Cultural and Social Anthropology Bachelor Study Programme

Anthropology aims to study humanity in its social and cultural diversity. Anthropology is becoming increasingly relevant given shrinking distances in terms of global mobility, intensification in migration and ever-increasing inter-cultural contact. Further, once seemingly homogenous local societies display increasing inner diversity. The University of Latvia’s Faculty of Humanities currently offers the sole bachelor level programme in socio-cultural anthropology in Latvia. The aim of cultural and social anthropology BS study programme is the preparation of specialists in socio-cultural anthropology at an intermediate level who are able to orient themselves within historical and contemporary knowledge in anthropology, design and conduct anthropological research, and critically and systematically analyse social and cultural processes.  The task of cultural and social anthropology bachelor study programme is supporting students in
  • strengthening academic thinking and writing skills, as well as in communicating academic knowledge in society
  • acquiring intermediate academic knowledge in sociocultural anthropology, providing systematic knowledge in theory, use of anthropological concepts, research methods and techniques, research ethics
  • using anthropological knowledge, methods and ethnographic examples in analysing diverse social and cultural issues at intermediate level
  • strengthening skills, knowledge and competences in designing, managing and implementing the research process: description of social and cultural process, formulating research problems, evaluation and analysis, preparation of research proposals, choosing relevant research methods and data collection, methods of processing, analysis and interpretation
  • in conducting independent scientific research, strengthening individual and team work experience, developing argumentation, critical evaluation of research responsibilities and creating ethical relationships with the participants of research as well as colleagues;
  • developing skills necessary for further professional and personal development: supporting determination, responsibility, laying foundations for professional development in anthropology and beyond.

Director of the Programme

In our programme, students discover the common basis for humanity and the uniqueness of our species among others, gaining anthropologically-specific perspectives on society.  Anthropology’s broad and intercultural perspective helps us to systematize our views, and to understand and analyse human relationships and cultural phenomena.  The development of reasoning and knowledge and understanding of concepts gained in theory and thematic courses allow for the acquisition and  strengthening of critical and systematic thinking skills.  Our particular participation- and observation-based research methods are the hallmark of anthropology and these are acquired through targeted methodology courses, strengthened in topic-based courses, and group and individual research projects. In terms of topicality, the programme covers the diverse fields of anthropological inquiry (politics, economics, kinship, family and religion) as well as addressing health and medicine, humans and non-human things and animals, the environment, and sexuality. The precise range of topics can be found in the study plan below.

The programme has been available to international students since 2014. Students can also participate in the Erasmus+ exchange programme in partner institutions, or indeed establish contacts of their own.

The anthropology program not only produces academically educated anthropologists, but is also useful as a first or further step in personal and professional development, providing analytical, work organization and life skills that can be used both in business, work in public administration and the non-governmental sector. Our graduate, now director of the Latvian Social Entrepreneurship Association, Regita Zeiļa, was included in the TOP 100 of the most important European women in this field in 2023. Regita discovered her career through anthropological research of social entrepreneurship during her studies.

The studies provide useful skills in the labour market, which allow you to work in research both in specialized research companies and in an analytical position in companies or institutions. Since the program prepares not only in the specialty, but also develops general work organization, teamwork and systematic thinking and writing skills, they will be useful in a wide variety of workplaces. Studies can also be continued at the master's level, where independent research and analytical skills are strengthened and the foundation for an academic career is laid.

6 semesters (3 years), however, part time study option allow students to acquire the programme at a slower pace, obtaining 120 KP (180 ECTS) at the graduation. Distinct courses are also available for an individual enrolment through the university study system.
EU/EEA/Swiss citizens, permanent residence permit holders 2650 euro per year, other country citizens 2800 per year.
10 state -financed places as of autumn 2023. Only EU/EEA/Swiss citizens and EU long-term resident status holders can compete for a state-financed study place.
Bachelor of Social Sciences in Anthropology

General secondary high school diploma, English language proficiency.

For international students - Apply here!