Qualitative and Quantitative Methods for Anthropologists

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Deborah James OLD 6.06 and Prof Mathijs Pelkmans OLD 5.08


This course is compulsory on the MRes/PhD in Anthropology. This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

The twofold aim of this course is to provide students with insights into the process by which anthropological knowledge is produced, and to train them in the collection and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data. In doing so it offers students a methodological framework for conceptualising and designing their own PhD research projects. The course discusses the nature of ethnographic data and evidence, its implications for research, and ways of incorporating empirical data in ethnographic texts. 


40 hours of seminars in the MT.

This year, some or all of this teaching will be delivered through a combination of virtual lectures, classes and online interactive activities. The contact hours listed above are the minimum expected. This course has a reading week in Week 6 of MT.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 piece of coursework in the MT.

Indicative reading

A. Robben and A. Sluka (eds.) 2007. Ethnographic Fieldwork: An anthropological reader; P. Atkinson.2015. For Ethnography; R. H. Bernard. Research Methods in Cultural Anthropology: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches.Fifth Edition. A. Cerwonka and L. Malkki. 2007. Improvising Theory: Process an Temporality in Ethnographic Fieldwork. K. Narayan. 2012. Alive in the Writing: Crafting Ethnography in the Company of Chekhov.


Essay (30%, 3000 words), coursework (15%, 1000 words), coursework (15%, 1000 words), presentation (15%) and class participation (25%) in the MT.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Anthropology

Total students 2019/20: 7

Average class size 2019/20: 7

Controlled access 2019/20: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills