Dissertation in Anthropological Research Methods (90)
- Module Code:
- FHEQ Level:
- Year of study:
- Year 1 or Year 2
- Taught in:
- Full Year
The module is a compulsory component of the MRes Social Anthropology, following on from the compulsory module Ethnographic Research Methods, and the Training Seminar and from region-specific, language, and other option modules taken on the programme.
Students on the module will be assigned dissertation supervisors early in the year with whom topics are agreed. They meet fortnightly with their supervisors to produce a systematic review of the secondary and regional literature which forms an integral part of their dissertation. The dissertation (15,000 words) constitutes the main work in which students demonstrate the extent to which they have achieved the key learning outcomes of research training.
In addition to discussing their dissertations with their supervisors, students present their dissertation work at the two-hour weekly Training Seminar, which runs through two terms and is convened by the Doctoral Studies Director. The supervision and the seminar serves to prepare students for writing their dissertation.
Objectives and learning outcomes of the module
On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:
- To assess data and evidence critically from manuscripts and digital sources, solve problems of conflicting sources and conflicting interpretations, locate materials, use research sources (particularly research library catalogues) and other relevant sources;
- To become precise and cautious in their assessment of evidence, and to understand through practice what documents can and cannot tell us;
- To design a research project, set a timetable, understand the principles of fieldwork, and consider questions of ethics;
- To communicate effectively in writing and to structure and communicate ideas effectively both orally and in writing;
- To learn to read each other’s work for both its strengths and weaknesses, develop their skills as public speakers, learn how to compose short abstracts of their project (for funding applications), be able to think critically and yet be open to being critiques themselves
- 2 hours of seminars per week (40 hours total)
- 1 hour every two weeks of supervision (10 hours total)
- 840 hours of independent study.
Seminar presentations: students will present progressively more complex and fully formulated versions of their dissertations from an initial idea and abstract through to more detailed dissertation plans and draft chapters. Participation in the MRes Training Seminar is required and assessed.
With the help of their supervisors and cohort, students learn to read each other’s work for both its strengths and weaknesses, develop their skills and confidence as public speakers, be able to think critically and yet be open to being critiqued themselves. Small group work and peer-assisted training are part of the seminar.
Scope and syllabus
There is no specified syllabus for this module, which is based on specific research topics drawn up by students as part of their dissertation in discussion with their supervisors.
Method of assessment
100% - 15,000 word dissertation.
The reading list will be based on specific research topics drawn up by students as part of their dissertation in discussion with their supervisors.