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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

ANTH47115: Advanced Ethnographic Research

Type Open Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2021/22


  • • SOCI58815 Qualitative Methods in Social Science (or alternative prior knowledge and understanding as noted in core regulations for University MARM students)


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • • Cannot be taken with Fieldwork, Interpretation and Representation


  • To provide an advanced understanding of the epistemic and methodological underpinnings of ethnographic research;
  • To provide opportunities to practice advanced ethnographic research skills;
  • To provide a thorough grounding in analysis and write-up of ethnographic data.


  • Indicative content will include:
  • Relationships between ethnographic methods and theory, drawing on critical reading of the literature and practical experience.
  • Exploration of different ethnographic methods including ‘classic’ participant observation through to multi-sensorial ethnography).
  • Critical analysis of ethnographic data and texts

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • On completion of this module, students should be able to demonstrate:
  • Advanced understanding of theoretical issues and debates related to ethnographic research and writing;
  • Advanced understanding of the practice, analysis and write-up of ethnographic research.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module students should be able to:
  • Develop and critically evaluate advanced anthropological arguments in relation to ethnographic methodology, ethics and epistemology.
  • Design and conduct rigorous, well-designed research projects founded on ethnographic methods.
  • Conduct critical, theoretically-informed analysis and write-up of detailed ethnographic material.
Key Skills:
  • Students will also develop some important key skills, suitable for underpinning study at this and subsequent levels, such as:
  • Independent and critical thinking in conducting and assessing research practice.
  • An ability to integrate and apply advanced knowledge and skills in professional practice.

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

  • Teaching will be through seminars that combine short introductory lectures with class discussion and practical exercises to give students hands-on experience of ethnographic methods.
  • Practical exercises, giving students the opportunity to practice and reflect critically on ethnographic research methods
  • Facilitated peer learning on critical analysis of ethnographic data and the writing of ethnographic texts.
  • Summative assessment will a reflexive write-up of practical research, including critical theoretical discussion. This will enable students to draw together their understanding of the practical and theoretical aspects of advanced ethnographic research. Formative assessment will be a 750-word written piece outlining the structure and main argument of the summative piece, with an indicative bibliography.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 0
Seminars 9 Can run in different patterns, including weekly over a term (with one reading week) or more intensively over the course of 1-2 weeks 2 hours 18
Preparation and Reading 132
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Assessment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written Assignment 3000 words 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:

750-word written piece outlining the structure and main argument of the summative piece, with an indicative bibliography.

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