DEPARTMENT OF ANTHROPOLOGY
Degree Programme Report Form
Academic Year 2007-08
Title & Code of Degree BSc Anthropology & Geography (UBSANTGEO)
Programme BA Anthropology & Geography (UBAANTGEO)
Head of Degree Ruth Mandel (Course Tutor)
A. Head of Degree Programme/Programme Organiser Report i) quality of student work, pace and content, appropriateness
of teaching methods and action(s) taken to resolve any problems
The quality of student work has been consistently high. This degree tends to attract strong students who are interested in a more broad-based degree.
They are required, consequently, to master two disciplines—each of which has several sub-disciplines—and in large part they do remarkably well.
The two departments operate in very different ways vis-à-vis tutorial, small group teaching. This has always worked to the explicit benefit of the
joint-degree students, as they have the best of both systems. Geography has consistent, staff-led small groups with continual feedback on written
work, in a nurturing environment where the staff-student relationship can be fostered, and problems dealt with immediately. Anthropology has
small-group teaching that is explicitly course-based, so lacks the year-long, small group consistency, but is more subject-oriented. As a
consequence, the students on this joint degree have doubly benefitted from the extra tutorial attention.
B. (ii) Any Learning Resources problems which have affected the provision of the programme (quality of lecture or tutorial rooms,
laboratory or IT facilities and action taken or planned
On rare occasions there have been scheduling conflicts between the two departments for required courses, but we have been able to find ways
to accommodate this.
In terms of the final year Individual Studies Dissertation, students generally tend to develop stronger supervisory relationships with one or the other
of the two supervisors (one from each department). For the most part, this works out well, though on occasion students feel stretched to
accommodate what they (sometimes mistakenly) feel are two different sets of disciplinary expectations.
Though unassessed (i.e., unlike the single-honours anthropology students), we require the joint-degree students in the final year to prepare and give a
powerpoint presentation about their dissertation project. This past year we ran into logistical problems with room-bookings and some technical
computer issues. This will be resolved in the future by earlier planning. Despite these glitches, the presentations all were of extremely high quality
and demonstrated serious research and ability.
C. Issues Identified by Students (from questionnaires, staff-student committees etc.) and Action Taken or Planned
Occasionally, the perception of different expectations sometimes arises.
D. Issues Identified by Visiting Examiners and Action Taken or Planned
No major issues identified.
E. Head of Degree Programme /Programme Organiser Comments and Action Taken or Planned
See comments above and below.
F. Head of Degree Programme /Programme Organiser comment on any structural changes to the programme which have
been made in the preceding year which might necessitate an updating of the existing Programme Specification. Even where no changes
have been made, you are invited to review the Programme Specification and consider how it might usefully be refreshed
Similar to my comments from last year, I would just reiterate that all those either on the degree or tutoring the degree are saddened with its cancellation,
particularly given the increasing interdisciplinary emphasis of UCL and the realities of the globalised intellectual environment, marketplace, etc. As
mentioned in the past, and shown from results, this degree always has attracted interesting, engaged students, and in this era of increasing cross-
disciplinary fertilization, we are not convinced that closing down this degree makes sense intellectually.
As is consistent throughout the UK, numbers of applicants on this degree have decreased over the past several years. However, this is most likely a
consequence of increased fees.
We try to have termly events for the joint-degree students to build a sense of community, helping to build strong cohorts offering mutual support
and camaraderie. In addition, students organise informal get-togethers on their own. The two heads/organisers of the degree have an excellent
relationship, and are in very close contact with each other. This has ensured that when problems do arise, either of pastoral or academic nature, we
deal with them immediately and with full knowledge.