Research Project: Anthropology

The details
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 03 October 2019
Friday 26 June 2020
16 May 2019


Requisites for this module
SC277 or SC278


SC830, SC831

Key module for

BA LL36 Social Anthropology,
BA LL3P Social Anthropology (Including Year Abroad),
BA LL6P Social Anthropology (Including Placement Year),
BA LL37 Social Anthropology with Human Rights,
BA LL38 Social Anthropology with Human Rights (Including Year Abroad),
BA LL39 Social Anthropology with Human Rights (Including Placement Year)

Module description

Many undergraduates in the Department of Sociology at Essex carry out a research project in the final year of their degree. The third-year project in Anthropology offers you the opportunity to focus on this topic in a research context. You will find that this can be an extremely worthwhile learning experience. Carrying out a project improves your employability skills, and can be a springboard to postgraduate study.

The project can take a variety of forms ranging from empirical research using methods such as participant observation, ethnographic research, interviews, and content analysis to library based theoretical work. Unlike other assignments, it involves you conducting and writing-up a piece of individual, autonomously designed research.

The undergraduate anthropology project is the equivalent of one full year module in your degree course and must be between 10,000 and 12,000 words in length. It runs in parallel with your other third year modules - although some of you may choose to begin work on your project during the summer term following your second year.

While you will receive guidance from the project director and your supervisor, ultimately the success of your research will depend on the way in which you develop your ideas and plan and execute your project.

Module aims

The project provides an opportunity for students to research and produce a substantial piece of original work. It is designed to draw together all of the knowledge that the student has acquired on the programme and will enable them to develop and demonstrate analytical, judgmental and communication skills.

Module learning outcomes

On successfully completing the project the student will be able to demonstrate the following skills:

Knowledge of key anthropological concepts and theories
Knowledge of the principles of research design and the main approaches to data collection, especially participant observation
Knowledge of the principles of ethnographic interviewing
Knowledge of the epistemological, ethical and political dimensions of anthropological research
An ability to develop a reasoned argument
An ability to formulate anthropological questions
An ability to summarise, report and evaluate arguments, texts and findings
An ability to frame a research proposal and to identify and apply the appropriate research methods
An ability to understand, summarise and critically assess anthropological work
Ability to produce independent work
An ability to frame a research proposal and to identify and apply the appropriate research methods.
An ability to conduct and present a small scale piece of anthropological research
An ability to present ideas and evidence to others in a clear and concise manner
An ability to identify problems and propose solutions
An ability to plan work and manage time and an ability to reflect on their own work and respond constructively to the comments of others

Module information

he purpose of the lectures is to prepare students to design and conduct their BA dissertation. The topics of the five lectures include: (i) Choosing the theme of the [project and specifying research questions; (ii) Preparing review of the literature relevant to the selected topic; (iii) Research methods and ethical concerns; (iv) Collecting data and analysing the findings; and (v) Structuring and writing the dissertation.

Learning and teaching methods

Lectures and workshops


  • Greetham, Bryan. (2019) How to write your undergraduate dissertation, London: Red Globe Press.
  • Neuman, William Lawrence. (2014) Social research methods: qualitative and quantitative approaches, Harlow: Pearson Education.

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Research Proposal      
Coursework   Literature Review or Annotated Bibliography     10% 
Coursework   Final Year Project     90% 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Sandya Hewamanne, email:
Dr Sandya Hewamanne
Jane Harper, Undergraduate Administrator, Telephone 01206 873052, email jharper (Non essex users should add to create the full email address)



External examiner

Dr Monika Krause
London School of Economics
Available via Moodle
Of 7 hours, 6 (85.7%) hours available to students:
1 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

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