Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2007-2008 (archived)

Module ARCH52815: GIS in Archaeology

Department: Archaeology

ARCH52815: GIS in Archaeology

Type Open Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2007/08 Module Cap
Tied to


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To equip students with a critical and working knowledge of the main uses of Geographic Information Systems in archaeology.


Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
    Subject-specific Skills:
    • Students will have mastered: the essential components of a GIS
    • Basics of raster and vector data structures
    • Investigating simple spatial relationships using buffering and clipping
    • Visibility analysis
    • Cost surface analysis
    • Statistical testing of spatial relationships
    Key Skills:

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

      • Lectures : Components of a GIS, and basic operations; Visibility analysis; Cost surfaces; Statistical testing
      • Practicals: Managing data sets; Buffering and clipping; Visibility analysis; Cost surface analysis; Statistical testing

      Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

      Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
      Lectures 4 weekly 1:00 4
      Tutorials 2 fortnightly 1:00 2
      Practicals 5 weekly 2:00 10
      Preparation & Reading
      Other: 134
      Total 150

      Summative Assessment

      Component: Portfolio Component Weighting: 100%
      Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
      Essay 2,000 words 50%
      Report, on a practical application GIS analysis to an archaeological problem, consisting of a description of the problem and analytical methods used, and graphical representations of the original data and results of analysis 10 pages max 50%

      Formative Assessment:

      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