Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2010-2011 (archived)

Module ANTH40515: Computational Methods for Social Sciences

Department: Anthropology

ANTH40515: Computational Methods for Social Sciences

Type Open Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2010/11 Module Cap None.
Tied to


  • None.


  • Perspectives in Social Research (Sociology) for the MA in Research Methods; Research Skills in Anthropology I for MSc in Development Anthropology and MSc in Medical Anthropology (social students); Research Skills in Anthropology II for MSc in Evolutionary Anthropology and MSc in Medical Anthropology (biological students).

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To introduce and train students on a range of computational tools for producing, analysing and managing social data.


  • Software packages to be reviewed annually, however, the module will concentrate on software packages for dealing with the following types of data: kin terminologies, kin genealogies, fieldnotes, video data, image data, social networks, geospatial data.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Demonstrate mastery of the appropriate methodological literature on computational methods.
  • Demonstrate awareness of the range of computational tools available.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Develop competence in the use of at least one software package for managing social data
  • To learn how to integrate computationally based methods with other anthropological data production methods
Key Skills:
  • Communication: students communication skills will be developed more fully, both in writing and verbally
  • Improving own learning: students will learn to use a range of available resources to identify potentially useful computational tools
  • Use of information technologies to aid the production, management and analysis of data

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

  • Lectures, practicals and project work

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 6 First six weeks of term 1 hour 6
Practicals 4 Approximately fortnightly in one term 2 8
Preparation and reading 286
Total Hours 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Project Component Weighting: 100%%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Project 2,500 words 100%%

Formative Assessment:

Exercises undertaken in practicals

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