Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2020-2021 (archived)


Department: Archaeology


Type Tied Level 3 Credits 40 Availability Not available in 2020/21 Module Cap Location Durham
Tied to F400
Tied to F402
Tied to VQ48
Tied to F406
Tied to VF14
Tied to LF64
Tied to LMV0


  • Developing Archaeological Research (ARCH2181) or Research Project Design (ANTH2177) (LF64 Students only)


  • Two or more Final Honours modules in Archaeology.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • Interdisciplinary Ancient History & Archaeology Dissertation (ARCH3562) (40 credits) and Interdisciplinary Anthropology & Archaeology Dissertation (ANTH3472) (40 credits)


  • * All modules marked with this symbol form part of an Accredited CIfA pathway
  • To significantly develop students' skills in independent research, the analysis and presentation of evidence and the structuring of argumentation by producing an extended (12,000 words) dissertation in a selected specialist area of archaeology.


  • 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 and produce a well-argued and presented report.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students will have:
  • Developed and researched a significant topic in archaeology.
  • Developed a deep knowledge of a specialist area of archaeology capable of reasonably complete treatment within the given word limit.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Production of a detailed research-led archaeological report, using a range of core practical and interpretative skills (including analytical, laboratory or field skills).
  • Undertaking of research in and reporting on a specific area of archaeology, applying the transferable skills listed below.
Key Skills:
  • Undertaking independent study and research.
  • Take clear and unequivocal responsibility for personal decisions.
  • Development and execution of a programme of primary research.
  • Ensure that objectives are specific, measurable and achievable.
  • Application of, and compliance with, archaeological ethics, technical standards and legal requirements.
  • Sampling, collection, recording and critical analysis of primary and secondary data as the result of accessing library, museum, archive and/or WWW resources.
  • Preparation and effective communication of research methods, data, results, interpretations and arguments written and visual form.
  • Check and verify investigation data for accuracy and integrity, qualifying findings where data are insufficient or unreliable.
  • The ability to manage objectives and time, planning work activities and reviewing progress, adapting procedures and practices to allow for different circumstances.
  • Submit the results of work for review and discussion and respond to suggestions.
  • Acknowledge appropriately all sources of information.
  • Use of computer and/or information technology.
  • Conduct interactions in a manner which avoids conflicts of interest and maintains your own independence and maximises the goodwill and trust of others in yourself and those you represent. Ensure that the interests and well-being of all those affected by activities are properly protected.

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 and one workshop towards the end of the project to prepare for final presentation.
  • 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.
  • 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:

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