ARMDEA-Dissertation in Environmental Archaeology

Module Provider: Archaeology
Number of credits: 60 [30 ECTS credits]
Level:7
Terms in which taught: Spring / Summer term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Prof Dominik Fleitmann

Email: d.fleitmann@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
This module comprises a series of Dissertation workshops, a Masters Conference and a sustained period of independent supervised research in the writing of a Masters Level Dissertation which is to be written in the form of a scientific article.

Aims:
The aim of this module is to develop advanced student high-level skills in critical evaluation and understanding of current research problems, and method and theory, and in designing, planning and implementing a major independent research project, through writing a dissertation of 10,000 words in the form of a scientific article.

Assessable learning outcomes:
Assessable outcomes
•To assess the nature and scope of recent dissertation research problems, methodologies and data, and gain understanding of originality in the application of knowledge and techniques of research and enquiry
•To evaluate critically the depth of knowledge, structure, argument, and writing style in dissertations on a range of environmental archaeological topics
•To develop oral communication skills in group discussions and formal oral presentations
•Through dissertation proposal, research and writing it is expected that the student will be able:
oTo identify and appraise critically current research problems in environmental archaeology
oTo demonstrate originality and practical ability in research design and implementation
oTo organise independently data collection, analysis and interpretation
oTo structure written arguments and articulate complex issues clearly

Additional outcomes:
•To design, plan and implement tasks related to research, including effective reading and use of bibliography management programmes, research and data management, and exercise of initiative and personal responsibility, which are also necessary for further research and employment
•To appraise the ethics and environment of academic research
•To develop personal responsibility and initiative in planning, managing and executing a major research project professionally
•To make decisions during unforeseen and complex situations as the research progresses and develop self-reliance and -direction in addressing and solving problems
•To display the results of their research in poster format
•To deliver clear well-structured oral presentations and use PowerPoint effectively
•To develop interpersonal communication and work skills in a diverse group

Outline content:
Part A: Dissertation workshops
The workshops will introduce the students to strategies and skills required for writing a Masters level dissertation. There are sessions devoted to individual and structured group critique and discussion of past dissertations. Students write their own dissertation research proposal early in the Spring Term, and give an oral presentation at the MSc/MA Conference later in the term, both of which are assessed. After Easter at the start of the Summer Term, students work on the dissertation full time. A poster is produced displaying the results of the dissertation research at the end of the programme.

Part B: Dissertation
Dissertation research areas and approaches are wide-ranging, and will usually be based on field and laboratory work, detailed data analysis and interpretation, and evaluation of their significance in relation to wider research and issues in the field. The research subject areas may relate to the MSc core or option modules, or to other areas, which staff involved in teaching the MSc, who have a wide range of expertise, can supervise.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The module, which is mainly taught by members of Departmental staff, emphasises the importance of acquiring high quality research skills and applying these to environmental archaeology, as well as other areas of professional employment. The module will include structured group discussions, and an oral presentation. During the dissertation, each student receives individual guidance throughout the period of design, implementation and writing up of their research, from a member of staff with relevant expertise.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Project Supervision 32
Practicals classes and workshops 17 4
Guided independent study 10 537
       
Total hours by term 27.00 573.00
       
Total hours for module 600.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Dissertation 90
Oral assessment and presentation 10

Other information on summative assessment:
Dissertation of 10,000 words: 90%
Dissertation proposal: 5%
Oral presentation at MA/MSc conference: 5%

Formative assessment methods:
Written and oral feedback on the dissertation proposal and oral presentation during the spring term, and detailed feedback on the dissertation report following the examiners meeting in the autumn.

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Length of examination:

Requirements for a pass:
50%

Reassessment arrangements:
Failed dissertations may be resubmitted in the following academic year.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 21 December 2016

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