Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024 (archived)

Module ANTH3797: Physical Activity for Health: Anthropological/Critical Perspectives

Department: Anthropology

ANTH3797: Physical Activity for Health: Anthropological/Critical Perspectives

Type Open Level 3 Credits 10 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • ANTH2111 Sex, Reproduction and Love OR ANTH2141 Global Health and Disease


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To critically consider public health approaches linking ‘lifestyle’ and health
  • To explore the potential for anthropological approaches and methods to improve the evaluation and implementation of public health interventions, including those to promote physical activity and health
  • To engage with recent and ongoing research taking an anthropological/critical approach to the study of physical activity for health


  • Understanding how physical activities affect health and wellbeing
  • Understanding the place of physical activities in everyday lives
  • Critical examination of approaches to the promotion of physical activity and of healthy ‘behaviours’ more generally
  • Exploration of the contribution of anthropological approaches and methods to the evaluation of public health interventions targeting physical activity

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 the anthropology of physical activity
  • Be competent in accessing and assimilating specialised research literature of an advanced nature.
  • Demonstrate in depth knowledge of anthropological contributions to the study of physical activity and health, with emphasis on interpretation and comprehensive understanding of primary research.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Applying key skills (see below) to discourses and debates pertaining to medical, public and anthropological discourses surrounding 'lifestyle' and health, particularly physical activity
Key Skills:
  • Preparation and effective communication of research methods, data, interpretation and arguments in written form.
  • Critical analysis of literature and data
  • Self-reflection on knowledge and skills acquired and developed
  • Accessing library resources
  • Undertaking independent study and research
  • Preparation and effective communication of interpretations and arguments in written form

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

  • Lectures and seminars may consist of pre-recorded videos, live lecture presentations, research seminars, student seminars including break-out discussions or other activities as appropriate to the material covered week to week.
  • Pre-recorded videos and live lecture presentation 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.
  • Seminars 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.
  • Student preparation and reading time will allow engagement with specific references in advance of seminars and general and particular reading related to the assessmentSummative assessment will consist of a 2,500 word research proposal
  • Summative assessment will consist of a 2,500 word research proposal

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lecture 1 Teaching week 1 1 hour 1
Seminars 7 Across one term 2 hours 14
Preparation and Reading 85
Total 100

Summative Assessment

Component: Coursework Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Research proposal 2500 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

500 word piece of preparatory work for the research proposal

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