Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2018-2019 (archived)


Department: Archaeology


Type Open Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2018/19 Module Cap None.


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • to enable students to acquire an understanding of tools, skills and methods for effective learning, research and presentation in archaeology.


  • Typically the module includes:
  • Bibliographic research and resources (libraries, databases, online sources);
  • Other research resources (archives, grey literature, maps);
  • Compiling and using databases;
  • Thinking critically about sources (literature, material and visual);
  • Academic writing and conventions;
  • Visual presentation, tools and conventions;
  • Careers in and outside academia;
  • Applying for jobs and research degrees;

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • In depth knowledge and understanding of specific chosen topics relevant to an MA Strand group, including knowledge of relevant materials, literature and scholarly debates and how to interact with them;
  • Familiarity with the research tools most relevant to a topic relevant to an MA Strand group, including library and online bibliographic tools, map sets and software;
Subject-specific Skills:
  • The ability to collect and process reported data using a wide range of resources for archaeologists;
  • The ability to use a variety of research tools and sources relevant to archaeology, including literature, maps, archives and digital tools and sources;
  • Understanding of academic norms of writing and conventions of referencing in archaeology;
  • An ability to conduct independent research in archaeological topics.
Key Skills:
  • employing self-initiative to formulate questions and goals;
  • gathering, organising, analysing data and planning time to reach end goals;
  • use of various research resources, software and IT packages;
  • advanced written, verbal and visual presentation skills.

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

  • Through a combination of weekly lectures and workshops focussing on different resources and skills;
  • Through biweekly MA Strand-based group tutorials for discussion of and guidance on various research and theoretical topics relevant to the particular Strand;
  • Assessment: one mid-term formative written essay of 1,500 words maximum; two summative assignments from options including written essay and less traditional practical projects (e.g. poster, database compilation) with a written component, of c. 1,500 words each.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 14 Normally every week 1 hour 14
Tutorials 5 Normally biweekly 1 hour 5
Preparation and Reading 131
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Assignment 2000 100% Yes
Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Assignment 2000 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:

Students submit a draft of their first summative: 1,500 words.

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