UNIVERSITY OF KENT
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
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.
5. The history of the development of
environmental anthropology as a
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
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
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
SE831 Environmental Anthropology M 20 Term 1
SE801 Contemporary Problems in Social M 20 Term 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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.