Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2007-2008 (archived)


Department: Archaeology


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2007/08 Module Cap None.


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To allow students to explore and simulate the research process in archaeological science through directed learning in the classroom and laboratory. A single practical-based research project will be undertaken, focusing on the practical and analytical aspects of a larger research project undertaken by various members of staff across the participating Departments.


  • Introductory lecture - aims and objectives of module - introducing potential research projects
  • Deconstructing the research paper - the theory and practice of research projects in archaeological and environmental science - the idea, the research design, the funding, the data gathering and analysis, the project reporting
  • Research design presentations - each student gives a 10 minute presentation on their research design - 1000 word summary submitted for formative assessment
  • Student lead practical laboratory research and analysis

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • The student will have gained an understanding of the intellectual and methodological basis of a particular research question, as practised by researchers within higher education.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • The student will have demonstrated a general understanding of the issues and questions that shape the intellectual agenda of one of the main research themes of the MSc and CP3, outlined in the core module 'Past Peoples and Palaeoenvironments'. These are:
  • 1) Environmental impact and change
  • 2) Dispersals and diasporas
  • 3) Palaeoeconomy and diet
  • 4) Human health and environment
Key Skills:
  • On completion of this module, the student should have
  • 1) undertaken a clearly-defined and targetted piece of research, guided by a suitable supervisor;
  • 2) gained and experienced logistical and practical skills associated with the conduct of a research project and the presentation of research results to an appropriate audience.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Modes of Teaching and Learning
  • - Lectures introducing students to the theory and practice of research projects in archaeological and environmental science
  • - Oral presentation of student's research design in front of module leader, project supervisor and peer-group
  • - Student-lead laboratory analysis with supervision of project supervisor
  • Modes of Assessment:
  • - Formative: 1000 word research design following oral presentation
  • - Summative: 4000 word research report in the form of a short research paper

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 2 1 2
Seminars 1 2 2
Practicals 7 3 21
Preparation and Reading 275
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Research Report Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Summative Research Report 4000 words max 100%

Formative Assessment:

1000 word summary research design

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University