Ethnographic Methods of Data Collection (507X8B)

15 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

Spring teaching

This course develops your understanding of, and competence in, ethnographic research methods. You will address various questions of data collection within familiar and unfamiliar societies and social settings, exploring what kinds of information ethnographers can look for and find. You will uncover the romantic and the practical aspects of conducting ethnography.

You will acquire knowledge of ethnographic research through both reading secondary accounts and, most importantly, by designing and conducting a research project in collaboration with others. As part of a small team made up of two-five people, you will conceptualise a research problem, identify appropriate ethnographic methods to investigate it, design a research strategy, carry out the research, reflect critically on the research process and collectively develop and undertake a group presentation for the tutor and larger seminar group. The course focuses on access to ethnographic settings, comportment in the field, and the interpretation of observations. It concentrates on the process of recording ethnographic data through field notes, and encourages you to reflect on the process of turning fieldwork into a narrative account. You will also be asked to reflect on the possibilities and limitations of ethnographic methods within the wider framework of research methods.

Teaching and assessment

We’re currently reviewing teaching and assessment of our modules in light of the COVID-19 situation. We’ll publish the latest information as soon as possible.

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 13 hours of contact time and about 137 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

This module is running in the academic year 2021/22. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. However, we are constantly looking to improve and enhance our courses. There may be changes to modules in response to student demand or feedback, changes to staff expertise or updates to our curriculum. We may also need to make changes in response to COVID-19. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: