Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024

Module ANTH2231: Anthropological Research Methods in Action

Department: Anthropology

ANTH2231: Anthropological Research Methods in Action

Type Tied Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap None. Location Durham
Tied to L602
Tied to L601
Tied to B991
Tied to LF64
Tied to LL36
Tied to LMV0
Tied to CFG0


  • Doing Anthropological Research (ANTH1111) OR Social Research Methods (SOCI1321)


  • Research Project Design (ANTH2187) AND at least 40 credits in any other Level 2 ANTH modules

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To provide students with opportunities for inquiry-based learning by addressing key anthropological themes and issues beyond the classroom.
  • To develop and apply research skills relevant to different sub-disciplinary areas of anthropology.
  • To build on methods training received on the Level 1 module Doing Anthropological Research by giving students practical experience of conducting field-based research, and prepare them for the Level 3 Anthropology Field Course module.
  • To introduce key principles of research design, data collection and analysis that will support the development of independent projects in the Level 2 module Research Project Design and third year Dissertation.


  • A series of field trips and practical activities exploring how our relationships to society, culture, the environment, and the past play out in specific local contexts, with a special focus on the north east region.
  • Development of data collection skills via anthropological fieldwork and/or online surveys.
  • Management and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Practical experience of applying anthropological approaches and knowledge via fieldwork and/or online research.
  • An appreciation of the appropriateness of different fieldwork research methods to specific lines of anthropological enquiry.
  • Understand the relationships between anthropological method and theory.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Conduct anthropological research using a range of appropriate fieldwork techniques.
  • Analyse and interpret anthropological data.
Key Skills:
  • Thinking creatively and independently about how to apply anthropological perspectives in real-world settings.
  • Understand the process of fieldwork and how to draw on an appropriate range of methods.
  • Design and carry out online surveys.
  • Work with others in collaborative activities.
  • Maintain and present a detailed record of research through verbal presentations and writing.

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

  • The primary mode of learning involves inquiry-based activities conducted during day trips to various locations of interest and/or through online research.
  • Each field trip and practical assignment will be preceded by an orientation lecture introducing the research context and tasks.
  • Additional lectures will help frame the aims of the module and contextualise it within the wider curriculum, develop general themes and connections between activities, and provide guidance on assessments.
  • Each field trip and practical assignment will be followed by a workshop focusing on data analysis and interpretation, with the aim of supporting the write-up of research reports. The workshops will also provide students with an opportunity to reflect on the experience of conducting research and the lessons to take forward.
  • Guided readings and other relevant learning materials will provide context and background for the assignments as well as supporting the development of research skills.
  • Assessment is through a portfolio of research reports based on fieldwork conducted over the course of the module, designed to evaluate the extent to which students have achieved the learning aims of each activity.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Field trips 3 2 Michaelmas, 1 in Epiphany 6 hours 24
Lectures 6 Spread across Michaelmas and Epiphany terms 1 hour 6
Field trip workshops 3 2 in Michaelmas, 1 in Epiphany following each field trip 2 hours 6
Online survey 1 Epiphany term 6 hours 6
Computer practicals 2 Epiphany term 1 hour 2
Survey workshop 1 Epiphany term 1 hour 1
Preparation and Reading 155
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Coursework Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Michaelmas Research Portfolio 2000 words 50% Yes
Epiohany Research Portfolio 2000 words 50% Yes

Formative Assessment:

Students will present research findings and preliminary field reports in the workshops, receiving feedback from the module tutors and peers.

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