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University Language Centre

ULEN21011/ULEN21022 - Manchester Life and Culture

British Cultural Ethnography for non-native English Speakers

  • Credits: ULEN21011 (semester one) 10 credits; ULEN21022 (semester 2) 10 credits
  • Level: 2
  • Pre-requisite: IELTS 7 or equivalent, or any level 1 course.
  • Co-requisite: None
  • Taught during: ULEN21011 in semester one, ULEN21022 in semester 2 subject to demand. 
  • Timetables: Timetable for the course


This course aims to help international students to use some of the tools of ethnographic observation to enhance their opportunities and skills for participating in aspects of Mancunian life. Students will engage in small scale participant observation of everyday situations in Manchester which will be delivered in both written and oral presentations.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students should be able to:

  • discuss the basis of ethnographic methodology
  • go some way to formulating important principles of ethnographic observation
  • collaborate with others in small-scale ethnographic observations of situations in Manchester
  • listen to native speakers in natural contexts
  • make written and oral presentations of the results of their observations of situations

Transferable skills

On completion of the course, students should be able to: 

a) plan, conduct and report on a small scale research project

b) draw reasoned conclusions

c) reflect on the nature of cultural difference in a sensitive and reasoned manner. 

Teaching and learning methods

One 1 ½ hour lecture/seminar per week;  these will be team-taught; One half-hour tutorial, to be arranged with individual students; WebCT for discussion forum and presentation of students' research as gobbets; Use of student learning log to record ethnographic and allied observations.


a) One group report of 2,500 words (40%)

b) One group presentation (30%)

c) Reflective journal of approximately 1,500 words, with a minimum of six entries of 250 words each (30%).

The reflective journal, will be formative rather than summative, and students will be asked to submit parts of it throughout the course.  It will consist of a minimum of six entries and be assessed using part of the criteria for the final report, in particular the descriptors used for interpretation and analysis, and quality of writing.  The tutors will provide guidance and guidelines for the writing of the reflective journal, although students may choose to create their own forms of entry.


Jane Bottomley

Taught by

Rob Marks

Maximum entry

20 per group

Set texts

Materials to be provided by the tutor.

Recommended texts

Not applicable