ARMRP-Dissertation

Module Provider: Archaeology
Number of credits: 80 [40 ECTS credits]
Level:7
Terms in which taught: Spring / Summer term module
Pre-requisites: ARMRES1 Research Paper 1 ARMSP2 Seminar Presentation HEM01 Research Skills and Careers Learning
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Prof Grenville Astill

Email: g.g.astill@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
The aim of this module is to develop high-level skills in research design, management and implemention through conduct of a major independent research project and writing an MRes dissertation of 20,000 words

Aims:
The aim of this module is to develop high-level skills in research design, management and implemention through conduct of a major independent research project and writing an MRes dissertation of 20,000 words. Key skills for this Dissertation module are developed in the prerequisite essay and Dissertation Workshop 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
•to demonstrate practical understanding and originality in research design, techniques, and implementation
•to organise independently data collection, analysis and interpretation
•to evaluate critically the construction and interpretation of knowledge
•to 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
•to 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 research subject areas and approaches may relate to the MRes essay modules, or to other areas which can be supervised by Department staff, who have a wide range of expertise, and may include one or more themes from the following:
evolution of the human mind and language
origins of agriculture
social identity, gender, life cycle
ritual, religion and belief
burial archaeology
palaeopathology
dietary analysis
migration
material culture
buildings, settlement, urbanism
social complexity
environment and landscape
geoarchaeology
archaeological prospection
archaeological chronology
forensic anthropology
forensic geoscience.

Topics can be selected from a wide range of regions including for example: Britain and Ireland, Europe, the Mediterranean, Near East and the Americas, and early and later prehistoric and historical periods, including:
Palaeolithic
Mesolithic
Neolithic
Bronze Age
Iron Age
Classical
Roman
Medieval
Post-Medieval.

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
Project Supervision 15 15
Guided independent study 70 700
       
Total hours by term 85.00 715.00
       
Total hours for module 800.00

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

Other information on summative assessment:
Dissertation (20,000 words): 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: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Length of examination:

Requirements for a pass:
A mark of 50%

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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