According to the amendments to the Law on Higher Education Institutions, which came into force on 01.01.2019, the period of accreditation of study programs has been extended. The new accreditation terms can be seen here.

Programme code 43222
Field of study Language and Culture Studies, Native Language Studies and Language Programmes
Faculty Faculty of Humanities
Obtainable degree Bachelor of Humanities in Anthropology
Access to further studies Access to Master Study Programmes or Second-level Professional Higher Education Study Programmes designed for studies after the awarding of Bakalaura grāds (Bachelor`s degree)
Programme director Aivita Putniņa
Credits 120 KP or 180 ECTS
Study duration full-time
6 Semesters
Tuition fee starting Autumn semester, 2019 Tuition fee per year - 2000 EUR for EU/EEA/Swiss citizens, permanent residence permit holders and their family members
Tuition fee per year - 2200 EUR for other country citizens
Number of students accepted each year Autumn semester 2019
State -funded study places- 16
Autumn semester 2019
Study places for tuition fee - 50
Minimum number of students - 25
Start of studies Autumn 2020

Please note! Only EU/EEA/Swiss citizens and EU long-term resident status holders can compete for a state-financed study place.

Language of instruction Latvian, English

Students can - and are encouraged to – explore any aspect of society and culture. Although the program provides basic knowledge in the field of anthropology, students can choose to study it, with practical help, in a very personally rewarding way. The program works with employers to allow students to get involved in research projects. For example, from 2012 to 2014, the BHum programme featured a practical research element on youth financial literacy in collaboration with the Latvian Commercial Bank Association. In course final theses, students choose a topic to study in-depth; previous research topics have included relationships in public transport, rural school life, funerary culture, soup kitchens, gender and ethnic identity in folk dance, money museums and much more. Each share an intense period of research within the daily routines of the people studied, their experiences and bring out the stories of these people’s life-worlds. This reflects the central tenet of anthropology that such in-depth periods of fieldwork provides a more detailed view of people’s existences and helps us to understand people’s living conditions, opinions and values. Our courses are now taught solely in English, both at bachelor and master level. However, the university offers Latvian language classes which you can attend if you wish to learn the language.


Aim and tasks of the study programme

The goal of BSP Cultural and Social Anthropology is to provide for the opportunity to earn Bachelor of Humanities in Anthropology preparing specialists competitive in the field of cultural and social anthropology who would be competent in various branches of anthropology and would have skills for practical research of certain social or cultural issues as well as to assist and cooperate with other researchers with specific reference to the Baltic sea region.

The objectives of the BSP Cultural and Social Anthropology are to ensure that students:

  • develop skills in the domain of academic writing and electronic communication;
  • acquire academic knowledge in cultural and social anthropology that enhances their understanding of anthropological theories, major research and specialization profiles with the focus on the Baltic Sea region as well as research methods, fieldwork, and research ethics and thus qualifies them for Bachelor’s degree;
  • are qualified as cultural and social anthropology specialists who would be competent to apply the acquired theoretical, methodological and factological knowledge, skills and competences in their professional and research activities in public and private sector of the Baltic Sea region;
  • develop and advance skills, knowledge and competences to critically characterise, assess and analyse research issues as well as social and cultural processes by applying relevant research methods, data collecting, processing, analysis and interpretation strategies and communicate their conclusions, and the knowledge and rationale underpinning these clearly and unambiguously;
  • enhance practical experience in science and research while participating individually or in a team thus advancing their skills to communicate findings and rationale while critically assessing research work, ethical standing and improving their critical and analytical thinking;
  • develop skills to allow them to continue to study within the frame of lifelong education in a manner that may be largely self-directed or autonomous to enhance professional development and advance research skills.
Learning outcomes of the study programme

Upon a successful completion of the programme the Bachelor’s degree holders will have acquired the following competences:

  • Understand the varying perspectives of the humanities, social and cultural anthropology; apply them to personal, civic, or professional issues;
  • Working knowledge of the major principles and theories of cultural anthropology, apply sociological and anthropological theory to analyze socio-cultural phenomena;
  • Demonstrate proficiency in methodology and the ability to interpret anthropological literature;
  • Pursue and evaluate knowledge through the skills of inquiry, research, critical thinking, and problem-solving;
  • Communicate effectively in both speech and writing;
  • Demonstrate team and leadership skills needed to convert goals into action;
  • Understand and appreciate diversity and develop a worldview informed by multicultural and global perspectives;
  • Think systematically about moral and ethical questions and assess and articulate their own values;
  • Ability to apply the anthropological perspective to assessments of their own life, culture and engage in cross-cultural comparisons;
  • Ability to perform anthropological interpretations of selected cultural and social issues.

Among the key skills that students will acquire are:

  • Communication, with clear and coherent organization of information, the ability to respond to written sources, and the oral presentation of information in seminars;
  • Use of information technology, use of on-line bibliographical material and source material supplied through the electronic databases;
  • Improved learning and performance, through detailed comments given on written work and oral contributions offered in Moodle platform and in seminars;
  • Working in groups, with specific reference to gaining an ability to enter into discussion and debate in seminars;
  • Problem solving, with specific reference to the ability to think through the consequences of taken-for-granted assumptions about the social world/culture and to arrive at an independent critique of those assumptions.
Job opportunities

The programme takes into account that only a portion of those who study anthropology will wish to pursue it as an academic career. Therefore, the programme aims to provide students with the skills required in the modern world of work and in today’s broader society. Many parts of the economy benefit from anthropological expertise and, alongside this, the intercultural communication, research, analytical, time-keeping and discussion skills anthropology study provides. Further, some graduates have pointed out that the knowledge and skills gained from their studies have helped them succeed in developing their own businesses. In this sense, future career paths depend on the motivations of the student. We offer opportunities to learn and to try out ideas. Teachers appreciate each student's initiative in the learning process, and the students are seen as equal partners in the study process.

Admission requirements

Secondary education

Admission requirements for Latvian students

General rules (here)


Competition criteria for persons with an obtained secondary education on year 2004 and onwards:

CE in Latvian

CE in English or CE in French, or CE in German

CE in Maths

Competition criteria for persons with an obtained secondary education up to year 2004 (not included) as well as persons who have obtained their secondary education abroad and persons with special needs:


final average grade in Latvian and Literature

final grade in English or in French, or in German

final average grade in certain subjects

Special conditions: the English final grade has to be at least average (no lower than 5) in the secondary education document

Admission requirements for international students

1. General secondary high school diploma;

2. English language proficiency.

Enrollment criteria (for students competing for the state-financed study place)

1. The grade in French or English or German (40%);

2. Grade point average (20%);

3. A certificate of the Latvian language (40%).

Please note! Only EU/EEA/Swiss citizens and EU long-term resident status holders can compete for a state-financed study place.

Admission formulas

Cultural and Social Anthropology   120
Mandatory part   70
UL Undergraduate Module   10
Ķīmi1059 Civil protection Test 1
Filz1010 Philosophy Exam 2
Antr1037 Introduction to studies and university resources Exam 3
SDSK1067 Internet, Netiquette And The Legal Regulation Exam 2
Filz2007 History of Culture and Cultural Studies Exam 2
Valo1568 Basics of the Latvian Scientific Language and Terminology Exam 2
Mandatory part   50
Antr2003 Fieldwork Practice of Anthropology I Exam 6
Antr3001 Bachelor Theses Seminars Exam 2
Antr2005 Economic Anthropology Exam 4
Antr1004 Introduction into Research Methods in Anthropology Exam 4
Antr1029 Introduction to Biological Anthropology Exam 4
Antr1002 Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology Exam 4
Antr1003 Classical Anthropological Theories Exam 2
Antr2026 Quantitative research methods in anthropology Exam 4
Antr2001 Contemporary Anthropological Theories Exam 4
Antr2006 Political Anthropology Exam 4
Antr2002 Anthropological Research Ethics Exam 2
Antr2004 Anthropology of Kinship Exam 4
Antr1006 Anthropology of Religion and Ritual Exam 4
Antr2028 Environmental Anthropology Exam 4
Final examination   10
AntrN000 Bachelor theses Bachelor`s Thesis 10
Restricted elective courses   44
Antr1033 Food in Anthropological Perspective Exam 4
Antr1008 Development Anthropology Exam 4
Antr1009 Biographical Perspective in Social Sciences Exam 2
Antr2000 Human security and anthropology Exam 2
Antr1031 Animals in Anthropology Exam 2
Antr1036 Animals in Anthropology Exam 4
Antr2007 Ethnic communities Exam 4
Antr1010 Introduction to Antiquity Exam 4
Antr1032 Introduction in anthropology of senses and body techniques Exam 2
Antr1034 Introduction to the Anthropology of Art Exam 2
Antr3004 Introduction to the anthropology of performance Exam 2
Antr2027 Introduction to urban anthropology Exam 4
Antr3003 Introduction to science and technology studies Exam 4
SDSK3005 Introduction to Asian Religions II Exam 4
Antr1030 Thing anthropology Exam 4
Antr1023 Anthropology of Mobility Exam 4
Antr3005 Anthropology of Moralities Exam 4
Antr2025 Museum Anthropology Exam 4
MākZ1006 Music of the world's peoples I Exam 2
MākZ2001 Music of the world's peoples II Exam 2
Valo1552 Mass Media Discourse Exam 2
Antr1027 Research practice Exam 4
Antr2019 Research practice I Exam 4
Antr1011 Anthropology of Sexuality and Gender Exam 4
Antr2009 Anthropology of Entrepreneurship/ Scandinavian entrepreneurship in the Baltic States. Exam 4
Antr3000 Environmental Anthropology Exam 2
Antr2028 Environmental Anthropology Exam 4
Antr1024 Etnography of Asia I Exam 4
Antr2023 Etnography of Asia II Exam 4
Antr2013 Anthropology of The Body and Medicine Exam 4
Elective courses   6
Science sector Anthropology
EKI level 6
Programme practical realization

The core faculty of the study programme are active anthropologists researchers participating in Latvian and international projects. The experience gained in the projects is passed to students, providing their access to work materials and databases. For example, the experience gained in ESF co-financed project Strengthening the capacity in interdisciplinary research on biosafety is being utilized in course Biotechnologies and Society, ESF co-financed project My own corner, my own patch of land strengthens courses on economic anthropology. The projects give students an opportunity to assist in research and to develop individual research projects guided by faculty, strengthen and develop method and analysis skills while working with field data.

      While designing the structure of the program, its authors have given an emphasis on the trends in current job market and cultural developments in the West. It is essential not to teach students a static subject, but to provide foundations for the future scientific, practical and creative life of the student. Job market requires flexible knowledge facilitated by fast learning and a habit to update oneself with the latest in a field.

      Students are encouraged to get involved in the Latvian Anthropological Society while following the latest trends and research of the field by attending conferences organized by the University of Latvia and other higher schools. In addition, they are encouraged to get in touch with Latvian anthropologists and foreign anthropologists working in Latvia.

      ERASMUS exchange programme provide student and faculty Exchange with the University of Tallinn, Estonia, Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, Lithuania, University of Aegean in Greece, University of Bourdeaux (France) and University of Copenhagen (Denmark).

      Independent resarch skills are faciliated by such courses as Term paper, BA thesis, BA thesis seminars.

Rating system

Assessment techniques used in the programme include: assignments; essays; written tests; participation in class discussions; seminar presentations; "open book" or "take home" examinations; and theses defence. Students may be asked to reflect critically on their own work or the work of other students (peer review); however, in all courses, instructors are responsible for the determination of grades. Depending on course profile, the faculty member defines the test proportion in the course and writes it into the course description.

      At the beginning of the course, he/she orally explains the forms and deadlines of the tests as well as talks about the requirements that students need to fulfil in order to complete the course successfully and pass the test. He/she also determines the form of the test, its forms of execution (oral, written, etc.) and sets dates for taking the tests. Deadlines, requirements and system of evaluation is explained in Syllabi and Moodle profile of the course. Each evaluation is accompanied by a comment or general response in oral or written form.

There are two kinds of tests and assignments – (A) midterm tests and assignments and (B) end of term tests and assignments.

The midterm tests and assignments are as follows:

  • quiz;
  • independent work, practical work, report, presentation or
  • some other assignments within the specific scope of the course.

The number of midterm tests and assignments has been declared in course syllabus.

At the end of each course, there is an end of the term test or assignment. It can have two forms:

  • exam or
  • defence that in the BA level programme is used when defending term paper in the 4th semester and for the defence of BA thesis at the end of the programme.

The total evaluation of the course consists of:

  • midterm evaluation total – not less than 50% from the total evaluation;
  • the exam evaluation – not less than 10% from the total evaluation. Taking the exam is mandatory in order to receive credit for the course.

Course evaluation is estimated at the central registration system of the University of Latvia in accordance with the assigned algorithm of the course, taking into consideration midterm and final test evaluations and they are registered in test protocol.

Course syllabi include information on requirements, aims, acquired knowledge and skills for each course.

      It is possible to retake the test during the following examination period, if the course specifics permit it. The faculty member teaching the course has a right to require a failed student to enrol in the course repeatedly. The study programme board confirms the decision of the faculty member. If the student was not able to take all planned tests, then, with the permission of programme director, it is possible to move them to the next semester. The test is considered as passed if the score is not below 4 (out of 10).

Programme price

Yearly programme costs per student correspond to the tuition fee given above.