Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024 (archived)

Module ANTH3742: Anthropology and Archaeology Interdisciplinary Dissertation (40 credits)

Department: Anthropology

ANTH3742: Anthropology and Archaeology Interdisciplinary Dissertation (40 credits)

Type Tied Level 3 Credits 40 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap Location Durham
Tied to LF64


  • Research Project Design (ANTH2187)


  • One or more Final Honours modules in Anthropology and one of more Final Honours modules in Archaeology

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • Any other 20 or 40 credit dissertation module


  • 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 research question using methods, theories and approaches drawn from the fields of anthropology and 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, producing a well-argued and presented dissertation report. Students will be expected to develop and apply interdisciplinary approaches to the project.
  • Students are encouraged to gather their own data or conduct their own observations. However, disciplinary conventions and other constraints may render it appropriate for students to rely on library-based research. Students choosing this option should do so in consultation with their supervisor and justify it within the dissertation script.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students will have:
  • Developed and researched a significant interdisciplinary topic defined within the scope of the combined fields of anthropology and archaeology.
  • Developed a detailed knowledge of the dissertation topic.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Production of a detailed interdisciplinary research-led dissertation, using a range of core practical and interpretative skills (including analytical, laboratory or field skills) used in anthropology and archaeology.
  • Undertaking of research in and analysis of 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 WWW 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 dissertation.
  • Time management and negotiation.

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

  • This 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.
  • Students will either be co-supervised by two supervisors, one in Anthropology and one in Archaeology, or supervised by a member of academic staff working at the interfaces of Anthropology and Archaeology.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Seminars 2 2 in Michaelmas term 1 hour 2
Tutorials 4 2 in first term and 2 in second term 1 hour 4
Dissertation Consultations 4 To be arranged with supervisor 4
Drop-in clinics Fortnightly across Michaelmas and Epiphany terms 1 hour 10
Preparation and Reading 380
Total 400

Summative Assessment

Component: Dissertation Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Dissertation 12000 words maximum (excluding bibliography and appendices) 100% No

Formative Assessment:

Formative assessments will consist of drafts of the main sections of the dissertation, including a draft literature review and research timetable in Michaelmas Term, leading to a full thesis draft in Epiphany Term.

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