PDip Environmental Anthropology - University of Kent

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					                                    UNIVERSITY OF KENT

                                   Programme Specification

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the
programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to
achieve and demonstrate if he/she passes the programme. More detailed information on the
learning outcomes, content and teaching, learning and assessment methods of each module
can be found in the programme handbook. The accuracy of the information contained in this
specification is reviewed by the University and may be checked by the Quality Assurance
Agency for Higher Education.

                  Postgraduate Diploma in Environmental Anthropology

1.   Awarding Institution/Body                University of Kent
2.   Teaching Institution                     University of Kent at Canterbury
3.   Teaching Site                            Canterbury
4.   Programme accredited by:                 ESRC via the 2001 ESRC Research Training
5.  Final Award                               PDip
6.  Programme                                 Environmental Anthropology
7.  UCAS code (or other code)
8.  Relevant QAA subject                      Anthropology
    benchmarking group/s
9. Date of production/revision                9 January 2004
10. Applicable cohort/s                       2004 entry onwards

11. Educational Aims of the Programme
The programme aims to:
1. To provide you with a broad range of knowledge in environmental anthropology, a major
    sub-division of anthropology, showing how it is closely linked to other academic disciplines.
2. To provide you with advanced level knowledge of the theoretical, methodological and policy
    issues relevant to understanding the subdiscipline.

3. Introduce you to a variety of different approaches to environmental anthropology research,
    presented in a multi-disciplinary context and at an advanced level.
4. To facilitate your educational experience through the provision of appropriate pedagogical
    opportunities for learning.
5. Provide an appropriate training if you are preparing MPhil/PhD theses, or if you are going on
    to employment involving the use of research methods and results in environmental
6. Make you aware of the range of existing material available and equip you to evaluate its
    utility for your research.
7. Cover the principles of research design and strategy, including formulating research
    questions or hypotheses and translating these into practicable research designs.
8. Introduce you to the philosophical, theoretical and ethical issues surrounding research and
    to debates about the relationship between theory and research, about problems of evidence
    and inference, and about the limits to objectivity.
9. Develop your skills in searching for and retrieving information, using library and Internet
    resources in a multi-disciplinary and cross-national context.
10. Introduce you to the idea of working with other academic and non-academic agencies, when
    appropriate, and give you the skills to carry out collaborative research.
11. Develop your skills in writing, in the preparation of a research proposal, in the analysis and
    presentation of research results and in verbal communication.
12. Help you to prepare your research results for wider dissemination, in the form of seminar
    papers, conference presentations, reports and publications, in a form suitable for a range of
    different audiences, including academics, policy makers, professionals, service users and
    the general public.
13. Give you an appreciation of the potentialities and problems of environmental anthropological
    research in local, regional, national and international settings.
14. To ensure that the research of the Department's staff informs the design of modules, and
    their content and delivery in ways which can achieve the national benchmarks of the subject
    in a manner which is efficient and reliable, and enjoyable to students.

12. Programme Outcomes
The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge
and understanding, qualities, skills and other attributes in the following areas. The programme
outcomes have references to the subject benchmarking statement for (SB).
Knowledge and Understanding                    Teaching/learning and assessment
                                               methods and strategies used to enable
                                               outcomes to be achieved and demonstrated

A. Knowledge and understanding of:
1. Environmental anthropology as the          The outcomes mentioned are achieved and
   comparative and interdisciplinary study    assessed by a variety of methods and strategies:
   of the relationship between people and     1. The provision of specific modules the content
   their environment (SB)                        of which taken together cover the substantive
2. Specific themes in environmental              knowledge which students are expected to
   anthropology e.g. co-evolution of             acquire and in relation to which they will be
   humans and environment,                       formally examined and tested through course
   environmental perception, cultural            work and dissertation.
   ecology, nature symbolism,                 2. Providing optional modules which allow
   environmentalism, political ecology,          students scope to demonstrate their
   natural resource use, environmental           knowledge and understanding of the
   change (SB)                                   applicability of anthropological knowledge to

3. Cultural and biological diversity and an      their immediate physical and cultural
   appreciation of its scope (SB)                environments. Providing opportunities within
4. Several ethnographic regions of the           the classroom for discussion, exchange of
   world including north and west Africa,        information and presentation of argument.
   South America, Pacific Islands, South      3. Making adequate provision for library and
   Asia and Southeast Asia in particular         information technology resources relevant to
   Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and the          student learning.
   Philippines (SB)
5. The history of the development of
   environmental anthropology as a
   subject (SB)
6. The variety of theoretical approaches
   contained within the subject (SB)
7. The process of biological and socio-
   cultural change. (SB)
8. The application of environmental
   anthropology to understanding issues
   of sustainable social and economic
   development and environmental
   conservation throughout the world.
9. The relevance of environmental
   anthropology to understanding
   everyday processes of human-
   environment interaction anywhere in
   the world. (SB)
Skills and Other Attributes
A. Intellectual skills:
1. General learning and study skills          The attainment of these skills and their
2. Critical and analytical skills             assessment are achieved through the content
3. Ability to express ideas in writing and    and delivery of all the programme modules in
   orally                                     which students will be specifically directed to all
4. Communication skills                       these matters in the course of lectures, seminars
5. Group work skills                          and classroom work in general. Written
6. Computing skills                           assignments, project work and oral work in
7. Ability to review and summarise            seminars are specifically designed to inculcate
   information.                               and enhance intellectual skills over the whole
8. Data retrieval ability                     period of the programme.
C. Subject-specific skills:
1. Ability to understand how people are       Specific modules deal with the core of
   shaped by their social, cultural and       environmental anthropology and with research
   physical environments while                methods. Optional modules provide detailed
   nonetheless possessing a capacity for      coverage of specialisations within social
   individual agency which can allow them     anthropology, environmental social sciences, and
   to transcend some environmental            non laboratory modules in ethnobotany.
   constraints                                Ethnographic examples and case studies are
2. Ability to recognise the pertinence of     offered for discussion in lectures and seminars.
     an environmental anthropological         National and international implications are
     perspective to understanding major       discussed and knowledge of the subject
     national and international events.       assessed.
3. Ability to interpret texts and
     performance by locating them within
     appropriate cultural and historical

4. High level competence in using
     environmental anthropological theories
     and perspectives in the presentation of
     information and argument.
5. High level ability to identify and
     analyse the significance of the social
     and cultural contexts of natural
     resource use.
6. Ability to devise questions for research
     and study which are anthropologically
7. Ability to perceive the way in which
     cultural assumptions may affect the
     perception and use of natural
8. An openness to try and make rational
     sense of human-environment
     interactions that may appear at first
     sight incomprehensible.
D. Transferable skills:
1. Ability to make a structured argument        Teaching: Basic IT and library training as well as
2. Ability to make appropriate reference to     workshops on a range of transferable skills are
     scholarly data                             available through the university library and the
3. Time-management skills                       Unit for Enhancement of Learning and Teaching.
4. Use of information technology including      Students are heavily recommended to make use
     computers and library research             of these facilities. In addition, advisory sessions
5. Group work                                   and workshops are run within the programme on
6. Handling of audio-visual equipment           many skills, including IT skills, report writing, and
7. Independent research                         dissertations.
8. Presentation skills
9. Have the ability to exercise of initiative   Assessment:
    and personal responsibility                 Written reports and oral presentations;
10. Have the independent learning ability       dissertation; written student feedback forms.
    required for continuing professional

13. Programme structures and requirements, levels, modules, credits and award.

The PDip programme in Environmental Anthropology at the University of Kent at Canterbury
closely follows the national guidelines regarding the teaching of Anthropology in Britain but in
addition builds on the innovations introduced into the Department over the last seven years. It
also draws on the specialist skills of individual members of staff to offer a unique and exciting
mix of anthropological and environmental sub-topics and skills. The programme is taken over
one year full-time, two years part-time. In each academic year there are three terms. The first
(Michaelmas) and second (Lent) term comprise 12 weeks each, and the third term (Trinity) 6
weeks. Teaching for coursework takes place in the first and second terms.

Students normally take three core (assessed) modules in each term, and audit one option.
Students are expected to divide their weekly workload (calculated at a minimum of 40 hours
work) evenly between all modules, thus on average 10-13.3 hours per module per week. Of
these hours 2 at least will normally be contact hours during which students will be face to face
with a member of staff either in a lecture hall or in a seminar. Lectures last one hour and the
lecturer will usually be talking or demonstrating during this time; seminars are occasions for
discussions between small groups of students among themselves and the member of staff who
is the seminar convenor; they may be of one or two hours duration. Students are required to
attend the department’s weekly staff-student research seminars at which visiting speakers
present papers on current research.

The credit system allocates a number of credits at different levels (M= Masters, H = higher, I =
intermediate, C= Certificate) to each module which a student takes. A one-unit Masters
coursework module (usually taken over one term of 12 weeks) is allocated 20 credits which
students achieve after they have been assessed and judged to have met the requirements of
the module. For a Postgraduate Diploma, students must achieve a minimum of 120 credits at
the M level.

The pass mark for all modules is 40%. On the event of failure, each module’s assessment
work can be resubmitted within four weeks of the failed work being returned to the student.

Code     Title                                              Level    Credits     Term/s
Required Modules
SE831    Environmental Anthropology                         M        20          Term 1
SE801    Contemporary Problems in Social                    M        20          Term 1
         Anthropology 1
SE802    Anthropological Research Methods                   M        20          Term 1
SE806    Anthropological Research Methods II                M        20          Term 2
SE832    Ethnobiological Knowledge Systems                  M        20          Term 2

Optional Modules
Three additional units may be chosen from other departmental and faculty programmes. You
may take any suitable grade faculty module after consultation with the supervisor and
convenor. The following are examples of possible options:
SE805      Contemporary Problems in Social               M         20          Term 2
           Anthropology 2
SE803      Ethnicity, Nationalism and Identity 1         M         20          Term 1
SE840      Contemporary Issues in Ethnobotany            M         20          Term 1 and 2
SA806      Social science perspectives on                M         20
           environmental issues
DI832      Tourism, Protected Areas and the Local        M         15          Term 1
Non-credit seminars and workshops

SE833      Computing Applications for Social                M        0           Term 1 and 2
SE841      Practical Methods in Conservation Social         M        0           Term 1 and 2
           Tuesday Departmental Research Seminar            M        0           Term 1 and 2

14. Support for Students and Their Learning

You will be provided with an introductory packet that contains handbooks outlining
programmes of study (‘The Green book’) within the department and the Faculty as well as
general university information outlining the students' charter and describing the facilities
available on campus. You will also be provided with a booklet outlining good practice in writing
essays and answering exam questions.

The department has its own computer room equipped with computers for your use, and there
is a dedicated Pdip/MA/MSc computer room. These are in addition to the computers available
for the general use of students in common areas such as the library. One member of staff is a
technical officer responsible for IT provision within the Department and has special
responsibility for assisting students with IT related problems.

There is also a small departmental library of anthropological videos and CDs that you are
encouraged to use. You will have access to the facilities of the Ethnobiology Lab at UKC.

The Templeman Library is well provisioned with anthropological textbooks, current journals,
monographs. New books are regularly ordered so that staff and students can keep up to date
with developments in the discipline. We have a subscription to Human Relations Area Files (of
which University of Kent is one of only three UK subscribers). This gives you access to a large
collection of online full-text ethnographies as well as the means to conduct a variety of different
analyses there upon. Some use it purely as an electronic library of full-text monographs and
articles etc.

The department prides itself on the close rapport between staff and students and the
accessibility of staff to students. Most of the staff of the Department are housed in the
Department's building in Eliot extension, just by the main college building, and secretarial
offices are also to be found there. In addition to the academic staff we have a four permanent
administrative staff who are responsible inter alia as a first point of enquiry for assisting

All members of staff keep special office hours during the week for any postgraduate student
who wishes to consult them. You will be assigned to individual members of staff who act as
your supervisors throughout your time at the university. The role of the supervisor is to provide
advice on the choice of course work essay titles and general academic guidance as well as
providing for personal support by pointing students in the direction of services which the
university can offer the individual.

Among central support services which the university provides are;
 A Medical Centre on the campus of the university
 The Unit for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching which offers short sessions on
  study skills as well as individual advice
 A counselling service for students facing personal difficulties
 A Careers Office
 A Sports Center

15. Entry Profile

Entry Route
For fuller information, please refer to the University prospectus.
 A first class or good second class honours degree in a relevant discipline.
 A good honours degree in other subjects together with relevant practical experience.

The University requires all non-native speakers of English to produce evidence of proficiency in
written and spoken English. We require a minimum score of:
     600 in Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
     250 in TOEFL Computer Test
     6.5 in International English Language Test (IELTS)
     'B' in the Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English
     'A' in the Cambridge Advanced Certificate in English
What does this programme have to offer?
 An original and exciting approach to learning about human-environment interactions.
 The development of a greater understanding of ourselves and our place in the world.
 Subjects which touch on all aspects of the relationship of people and their environment.
 Research-led teaching by an institution specialising in postgraduate training.

Personal Profile
This programme is especially suitable for both natural and social science graduates who wish
to pursue environmental anthropological studies with a particular focus on social issues and
approaches at an advanced level. This may be as a preliminary step towards a research
degree – the research training stream is designed for this. It can also serve to introduce
Environmental Anthropology to those who have studied other subjects and wish to add an in-
depth view of environmental issues from anthropology. In terms of careers, in addition to
training you in generic skills of formulating arguments and expressing ideas orally and in
writing, the programme also develops students' awareness of the complexities of the
relationship between people and their environment, especially in the contexts of poverty
alleviation, sustainable development and biodiversity conservation.

16. Methods for evaluating and enhancing the quality and standards of teaching and
Mechanisms for review and evaluation of teaching, learning, assessment, the
curriculum and outcome standards
 We rely heavily on external examiners' reports to evaluate our teaching and learning
 We also write annual reports evaluating the previous year's programme. The annual report
    is itself based on evaluations of the teaching of all modules in the Department.
 One major element in the evaluation of modules is the scrutiny of the student evaluations of
    each module. In addition to giving numerical scores relating to teaching and learning our
    students are also encouraged to write extensive comments on what they liked and disliked
    about the module.
 Matters of teaching and learning are also regularly the subject of formal and informal
    meetings among members of staff who often teach jointly together and attend each other's
    lecture and seminars.
 Individual members of staff also sit on national committees that discuss the teaching and
    learning of anthropology and report back on discussions to their colleagues.
Committees with responsibility for monitoring and evaluating quality and standards

   A Board of Examiners meets to discuss examination procedures, exam question papers
    and the results of exams.
   There is a Departmental Learning and Teaching Committee which receives input from its
    own sub-committees and from the Departmental Academic Committee and reports to the
    Faculty Committee of Learning and Teaching which in turn reports to the university
    Learning and Teaching Board.
   A staff-student Consultative Committee meets once a term to discuss matters relating to
    teaching and learning, and once a year in the Lent term there is an open forum which all
    students are encouraged to attend to discuss the Department's programmes.
   A Research Committee which, amongst other things, is responsible for setting and
    checking standards of ethical conduct.

Mechanisms for gaining student feedback on the quality of teaching and their learning
 In addition to mechanisms mentioned above - committees and students module
   evaluations - we encourage students to comment orally on the teaching of modules
   mentioning for example texts that they have or have not enjoyed.
 Staff meet the students who are their supervisees on a regular basis and to discuss the
   structure of the programme and the modules they are taking.
Staff development priorities include:
 All new junior members of staff are required to take a programme of study leading to a
   Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education.
 In addition all new members of staff are assigned mentors or supervisors with whom they
   discuss teaching and learning practices and from whom they seek advice on Departmental
   learning and teaching procedures.
 The Unit for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching organises regular in-service short
   courses and workshops which staff are encouraged to attend.
 There is an annual appraisal system in operation, which allows staff the opportunity to
   discuss their performance of the previous year and outline their plans for the coming year.
 Most members of staff belong to professional anthropological associations and regularly
   attend conferences at which they share information with fellow anthropologists from other
 The Anthropology Department holds a regular Tuesday afternoon seminar for staff and
   postgraduates during the year and visiting speakers are invited to discuss their research.
   Masters students are required to attend and encourage to pursue the discussions
   informally with the speakers after the seminar.

17. Indicators of quality and standards
 The degree was recognised in the 2001 ESRC Research training recognition exercise so
    students taking this programme are eligible for ESRC Postgraduate awards.
 Members of staff regularly sit on national anthropology committees and are frequently
    asked to be external examiners for departments of anthropology nationally and
 In the last national review of teaching quality the Anthropology department was judged to
    be providing an "excellent" standard of education.

The following reference points were used in creating these specifications:

   The national benchmark statement for Anthropology. (Still in draft, dated July 2001)
   The results of the Periodic Programme Review on anthropology conducted within the
    university in May 2000.
   Departmental ESRC Research training recognition applications Summer 2001.
   The Departmental mission statement.
   The departmental RAE (Research Exercise) statement sent for peer review at a national
    level in 2001.
   The University Plan.


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