Search type

School of Social Sciences

Alpaca threads ready to be woven
BSocSc Social Anthropology
Explore human behaviour and relationships and the challenges across different cultures.

BSocSc Social Anthropology / Course details

Year of entry: 2018

Course unit details:
Anthropology Today

Unit code SOAN10370
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Full year
Offered by Anthropology
Available as a free choice unit? No


This course aims to give first year students of Social Anthropoloigy at Manchester a secure grounding in the skills they require to engage well and confidently with their studies.  They will do this through getting to know some of the current research interests of their teachers.  The course will introduce students to basic concepts in social anthropology both as an academic discipline and as it is applied outside the University.



Restricted Course


Student should be able to

What is an ethnography? How to read an ethnography.

How to write a review

How to read a journal article: identifying the main arguments, strategic reading

Critical examination of anthropological journal articles: finding arguments and identifying logical fallacies

Library skills

Using the internet, referencing, and plagiarism

Constructing a bibliography on a specified topic

Constructing an essay: getting a balanced argument and supporting it, giving an informed opinion, reviewing and editing



Learning outcomes

Student should be able to


  • Identify the strengths and weaknesses of arguments put forward in ethnographies and journal articles through critical reading of texts
  • Understand the process through which anthropological research is carried out
  • Be fully familiar with three examples of contemporary anthropological research
  • Understand the relationship between research questions, research carried out, results and publication
  • Develop an ability to understand what constitutes an anthropological research question
  • Gain the skills necessary to learn how to develop a research question

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching will consist of ten two-hour lecture periods in each semester.  There will also be student-led discussions.  Online resources will include digitised copies of key texts on Blackboard and the use of discussion forums

Intellectual skills

  • Construct an argument  in written form
  • Be better able to critically assess the means by which research  is done, and thus gain a deeper understanding of how anthropological publications are produced


Practical skills

  • Construct a bibliography
  • Reference written work appropriately
  • Use library and internet sources effectively

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Students should be able to 

  • Communicate effectively when summarising arguments and when writing reviews and reports 
  • Differentiate between strong and weak arguments

Assessment methods


4 x 1500 word written assignments (25% each) 

Feedback methods

Students will receive electronic, personalised feedback on all of their assessed work.

Recommended reading

Gay y Blasco, P. and H. Wardle. 2007. How to Read Ethnography. London: Routledge.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 20
Independent study hours
Independent study 180

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Angela Torresan Unit coordinator
Rupert Cox Unit coordinator
Madeleine Reeves Unit coordinator

Additional notes


Return to course details