ATS3248 - Field methods in anthropology and international development - 2017

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit



Dr Narelle Warren

Unit guides



  • Term 3 2017 (Flexible)



The unit involves an international field trip to Monash Malaysia and provides students with formal and applied training in qualitative and ethnographic field research methods. The unit consists of a two week (16 day) stay in Malaysia. This includes a field site visit, in which students will work with the Australian-based unit coordinator, local staff members from the School of Arts and Social Sciences (Monash Malaysia) and the Southeast Asian Community Observatory (SEACO) to conduct small-scale research projects, gather data in the field, analyse, and present their findings. Students also spend time at Monash Malaysia Sunway campus at the start and end of the field trip, with briefings and introductory presentations by academic staff, and data analysis and debriefing workshops at the end. In this briefing, students also learn about the socioeconomic and development context of Malaysia and the districts in which they will conduct their research. They will engage with the ethical issues of field research in regional Malaysia. Students also learn about the aims, objectives and research methods of the research platform in which their field project is situated.


On completion of the unit, students will have:

  1. an understanding of the historical, social, cultural, economic and public health dimensions of the Malaysian research context;
  2. an understanding of the ethical dimensions of community-based research in Malaysia, including those issues particular to the research setting or platform of their field project (example: SEACO or other research program);

  3. formal training in qualitative and ethnographic research methods;
  4. field experience of developing a research question, designing appropriate research field methods, gathering data, and analysing that data;
  5. experience of working with field interpreters, and working in complex cross-cultural settings;
  6. experience of communicating in a presentation and written report the significance, design and findings of a small-scale research project; and
  7. An understanding of some of the key sustainable development issues facing communities in peri-urban and regional Malaysia.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 288 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

Off-campus attendance requirements

16 days intensive study abroad unit in Sunway, Malaysia

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Twelve credit points of second-year Arts units.