Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2005-2006 (archived)


Department: ANTHROPOLOGY (HUMAN SCIENCES) [Queen's Campus, Stockton]


Type Tied Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2005/06 Module Cap None. Location Queen's Campus Stockton
Tied to L600


  • Completion of Methods & Analysis I: Research Techniques (HUSS2101) AND Methods and Analysis II: Research Project (HUSS2111).


  • Human Sciences Dissertation.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • Current Issues in Medical Anthropology, Current Issues in Social and Cultural Anthropology.


  • To provide students with an introduction to issues of contemporary research concern in biological anthropology.


  • In the first part of the module students will meet in seminars to practice various skills required to review, precis and critically evaluate research papers and projects in this discipline.
  • In the second part of the module lectures focusing on up-to-the-minute research of individual members of staff and some guest lecturers will provide students with a rare opportunity to learn about the topics that their tutors have chosen to study and to appreciate and assess the relationship of this research to wider anthropological endeavour.
  • Class work will focus on recent literature pertaining to the theme of each lecture.
  • In all instances the emphasis will be on the critical assessment of the ideas presented and students will be encouraged to draw on earlier coursework to inform their discussion and/or debate.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Familiarity with the scope of biological anthropology and its relationship to the other sub-fields of anthropology.
  • Awareness and understanding of the paradigms used by biological anthropologists when conducting research.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the current research being undertaken by biological anthropologists at the University.
  • Familiarity with recent publications in peer-reviewed journal of biological anthropology, and understanding of debates or disputes with the literature.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Ability to engage in discussion and debate regarding research issues in biological anthropology.
  • Familiarity with journals publishing primary research in biological anthropology.
  • Capacity to identify appropriate material in scientific journals, making use of the electronic databases etc. to track the history of a topic or debate through the literature.
Key Skills:
  • Summarise or precis primary research papers, verbally and in writing.
  • Argue for a particular position using appropriate research-evidence to build argument.
  • Conduct longitudinal reviews of literature and track developing ideas/debates.
  • Develop ability to engage in knowledgeable discussion with researchers and develop pertinent questions regarding research.

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

  • Lectures
  • Tutorials
  • Seminars
  • Exam
  • Critique

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 7 Weekly 1 hour 7
Tutorials 7 Approx Weekly 1 hour 7
Seminars 6 Approx Fortnightly in Michaelmas Term, 2 in Easter Term 2 hours 12
Preparation and Reading 174
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 70%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
two-and-a-half-hour seen examination 100%
Component: Critique Component Weighting: 30%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
1500 word critique 100%

Formative Assessment:

Summary of 1 lecture presentation & class discussion (1000 words).

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