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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

ANTH48715: Advanced Studies in the Anthropology of Sport

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


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To develop a critical awareness and extensive knowledge of key debates in the anthropology of sport.


  • The course will address questions like: What sort of bodies are produced and valued by sport, and how do they reflect broader societal issues? How does sport take on different meanings depending on where it is played? Is ‘competition’ a universal value, and how do ideas about what competition is circulate between the sporting world, neoliberal ideology and evolutionary biology? What is at stake in the pushing and setting of boundaries (gender, pharmaceutical, cyborg) through sport?

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 the anthropology of sport.
  • Deploy analytical skills to make connections between a range of ethnographic works on sport and key thematic topics in social anthropology.
  • Be competent in accessing and assimilating specialised research literature of an advanced nature.
  • In depth knowledge of the anthropology of sport, with emphasis on interpretation and comprehensive understanding of primary data.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Deploy analytical skills to make connections between a range of ethnographic works on sport and key thematic topics in social anthropology.
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

  • Activities may consist of pre-recorded videos, live presentations, break-out discussions or other activities as appropriate to the material covered from week to week.
  • Lectures will provide students with an outline of key knowledge and debates in the anthropology of sport, discuss the literature that students should explore, and provide relevant examples and cases studies.
  • Tutorials 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).
  • 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
Tutorials 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:

The formative assessment is a critical summary of a monograph related to the anthropology of sport (500 words). This is designed to prepare you to engage critically with ethnographic work on sport in the summative assignment. 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