What you’ll study
Why study ethnography online with the University of Aberdeen?
How you’ll study
This course is assessed entirely online via four pieces of writing:
- Analysis of a published piece of ethnographic research, 500 words (15% of your mark)
- Discussion of ethics and politics in ethnographic research, 500 words (15%)
- Fieldnotes – an ethnographic description of a real-life setting, 500 words (15%)
- An essay on ethnographic methods, 1500 words (55%)
These pieces of written work will have set deadlines, one for each unit of the course.
The course totals approximately 150 hours of study and assessment time. That’s around 10 – 15 hours per week.
This is an indicative guide to the time required for a typical student at this level to achieve the learning outcomes.
You can largely set your own study hours each week to cover the materials. MyAberdeen is available 24/7, so you can log in and study when it suits you.
Activities at fixed times
There may be some activities scheduled for fixed times, such as assessments with deadlines or online meetings with your tutor. But otherwise, you can access and work through the course at your convenience.
Our first-class support structure will ensure that you aren’t alone in your studies. You’ll have contact with your tutors via email, phone or Skype. You can use social media and discussion boards to chat with your fellow students too.
We provide a wide range of services to support you in your studies and beyond:
- Careers service
- Disability support
- IT support
- Library support
- Student Support Service – help with finances, stress, wellbeing and non-academic issues
- Student Learning Service – study support, with advice sessions available via phone or Skype
- Aberdeen University Students’ Association (AUSA) – run by students for students
- Toolkit – clever apps and training that can make your study life easier
Wherever you are in the world, you’ll feel part of our very special Aberdeen learning community.
Dr Jo Vergunst, course coordinator
The team behind this course has years of experience in ethnographic methods. We’re confident that it delivers brilliant training in this key area of social research.
Where this will take you
We welcome students from all over the world. You do not need a visa to study online with us.
This course has no formal entry requirements, so you do not need to provide proof of your qualifications.
However, you should check the entry guidance above to understand the level of teaching delivered. If you do not have qualifications from the UK, check the equivalent teaching level for your country.
English language requirements
Teaching is delivered in English.
You do not have to provide proof of your English language skills to join this course. But we want to make sure that you can use English well enough to study successfully.
For this course, we recommend the following level of English language proficiency. These are minimum scores:
Duolingo English Test (taken from July 2019 onwards)
- 115 overall
- 90 in the sub-scores for literacy, conversation, comprehension and production
LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator, Written and Spoken – Level 1
- 33 for listening, reading, speaking and writing
IELTS Academic and IELTS Online (not IELTS Indicator or IELTS General Training)
- 6.5 overall
- 5.5 for listening and speaking
- 6.0 for reading and writing
TOEFL iBT and TOEFL iBT Home Edition
- 90 overall
- 17 for listening
- 21 for reading
- 20 for speaking
- 21 for writing
- TOEFL DI code is 0818
PTE Academic – 62 overall
- 62 overall
- 59 for listening, reading, speaking and writing
Cambridge English: B2 First, C1 Advanced, C2 Proficiency
- 176 overall
- 162 for listening and speaking
- 169 for reading and writing
For more information about language qualifications, see our English Language Requirements page.
You will need access to:
A computer (PC, laptop or Mac) operating on:
- Windows 8 or later
- Mac OS 10.12 (Sierra) or later.
All our teaching materials are smartphone- and tablet-friendly. However, you’re likely to need a proper laptop or computer keyboard for completing assignments comfortably.
Reliable internet access
With reasonable download speed. We broadly estimate at least 2Mbps so that you can take part fully in live sessions.
Speakers or headphones
- A headset with built-in microphone and earphones is useful if you’re likely to study in an environment with background noise.
- A webcam may be desirable for some interactive sessions.
We will give you access to Office365 applications. This means that you can use online versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint and install these programs on up to five personal devices.
If your course requires any specialist software, then we’ll provide you with copies of this and a licence that lasts throughout your studies.
See our detailed IT requirements for more information.
When you study with us, you can expect a first-class support structure so that you’re never alone in your studies.
But learning online does mean you have to motivate yourself and manage your own time.
Your most important commitment to your course will be time – the time to work through, reflect on and understand your teaching materials.
Before you start a course that involves a high degree of independent study, we recommend looking at the time you will be able to devote to your course each week:
- Be realistic
- Create a weekly schedule as a guide
If you have any questions about studying online, get in touch with our friendly team. We’re here to help.
Your course fee needs to be paid in full before you start your course.
We accept payment via Visa Debit, Visa Credit and Mastercard.
Ways to save
You may be able to get help funding this course via:
- Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA)
- discounts – if any discounts are available for this course, they’ll appear in the section below
- employer sponsorship – we accept full and partial fee payments from sponsors.
All our students are entitled to a University of Aberdeen student card. This gives you access to a range of student discounts around the city and online.