Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024 (archived)

Module ANTH2151: Interrogating Anthropology

Department: Anthropology

ANTH2151: Interrogating Anthropology

Type Tied Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Not available in 2023/24 Module Cap None. Location Durham
Tied to L601
Tied to L602
Tied to B991
Tied to L605
Tied to L606
Tied to L607
Tied to LF64
Tied to LL36
Tied to CFG0
Tied to LMV0


  • Doing Anthropological Research (ANTH1101)


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To build upon previous methods training in anthropology by providing the skills necessary to develop independent dissertation projects.
  • To give students the tools to think critically about epistemological and methodological underpinnings of research across the breadth of the discipline of Anthropology, to understand how the research process works differently in the different sub-disciplines, and to reflect critically on the possibilities, limitations and the challenges of integrating different approaches.


  • The module cromprises tjree omterlocking parts:
  • Part one drills down into the Field Course (ANTH2131), drilling down in the practical and epistemological considerations entailed in the ways that anthropologists use data to make arguments in social and biological anthropology.
  • Part two brings the different sub-disciplines into conversation, through a series of thematic discussions in which the same topic is approached from different sub-disciplinary perspectives.
  • Part three prepares students for independent dissertation research through a series of lectures and practical sessions around choosing a research topic, identifying literature, selecting appropriate methods and ethical considerations.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Deep understanding of the research process within biological and social anthropology, including the use and manipulation of data in biological and social anthropology, and the relationships between data and argument.
  • Critical awareness of possibilities, limitations and challenges of working across the different sub-disciplines within anthropology.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Construct a critical argument about the possibilities and limitations of integrating anthropology across the different sub-disciplines.
  • Prepare a dissertation research proposal (including identifying research questions, identifying and engaging critically with literature, selecting appropriate research methods and preparing and ethics application).
Key Skills:
  • Work with others in collaborative activities.
  • Preparing a research proposal.
  • Preparing an ethics application and applying ethical guidelines in research.

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

  • Weekly hour-long slots, to take a variety of formats, including: ‘traditional’ lectures on key topics and thematic round-table style discussions between staff members working within different sub-disciplines.
  • Seminars / workshops with small groups to: engage critically with themes/debates introduces in lectures and round tables, and prepare for different aspects of dissertation proposal writing.
  • Formative assessment is via essay plan (~750 words), and ethics application for fictional research project (~750 words).
  • Summative assessment is via 2500 word essay and 2000 word dissertation proposal including ethics application/risk assessment/medical declaration on online form (online form not included in word count).

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures / round tables 20 Weekly 1 hour 20
Seminars 2 Michaelmas term 1 hour 2
Methods workshops 2 Twice in Epiphany 2 hours 4
Preparation and Reading 174
Total 200

Summative Assessment

The text in the online ethics / risk assessment / medical declaration form is not included in the dissertation proposal word count.
Component: Essay Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 2500 words 100% Yes
Component: Dissertation proposal Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Dissertation proposal including ethics application/risk assessment/medical declaration on online form 2000 words 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:

Essay plan (750 words). Ethics application for fictional research project (750 words).

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