Module Provider: Archaeology
Number of credits: 40 [20 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Summer / Autumn / Spring module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Gundula M├╝ldner


Type of module:

Summary module description:

Aided by a mixture of lectures, seminars and one-to-one supervisory meetings, students will carry out their own, independent research project and produce a written dissertation of c. 12,000 words. 


This module aims to equip students with advanced skills in research and enquiry by allowing them to apply and further develop the skills of information collection, analysis, and presentation gained during their degree programme within the framework of their own, independent research project.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module, it is expected that students will be able:

  • to plan, organise. carry out and document a piece of primary research;
  • to frame a problem and identify or design methods required for its solution;
  • to engage in-depth with a genuine research question, and to understand and critically assess previous approaches to, and solutions of, this question or similar problems;

  • to identify, assemble, organise and analyse data and information relevant to the description, discussion and solution of the question;
  • to present their work in accurate and lucid writing, and summarise question, evidence and approach orally in clear and concise words. 

Additional outcomes:
The dissertation project requires the use, and encourages the improvement, of a range of essential, transferable skills, including problem-solving, information handling, numeracy, IT and communication skills.

Outline content:

Guided by their supervisors, students will identify a suitable topic, formulate research questions, aims and objectives, adapt or develop a suitable methodology, plan and conduct research through the gathering, critically reviewing and synthesising of information, analyse evidence using appropriate methods and tools and discuss the results within their wider research context. 

General reading:

Swetnam, D. 2000. Writing your dissertation: how to plan, prepare and present your work successfully. 3rd edition. Plymouth: How to Books.

Winstanley, C. 2009. Writing a Dissertation for Dummies. Chichester: Wiley   

Initial, subject-specific reading will be provided by individual supervisors


Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Following a dissertation briefing at the beginning of Part 2, students will identify a dissertation topic and agree supervision in conversation with their personal tutors and members of staff. They will submit an outline dissertation proposal in the 2nd half of the Spring Term of Part 2. During the Summer Term of Part 2, students attend dissertation workshops, meet with their supervisors, who are responsible for guiding and advising the student throughout the dissertation process, and draft a research design, which must be revised and submitted by the end of this term. Students should set aside the equivalent of 4 weeks full-time to work on their dissertation over the summer break and will submit their first draft chapter for formative feedback by their supervisors at the beginning of the autumn term of Part 3 and their second draft chapter at the beginning of the Spring term, amounting to a total of 5,000 words. Throughout Part 3, they will have regular meetings with their supervisors, give an oral presentation in the middle week of the Autumn Term and attend additional dissertation skills sessions. They willsubmit the finished dissertation in the first week of the Summer Term of Part 3. 

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 1 6
Seminars 4
Tutorials 1 2 1
Demonstration 4 4
Practicals classes and workshops 4
Guided independent study 90 83 200
Total hours by term 95.00 90.00 215.00
Total hours for module 400.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Dissertation 85
Project output other than dissertation 5
Oral assessment and presentation 10

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Students will prepare a research design (5% of module mark) and an oral presentation (10 minutes; 10%), and write a dissertation of 12,000 words (85%). All elements will be assessed. The dissertation is to be submitted by the end of the first week of the Summer Term of Part 3.

Formative assessment methods:

In addition to the assessed work, all students are expected to hold regular meetings with their supervisor, to discuss progress and research development, and submit draft chapters on set dates to receive feedback on written work. 

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:
    A mark of 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-submission of coursework

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    1) Required text books:

    2) Specialist equipment or materials:

    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:

    4) Printing and binding: Students need to submit two bound copies of their dissertation (c.£40)

    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:

    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence: 

    Last updated: 20 April 2018


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