Ethnographies of Aid (L2152A)

30 credits, Level 6

Autumn teaching

You'll consider what could be called the ‘ethnographic turn’ in development studies, which brings ethnographic methods and perspectives to bear on aid institutions, policies, and actors.

These include particular methodological approaches, such as participant observation within aid organisations or ‘expert’ communities, and also attention to neglected dimensions such as the material culture of aid, and the role of the body in development work.

As well as the ethnography of policy-making, you'll also investigate the role of non-official materials such as aid worker blogs, memoirs and ‘development blockbusters’.


100%: Seminar


25%: Coursework (Group presentation)
75%: Written assessment (Report)

Contact hours and workload

This module is 300 hours of work. This breaks down into 36 hours of contact time and 264 hours of independent study.

This module is running in the academic year 2018/19. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. It may become unavailable due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: