Anthropological Research Methods I - SACO8850

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2022 to 2023
Autumn Term 7 15 (7.5) Zerrin Biner Arroyo-Kalin checkmark-circle


The module will consist of twelve two hour classes consisting of short introductions to weekly topics by the course convenors followed by practical exercises to allow students to experience and learn by doing several key methods and tools used in anthropological fieldwork. Assignments based on the use of several methods, a research proposal abstract for their future dissertation project, and an essay will be used to assess the student's achievement of learning outcomes. Seminar topics may include: Introduction to research in the natural and social sciences, participant observation, choosing informants, interviewing, processing interview data, analysis and presentation of qualitative data, questionnaire design and analysis, developing an integrated research design, running workshops and focus groups, ethics and consent.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 24
Private study hours: 126
Total study hours: 150


MA/MSc Environmental Anthropology
MSc Ethnobotany
MA Social Anthropology and all associated pathways

Method of assessment

Methods Assignments (30%).
Research Proposal (45%)
Collective Teamwork (25%)

Reassessment methods: Like for Like.

Indicative reading

Reading list (Indicative list, current at time of publication. Reading lists will be published annually)

Abbott, Andrew. 2014. Digital Paper: A Manual for Research and Writing with Library and Internet Materials. Chicago: Chicago University Press.

Bernard, H. Bernard. 2005. Research Methods in Anthropology: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. Altamira Press.

Boellstorff, Tom, Bonnie Nardi, Celia Pearce, and T. I. Taylor. 2012. Ethnography and Virtual Worlds: A Handbook of Method. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Greenwood, Davydd J. 2006. Introduction to Action research: Social research for Social Change. Sage Publications.

Kindon, Sara, Rachel Pain, and Mike Kesby. 2007 Participatory Action Research Approaches and Methods: Connecting People, Participation and Place. Routledge.

Martin, G. 2004. Ethnobotany: A Methods Manual. Reprint from 1995. Earthscan.

Newing, H, Eagle, C, Puri, R and Watson, C. 2011. Conducting research in conservation: social science methods and practice. Routledge.

Pelto, Pertti and Gretel H. Pelto. 1978. Anthropological Research: The Structure of Inquiry.

Robben, Antonius and Jeffrey A. Sluka , eds. 2006. Ethnographic Fieldwork; an Anthropological Reader. Blackwell Books.

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

8.1 examine the relationship between theory, research design and methods

8.2 use anthropological methods, including analysis of data collected in class exercises

8.3 gain an introduction to the 'participant observation' method and it analysis through practical experience

8.4 develop, conduct and analyse interviews, questionnaires, workshops and focus groups, as part of a broader anthropological project

8.5 explore case studies through which these tools and methods can be examined and critiqued

8.6 learn the basics of research design and how to write an initial research project abstract

appreciate the potential challenges and benefits of anthropological research in a variety of settings, including as part of applied anthropological research associated with natural science and biodiversity conservation programmes.

The intended generic learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

9.1 acquire understanding and introductory facility in using various tools and methods within anthropology and the social sciences

9.2 gain an introductory understanding of ethics within the context of fieldwork and the disciple at large

9.3 present ideas systematically and cogently both orally and in writing

9.4 interact with peers and their seminar leaders in the exchange of ideas


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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