervised by a member of the academic staff of the Department of Anthropology. External experts come from different associated institutions, such as universities, museums, and the Czech Academy of Sciences.
In the theoretical part, students should demonstrate their ability to examine scientific literature with regard to their thesis topic - to search, analyse and interpret relevant information. In the practical part, students should be able to demonstrate their proficiency in basic methods of anthropology and apply them to the assigned topic. The Bachelor 's thesis defence takes place at the end of the 6th semester in the form of debate between an applicant and a board of examiners; applicants present the theses of their work, introduce the topic focal points and main results. The board evaluates the ability of students to propose and carry out solutions to the assigned tasks, their ability to assess results, interpret and present them in a logical way and use relevant arguments in their defence.
After completing the Bachelor’s study programme, students can follow their studies in any Master’s study programme. There is a direct follow-up Master’s study programme in Anthropology.