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Human Sciences


T


he course title ‘Human Sciences’ does not reflect the diverse nature and breadth of disciplines incorporated into the course. Tutorials and essays are quite varied in both style and content which makes for a very satisfying academic ex- perience but hard work! Expect to develop many different skills ranging from biological to sociological to statistical.


Sixth form Biology, Geography and Maths (Statistics in particular) are useful but none are prerequisites to study Human Sciences. If you haven’t studied any of these subjects in the past don’t worry – the course is taken by students who have often studied totally different subjects to each other and by the end of the first year everybody becomes ‘on par’ with each other.


The course at Oxford begins with the Preliminary year where you study for five papers that provide the knowledge basis for the following two years. As a fresher you study Animal Behaviour and Physiol- ogy, Genetics and Evolution, Anthropology and Geography, Sociology and Demogra- phy and Statistical Analysis.


The course is quite heavily lecture loaded especially in the first two years but gets lighter towards the end. Arguably the most enjoyable aspect of the course is the opportunity to write a dissertation on almost anything you like while apply- ing at least two of the various disciplines covered over the years. In addition to


that, the second and third years are spent studying five core modules and two op- tion courses. The choices for the option papers are very broad, giving you the opportunity to specialize in something interesting.


In general, expect on average three tutori- als (and therefore essays) every two weeks and about eight to 12 lectures a week for the first two years. In the final year it will vary depending on what options you pick but expect approximately three tutorials/ classes and some lectures on average every fortnight. In addition, there are a few afternoons of non-examined laborato- ry work in the first year and a visit to the Natural History Museum in the second year.


Due to the broad nature of the course, Human Scientists end up doing an unim- aginable range of different things upon completing their undergraduate degree ranging from further research, to being civil servants to working with NGOs.


Courses


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