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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

ANTH47915: Advanced Studies in Development, conflict, and crisis in the Lower Omo Valley

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


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To introduce the peoples and histories of the Lower Omo Valley in southwest Ethiopia.
  • To explore the relationships between place and health, and between displacement and ill-health over both long- and short-term time horizons.
  • To bring medical anthropology into conversation with planetary health and critical studies of development.
  • To provide a window on the challenges of engaged anthropology in the context of an unfolding crisis


  • The module takes a historical conjuncture in a river system in southwest Ethiopia as a way into questions about environmental change and human well-being.
  • Topics that may be covered include: dams, modernity, and environmental conflict; contestation and resistance against development projects; colonization and displacement; debates concerning the Anthropocene; advocacy, networks, and applied anthropology .

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • At the end of the module, students will be able to:
  • Demonstrate advanced levels of current knowledge and intensive understanding in medical anthropology theories.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Deploy analytical skills specific to the topics of health and environmental change.
  • Be competent in accessing and assimilating specialised research literature of an advanced nature.
Key Skills:
  • Preparation and effective communication of research methods, data, interpretation and arguments in written form.
  • Critical analysis of literature and data
  • Self-reflection on knowledge and skills acquired and developed
  • Accessing library resources
  • Undertaking independent study and research
  • Preparation and effective communication of interpretations and arguments in written form

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

  • Lectures may consist of pre-recorded videos, live presentations, break-out discussions or other activities as appropriate to the material covered from week to week
  • Seminar / tutorial elements will develop topics introduced in lectures and required reading to analyse aspects or case studies in greater depth and to prepare students for their summative assignment.
  • Advanced discussion classes will allow students to develop their skills of critical thinking and evaluation, as well as how to synthesise and interrogate material at a level commensurate with postgraduate attainment.
  • Student preparation and reading time will allow engagement with specific references in advance of tutorials and general and particular reading related to the assessment, which will be a written assignment (such as an essay or report).

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 10 Weekly 1 hour 10
Classes 5 Fortnightly 1 hour 5
Advanced discussion class 1 1 hour 1
Preparation and Reading 134
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Coursework Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Research Project 1000 words 80%
Quizzes x 2 10%
Research Journal 2500 words 10%

Formative Assessment:

500 word project brief.

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