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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

ANTH48415: Advanced Studies in Primates, Predators and the Ecology of Fear

Type Open Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Not available in 2021/22


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To explore the literature examining the interactions between predators and primates;
  • To understand how predators might shape behaviour and social organisation;
  • To evaluate the methods used to measure predation risk;
  • To consider the role of humans in mediating primate-predator interactions;
  • To assess whether predation pressure and life in a ‘landscape of fear’ influences all aspects of primate behaviour and ecology.


  • Topics include:
  • Understanding different theoretical perspectives on defining predation pressure
  • Methods for measuring predation pressure in primate research
  • Impacts of predation on ranging, social organisation, behaviour and vigilance in primates
  • Human impacts on primate behaviour and primate-predator interactions

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 of primate conservation.
  • Deploy analytical skills specific to primate conservation.
  • Be competent in accessing and assimilating specialised research literature of an advanced nature.
  • In depth knowledge of major issues in primate conservation, with an emphasis on ethically-engaged practice.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Apply anthropological and evidence-based perspectives to major issues in primate conservation, with an emphasis on ethically engaged practice
  • Scientific poster design and conference-style presentation
Key Skills:
  • Preparation and effective communication of complex issues, questions, debates, methods, data, interpretation and arguments in visual form and in person.
  • Preparation and effective communication of complex issues, questions, debates, methods, data, interpretation and arguments in visual form and in person.
  • Critical analysis of data and literature
  • 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, visual and oral form

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

  • Lectures will provide students with an outline of key knowledge and debates in the topic area, discuss the literature that students should explore, and provide relevant examples and cases studies.
  • Seminars 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. Practical components will provide students with hands-on experience of the research.
  • 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).
  • Summative assessment will consist of a 2,500 written assignment in which students will apply concepts and perspectives covered in the course and a critical reading log. The critical reading log is an annotated bibliography in which the evidence and arguments presented in readings selected by the student and relevant to the development of their summative assessment are evaluated and critiqued. This along with the other summative component should show evidence of a higher level of engagement expected at postgraduate level.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 10 Weekly 1 hour 10
Seminars 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
Assignment 2500 words 80%
Critical reading log 1000 words 20%

Formative Assessment:

Formative guidance on the assessment will be provided through feedback on ideas related to your assignment topic in class and an assignment plan. Reading log sample.

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