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ISEK - Department of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies Social and Cultural Anthropology

Training in academic skills and research methods

Competences in academic skills

At ISEK - Social and Cultural Anthropology, we emphasise - in addition to teaching content - systematic training in academic skills for our Bachelor students. We aim to ensure that our students write academically correct and readable papers.

In the introductory year (in the module “Einführung in die Arbeit mit ethnologischen Texten“, and in exercise groups „Fachgeschichte"), the focus is on acquiring competences in six areas of academic skills. In the second and third years, these academic skills are deepened in the various modules with seminar character. Thus, students learn and practice scientific writing from the beginning of their studies and continuously deepen their knowledge. Additionally, we accompany the writing of Bachelor theses (module “Bachelor-Kolloquium”).

We want students to acquire in-depth competences in the following six areas:

  • Researching literature and using its results
  • Source criticism
  • Finding and formulating research questions
  • Reading and understanding academic texts
  • Writing and revising own academic texts and reception of anthropological texts
  • Presenting and discussing

Training in research methods

At ISEK–Social and Cultural Anthropology, we attach great importance to in-depth training in methods. In the Bachelor's program, we offer both compulsory and elective courses in various formats: practical exercises in specific ethnographic methods, a lecture about theoretical discussions of the numerous data collection methods in anthropology, seminars about questions concerning ethics in research and in publications, and research-oriented courses covering a wide range of options for students' own research, in which the research process is run through, from formulating one's own research question to analysing the data collected by oneself and writing a research report.

Students in the Bachelor acquire skills in research methods in several steps: In the introductory year, they learn numerous research methods for the first time ("VL Methoden") and practise their application ("Tutorium zur VL Methoden"). In the second and third years, they go through a research process (module "Doing Ethnography") and can deal with specific methods in depth (modules "Methodenvertiefung"). In summer schools, excursions, museum internships and independent field research, students can then pursue their own questions in research. The results can be incorporated into their Bachelor thesis.