Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2018-2019 (archived)


Department: Archaeology


Type Open Level 3 Credits 40 Availability Available in 2018/19 Module Cap 20 Location Durham


  • 40 credits of Archaeology modules at Level 2.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • Specialized Aspects of Archaeology (20 Credits).


  • To develop an understanding of specialised aspects of archaeology, chosen from a list of topics representing the main areas of research in the Department.


  • Four of the following topics, as available:
  • Advanced Landscapes
  • The Ancient Near East: Early Complex Societies
  • Art and Archaeology of the European Upper Palaeolithic
  • Biomolecular Archaeology
  • Bronze Age Britain in its European Context
  • Celts, Warriors and Sacrifice? Themes in the Archaeology of Iron Age Britain
  • Central Mediterranean Prehistory
  • Dating The Past
  • Death and Burial in Britain AD400-1100
  • Fallen Idols? Changing use of Statues and Images in the Roman World
  • The Gulf and Eastern Arabia
  • Images of Rome
  • In Situ and On-Site Conservation
  • Live Forever! The Ancient Egyptian Afterlife
  • Social Networks and Communities in Balkan Prehistory
  • Palaeolithic Britain
  • Religious Life in Ancient Egypt
  • The Roman Countryside in the Mediterranean
  • Sex and Shopping: The Archaeology of Urban Life and Work C12th-C18th
  • Vikings – Fire and Ice: Environmental Archaeology of the North Atlantic Islands
  • Warlords and Holy Men: Northern Britain AD400-1000
  • Byzantine Church Archaeology
  • Trends in Human Bioarchaeology
  • Greeks and Others
  • Bones 2
  • Bones 3
  • Hunters and Gatherers of the Holocene
  • South East Asian Archaeology
  • It is envisaged that approximately 14-16 topics will be offered annually, selected to be representative of the full list.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • At the end of the module, students will be able to: demonstrate advanced levels of current knowledge and intensive understanding in four specific areas of archaeological research.
  • deploy analytical skills specific to specialised aspects under study in the department.
  • be competent in accessing and assimilating specialised research literature of an advanced nature.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • In depth knowledge of a particular period/area or theme in archaeology, with emphasis on interpretation and comprehensive understanding of primary data.
Key Skills:
  • Preparation and effective communication of research methods, data, interpretation and arguments in written form.

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

  • The lectures will provide students with an outline of key knowledge and debates in the topic area, discuss the literature that students should explore, and provide relevant examples and cases studies.
  • The tutorials will develop topics introduced in lectures.
  • to analyse case studies in greater depth.
  • to pick up on other issues related to the lectures and reading.
  • and to prepare students for their summative assignment.
  • Student preparation and reading time is partly for following up specific references in advance of tutorials and partly for general and particular reading suggested by staff in lectures.
  • The summative essay will test the knowledge, understanding and analytical skills acquired by students.
  • Research is embedded into the teaching of this module through the expertise of the lecturers and tutors. The examples and topics chosen within the curriculum are closely aligned with the specialist research interests and experience of the staff teaching the module. Elements of the teaching cover topics at the frontiers of knowledge and this allows students to be trained in current, critical approaches to understanding and interpreting archaeological research.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 36 2 Per Week 1 Hour 36
Tutorials 20 1 Per Week 1 Hour 20
Preparation and Reading 344
Total 400

Summative Assessment

Component: Assessed essays Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Assessed essay 1 3,000 words 25%
Assessed essay 2 3,000 words 25%
Assessed essay 3 3,000 words 25%
Assessed essay 4 3,000 words 25%

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