Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2007-2008 (archived)


Department: Archaeology


Type Open Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2007/08


  • None


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • For students to learn how to conduct paleopathological research using a biocultural approach, by consideration of specific themes and the evidence used to investigate them.


  • The module will cover specific themes relevant to better understand and evaluate palaeopathological findings. These themes include: living (environment), eating (economy and diet), travelling and migrating (contact/trade and conflict), caring (treating health problems), and working (occupation). Issues such as age (lifecycles), sex, gender and social status and their effects on health through time will be considered.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • In-depth knowledge of specific themes and how they can help to reconstruct past populations' health and lifestyle
Subject-specific Skills:
  • To critically collect and assess data and information from a wide range of sources such as the skeletal record, documentary evidence, artwork, archaeological materials and structures as well as ethnographic data
Key Skills:
  • Critical awareness of the need to study as many different aspects as possible - a hollistic approach - to reconstruct health and disease in past populations.

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

  • Through lectures and tutorials, students will consider how particular themes may be studied using both biological and cultural evidence.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 16 1-2 per week 1 hour 16
Tutorials 1 Once 2 hours 2
Seminars 10 Weekly 1-2 hours 10
Preparation & Reading 270
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Themes Essay 2,500 100%
Component: Poster Presentation Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Poster Presentation 100%

Formative Assessment:

One oral presentation.

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