Independent Research Project - ANTB5330

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Combined Autumn and Spring Terms 6 30 (15) Sarah Johns checkmark-circle


Students will conduct their own independent research into some aspect of anthropology, human biology, or behaviour and present their research findings in the form of a 12,000-word (maximum 13,200, minimum 9,000) dissertation. They will be assigned a supervisor who will work with them, one-on-one, over the course of the module, and who will guide them on their choice of topic, data collection and analysis, and research strategy. The supervisor will also assess the ethics and risks of the proposed project, and an associated project proposal during the Autumn Term. Students will also submit a project participation file which documents their research process and progress, and make a formal presentation about their research. For the project they can collect and analyse their own, original data, analyse previously collected or published data in an original manner, or combine the two approaches. The research must include collecting/analysing quantitative data, and can include other methods of data collection and analysis where appropriate. This module has been designed so that students will gain excellent transferrable skills in, among other things, time management, working independently, data analysis, and communication of ideas to specialists and non-specialists alike. These skills will make them competitive for future employment or further study.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 15
Private study hours: 285
Total study hours: 300


Compulsory to the following courses:
• BSc Biological Anthropology, (until the completion of all current students)
• BSc Human Biology and Behaviour
• (and cognate year abroad / professional practice for the above programmes)

Optional to the following courses:
• BSc Anthropology, and cognate courses

Method of assessment

Dissertation (Min. 9,000 - Max 13,200 words) (70%)
Participation Folder (no word limit) (10%)
Presentation (double-marked) (20%)

Reassessment: Like-for-Like
Students must repeat the module in attendance if they fail and have not engaged with the supervision or data collection process. A summer re-sit will not be possible if the data collection and analysis process has not been satisfactorily completed by the submission deadline.

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices.

The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Design and conduct a study into one or more aspects of anthropology, human biology, or behaviour (sensu lato).
2 Interpret research findings and relate them to other research that is published in the relevant literature.
3 Handle data and use appropriate statistical tests.
4 Communicate effectively to a variety of audiences and/or using a variety of methods
5 Appreciate both the reliability and limitations of scientific research.


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  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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