Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2010-2011 (archived)

Module ARCH50360: Double Guided Study

Department: Archaeology

ARCH50360: Double Guided Study

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 60 Availability Available in 2010/11 Module Cap None.
Tied to F4K007


  • None


  • ARCH59730

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To develop a detailed yet broad level of knowledge and understanding of current key issues in a selected core area of study.
  • To develop critical awareness and research skills required for future research.
  • To develop the necessary range and depth of knowledge and understanding to support future research.


  • The student will undertake guided research on two selected key topics within the scope of their chosen strand agreed with the module tutor/s and MA strand convenor. The student will engage with detailed specialist literature and other appropriate resources through a comprehensive bibliography, a detailed resource list and ongoing dialogues with the tutor in regular tutorials and supervisions. From this basis the student will engage with the themes and concepts of the topics through four formative presentations and two formative essays, preparing them for the summative assignments:four research papers (2 of 2000w and 2 of 3000w).

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • A detailed indepth understanding of two selected topics within two defined research areas.
  • A thorough appreciation of the range and format of relevant and comparative archaeological resources for each topic.
  • A critical understanding of complex theory and methodology related to the selected research areas and their critical application to the selected topics.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • The collection of appropriate archaeological data.
  • The analysis and interpretation of the above data.
  • The ability to critically interrogate these data sets in the context of relevant current research.
  • The ability to produce written work of a professional standard on the defined research areas.
Key Skills:
  • Development of independent research study skills.
  • Ability to write cogently and critically on two specialised areas of research, drawing on the work of previous scholars as necessary.
  • To develop communication skills to a professional standard via oral presentations and written assignments that use a range of IT skills, softwares and modes of delivery.
  • Ability to undertake independant research, collect and critically evaluate archaeological evidence, to develop original arguments to a professional standard.

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

  • The primary mode of teaching will be by tutorials, usually of one-hour duration unless agreed differently. Students will be required to undertake specified reading prior to each tutorial; this is a minimum requirement and it is expected that students will supplement their own reading. The tutorials will include four formative individual presentations in addition to guided discussions where students will be expected to make critical contributions. The purpose of the presentation is to introduce the main reading for the tutorial and to outline its key arguments. The discussion will provide all students with the opportunity to engage with a wider range of data, texts and commentaries and to express independant judgement on their meaning and significance. The tutorials will enable students to develop their abilities to express ideas and defend them against possible criticisms, to learn from alternative theoretical perspectives, to explore issues and arguments in greater depth, and to receive feedback from both the group and the lecturer on their own understanding and presentation. The modes of learning through tutorial presentations, tutorial participation, and essay writing will enhance the student's independent research analysis within a supportive learning environment.
  • Students are required to submit two 1500 word formative essays (or practical equivalent) at an early stage in the module - one for each topic of study. This enables them to develop their written communication skills, to assess their own progress and to receive feedback on whether they are sufficiently informed and they are expressing themselves appropriately.
  • This will provide a preparation for two further 2000w essays or practical equivalents (one for each topic) and two further 3000w summative essays or practical equivalents (one for each topic) which students are required to submit at agreed points in the course of the module. This will require students to research, prepare and write highly analytical essays that display knowledge of key theoretical and methodological issues and an ability to relate these to the practice and interpretation of archaeological material, data and literature. These exercises enable students to demonstrate that they have sufficient subject knowledge to meet the assessment criteria, that they have acquired the subject and key skills.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Tutorials 20 weekly 1hr 20
Preparation and Reading 580
Total 600

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 20%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 1 2000w 100% essay
Component: Essay 2 Component Weighting: 20%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 2 2000w 100% essay
Component: Essay 3 Component Weighting: 30%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 3 3000w100 100% essay
Component: Essay 4 Component Weighting: 30%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 4 3000w 100% essay

Formative Assessment:

Four 15 minute tutorial presentations. Two 1,500 word essays

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