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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Postgrad (School of Social and Political Studies)

Postgraduate Course: Qualitative Methods and Ethnographic Fieldwork (PGSP11188)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis introduction to the collection of qualitative data using ethnographic methods will involve a substantial exercise in participant observation designed and carried out by each student during the semester. This will be the basis for discussion in seminar of the conceptual, practical and ethical issues of fieldwork, and for brief written reports by which the course will be assessed.
Course description After a general introduction the course will discuss exemplars of writing based on ethnographic fieldwork. In this initial period students will establish sites where they can conduct regular periods of research by participant observation during the semester. The weekly sessions will discuss topics arising from this practical experience, including problems of access, the ethics of fieldwork, the writing of fieldnotes, and issues of reflexivity in research.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2015/16, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  35
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Assessment will be made of a portfolio of work produced from the students' practical projects, including samples of fieldnotes, a reflexive assessment of their strengths and weaknesses, etc.
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate proficiency in specialised ethnographic research methods, especially participant-observation and field note-taking; demonstrate familiarity and experience with other methods, including coding, interviewing, visual methods, and textual analysis
  2. Have effectively planned and carried out a field-based project. In this project students will demonstrate methodological flexibility and creativity, adapting ethnographic methods to dynamic fieldwork contexts and developing research tools specific to that context
  3. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the key ethical issues surrounding ethnographic research
  4. Draw on original ethnographic material to make an argument and be able to evaluate other arguments made on these terms
  5. Develop their capacity for working within a research community, providing feedback on and suggestion for others' research and engage and learn from the feedback of others
Reading List
Key Reading
Paul Atkinson, et al. 2001 Handbook of Ethnography, London: Sage.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information This course does not accept auditing students
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Naomi Haynes
Tel: (0131 6)50 4052
Course secretaryMr Andrew Macaulay
Tel: (0131 6)51 5067
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