Teaching and Studying Anthropology in Zürich

At the University of Zürich, we approach the discipline of social and cultural anthropology as a contribution to the understanding of how people live in the world today, why they do what they do and how they give meaning to their lives. In particular, anthropology links everyday life and experience to the broader economic, social, cultural, and political conditions of an increasingly globalized world.

Because of this, we place emphasis on practice-oriented education with a strong empirical base. With our courses, we aim to reflect the thematic, methodological and theoretical breadth of the discipline in all of its diversity. Particular attention is paid to the interplay between empirical work and the production of theory, and students are encouraged to work independently and creatively at an early stage in their training.

During the BA degree, students are introduced to the main contributions to historical and contemporary anthropology. This gives them access to the core of the methodological and theoretical repertoire of the subject. Students can take options in regional and thematic modules and language courses, and there are also opportunities to carry out research projects during excursions, overseas summer schools, and museum courses. At the same time, they are given the opportunity to specialize and to work intensively into a specific research area. Through written work, practical exercises and oral presentations, students are introduced to the most important forms of academic work, preparing them for their later professional activities both in academic and non-academic fields.

Within the framework of the MA-degree and doctorate, students are expected to deepen their methodological and theoretical competences. The focus here is on the development and implementation of their own research project, which results in the final thesis. Furthermore, we provide the opportunity for excellent students to gain experience in teaching, academic lecturing, and scientific writing as tutors and teaching assistants, with the aim of bringing forth young potentials with a strong interest in research.