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Durham University

Postgraduate Module Handbook 2021/2022

Archive Module Description

This page is for the academic year 2021-22. The current handbook year is 2022-23

Department: Anthropology

ANTH45360: Dissertation

Type Open Level 4 Credits 60 Availability Available in 2021/22


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • The aim of the dissertation is to give the student the opportunity to conduct an independent research project in a specialist area of their degree, utilising the techniques developed in the research methods modules.


  • Specialised research on a topic agreed with a supervisor(s) and the degree tutor. The student is expected to write a literature review, collect data (by fieldwork,laboratory work or from published sources), conduct data analysis and provide a discussion of his or her findings.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Students will develop a deep understanding of the theory and current state of knowledge in the area in which they conduct their research
  • students will develop an advanced understanding of methodological issues in the area in which they conduct their research
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Students will further develop their skills to research and interrogate the relevant literature
  • Students will learn to indentify relevant methods for research in a specified area
  • Students will learn to evaluate and articulate relevant ethical issues applicable to their research project
  • Specialised supervision will help students develop advanced research skills
Key Skills:
  • Students will further hone skills to write clearly and concisely, explaining why their topic of research is important, critiquing previous research, and providing a coherent discussion of their findings
  • Students will learn to manage a research project from an initial idea, the development of a research question, collection of data to the presentation of a dissertation
  • Studentswill use computer software for analysis and/or presentation of data
  • Students will conduct advanced and/or qualitative anaysis

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

  • An introductory lecturewill provide information on preparation for the dissertation
  • The remainder of teaching and learning is by regular supervison by an appointed and appropriate staff member. The task of the supervisor is to guide the student through the stages of planning, implementing and writing up of their discussion, meeting all the learning outcomes
  • Assessment is by a written dissertation, which should demonstrate acquisition of all the learning outcomes

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lecture 3 3 in Michaelmas 2 hr 6
Tutorials 10 As needed throughout the year 1 hr 10
Preparation and reading time 584
Total 600

Summative Assessment

Component: Dissertation Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Dissertation 15000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

A formative proposal and a formative literature review.

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