Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2018-2019 (archived)


Department: Archaeology


Type Tied Level 3 Credits 40 Availability Available in 2018/19 Module Cap Location Durham
Tied to VF14
Tied to LF64
Tied to LMV0
Tied to LMVA
Tied to
Tied to QRV0
Tied to QRVA


  • Developing Archaeological Research (ARCH2181).


  • One or more Final Honours modules in Archaeology.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • Any other dissertation module offered by any Board of Studies.


  • To significantly develop students' skills in independent research and project management by producing an extended dissertation (12,000 words) on a selected specialist topic that addresses a research question defined within archaeology or within archaeology and a cognate subject (Joint Honours students will be expected to have a topic than spans the two subjects).


  • The student will undertake an extended piece of supervised independent research and investigate in depth the approved topic using an appropriate range of practical, laboratory and/or field techniques, producing a well-argued and presented report. Students will be encouraged to develop interdisciplinary approaches to the project.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students will have:
  • Developed and researched a significant topic defined within archaeology or within archaeology and a cognate subject.
  • Developed a deep knowledge of the specialist area selected capable of reasonably complete treatment within the given word limit.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Production of a detailed research-led report, using a range of core practical and interpretative skills (including analytical, laboratory or field skills).
  • Undertaking of research in and reporting on the significant topic, applying the transferable skills listed below.
Key Skills:
  • Undertaking independent study and research.
  • Effective negotiation (with Supervisor/Advisor).
  • Development and execution of a programme of primary research, taking into account the potential for interdisciplinary approaches.
  • Sampling, collection, recording and critical analysis of primary and secondary data as the result of accessing library, museum, archive and/or internet resources.
  • Preparation and effective communication of research methods, data, results, interpretations and arguments written and visual form.
  • Use of computer and/or information technology to produce a clearly expressed and illustrated report.
  • Time management.

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

  • The module is taught through self-guided learning supported by feedback.
  • It is assessed through a written dissertation.
  • Tutorials will focus on discussion and feedback between a tutor and student, in a relatively informal learning environment, enabling the student to enhance, discuss, question and receive feedback on their knowledge and to gain experience in oral communication.
  • Self-guided learning comprises personal study, research, revision and evaluation associated with tutorials and assignments; guided by lecturers, tutors and reading lists of specialist books, articles and web-sites.
  • In the case of JH students (LF64 and VF14) supervision will be led by a Supervisor in Archaeology and supported by an Adviser in the JH department, where the apportionment of tutorials will be agreed depending on the topic (with at least one tutorial given by the Adviser).
  • Research is embedded into the teaching of this module through the nature of the dissertation as an inquiry-based activity. Students develop research skills in the specialist area of the dissertation and have the opportunity to acquire a research ethos.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Tutorials 8 4 per term 1 hour 8
Lecture/Workshop 1 once 2 2
Preparation and Reading 390
Total 400

Summative Assessment

Component: Dissertation Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Dissertation 12,000 words max 100%

Formative Assessment:

Progress report/draft chapter (3000 words, ca week 12).

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