Research Project: Anthropology

The details
Sociology and Criminology
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 27 June 2025
21 February 2024


Requisites for this module
SC277 or SC203
EC831, GV831, SC830, SC831



Key module for


Module description

Undergraduates in the Department of Sociology at Essex carry out a research project in the final year of their degree. This project allows you to apply the theoretical and methodological knowledge that you have gained over the course of your undergraduate degree.

The project can take a variety of forms ranging from empirical research using methods such as participant observation, ethnographic research, qualitative interviews, content or discourse analysis, or secondary data analysis, such as the analysis of an existing quantitative or qualitative data set. Unlike other assignments, you will be conducting, analysing and writing-up a piece of original research.

The undergraduate sociology 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 (including all footnotes, endnotes, references/bibliography and tables/figures). It runs in parallel with your other third year modules - although you should 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 aim of this module is:

  • To provide 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

By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to demonstrate the following skills:

  1. Knowledge of key anthropological concepts and theories.

  2. Knowledge of the principles of research design and the main approaches to data collection, especially participant observation.

  3. Knowledge of the principles of ethnographic interviewing.

  4. Knowledge of the epistemological, ethical, and political dimensions of anthropological research
    An ability to develop a reasoned argument.

  5. An ability to formulate anthropological questions.

  6. An ability to summarise, report, and evaluate arguments, texts, and findings.

  7. An ability to frame a research proposal and to identify and apply the appropriate research methods.

  8. An ability to understand, summarise and critically assess anthropological work.

  9. Ability to produce independent work.

  10. An ability to frame a research proposal and to identify and apply the appropriate research methods.

  11. An ability to conduct and present a small scale piece of anthropological research.

  12. An ability to present ideas and evidence to others in a clear and concise manner.

  13. An ability to identify problems and propose solutions.

  14. 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

Indicative syllabus

  1. Final Year Project Introduction

  2. Ethics Workshop

  3. Writing the Literature Review

  4. Data Collection and Access Workshop

  5. Structuring and Writing your Project

Learning and teaching methods

This module will include a range of activities to help you and your supervisors to check your understanding and progress. These include the submission of a research proposal and data collection plan, an opportunity to engage in workshops on data collection and analysis, and a regular discussion forum where you can look for answers to your questions, and post new questions. 

Please note that you should be spending up to eight hours per week undertaking your own private study (reading, preparing for classes or assignments, etc.) on each of your modules (e.g. 32 hours in total for four 30-credit modules).


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Literature Review     10% 
Coursework   Final year Project     90% 

Additional coursework information

BA dissertations should include the following sections:

  • Introduction stating the topic and purpose of study and it specific research questions.
  • Presentation of research methods.
  • Review of the relevant literature.
  • Presentation and discussion of the collected data.
  • Conclusion.

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Maitrayee Deka, email:
Supervision by various members of the Department
Jane Harper, Undergraduate Administrator, Telephone 01206 873052, email jharper (Non essex users should add to create the full email address)



External examiner

Dr Paul Gilbert
University of Sussex
Senior Lecturer in International Development
Available via Moodle
Of 1 hours, 1 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.


Further information
Sociology and Criminology

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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