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

Postgraduate Course: Advanced Issues in Anthropological Research (SCAN11006)

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 Credits40 ECTS Credits20
SummaryThe course is the core subject-specific preparation for MSc by Research students and is made up of 4 linked components

(1) A series of weekly 2-hour seminars which run throughout the year. All MSc by Research and/or probationary PhD students are expected to attend and to make presentations on their research project (at least once during the year), focusing on the ethnographic and theoretical context for their work.

(2) A complementary series of weekly 90-minute Work in Progress seminars. It is convened by the Postgraduate Advisor, and all postgraduate students are expected to attend and, if possible, present their own material to the seminar. (With pressure of time and numbers, there may be a slight preference for presentations from students in their second or later years in this seminar.) The seminar provides an opportunity to give formal academic presentations within the supportive context of fellow research students. Supervisors and other members of the teaching staff may also attend this seminar, usually at the invitation of the speaker.

(3) In the period immediately before the summer vacation, as part of their formal assessment for upgrading to PhD status, students present dissertation/proposal work in progress to a broader group, including all research students and staff in the Subject Group. Leading into this final third of the course will be:

(4) Attendance of the Scottish Training in Anthropological Research 5-day residential workshop, usually offered in April or early May. Students attending the course from disciplines other than Social Anthropology must gain the approval and recommendation of their home subject area in order to attend. The residential workshop is offered without cost to attending students.

Topics covered

- working with qualitative methodologies
- ethical and political issues
- research design
- communicating research results
- project management and team-working
Course description This seminar aims to provide a structured way for new PhD students to formulate their research proposals through collective engagement with each individual proposal. The presentation of one¿s own work and the active engagement with the work of the other students in the seminar is a requirement. During Semester 1 students will formulate drafts of their proposals and then throughout the semester will work to revise and improve these drafts. Work on research proposals will be carried over into Semester 2, when additional relevant theoretical, methodological, and ethnographic texts will be read and discussed by the group if there is time to do so after completion of the presentations.

Outline content

Presentation and discussion of drafts of student PhD proposals. Each individual student will solely present and discuss the proposal during at least one two hour session during the year.

This seminar is intended to provide a space where students can work to improve their proposed research projects in a group setting. As this process only happens through trial-and-error and discussion, the specific content of the presentations and proposals and the subsequent discussions regarding the assigned theoretical readings are not graded as such. Rather, student evaluations are judged solely on their active participation in the seminar. More specifically, each student is expected to regularly attend seminar meetings, present their work on the day they are assigned to do so, and engage with the work of the other students in the seminar and the assigned readings in a productive, supportive manner.
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:  30
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 400 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 40, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 8, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 352 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 0 %, Practical Exam 100 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Assessment is solely based on student presentations and regular, engaged critical discussion by members of the seminar.
Feedback The Course Organiser will provide oral feedback regarding presentations during the seminar discussion and any notes or written comments made to guide the discussion. Students themselves will provide the majority of the feedback to their peers in the course of the presentations and discussions. The course is pass/fail only; a pass indicates that the student successfully presented a proposal and regularly attended and provided feedback to peers.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Display practical familiarity in ethnographic and other relevant research methods
  2. Display advanced familiarity with a regional literature (including historical, geographical, demographic, political, etc., aspects) and relevant areas of social and cultural theory
  3. Be in command of relevant logistical arrangements (e.g. choice of site, local institutional affiliations, ethical committees, visas and permissions, precautionary health measures)
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Tom Boylston
Course secretaryMs Aikaterini Charvala
Tel: (0131 6)50 4296
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