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.


100%: Practical (Workshop)


100%: Coursework (Group presentation)

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.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.