Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2010-2011 (archived)

Module ANTH43515: Ethnographic Enquiry

Department: Anthropology

ANTH43515: Ethnographic Enquiry

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


  • None


  • Fieldwork and Interpretation

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To give students a deep understanding of ethnographic and related field methods, including the collection and the interpretation of ethnographic data. This module will build on the more basic knowledge of ethnographic methods in Fieldwork and Interpretation.


  • Relation of explanatory theories to ethnographic research.
  • Learning and interpreting everyday life:
  • participant observation (everyday life as field research),
  • non-participant observation
  • noticing, querying
  • Note-taking, management and analysis of ethnographic field-notes
  • Mobile ethnography
  • Film and visual anthropology
  • Participation, power and collaborative ethnography
  • Using other methods as part of ethnography
  • Reflexivity in ethnographic research
  • Ethical issues in ethnographic research
  • Writing ethnography

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • A comprehensive overview and thorough grounding in the use of ethnographic field methods.
  • A thorough understanding of the ways in which social scientists interpret ethnographic data.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • To be able to conduct an ethnographic study using a range of appropriate techniques.
  • To be able to analyse and interpret ethnographic data.
  • To understand the relationships between ethnographic method and theory.
  • To appreciate some of the ethical issues inherent in ethnographic enquiry.
Key Skills:
  • Critical engagement with literature.
  • Written communication skills: producing a clear and well-argued research report.
  • Reflexivity: reflecting on own research practice.

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
Seminars (to include presentations, discussions & practical exercises) 11 weekly 2 hours 22
Reading and preparation 128
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Research Project Report Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Ethnographic Research Project Report 3000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

1000 word document on an exercise conducted as part of the seminar-based 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