AANK16012U Anthropological Project Design

Volume 2016/2017

Board of Studies, Department of Anthropology


The purpose of the course is to prepare students for carrying out an anthropological project in the third semester of the Master's programme through instruction in project design and the application of ethnographic methods in practice. The course is based on the ideas for anthropological projects that the students have developed in workshops in the first semester of the Master's programme. During the course, students learn about the importance of the regional context and overall thematic issues in the delimitation of their project. Concurrently with this, they are trained in ethnographic methods and in handling the ethical and practical challenges involved in the project, note-taking etc. Through the ongoing development of the students' own projects, the ability to combine theory and methodology and to develop a project design around a relevant issue is trained. An introduction into electronic analysis and reference tools is also provided.

Learning Outcome

At the end of the course, the students must demonstrate the ability to develop a solid and carefully considered project design, including the ability to:

  • select literature and argue in favour of its relevance

  • demonstrate knowledge of a broad regional and thematic field as a context for the selected project design

  • prepare a precise problem formulation and operationalise this in research questions

  • describe and explain the choice of ethnographic methods to shed light on the presented problem formulation

  • prepare an analytical framework for the planned project

  • analyse and discuss ethical and practical challenges in the planned project.

Students must also fulfil the Department of Anthropology's form and language requirements (see the appropriate section in the curricula’s common part.

Syllabus:  800 pages required literature and 600 pages regional and thematic literature chosen by the student.

For the sake of the students' safety, we cannot approve projects to countries to which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark has advised against travelling. See the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' travel advisories (Rejsevejledninger), which are posted in Danish here: http:/​/​um.dk/​da/​rejse-og-ophold/​rejse-til-udlandet/​rejsevejledninger/​.
Class instruction, workshops and student presentations. The course focuses on integrating the literature studied and the students' projects. Drafts of subelements of the project design are handed in on an ongoing basis. Class instruction is sometimes in the form of workshops, where both the lecturer and fellow students provide feedback on these drafts. During the last weeks of the course, there will be practical exercises which must be carried out as part of the preparation for classes.

Prior to being assigned a supervisor, students must familiarise themselves with the supervisor's specialisation and supervision practice. Some supervisors offer individual supervision and group supervision; others offer individual or group supervision only. On the basis of the students' priorities, the thesis coordinator assigns supervisors and divides students into groups (where appropriate). Three supervision meetings are held. The time frame is 45 minutes per student regardless of whether the student is supervised individually or in a group. Students in a group do not necessarily share thematic and theoretical interests.
Type of assessment
Written assignment, exam period
The exam paper must be submitted as an individual exam paper, unless the fieldwork is also planned as a group examination.
Length: min. 18,000 and max. 22,000 characters for an individual paper. Appendix length: max. 5,000 characters (regardless of group size). For group papers, min. 4,500 and max. 5,500 characters per additional group member. The synopsis must be submitted individually, unless plans are to carry out group fieldwork.
Exam registration requirements


All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship

1st re-exam: A new synopsis must be submitted. The new assignment must be submitted by the deadline for the re-exam.


2nd re-exam: A new synopsis must be submitted. The new assignment is submitted during the next exam period.


For more information about the course see www.kurser.ku.dk.

Criteria for exam assesment

See Learning Outcome