Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024

Module ANTH1101: Doing Anthropological Research

Department: Anthropology

ANTH1101: Doing Anthropological Research

Type Tied Level 1 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap Location Durham
Tied to L601
Tied to L602
Tied to B991
Tied to LF64
Tied to LL36
Tied to CFG0
Tied to LA01
Tied to LMV0


  • None.


  • A minimum of 40 credits of Level 1 Anthropology modules, in addition to ANTH1101.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To provide a grounding in scientific and ethnographic research methods as used in both biological and sociocultural anthropology respectively.
  • To enable students to appreciate the relationship of data to anthropological theory.
  • To enable students to experience the process of collecting and analysing data, and creating anthropological knowledge.
  • To prepare students for fieldwork, and allow them to develop academic and transferable skills relevant to tertiary-level learning and employment.


  • Scientific methods: an introduction to quantitative research methods typically used in biological/evolutionary and some medical anthropology, including. an introduction to hypothesis testing, types of quantitative data and the process of quantitative data analysis and interpretation.
  • Ethnographic methods: an introduction to methods typically used in sociocultural anthropology and some medical anthropology.
  • Ethnographic methods: an introduction to qualitative research methods typically used in sociocultural anthropology and some medical anthropology, concentrating on participant-observation and its attendant skills
  • The module as a whole provides students with a baseline understanding of anthropological methods and theory that will both aid in the understanding of material presented in other anthropology modules, and offers practical, hands-on preparation for the field course and research dissertation.
  • The academic skills sessions will aid students' transition from secondary to tertiary education, and equip them with knowledge, skills and attributes relevant to the later practical field trips as well as employment outside university.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Understand the methods used across the breadth of anthropological research, including both qualitative and quantitative techniques
  • Awareness of the relationship between anthropological theory and methods
  • Awareness of both the differences and commonalities in methods across the sub-fields of anthropology
  • Awareness of how anthropological research methods translate into field settings.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Appreciate cultural relativity and its implications for anthropological research
  • Ability to use and critically evaluate key anthropological research techniques
  • Ability to interpret and write up anthropological research findings appropriately
  • Appreciate the importance of appropriate conduct and ethical practice in anthropological research, including in field settings
Key Skills:
  • Ability to use a range of key quantitative and qualitative research methods
  • Ability to interpret and critically evaluate research findings, including understanding the limits of data
  • Ability to apply ethical guidelines and risk assessment in research
  • Ability to design, carry out and write up research projects
  • Broader transferable skills including time management, finding sources, active, effective reading, academic integrity and the use of citation and referencing, critical thinking, writing (academic and non-academic) and career planning.

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

  • Students are expected to attend lectures, workshops and practicals.
  • 45% of the summative assessment mark will be based on a 2,000 word report using quantitative methods and analysis.
  • 45% of the mark will be derived from a 2,000 word research methods portfolio comprising 1) a written account of an observation exercise, 2) a written account of an interview exercise, and 3) an interview transcript.
  • 10% of the mark will be derived from a series of online exercises assessing academic skills, such as quizzes and reflective writing exercises.
  • Formative Assessment is based on submitted essay plans, self-marked worksheets and formative quizzes.
  • Academic skills development will be supported by lectures and weekly exercises which students will complete in their personal Academic Skills Journal, receiving feedback from tutors.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures (methods) 29 Determined as necessary 1-2 hours 30
Practicals/workshops (methods) 12 Determined as necessary 2 hours 24
Preparation and Reading 146
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Quantitative methods and analysis Component Weighting: 45%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Quantitative methods report 2000 words 100%
Component: Qualitative methods and analysis Component Weighting: 45%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Research methods portfolio 2000 words 100%
Component: Academic skills for anthropologists Component Weighting: 10%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Online exercises 100%

Formative Assessment:

Formative assessment is based on draft assessment plans, self-marked worksheets, formative quizzes, verbal feedback in class and the Academic Skills Journal.

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