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Durham University

Faculty Handbook 2019-2020

Module Description

Please ensure you check the module availability box for each module outline, as not all modules will run each academic year.

Department: Anthropology

ANTH1101: Doing Anthropological Research

Type Tied Level 1 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2019/20 Module Cap 200 Location Durham
Tied to L601 Anthropology
Tied to L602 Anthropology
Tied to B991 Health and Human Sciences
Tied to L605 Medical Anthropology (Last intake of students October 2016)
Tied to L606 Social Anthropology (Last intake of students October 2016)
Tied to L607 Biological Anthropology (Last intake of students October 2016)
Tied to LF64 Anthropology and Archaeology
Tied to LL36 Anthropology and Sociology
Tied to CFG0 Natural Sciences
Tied to LMV0 Combined Honours in Social Sciences


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To provide a grounding in quantitative and qualitative research methods in both biological and sociocultural anthropology.
  • To enable students to appreciate the relationship of data to anthropological theory.
  • To enable students to experience the process of collecting and analysing data, and creating anthropological knowledge.
  • To prepare students for fieldwork, and allow them to develop academic and transferable skills relevant to tertiary-level learning and employment.


  • Quantitative methods: an introduction to methods typically used in biological and some medical anthropology.
  • The quantitative techniques include an introduction to hypothesis testing, types of quantitative data and the process of data analysis and interpretation.
  • Qualitative methods: an introduction to methods typically used in sociocultural anthropology and some medical anthropology.
  • The qualitative techniques will concentrate on participant-observation and its attendant skills.
  • The module as a whole provides students with a baseline understanding of method and theory that will both aid in the understanding of material presented in anthropology courses in the second and third years, and offers practical, hands-on preparation for the field course and research dissertation.
  • The skills and preparation for fieldwork sessions will aid students’ transition from secondary to tertiary education, and equip them with knowledge, skills and attributes relevant to the practical field course in Level 2 as well as employment outside university.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Factual Material: Understand the methods used in ethnographic field studies.
  • Understand the methods used to analyze quantitative data in biological anthropology.
  • Awareness of the vocabulary of qualitative and quantitative research methods.
  • Awareness of how the practice of anthropology and anthropological research methods translate into field settings.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Appreciate cultural relativity and its implications.
  • Know about basic biological data collection techniques.
  • Relate explanatory theories to field techniques.
  • Design, use and evaluate various research/study techniques (e.g. questionnaires, interviews, experiments, measurement).
  • Apply basic statistical and numerical skills to quantitative data.
  • Become familiar with qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis.
  • Appreciate the importance of appropriate conduct in the field and ethical practice in anthropological research, including field settings.
Key Skills:
  • Become familiar with basic statistical techniques.
  • Assess the value and limits of data and make critical judgements of the merits of particular arguments, including ability to reason critically and challenge received conclusions about topics and controversies.
  • Apply ethical guidelines and risk assessment in research.
  • Interpret both qualitative and quantitative data.
  • Plan, undertake and report on fieldwork-based enquiries.
  • Use some information technology and associated computational tools and packages.
  • Appropriate data management.
  • Transferable academic skills including time management, finding sources, active, effective reading, academic integrity and the use of citation and referencing, critical thinking, writing (academic and non-academic).
  • Career planning.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Students are expected to attend lectures, workshops and practicals.
  • 50% of the summative assessment mark will be based on a multiple choice examination of quantitative methods and analysis.
  • 50% of the mark will be derived from a 2,000 word research methods portfolio comprising 1) a written account of an observation exercise, 2) a written account of an interview exercise, and 3) an interview transcript.
  • Formative Assessment is based on submitted essay plans and feedback in practical sessions and formative quizzes and practice tests.

Teaching Methods and Contact Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures (methods) 7 Determined as necessary 1 hour 7
Practicals (methods) 12 Determined as necessary 2 hours 24
Lectures and workshops (skills and preparation for field coursework) 20 Weekly 1 hour 23
Preparation and Reading 146
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Quantitative methods and analysis Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Multiple choice exam 90 minutes 100%
Component: Qualitative methods and analysis Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Research methods portfolio 2000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

Feedback in the practical sessions.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University

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