Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2012-2013 (archived)


Department: Anthropology


Type Open Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2012/13 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • Political & Economic Organization (ANTH2051) OR Kinship & Belief Systems (ANTH2041). Prerequisite for Human Sciences students: completion of Level 2 BA Human Sciences OR BSc Health and Human Sciences.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To investigate anthropological contributions to business studies from theoretical and ethnological perspectives.
  • To introduce the major anthropological approaches to communication and organisations.
  • To show how a socio-cultural anthropological training can be used in the study of business.


  • The Anthropology of Organisations: a discussion of the interplay of management sciences and anthropology with particular reference to ethnographies of business firms and cross-cultural adaptations of organisations.
  • Intercultural communication and the cross-cultural adaptation of individuals: A discussion of the interplay of communication studies, anthropology, and management sciences with particular reference to cross cultural adaptations of individuals and the responses of their host communities.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Factual: Application of anthropological insights to business situations and environments.
  • Familiarity with the anthropological literature on communication.
  • Understanding of elementary business studies concepts.
  • Awareness of some business technical vocabulary.
  • Familiarity with some introductory business studies literature.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Familiarity with the practice of trans-cultural communication skills.
  • Translation of anthropological insights into business contexts.
  • Preparation of business relevant C.V.s.
Key Skills:
  • Work with others in small groups.
  • Make verbal presentations.
  • Familiarity with interviewing techniques.
  • Develop research questions and solve problems.
  • Compile bibliographies.
  • Critically evaluate case studies.
  • Write reports.
  • Use information technology and be aware of its cultural implications.

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 seminars, geared to the specific needs of the material.
  • Students are expected to attend the weekly two-hour lecture/seminars.
  • They are required to attend the sessions, which produce the marks for the case study analyses.
  • The lectures and seminars are carefully integrated.
  • Audio-visual aids (video, sound, slides, powerpoint etc.) are used where appropriate.
  • The informal components of the module utilise a variety of methods, including e-mail discussion groups, seminar presentations and associated oral discussions.
  • Lectures will cover topics relevant for providing students with an understanding of theories currently available for the study of business 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 art, anthropology and archaeology 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.
  • Seminars provide an opportunity for students to discuss a series of topics and to make oral presentations.
  • Difficult, sensitive and unresolved issues can all be approached successfully through discussion in seminars.
  • Seminars will cover topics relevant to the content of the module.
  • Seminars 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 projects test skills of understanding, analysis, information collection and presentation test assimilated knowledge and understanding and the ability to write succinctly and analytically at short notice.
  • Summative assessment is based on one project (4,500 words maximum ) on case studies and counts as 68%.
  • case study analysis in groups - 8% per case study for the performance of each group in 4 of the case studies (total 32%). The contribution of each individual will be based on that of the group but may be modified in the light of two debriefings of each groups to assess individual contribution to group performance. The first of the debriefings will receive formative feedback.
  • Formative assessment takes place on a regular basis and may be regarded an integral part of the day-to-day teaching process.
  • Formative feedback is based on students presenting 10 group case studies at seminars, and each group selects the best 4 of these to be submitted as summative assessment.
  • Project plans and abstracts are submitted and feedback given.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 22 1 per week before seminar 1 hour 22
Seminars 22 1 per week following lecture 1 hour 22
Preparation and Reading 156
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Project 1 Component Weighting: 68%%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Individual project 4500 words max 100%
Component: Case Study Analysis Component Weighting: 32%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Performance of each group in analysing case study 1 600 words max per case study 25%
Performance of each group in analysing case study 2 600 words max per case study 25%
Performance of each group in analysing case study 3 600 words max per case study 25%
Performance of each group in analysing case study 4 600 words max per case study 25%

Formative Assessment:

Students present 10 group case studies at seminars, and each group selected the best 4 of these to be submitted as summative assessment; at least 2 of these should be from the first term and at least 2 of them from the second term. Students are required to submit project plans and abstracts on which feedback is given. Feedback is also given on the first of the two debriefings.

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