Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2019-2020 (archived)

Module ANTH46515: Advanced Specialised Aspects in Social Anthropology (15 credits)

Department: Anthropology

ANTH46515: Advanced Specialised Aspects in Social Anthropology (15 credits)

Type Open Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2019/20 Module Cap None.


  • <If other modules, please enter module code using 'Right Click, Insert module_code' or enter module title>


  • <If other modules, please enter module code using 'Right Click, Insert module_code' or enter module title>

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • Students who previously studied at Durham are not permitted to take topics that have substantially similar content to modules taken at Level 3.


  • To develop an understanding of specialised aspects of social anthropology, chosen from a list of topics representing the main areas of research in the Social Anthropology Research Group.


  • One topic, as available. It is envisaged that 6-8 topics will be offered annually, selected to be representative of the core research areas in social anthropology, which may include:
  • Anthropology of conflict and law
  • Violence and memory
  • Development anthropology
  • Religious controversy
  • Migration
  • Political anthropology
  • Economic anthropology
  • Power
  • Environmental anthropology

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • At the end of the module, students will be able to: 
  • Demonstrate advanced levels of current knowledge and intensive understanding in a specific area of social anthropology research. 
  • Demonstrate in depth knowledge of a particular area of social anthropology, with emphasis on interpretation, critical evaluation and comprehensive understanding of primary data.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Deploy analytical skills specific to specialised aspects under study in the Social Anthropology Research Group. 
  • Be competent in accessing and assimilating specialised research literature of an advanced nature. 
  • Show an ability to synthesize data, concepts and theories in a sophisticated manner
Key Skills:
  • Preparation and effective communication of research methods, data, interpretation and arguments in written form. 
  • Advanced critical evaluation skills

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

  • Classes will integrate lecture, tutorial and practical components, with the balance dictated by appropriateness to the research topic in question.
  • Lecture elements will provide students with an outline of key knowledge and debates in the topic area, discuss the literature that students should explore, and provide relevant examples and cases studies.
  • Tutorial elements will develop topics introduced in lectures and required reading to analyse aspects or case studies in greater depth and to prepare students for their summative assignment.
  • Practical components will provide students with hands-on experience of the research.
  • Advanced discussion classes will allow students to develop their skills of critical thinking and evaluation, as well as how to synthesise and interrogate material at a level commensurate with postgraduate attainment. This will support the critical reading log, an annotated bibliography in which the evidence and arguments presented in readings selected by the student and relevant to the written assignment are evaluated and critiqued. This along with the written assignment should show evidence of a higher level of engagement than would be expected at Level 3.
  • Student preparation and reading time will allow engagement with specific references in advance of tutorials and general and particular reading related to the assessment, which will be a written assignment (such as an essay or report).

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Classes 15 Specified in module handbook 1 15
Advanced discussion classes 1 Specified in module handbook 1 1
Preparation and Reading 134
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Written assignment Component Weighting: 80%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Wriiten assignment 3500 words 100% yes
Component: Critical reading log Component Weighting: 20%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Critical reading log 500 words 100% yes

Formative Assessment:

Formative guidance on assessments may differ by topic, and full details will be provided in classes. Typical formatives may include presenting ideas related to your assignment topic in class, or an extended essay plan.

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