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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

ANTH48615: Advanced Studies in the Anthropology of Physical Activity and Health

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


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To explore the potential for anthropology to contribute to research on physical activity and health
  • To explore the potential for anthropological approaches and methods to contribute to the evaluation and implementation of public health measures to promote physical activity and health
  • To apply skills acquired in both biological and social anthropology
  • To engage with recent and ongoing research applying anthropology to the study of physical activity and health


  • Understanding how physical activities affect health and wellbeing
  • Understanding the place of physical activities in everyday lives
  • Critical examination of approaches to the promotion of physical activity and of healthy ‘behaviours’ more generally
  • Exploration of the contribution of anthropological approaches and methods to the evaluation of public health interventions targeting physical activity

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 the anthropology of physical activity
  • Deploy analytical skills specific to the anthropology of physical activity
  • Be competent in accessing and assimilating specialised research literature of an advanced nature.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • In depth knowledge of anthropological contributions to the study of physical activity and health, with emphasis on interpretation and comprehensive understanding of primary research.
Key Skills:
  • Preparation and effective communication of research methods, data, interpretation and arguments in written form.

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

  • Seminars may consist of pre-recorded videos, live lecture presentations, research seminars, student seminars including break-out discussions or other activities as appropriate to the material covered week to week.
  • Pre-recorded videos and live lecture presentation elements 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.
  • Research seminars will take the form of typical academic seminars and will give students an opportunity to hear first-hand about ongoing or recent research in the area and to interact with researchers
  • Student 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.
  • 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 word research proposal
  • 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
Lecture 1 Teaching week 1 1 hour 1
Classes 7 Specified in module handbook 2 hours 14
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 proposal 2500 words 80%
Critical reading log 1000 words 20%

Formative Assessment:

500 word project proposal. 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