Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2020-2021 (archived)


Department: Archaeology


Type Open Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2020/21 Module Cap Location Durham
Tied to


  • Medieval to Modern (ARCH1141) OR Archaeology in Britain (ARCH1071).


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To enable students to gain a broad understanding of (a) the archaeological information and historical information for Medieval and Post-Medieval societies in Britain, in the context of European neighbours and European colonial expansion.
  • and (b) current theories and debates about this evidence.


  • This module considers the character of Medieval and Post-Medieval societies in selected regions of Britain through their material culture.
  • the relationships between Britain and continental neighbours and the colonial expansion of these entities, within the period c.AD400-c.AD1800.
  • The evidence for changes in settlement, landscape, architecture, social, economic and political organisation, and religious practice, craft, industry and exchange within this period is examined using a range of case studies, whilst recent changes to our understanding are assessed through an evaluation of this archaeological information in its wider historical context.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • At the end of the module, the student will have: Developed a sound knowledge of a range of artefacts, sites, and landscapes in the defined geographical areas.
  • Related this evidence to a wider framework.
  • Interpreted this information in the context of recent theoretical developments.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Develop critical understanding of the evidence for and character of medieval and post-medieval societies in Britain
Key Skills:
  • Develop competence in a wide range of transferable skills including reading, assimilating, investigating and criticising complex data and interpretations

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

  • The module is taught through a combination of lectures and workshops.
  • Lectures will ensure the effective communication of key information and theoretical ideas.
  • Artefact workshops will provide closer engagement with the physical evidence and its interpretation.
  • The short answer section of the exam will test students' grasp of critical information, whilst the unseen essay will test their ability to evaluate current ideas and debates.
  • Students' abilities to analyse data and place it in a wider framework of understanding will be assessed by the evidence-based essay.
  • Self guided learning
  • 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 will derive from the specialist research interests of the staff teaching the module. The module also enables students to explore how archaeologists produce evidence about the past, develop theories to explain it, and how archaeological evidence may subsequently be reinterpreted.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 15 1 Per Week 1 Hour 15
Artefact workshops 4 2 per term 2 Hours 8
Assignment workshops 2 1 per term 1 Hour 2
Preparation and Reading 175
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Assessed essay Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 3,000 words 100%
Component: Examination Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
examination 2 hours 100%

Formative Assessment:

Formative assessment may include a range of quizzes, short answer tests and other short assignments related to the learning outcomes of the module.

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