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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Social Anthropology

Undergraduate Course: Ethnography: Theory and Practice (SCAN08005)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course introduces undergraduate students to the theory and practice of ethnographic fieldwork. At the heart of this course is collaborative project in which students will learn about qualitative methods by putting them to the test in practical group work. Their collective ethnographies will require them to write extensive field notes, which will be assessed, and which will function as an extended period of learning to write effectively in an academic manner. The course will be open to all second year undergraduates within the School of Social and Political Science.
Course description This course introduces undergraduate students to the theory and practice of ethnographic fieldwork. At the heart of this course is collaborative project in which students will learn about qualitative methods by working as a group to undertake ethnographic research concerning a space or place in Edinburgh of their own choosing. This project will involve participant observation, and the writing of fieldnotes, conducting interviews, and the writing of an interview transcript, and culminate in the writing and submission of a project report based upon the research undertaken by the group.
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 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  151
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 11, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 165 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The whole assessment is based upon the work towards a collaborative ethnographic research project that you will undertake in teams.

The final mark for the collaborative research project will be assessed by:

a) Assessment of a 4,000-5,000 word final project report (45%).

b) Assessment of individual two writing assignments: 1) a section of fieldnotes and accompanied by a reflection on the experience of participant-observation (25%) and 2) an interview transcript accompanied by a reflection on the experience of undertaking an interview (25%).

c) Peer assessment of the contribution towards project work, including the writing of the project report. (5%).
Feedback Written feedback will be provided on three of the four assessed components: the two individual writing assignments (fieldnotes and an interview transcript) and the final project report. The only exception is the peer assessment component. In addition, continuous feedback concerning the progress of the group projects will be provided in conversation with the tutors and the course organiser.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Have a thorough understanding of ethnography as a qualitative method, both practically and theoretically,
  2. Have engaged in a collaborative research project, learned how to work in research teams, and have gained an understanding of the practice of ethnographic fieldwork and its methodology.
  3. Exercised and improved their writing skills through the writing of field notes, research reports and an ethnographic essay.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information Plus 2 tutorials per week, starting in week 2.
KeywordsEthnography,Qualitative Method,Collaborative Research,Fieldwork,Writing Skills
Course organiserDr Magnus Course
Tel: (0131 6)51 3893
Course secretaryMiss Lauren Ayre
Tel: (0131 6)50 4001
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