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

Undergraduate Course: Anthropology in Practice (SCAN10093)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryAnthropology in Practice provides the framework for small groups (8-12) of Honours students enrolled on a degree programme in Social Anthropology (including single honours, joint honours, with and pathway degrees) to undertake faculty-student collaboration on research, teaching or public education and engagement. Projects will be proposed by members of academic staff, often in collaboration with other partners within and/or beyond the University of Edinburgh. Students on the course will collaborate to co-produce aims/objectives/outputs in the context of the remit of the proposed project and work with each other, as well as members of academic staff and other partners, towards delivering on these aims/objectives/outputs.
Course description This is a course about doing applied anthropology and reflecting on this process. This is, in other words, about 'putting anthropology to work'. It provides a framework by which members of academic staff, often collaborating with partners within and/or beyond the Universities, will propose projects and small groups (8-12 individuals) of students will work together, under the supervision of academic staff and collaborating with partners within and/or beyond the University of Edinburgh, to co-produce aims/objectives, undertake project planning and work towards delivering on these aims/objectives/outputs. Academic staff and other partners (particularly the Student Development Office) will provide guidance, advice and training as well as learning content specific to the needs of the given project. Please note: this 20-credit course runs over two semesters.

Content Outline

The learning content will vary greatly according to the nature of the project work and specific requirements for training and learning will be discussed and agreed between the academic staff and students involved so as to be adapted to the needs and ambitions of the project. All projects, however, will include an initial workshop to introduce the project, a workshop on 'anthropological praxis' or 'applied anthropology' and a training session, led by the Student Development Office, about project management and team-working.

Student Learning Experience

This course is very much about learning by doing, so students will be expected to work independently as individuals and as part of a group under the supervision of a member of academic staff.

There will, however, be regular, one-hour fortnightly project supervision meetings with the member(s) of academic staff supervising and supporting the project work. So, a minimum 10 meetings in all, 5 in semester 1 and 5 in semester 2. Additional meetings can be arranged according to requirements of the project. It is anticipated the project group will meet regularly amongst themselves, and it is the responsibility of the project group to organise ways of working with each other to move the project forward in a collaborative manner.

Additionally, there will be a minimum of six three-hour seminars/training events scheduled across the two semesters. There will be three initial workshops. These gatherings will introduce and discuss the specific project, provide training about project management and team-working, and a broad more conceptual introduction to applied anthropology. The subject and substance of the subsequent three events will be determined by the project group according to requirements of the project. Additional events may be proposed as felt useful, allowing for the availability of suitable people to be involved in leading or contributing to these events.

Finally, students will be offered two 1-on-1 supervision meetings with the course convener, one in semester 1 and one in semester 2, to discuss how they are finding the work, any issues or anxieties they may be experiencing etc. Of course, academics leading the projects and the course convenor will be additionally available for meetings during office hours.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Available only to students enrolled on the following programmes:

Social Anthropology, Social Anthropology and Politics, Social Anthropology and Social Policy, Sociology and Social Anthropology, Sustainable Development (Social Anthropology), Archaeology and Social Anthropology, Law and Social Anthropology, Geography and Social Anthropology ), Arabic and Social Anthropology and Persian and Social Anthropology.
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Negotiate and prepare an appropriate and agreed learning contract, demonstrate efficiency, collaborative team-working (when appropriate) and autonomy in the management of the required project and delivery of agreed outcomes.
  2. Apply knowledge and critical thinking to a new context (the project) and demonstrate ability to identify, define and analyse problems and identify or create processes to solve them.
  3. Communicate project findings and outcomes in a professional and creative manner to relevant audiences.
  4. Demonstrate reflexivity as independent learner.
  5. Demonstrate a critical and practical understanding of the role of anthropological perspectives and approaches in reference to undertaking collaborative project work oriented towards real world outputs and involvements.
Reading List
Boyer, Dominic et al. Collaborative Anthropology Today: A Collection of Exceptions. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2021.

Culhane, Dara, and Denielle Elliott, eds. A Different Kind of Ethnography: Imaginative Practices and Creative Methodologies. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2016.

Field, Les, and Richard G Fox. Anthropology Put to Work. Routledge, 2020.

Redding, Terry M, and Charles C Cheney. Profiles of Anthropological Praxis: An International Casebook. New York, NY: Berghahn Books, 2022.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Research and Enquiry: be able to identify, define and analyse problems and identify or create processes to solve them; be able to exercise critical judgement in creating new understanding.

Personal and Intellectual Autonomy: to be independent learners who take responsibility for their own learning, and are committed to continuous reflection, self-evaluation and self-improvement; and to be able to use collaboration and debate effectively to test, modify and strengthen their own views.

Engagement: to demonstrate a capacity to work as a team, collaborating with partners and stakeholders to design a project and work towards agreed goals oriented towards public engagement.

Communication: make effective use of oral, written and visual means to critique, negotiate, create and communicate understanding; use communication as a tool for collaborating with others; seek an value open feedback

Personal Effectiveness: be able to flexibly transfer knowledge, learning, skills and abilities from one context to another and to concrete projects.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr John Harries
Tel: (0131 6)50 4051
Course secretary
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