ARMIDB-Issues and Debates in Bioarchaeology

Module Provider: Archaeology
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Mary Lewis


Summary module description:
This module provides graduate students with a conceptual understanding of bioarchaeology that enables them to evaluate the nature of the evidence used in the discipline, to critically assess methodologies and evaluate their appropriateness for different research questions.

This module aims to provide students with a deeper understanding of the approaches used to analyses human skeletal remains from archaeological contexts, and a critical awareness of central issues within bioarchaeology that can be applied to both the optional modules and the dissertation

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to:

identify and appraise the main methods and theoretical approaches used in bioarchaeology;
evaluate critically their appropriateness for different projects and research questions;
evaluate critically the inferences which can be made about past human activities and health;
understand and assess the advantages and challenges of developing interdisciplinary approaches in the study of bioarchaeology.
integrate scientific and social perspectives in the interpretation of the past.

Additional outcomes:
The module also promotes the development of advanced problem-solving and analytical skills applied to diverse, complex and incomplete data and the interpretations derived from them. Seminar presentations and the selection of individual assignment topics encourage independent learning, communication skills and the exercise of initiative.

Outline content:
This module is structured to consider the main theoretical approaches and types of evidence used in bioarchaeology (isotope analysis; aDNA, ancestry and biodistance; life course, migration, stress and deprivation, structured violence, ethics)) and key approaches to their analysis. Sessions will provide introductions to the subject matter and lead on to structured discussions, based on seminar presentations and prepared reading about methodological issues and key debates in the field.

Global context:
The module draws upon case studies worldwide.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Lectures, seminars and structured group discussion requiring preparatory reading. Students will present a seminar paper (assessed) about one of the themes.

This is a 10 credit module, which means that it is intended to occupy you for 100 hours of work: seminar preparation, background reading, reading for and writing the monograph critique. With that in mind you might like to think of your independent self-study time as follows:

15 hours engaged in reading and note taking from ‘key texts’ for each week
25 hours preparation for seminars including seminar presentation.
40 hours engaged in reading, preparation and writing your critique

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10
Seminars 11
Guided independent study 79
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 90
Oral assessment and presentation 10

Other information on summative assessment:
One 3,000 words written article critique with research design for future work (90%).
Seminar participation and presentation (10%).

Formative assessment methods:
Structured seminar discussions will give opportunity for self- and peer-assessment and immediate informal feedback on progression and performance by the module leaders.

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:
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:

Length of examination:

Requirements for a pass:
A module average of 50% overall.

Reassessment arrangements:
Resubmission of coursework by 22nd August, but it cannot carry forward more than a pass mark.

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: 21 December 2016

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