Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology


The study of Anthropology is now widely recognized in developmental circles as a crucial subject in the development of any nation.In the recent past, development institutions including the World Bank have realized the centrality of culture in development. They are now incorporating people’s way of life in everything they do for developmental sustainability.Many countries in Africa are currently going through socio cultural, economic, demographic, and political transitions. As a consequence of this the continent is facing a number of challenges including a sagging debt burden, raising levels of poverty, high morbidity rates, famine, population growth, climate change, environmental degradation, political conflict and change in family structures.  Anthropologists are therefore being called upon to use their unique training and skills to address these problems and challenges.


Despite the demand for anthropologists, we still lack adequate number of practicing anthropologists in Kenya. Therefore there is need to train more anthropologists to help address the current and emerging development challenges in Kenya specifically and Africa in general.


This course is designed to equip students with skills and knowledge that will prepare them to contribute to the development process, using the unique anthropological holistic approach of solving societal problems. We therefore have a range of courses that will prepare the students to meet these challenges.




The primary objective of the course is to train anthropologists firmly grounded in the four fields of study namely: Physical (Biological) anthropology, Cultural (Social) anthropology, Archaeological anthropology and Linguistic anthropology.


The specific objectives are:

  1. To train students in anthropology to apply the knowledge and skills gained in development programmes.
  2. To provide a forum for the exchange of current thinking in anthropological literature.
  3. To promote and conduct original research in the field of anthropology.
  4. To train students in multi disciplinary approaches to academic and policy issues.


The regulations and syllabus shall apply to allcandidates in Module I, Module II and Module III, wishing to study for the Degree of Bachelor of Arts in anthropology.

Candidates are expected to attend all the scheduled course lectures for which they are registered. There will be three modes of study:


  1. Full time (Module l)
  2. Part Time (Module ll)
  3. Distance Learning (Module lll)


The Full Time (Module l) is offered on week days during the day from 8:00 am to 5:00pm. Module ll is offered during day (8:00am to 5:00pm) and/or evenings week days (5:30pm to 8:30pm) and may include weekends where applicable from 8:00am to 5:00pm


The Module lll is offered off-campus using multi-media approach in distance education in the following ways:

  1. The main media of instruction are print and electronic study materials.
  2. The study materials are self-instructional.
  3. There is limited use of face-to-face lectures during the residential sessions.
  4. Face-to-face delivery mode does not exceed one third of the instructional time and students are required to attend any scheduled lectures/tutorials where applicable for the courses they have registered for.


Where a field trips is required, the duration will take between 1 and 5 days days

N11     The maximum period required for a candidate to study and qualify for the award of the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology shall be 24 Semesters.

N12     There shall be three (3) semesters in each academic year.  The third semester shall be optional.  A candidate wishing to complete the programme of study in less than four academic years may utilize the optional semester, but candidates must consult and obtain approval from the Director of the Institute of Anthropology, Gender and African Studies for the choice of appropriate course unit(s) before they can register.

N13     Students in Module II and Module III programmes may take fewer, but not less than two courseunits, than the prescribed courses during any semester of study but they must cover all the required courses before they can be allowed to graduate.

N14     During the First Level (Level 1) of study, candidates will be required to take ALLthe Twelve (12) course units offered in the Programme.

N15     During their Second, Third and Fourth Levels of study, course units with the following codes NAF 201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206, 301, 302, 303, 304, 305, 306, 401, 402, 403, 404, 405 and 406 will be compulsory.  The remaining courses units shall be offered as electives.

N16     After the First Level, students shall be required to take at each subsequent level not less than 6 (six) compulsory course units and 5 (five) electives.  Regulation N12 shall apply in the choice of courses.

N17     Each course unit shall be covered in

N18     A candidate who wishes to write a Project report as one of the electives shall be required, at the end of the Third Level, to undertake research in any area of Anthropology, and to write and present a Project report of between 15,000 and 30,000 words on the chosen area.  The Project report will be examined in the last semester of study.  A candidate must consult with the Director of the Institute of Anthropology, Gender and African Studies before the end of the Sixth Semester or soon after to decide on an appropriate topic for research.  Such a candidate, desiring to write a Project report must have an aggregate score of 60% and a score of 60% in NAF 301in his/her Third Level of Study

Exams Regulations

  At the end of each course, candidates will be required to sit for a 2 (two) hour written examination.

N20     A candidate shall not be permitted to sit for the University examinations unless he/she has attended lectures regularly throughout the semester and covered at least two thirds of the course.

N21     Assessment of each candidate’s performance shall be through Continuous Assessment Tests (CATs), Essays, Assignments and Term Papers and end of Semester examination.  For each course, Continuous Assessment Tests (CATs) shall account for 30% and the final written examination 70% of the total marks.  Candidates will be given at least two CATs.  The candidate’s end of semester CAT score shall be an average of the number of CATs given during the semester.

N22     The maximum score a candidate shall get in a course is 100% but, in order, to pass, candidates will require 40%.  These marks shall be translated into letter grades as follows: 70% - 100% = A, 60% - 69% = B, 50% - 59% = C, 40% - 49% = D, 39% and below =E.

N23     A student, who, for good cause supported with authenticated documentary evidence, fails to sit or complete an end-of-semester examination may be allowed to sit forspecial exampaper(s) concerned when the examination is nextoffered.

N24     A candidate who fails any end-of-semester examination paper on the first attempt shall be allowed two more attempts to sit and pass the paper in supplementary examination.  A candidate who fails a paper may, in consultation with the Institute, and upon approvalsubstitute that course unit with another unit of the same level from the Instituteprovided that it is not a core Unit.

N25     Subject to Regulation N23 a candidate who has up to, but not more than five failed gradesat any one time shall be allowed to proceed to the next level until they have sat and passed supplementary exams.Coursework marks shall not be taken into account.

N26     A candidate shall notbe allowed to carry forward more than 5 (five) failed grades at any one time.

N27     A candidate who has more than 5 (five) failed grades after three unsuccessful attempts at each of the units concerned shall be discontinued.

N28     To qualify for the award of the degree, a candidate must have studied for and passed in at least 45 (forty-five)course units, including compulsory common undergraduate course unit (where applicable).  Where a candidate has taken more than 45 units, only the best 44 shall be considered in the award of the degree provided that all compulsory courses are taken into account.

N29     The Final grade and the best 44 classification will be based on the average percentage marks obtained in all the courses taken during the degree programme.

N30     The classification of the final award will be based on the following: