Self-assessment Report

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Riga Stradins University
Faculty of Communication
Department of Communication Studies

Self-assessment Report

Master Degree Academic Programme

Social Anthropology”

for gaining a social science master degree in social anthropology

(code 45310)

Riga, 2008


1.1. Introduction 5

1.2. Evaluation of study programme from the point of view of Latvia 6

1.3. Characteristics of the master degree programme “Social anthropology” 9

1.3.1. Aims and objectives of the programme 9

1.3.2. Matriculation requirements 10

1.3.3. Content, volume, and length of the study programme 11

1.3.4. Organization of the master degree study programme 12

1.3.5. Content of the programme 17

1.3.6. Practical implementation of the master degree study programme 19

1.3.7. Evaluation system 20

1.3.8. Funding of studies 21

1.3.9. Technical and methodological provision of study materials 21

1.4. Students 23

1.4.1. Number of students 23

1.4.2. Students’ involvement in the improvement of the study process and student polls 23

1.5. Academic and administrative staff of the study program 24

1.5.1. Qualification and professionalism of the academic staff 24

1.5.2. Teachers involved in the Study Program 26

1.5.3. Research work of the academic staff 28

1.5.4. Policy for development of the academic staff 30

1.6. External relations 30

1.6.1. Relations with similar programmes in other universities 30

1.6.2. Relations with possible employers 30

1.7. Comparison of the Master’s Study Program with similar programs at universities abroad 31

1.7.1. Comparison with the Master’s study program in Social Anthropology of the University of Bristol. 31

1.7.2. Comparison with Master’s study program in Social Anthropology of the Kaunas Vytautas Magnus University 33

1.7.3. General conclusion about comparison of RSU, University of Bristol and Vytautas Magnus University 36

1.8. SWOT Analysis 37

1.9. Development plan for the programme 37

1.10. Summary of the evaluation 39

2. Appendices 40

2.1. APPENDIX 1: Information that certifies that at least 50% of elected academic staff works in the university and at least 50% of the academic staff in the university have doctoral degree 40

2.2. APPENDIX 2: CVs of involved teachers 41

2.3. APPENDIX 3: Detailed course descriptions 109

2.4. APPENDIX 4: Example of a diploma and appendix of the diploma 190

2.5. APPENDIX 5: List of all courses indicating amount in credits, position in time, involved academic staff (table form) 195

2.6. APPENDIX 6: List of the involved academic staff: academic position, degree, elected or not elected and courses taught 197

2.7. APPENDIX 7: Questionnaire form for evaluation of a teacher and learning process 199

2.8. APPENDIX 8: Distribution of courses over semesters and modules (example) 200

2.9. APPENDIX 9: List of documents available in the department on request 201

List of tables

Table 1: The correspondence of the programme to the standards of the Latvian higher education (the Cabinet’s regulation Nr 2, 3 January, 2002) 7

Table 2: Characteristics of the master degree programme “Social anthropology” 9

Table 3: The distribution of credit points between the A and B categories and semesters 11

Table 4: The classification of the study courses according to their content and compulsiveness (A or B) 13

Table 5: List of academic staff: position, education and scientific degree, permanent or contracted and taught courses (see also Appendix 6) 25

Table 6: Courses taught, number of credit points, category and involved teachers 26

Table 7: Summary of comparison of social anthropology Master's programmes in RSU and two other universities 37


Academic study programme

“Social Anthropology” a social science master degree in social anthropology

(code 45310)

RSU Faculty of Communication

Department of Communication Studies

Riga, LV—1007, Dzirciema 16

Telephone number 371 7409183

Head of the programme: Martins Boiko

Head of the department assoc. professor Dr.philol., Dr.phil., Martins Boiko

Contact person lecturer MPhil Klavs Seldlenieks, tel. 28298499

Riga Januray 2009


At the beginning of 2007 the academic master degree programme “Social Anthropology” was created in Riga Stradins University. On the 21June 2007 the programme was licensed, and in January 2007 first students were accepted. The self-assessment report presented below was prepared by analyzing the experience gained from previous work, continually improving study process, and assessing students’ views on the programme.

The programme described here was developed with awareness that prospective students would not have acquired deep knowledge of social anthropology during their bachelor degree studies. The general format of the programme corresponds to the international practice in master degree studies in this field. The developers of the programme received their education and deepened their knowledge in analogous European and other countries’ higher school programmes and tried to integrate their experience in the Latvian educational system. While developing the programme some colleagues from other European Union (EU) countries were consulted. Therefore students who complete this programme enjoy full rights to continue their academic education in Latvia or other countries and acquire a doctoral degree or be engaged in the labour market using their knowledge practically, in the same way as their colleagues do in other countries.

The master degree study programme “Social Anthropology” was developed on the basis of 4 main principles:

  1. It was developed as so far a unique social anthropology programme in Latvia and therefore it includes the spectrum of courses which enables students to intensively acquire comprehensive knowledge on the theoretical and practical aspects of the field.

  2. The courses included in the programme develop students’ abilities and skills according to the traditions of social anthropology which enables the students to perform practical research and analyze the results not only in terms of Latvian context, but also globally, thus becoming fully involved in the international research activities. This principle is in line with the integration of the Latvian society in the global processes and the demand for specialists who possess professional academic knowledge and skills in order to research, analyze, and practically develop the integration process.

  3. While developing the programme it was taken into account that:

a) Riga Stradins University (RSU) traditionally is involved in the field of medicine, therefore in the programme some attention is devoted to topics which are related to medicine and could be integrated in the training of medical specialists.

b) the programme was developed by RSU Faculty of Communication (FC),

Chair of Communication Studies, therefore a part of it is related to the anthropological aspects of communication and could be integrated in the training of students studying communication.

  1. Since social anthropological practice is closely related to a researcher’s personal engagement in the research process as well as to necessity to conduct lengthy observations, considerable attention is paid to the development of field work (practical observation) skills.

The master degree programme “Social Anthropology” was developed according to the Cabinet’s Regulations on the state academic education standards (Cabinet regulation Nr. 2, 3 January 2002). In the programme there are integrated the principles of Bologna process which enables one to compare acquired qualifications and to use the qualification for pursuing an academic or professional career within or outside EU.

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