Module Provider: Archaeology
Number of credits: 100 [50 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring / Summer term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Prof Grenville Astill


Summary module description:

The aim of this module is to develop high-level skills in research design, management and implementation through: dissertation workshops, a major independent research project and writing an MRes dissertation of 25,000 words. Key skills for this Dissertation module are developed in the prerequisite essay and HEM01 Research Skills and Career Learning modules, as well as through individual supervision throughout the Dissertation.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to:
•identify and appraise critically current substantive and conceptual issues at the forefront of archaeological theory and practice
•demonstrate practical understanding and originality in research design, techniques, and implementation
•organise independently data collection, analysis and interpretation
•evaluate critically the construction and interpretation of knowledge
•structure written arguments and articulate complex issues clearly

Additional outcomes:
It is also expected that students will be able:
•to develop personal responsibility and initiative in planning, managing and executing a major research project professionally
•make decisions during unforeseen and complex situations as the research progresses and develop self-reliance and -direction in addressing and solving problems

Outline content:
Dissertation research areas are wide-ranging, and include critical evaluation of primary and/or published sources, and their relation to current problems at the forefront of archaeological method and theory. Research methods and approaches may include original archaeological or environmental fieldwork, in-depth analysis of primary data, and/or application of innovative approaches and theories: the range of research will be demonstrated in the Dissertation Workshops. The research subject areas and approaches may relate to the MRes essay module, or to other areas which can be supervised by Department staff, who have a wide range of expertise, including the following topics:

•Environment and landscapes
•Social complexity
•Historic settlement, urban and rural
•Religious landscapes
•Gender, the body and material culture
•Diaspora and colonization
•Human-animal-environment relationships
•Environmental and experimental archaeology
•Ancient Diet
•Material culture
•Building archaeology
•Archaeological geophysics
•Forensic archaeology, anthropology and palynology
•Environmental radioactivity, dating and climate change

Topics can be selected from a wide range of regions including for example: Britain and Ireland, Europe, the Mediterranean, Near East, North Africa, Egypt and the Americas, and early and later prehistoric and historical periods, including:

•Bronze Age
•Iron Age
•Classical Roman

Selection and supervision of a topic is dependent on staff availability and discussion with the Module Convenor and MRes Programme Director.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Each student receives individual supervision throughout the dissertation research design, implementation and writing, from one or two members of staff from the Department of Archaeology with relevant expertise. Selection and supervision of a dissertation topic is dependent on staff availability and discussion with the MRes Programme Director.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 22 5
Practicals classes and workshops 5
Guided independent study 284 684
Total hours by term 311.00 689.00
Total hours for module 1000.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Report 5
Dissertation 90
Oral assessment and presentation 5

Other information on summative assessment:
A dissertation of 25,000 words based on independent research (90%).
One report/proposal (5%)
One oral presentation (5%)

Formative assessment methods:

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:

Length of examination:

Requirements for a pass:
An average of 50% overall

Reassessment arrangements:
A failed dissertation may be resubmitted in the following academic year, 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: 31 March 2017

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