AR2F20-Professional Practice

Module Provider: Archaeology
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Ms Amanda Clarke


Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module aims to encourage students to consider, at an early stage in their university career, the possible career paths open to them based upon the skills and experience gained as part of their Archaeology degree and their individual interest and aspirations. 


This module aims to prepare students to transition into the world of work, either within the field of Archaeology or in other employment sectors. Specifically, this module will prepare students for the challenges of researching and selecting career options, and applying for, and successfully gaining jobs upon graduation, as well as providing them with the chance to recognise placements, work experience and other opportunities within the Department, School and University, which will enhance their employability. This module will also provide students with the opportunity to develop their self-awareness and self-promotion in the context of career decision-making, particularly in identifying career opportunities both within and outside of the archaeological discipline. It will also enhance their understanding of employer expectations and how to meet them (i.e. how to successfully promote employability and transferable skills). 

Assessable learning outcomes:

On completion of this module it is expected that the student will be able to:

  • Reflect on their employability and career interests and recognise how they connect with the career opportunities available for archaeologists i.e. develop a targeted career strategy

    • Reflect on the relevance of their Archaeology degree programme and other experiences for future career planning, and think critically about career development and employability

    • Identify and harness the transferable skills that they are developing through their degree studies in order to manage their own career development

    • Research personal career profile options and write an exemplar of a tailored application and/or personal profile using a CV and Cover Letter

    • Develop time management and general personal and organisational skills through teamwork and collaboration

Additional outcomes:

This module also aims to encourage:

• An appreciation of the importance of contacts and provide opportunities to practice networking

• An understanding of how to translate a degree in archaeology into careers within and beyond the heritage industry

• Self-reflection, and recognition of the potential of personal qualities and expertise

• Written communication skills, including the ability to organise material and articulate critical reflections effectively

• IT skills through the use of digital technologies and online resources

• An understanding of recruitment and selection processes

• Awareness of the services and opportunities offered to students by the university’s Careers Centre.

Outline content:

The Module will be introduced in the Summer Term of Part 1, and students will be encouraged to keep a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) log to record and reflect on vocational and transferable skills developed throughout their degree programme, including skills gained over the summer vacation (e.g at the Part 2 Archaeology Field School or through other activities, such as the summer internship modules). Students will also be encouraged to undertake UROP,RIS, Thrive and  the RED award throughout their undergraduate years. During the Autumn and Spring Terms students will be required to take at least one option from a package of training events delivered centrally by the Carers Centre, and to reflect on their usefulness as part of the reflective skills portfolio which will make up part of the summative assessment for this module. The Autumn and Spring terms will be devoted to practical classroom sessions, requiring students to work in small groups and to complete a component of computer-based self-learning using the web-enabled resources available from the Careers Centre. There will be two sessions run in the Autumn term; the first one will introduce the students to career choice and will develop reflexivity and self-awareness in the professional/careers context, and the second session will give the students the opportunity to network with archaeology and other graduates in the light of their evolving self-knowledge, and to learn about their career options and pathways, and their experience of the world of work. Students will also be required to attend the University Careers’ Fair, and to reflect on its usefulness as part of their reflective portfolio. In the Spring term of Part 2 there will be two further workshops, one devoted to creating CV’s, and one introducing the students to interview skills. Students will also be required to attend a 1:1 CV session with a member of the careers Centre. As part of this process, students will then have to produce a ‘before’ and ‘after’ CV, with reflection on how the ‘after’ CV has been improved through interaction with the Careers Centre. There will be two summative assessments: firstly the students will produce an audio recording of  themselves in an interview scenario, answering set questions using taught interview techniques, and secondly they will submit a reflective skills’ portfolio, which will contain the ‘before’ and ‘after’ CV, and other documents reflecting on skills gained. There will be opportunities throughout the module to discuss/receive feedback on a range of topics, including effective applications, and the potential (and pitfalls) of virtual presences and interviews.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Teaching and learning methods will include a combination of taught sessions incorporating team activities and collaborative learning experiences, and on-line learning. Students will be required to do some pre-reading in advance of the classroom sessions, which they will then be tested on during the workshops. Reflection on all workshops and training courses will be a key part of the T&L methods and will be incorporated in the reflective portfolio.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 2 4
Seminars 2
Tutorials 2
Practicals classes and workshops 8 4
Guided independent study 27 37 14
Total hours by term 37.00 47.00 16.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 40
Portfolio 60

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

At the end of the Spring term each student will be required to produce a ‘before’ and ‘after’ CV, incorporating feedback from the workshops, and building on feedback received from the 1:1 Careers Centre  session. This will be incorporated into a reflective skills’ portfolio which will contain evidence of skills’ tests taken, Careers Centre events attended, and any other evidence of Continuing Professional Development, building on the student experience of the workshop and 1:1 sessions.

Formative assessment methods:

Workshops with the module convenors and CPEC staff, and networking events. 

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-submission of the CV and alternative coursework assignment in August/September (on deadlines to be agreed by the Department).

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 20 April 2018


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