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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 Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
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 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 9, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 11, 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) 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 an individual 3,000 word writing assignment describing and reflecting on ethnographic methods including: 1) a fieldnotes extract 2) an interview transcript 3) a reflection on the experience of using ethnographic methods (50%).

b) Assessment of a 4,000-5,000 word group project report (50%).

Feedback Written feedback will be provided on two of three assessed components: the individual writing assignment (ethnographic methods and reflection) 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
Special Arrangements Only students enrolled on single Honours or joint Honours Social Anthropology can be enrolled on this course. All other students must take Introduction to Social Anthropology
Additional Class Delivery Information Lectures and 1 hour tutorials begin in week 1.
KeywordsEthnography,Qualitative Method,Collaborative Research,Fieldwork,Writing Skills
Course organiserProf Alexander Edmonds
Course secretaryMr Ewen Miller
Tel: (0131 6)50 3925
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