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Field Courses

We are the only UK Department to offer a residential field course to all our undergraduate students. Fieldwork is a central method of research throughout anthropology. Field courses are critical for providing students with hands-on experience of methods in both biological and social anthropology. We have developed unique opportunities for students to undertake fieldwork in our degree programmes and destinations in recent years have included Coll (Hebrides), Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Volos (Greece).

During your time on the field course, you will put into practice the knowledge you gained in Level 1. You will learn some of the skills needed for successful participant observation and ethnography, as well as collect numerical data that you can then analyse to test hypotheses. Having real-life experience of varied anthropological methods will help you decide what you would like to research in your Level 3 dissertation, as well as provide you with the specialist and transferable skills that employers value.

The field courses last around 10 days and will normally take place during the final two weeks in September, just before the start of the new academic year (just before you return to Durham to begin Level 3). If you decide to study Anthropology at Durham, you will need to keep these two weeks free. You will not have to pay extra fees to participate in the fieldwork module since these will be funded by the University, although some sites may require a top-up payment from you. If you are a joint-honours student you will be funded, provided you are not undertaking funded fieldwork in your other Department.

Explore our Field Courses

Read more about our field courses in Coll, Volos, South Africa and Sri Lanka

Coll, Hebrides

The island of Coll is situated in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland and is home to approximately 200 permanent residents.
Students taking photos of expansive rugged and rocky terrain

Volos, Greece

The theme of the Volos field course, in mainland Greece, is ‘Urban Ethnography’.
Buildings and walkways by ocean waters with a mountain backdrop in Greece

South Africa

The field course is based at the Anthropology Field Station, Soutpansberg Mountains and focuses on the research of the Primate & Predator Project.
Students walking through grassland in South Africa

Sri Lanka

The Sri Lankan field course is located in a largely rural area in the coastal southeast of Sri Lanka.
Large group of students and locals posing for photo

Testimonials

“It has been my favourite module over the last 3 years, not only because of the experience and the context in which the course took place but also thanks to the quality of the teaching”

"The field trip was amazing! Feel lucky to be part of a department which makes a trip to amazing places compulsory."

"The field course really made me feel more welcome within the department. I feel it is a good chance for lecturers and students to get to know each other, made the whole anthropology department feel more approachable."

"Fantastic module– made really close friends and the trip was a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience 'true' anthropology."