Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2012-2013 (archived)


Department: Anthropology


Type Open Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2012/13 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • People and Cultures (ANTH1061).


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • An intermediate core module which would introduce important topics related to politics and economics.
  • It explores in further depth the key-socio-cultural issues and theory essential to an anthropological education.
  • This module co-ordinates coverage of key themes with the associate module Kinship and Belief Systems (ANTH2041).


  • Contents: Students are introduced to a range of theoretical issues that build progressively into a fuller understanding of how anthropologists interpret ethnographic data on the one hand, and of the perspectives they employ to understand socio-cultural phenomena generally on the other.
  • Synopsis: to ensure a broad acquaintance at an intermediate level with some of the main topics of sociocultural anthropology seen in theoretical context.
  • Summary Syllabus: The module has a thematic focus to cover core topics such as economic anthropology and political anthropology. Topics include the Gift, Exchange and Reciprocity; Markets, Money and Value; Production and Commodities; Globalisation, Development, Power, State and Ethnic nationalism; Human Rights, Torture, Violence and Bodies; Counterinsurgency and Surveillance, Resistance and Indigenous Politics.
  • It explores in further depth the key socio-cultural issues and theory essential to an anthropological education.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Factual Material: General awareness of the basic issues covered by the main areas in socio-cultural anthropology.
  • A demonstrable more in-depth knowledge of certain key issues.
  • Knowledge of middle-range anthropological theory.
  • Integrate and evaluate a range of information and data from ethnographic and theoretical sources.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Familiarity with the concepts and methods of socio-cultural anthropological analysis.
  • Understanding the technical vocabularies of social science as these apply to the study of anthropology.
  • Familiarity with, and ability to access, sources of anthropological knowledge.
  • Ability to analyse critically and evaluate anthropological literature and arguments.
  • Discern and establish connections between ethnographic data and theoretical arguments.
  • Present a coherent demonstration of your theoretical understanding.
Key Skills:
  • Search information sources effectively (e.g. libraries, archives) and find information.
  • Use academic literature effectively.
  • Use information technology and demonstrate word processing competence.
  • Structure and communicate ideas effectively in writing.
  • Apply key concepts and methods of the social sciences.
  • Adopt a holistic approach to solving problems.

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

  • Lectures and tutorials will give an integrated approach to theoretical perspectives.
  • Lectures, videos (with discussion) and an intensive tutorial programme accompanies this module.
  • Assessment and feedback is described below.
  • 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) are used where appropriate.
  • The informal components of the module utilise a variety of methods, including posting course documents and information on DUO, and associated oral discussions.
  • Lectures will cover topics relevant for providing students with an understanding of theories currently available for the study of sociocultural anthropology.
  • Lectures provide a traditional method of communicating not only fact but clear understandings of process and the relationship between issues.
  • They are used for the primary delivery of material in sociocultural anthropology 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.
  • Difficult, sensitive and unresolved issues can all be approached successfully through discussion in tutorials.
  • Tutorials will cover topics relevant to the content of the module.
  • Tutorials imply a higher degree of student involvement and teach subject-specific and generic skills.
  • For anthropology students this medium cannot simply be replaced by texts or websites, though both are important adjuncts.
  • Summative essays test skills of understanding, analysis, information collection and presentation, while final written examinations test assimilated knowledge and understanding and the ability to write succinctly and analytically at short notice.
  • Students are required to submit two essays, each of 2000 words, (which together will contribute 50% towards your total mark for the module).
  • The remaining 50% comes from a two-hour examination in May/June.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 22 1 per week 1 hour 22
Weekly Discussion Group 22 1 per week 1 hour 22
Tutorials 5 Distributed 2:2:1 in the 3 terms 1 hour 5
Preparation and Reading 151
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
written examination 2 hours 100%
Component: Essay Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
essay 1 2000 words 50%
essay 2 2000 words 50%

Formative Assessment:

Formative feedback on summative essays

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