Project in Anthropological Science - SE533

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2020 to 2021
Autumn and Spring 6 30 (15) DR S Johns checkmark-circle


Students will be expected to conduct original research into some aspect of scientific anthropology and present their research findings in the form of a 12,000 word (approx.) dissertation, and an oral presentation. They will also have to submit a project participation file. For the project they can collect and analyse their own data, analyse previously published data in an original manner, or combine the two approaches. The research must include collecting/analysing quantitative data. Students will be assigned an individual supervisor who will advise them on their choice of topic and research strategy. The participation file will document the progress of the research and related research training. There is no word limit, as exact content will depend on the project topic. At a minimum it should include: A diary of the research, a log of the meetings with the supervisor, notes from supervisions or from consultations with the supervisory team, notes from data collection and analysis, notes from wider reading, and any draft methods of data collection (questionnaires etc.).


This module appears in the following module collections.

Contact hours



BSc Anthropology, BSc Biological Anthropology, (and cognate year abroad / professional practise programmes)

Method of assessment

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

Indicative reading

General research
Dunbar, R. (2006). The Trouble With Science. Harvard University Press.
Ford, E.D. (2000). Scientific Method for Ecological Research. Cambridge University Press.
Lasker, G.L. & Mascie-Taylor, C.G.N. (2005). Research Strategies in Human Biology. Cambridge University Press.
Day, R.A & Gastel, B. (2011). How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper (7th ed). Greenwood Press.
Pechenik, J.A. & Lamb, B.C. (1996). How To Write About Biology. Prentice Hall.
Bell, J. (2010). Doing Your Research Project: A Guide for First Time Researchers in Education, Health and Social Science (5th Ed.). Open University Press.
Bernard, H.R. (2005). Research Methods in Anthropology. AltaMira Press.

Statistics and SPSS
Brace, N et al. (2012). SPSS for Psychologists (5th edition). London: Palgrave Macmillan
Dancey, C.P, and Reidy, J. (2011). Statistics Without Maths for Psychology. London: Prentice Hall.
Fowler, J, Cohen, L and Jarvis, P. (1998). Practical Statistics for Field Biology. John Wiley & Sons.
Madrigal, L. (1998) Statistics for Anthropology. Cambridge University Press. (new edition Feb 2012).
Pallant, J. (2010) SPSS Survival Manual (4th edition). Open University Press
Rowntree, D. (2000). Statistics Without Tears. Penguin
Sokal R, and Rohlf, F.J. (1995). Biometry (3rd ed.). Freeman and Co.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

design and conduct a study into one or more aspects of anthropological science (sensu lato)
interpret research findings and relate them to other research that is published in the anthropological and scientific literature
handle data and use statistical tests where appropriate
communicate effectively to a variety of audiences and/or using a variety of methods
appreciate the reliability and limitations of research within anthropological science.


  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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