Anthropological Research Methods I - SE885

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
(version 3)
View Timetable
7 15 (7.5) PROF M Fischer







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.


This module appears in:

Contact hours



Autumn Term

Method of assessment

Assessment for this module is by 100% coursework. This module will have a two thousand word essay associated with it, the topics of which will be decided between the student, his or her supervisor, and the course convenor (65%) of his or her module mark. The remainder of the mark will be made up of two assignments based on class exercises (35%) of the final module grade.

Indicative reading

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

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1) examine the relationship between theory, research design and methods
2) use anthropological methods, including analysis of data collected in class exercises
3) gain an introduction to the 'participant observation' method and it analysis through practical experience
4) develop, conduct and analyse interviews, questionnaires, workshops and focus groups, as part of a broader anthropological project
5) explore case studies through which these tools and methods can be examined and critiqued
6) learn the basics of research design and how to write an initial research project abstract
7) 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.

University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that module information is accurate for the relevant academic session and to provide educational services as described. However, courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Please read our full disclaimer.