Ethnographic Research Methods (L6046N)

15 credits, Level 5

Autumn teaching

This module utilises group-based engagement with ethnographic monographs to reflect on methods of research in anthropology. The module has two parts:

Part 1 considers the history, tools and complexities of the ethnographic method. In these weeks, we address issues including ethics, reflexivity and the practicalities of addressing these concerns.

Part 2 investigates the application and development of research methods in practice through study of monographs. You will work in a small group and allocated a monograph, which you will be asked to study in sections. The second part of the course engages with specific methods of research, including:

  • participant observation
  • participation
  • interviews
  • life histories/stories
  • sensory methodologies
  • the role of writing.

We will critically consider the materials and knowledges generated through these methodologies, and the theorising this enables. You will be asked to reflect on the content of both parts of the course in relation to your allocated monograph.


52%: Lecture
48%: Seminar


20%: Coursework (Group presentation)
80%: Written assessment (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 27 hours of contact time and about 123 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 2023/24. 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.


This module is offered on the following courses: