Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2009-2010 (archived)


Department: Anthropology


Type Open Level 1 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2009/10 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To provide an introduction to the peoples and cultures of the world from an anthropological perspective and prepare students for further critical study of the discipline.


  • Introduction to ethnographic studies.
  • Human diversity, cultural and bio-social.
  • Anthropological studies of low density populations.
  • Anthropological studies of medium density populations.
  • Anthropological studies of high density populations.
  • Topics studied will include such as the follows: family and kinship, witchcraft, tribal politics, feud, ritual, ancestor worship, subsistence (e.g. hunter-gathering), people and environment.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Factual Material: Cognisance of various forms of livelihood, social order and belief systems across the world.
  • Familiarity with basic anthropological terminology.
  • Understanding of some fundamental concepts of socio-cultural anthropology.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Read ethnogrpahy with a bsic understadning of the purposes of anthropological research.
  • Use ethnographic material and methods to address elementary questions in socio-cultural anthropology.
  • Present basic ethnographic inforamtion in a form that is celar and easily assimilated.
  • Familiartity with some of the key mehtods of anthropological study.
  • Awareness of cultural relativity and its implications.
Key Skills:
  • Formulate a brief, simple library resarch project.
  • Conduct a search to find basic material on a given submect, using both print and electronic resources.
  • Write a basic essay.
  • Demonstrate elementary word processing skills.
  • Apply some key concepts and methods of the social sciences.

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

  • The formal components of the module use a range of teaching modes and methods, within an integrated framework to contribute to the intended learning outcomes as listed above.
  • The module benefits from a balance between lectures and tutorials, geared to the specific needs of the material.
  • The lectures and tutorials are carefully integrated.
  • Audio-visual aids (videos, slides, summaries and diagrams on overhead projection sheets etc.) are used where appropriate.
  • The informal components of the module utilise a variety of methods, including posting course documents and information on DUO, seminar presentations and assoicated oral discussions.
  • Lectures will cover topics relevant for providing students with an undetrstanding of theories currently available for the study of people and cultures.
  • Lectures provide a traditional methods of communicating not only fact but clear undersandings of process and the relationship between issues.
  • They are used for the primary delivery of material in the sutyd of peoples and cultures because they allow clear transmission of information in an active learning environment where students can question and seek clarification.
  • Lectures introduce students to issues, structure the subject matter and provide a grounding in principal issues so they can progress to further learning and study.
  • Lectures provide the framework for analysis and relevant background, theoretical and/or historical information, and are used to assist in the assimilation of technically demanding or conceptually difficult material.
  • Tutorials provide an opportunity for students to discuss a series of topics and to make oral presentations.
  • Difficult, sensative and unresolved issues can all be approached successfully through discussion in seminars.
  • Tutorials will cover topics relevant to the content of the module.
  • Tutorials imply a higher degree of student involvement and teach subject-specfic and generic skills.
  • For anthropology students this medium cannot simply be replaced by texts or websites, though both are important adjuncts.
  • Formative assessment takes place on a regular basis and may be regarded an integral part of the day-to-day teaching process.
  • Two multiple choice on-line tests must be completed.
  • Essay to provide formative feedback.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 22 1 per week 1 hour 22
Classes 5 1 hour 5
Study Skills 3
Preparation and Reading 170
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
two-and-a-half hour written examination 100%

Formative Assessment:

Two multiple choice on-line tests must be completed and an essay of 2000 words submitted for formative assessment.

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