ANTH4150 – Ethnography in Practice

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

Course content

Ethnographic research is a qualitative method that is increasingly sought after as a skill in a variety of workplaces. This course explores the use of anthropological theory and method in non-academic, applied contexts. We explore the careers and skills the anthropological practitioners can develop in a range of business, non-profit, and other work contexts. 

Through this course you develop an understanding of the range of fields that anthropological perspectives can be applied to in day-to-day work as part of developing your own research project and as the basis for developing your potential future career in both academic and non-academic contexts. 

Topics covered include

  • User-research and product development
  • Career development and skill enhancement for applied anthropologists
  • Engaged work in voluntary  organisations, non-profits and governmental agencies non-business organisations

Learning outcome


  • Understand the relevance of classical and contemporary anthropological perspectives for contemporary applied organisational issues
  • Articulate their relevance for contemporary academic and public policy debates
  • Understand ongoing theoretical debates and the potential position of your own original research to the development of these debates
  • Formulate your own potential career paths inside and outside of academia that can be built upon anthropological expertise


  • Understand and explain the relationship between anthropological knowledge and practical societal challenges in different work-related contexts
  • Identify what may be your own anthropological contribution to a selected field of practice
  • Understand how applied anthropology converges and diverges from academic anthropology
  • Become aware of how your own competence can be applied in practice

General competence

  • Deepen the capacity for independent academic thought and appreciate its relevance in non-academic contexts
  • Enhance the ability to talk about one’s written and presentation skills
  • Improve competence in essay writing/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.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

You have to be enrolled in the master’s programme in Social Anthropology and must have taken ANTH4010 – Advanced Anthropological Theory​, ANTH4020 – Academic Writing and Project Development​, and ANTH4030 – Advanced Anthropological Methods​. If you have already taken SOSANT2600 – Antropologi i praksis​ at Bachelor level you are also welcome to apply. This course aims to deepen and broaden the insights gained in SOSANT2600 – Antropologi i praksis​ by focusing more specifically on your research interests and developing your skills at the master’s level.


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

In addition to the syllabus in Leganto you are required to select and read an additional 200 pages of relevant literature of your own choosing. More information about the self-chosen readings will be given in class.

Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


Submission of a reflection paper (2,500 words) to Inspera, and mandatory oral presentation, both of which will reflect on what you have learned about applied anthropology during the course.

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

You may write your examination paper in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

Grading scale

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

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

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 spring


Every spring

Teaching language