ANTH4030 – Advanced Anthropological Methods

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course will familiarize you with key concepts, foundational problems and topics related to anthropological methodology. To be taken in parallel with ANTH4010 – Advanced Anthropological Theory and ANTH4020 – Academic Writing and Project Development, emphasis will be placed on the close relationship between theory and method within our research tradition. We will also reflect on the historically contingent nature of the methodological tool-kit that anthropologists have developed since the onset of the 20th century. Furthermore, we will look into how key concepts such as ethnography, participant observation, comparison or case-study can be used to study the contemporary world. In addition to providing students with a solid understanding of available methods (e.g. fieldnotes, interviews, visual or audio-based methods, archives, etc) and some challenges (e.g. how to gain access to the field, how to deal with difficult emotions during fieldwork, etc), through this course you will:

  • Learn how to define and construct a field site in which to conduct ethnographic fieldwork
  • Think through how your gender, ethnicity, and class may play a role during data collection
  • Appreciate what attention to research ethics in social anthropology involves
  • Think through various research strategies (some of which you will apply during your own fieldwork projects)

Learning outcome


Reflect on contemporary ethical challenges involved in anthropological research, and be able to evaluate risks related to one’s own project plans 

  • Appreciate the variety of data collection methods available in Social Anthropology
  • Understand how theory and methods in Social Anthropology are related and how they are combined in specific ethnographic cases
  • Reflect on contemporary ethical challenges involved in anthropological research, and be able to evaluate risks related to one’s own project plans


  • Discuss qualitative research methods in written and oral form
  • Identify, define and collect anthropological data
  • Develop ethical awareness regarding qualitative research and the use of research results

General competence

  • Deepen the capacity for independent academic thought
  • Enhance the ability to discuss academic issues in solid English, both written and orally
  • Improve competence in argument construction


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

This course is not available for single course students.


3-hour teaching blocks with a combination of lectures and in-class group discussions moderated by the lecturer.


Compulsory activities:

  • Oral presentation
  • Four reflection papers on individual lecture content (up to 300 words)
  • Creative project. The project must be accepted by the lecturer beforehand.

The compulsory activities will be assessed as ‘Approved/Not approved.’
All compulsory activities have to be approved in order to take the exam.


  • Submission in Inspera of:
    • Three revised versions of the above-mentioned reflection papers (students choose which three)
    • Revised version of the creative project.

Previous exams and assessment guidelines.

Submit assignments in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read about how to submit your assignment.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination

All reflection papers must be written in English. 

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

After you have received your grade you may ask for an explanation of the assessment of your performance. You can also submit an appeal against your grades for all written examinations. It is recommended to request an explanation of your grade before you decide to appeal.

See also our information about complaints about formal exam errors.

Resit an examination

If you are ill or have another valid reason for not attending the regular exam, you can apply for an extended submission deadline or for a postponed examination later the same semester.

See also our information about resitting an exam

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Every autumn


Every autumn

Teaching language