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 C1L6


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


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • Current Issues in Medical Anthropology for Returning Erasmus Students. Current Issues in Social Anthropology for Returning Erasmus Students.


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


  • In the first part of the module students who are away from the University on the Erasmus programme will be provided with a series of readings and self-study tasks to complete independently, and they will communicate with the module tutor on-line (via DUO and email) to practice skills required to review, pr???s, and critically evaluate research papers and projects in this discipline.
  • A dedicated tutorial upon their return from the Erasmus exchange programme will consolidate this learning.
  • In the second part of the module lectures focussing on the up-to-the minute research of individual members of staff and some guest lectures 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.

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

  • Seminar sessions will be used to present new papers or recent research in biological anthropology, and to discuss and debate the implications of the research and how it was conducted.
  • Tutorial sessions will be used to teach and practice skills in reading, reviewing and critically analysing published research in biological anthropology.
  • Formative tutorial write-ups will allow students the opportunity to practice their skills in the above.
  • The Summative exam and critique will assess students ability to apply their skills and knowledge gained throughout the module.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 7 Weekly in Epiphany Term 1 hour 7
Tutorials 7 Weekly in Epiphany Term 1 hour 7
Seminars 3 1 on return and 2 in Easter Term 1 hour 3
Preparation and Reading 183
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
1000 word critique 100%

Formative Assessment:

Summary of one lecture presentation and class discussion.

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