Ethnographic Research Methods

The details
Sociology and Criminology
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 5
Thursday 05 October 2023
Friday 28 June 2024
26 May 2023


Requisites for this module


SC831, SC832

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

The module offers the methods elements for the Anthropology degree scheme and incorporates basic ethnographic research methods. The autumn term will cover the theories, ethics and philosophical and conceptual bases of ethnographic research methods. We will focus on ethnographies and articles that critically discuss ethnographic research methods in preparation for the mini ethnographies students will conduct in the spring term.

Module aims

The module aims to provide students with a basic understanding of ethnographic research methods so they can apply and practice such methods in the field, interpret and critically analyse data and write a mini ethnography.

Module learning outcomes

On completion of this module, students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate knowledge of theories, philosophies and critiques of ethnographic research methods.
2. Develop cultural sensitivity and proper ethical frameworks to conduct research in different social and cultural contexts.
3. Develop necessary skills to formulate a research proposal.
4. Apply ethnographic research methods to conduct field research.
5. Demonstrate analytical articulation and writing skills by completing a mini ethnography.

Module information

Students are required to read the assigned material for the week in advance. The autumn term sessions will focus on ethnographies and associated critical readings. These sessions will be characterised by a mixed format of lecturing, discussion, group activity, and film clip discussion.

Learning and teaching methods

No information available.


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 Coursework weighting
Coursework   Final presentation ethnography    5% 
Coursework   Ethnography discussion (1200 words)     15% 
Coursework   Participant observation essay (2000 words)     35% 
Coursework   Ethnography    40% 
Practical   Reading Presentation (in class)    5% 

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
Prof Sandya Hewamanne, email:
Professor Sandya Hewamanne



External examiner

Dr Umut Erel
Open University
Senior Lecturer
Dr Aneira Edmunds
School of Law, Politics & Sociology
Senior Lecturer
Dr Paul Gilbert
University of Sussex
Senior Lecturer in International Development
Available via Moodle
Of 38 hours, 36 (94.7%) hours available to students:
2 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

Disclaimer: The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its Module Directory is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to programmes, modules, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to modules may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery or assessment of modules and other services, to discontinue modules and other services and to merge or combine modules. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications and module directory.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.