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Research Methods (Anthropology) (MA)


Course Description

This Economic and Social Research Council approved MA provides training in research methods with a focus on methods used by researchers in anthropology. At the end of this course you will be well prepared to go on to do research in Anthropology or a related discipline. Most students expect to move on to a PhD. The course includes training in qualitative and quantitative methods needed by researchers in social sciences, and draws on expertise within the Department of Anthropology to provide specialised training in either sociocultural anthropology, medical anthropology, the anthropology of development or cultural evolution (depending I your chosen pathway). It is affiliated to the Northern Ireland and North East Doctoral Training Partnership, which offers funding to British and European Union students interested in taking the course preparatory to moving on to a PhD at Durham.

The full-time course runs for a full year, from October to September. Students attend classes between October and December (Michaelmas Term) and January and March (Epiphany), with assessment in April and May (Easter Term), and then work, under the supervision of a specialist supervisor, to complete a dissertation in September. This is often a pilot project for a PhD project.

Students take core modules on qualitative and quantitative methods. Further modules are chosen from within each specialist pathway.

Please see http://www.durham.ac.uk/anthropology/postgraduatestudy/taughtprogrammes/maresearchmethods for further information on modules.

[Course Learning and Teaching]
The programme is delivered through a mixture of interactive lectures, seminars and workshops, in addition to one-to-one dissertation supervision. Typically, lectures deliver key information on progressively more advanced themes and topics. Seminars provide an opportunity to reflect in more depth upon material delivered in lectures and gathered from independent study outside the programme’s formal contact hours. They give students an opportunity to engage with academic issues at the cutting-edge of research in Anthropology, in a learning environment focused on discussion and debate of current issues.

Full-time students have on average 8 hours of formal teaching and learning contact per week and are also expected to attend weekly departmental seminars (hosted by our Social Anthropology Research Group (https://www.dur.ac.uk/anthropology/research/socialanthropology/) our Anthropology of Health Research Group [hyperlink to https://www.dur.ac.uk/anthropology/research/health/] and our Evolutionary Anthropology Research Group [hyperlink to https://www.dur.ac.uk/anthropology/research/evolutionary/), depending on their particular interests. Outside timetabled contact hours, students are also expected to devote significant amounts of time to reading, discussing and preparing for classes, assignments and project work.

Throughout the programme, all students meet fortnightly with their degree tutor, who provides academic support and guidance. Furthermore, all members of teaching staff have weekly office hours when they are available to meet with students on a ‘drop-in’ basis.
Students work closely with leading academics (usually their expected PhD supervisors) to develop an original piece of research for their dissertation, and guidance on the dissertation is also provided by the dissertation leader.

Before the academic year starts, we make provide information on preparation for the course. On arrival we have induction sessions including fieldtrip and social events, headed by the Director of Postgraduate Studies and the Degree Tutor for the MA. Students also attend an “Introduction to Research Groups in Anthropology”.

Visit the Research Methods (Anthropology) (MA) page on the Durham University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Last Updated

21 July 2017

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