AR2F20-Professional Practice

Module Provider: Archaeology
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2019/0

Module Convenor: Ms Amanda Clarke


Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module aims to encourage students to consider the possible career paths open to them based upon the skills and experience gained as part of their Archaeology degree, and their individual interests, aspirations, values and motivations.


This module aims to prepare students to transition into the world of work, either within the field of Archaeology or in other employment sectors. Specifically, this module will prepare students for the challenges of researching and selecting career options, by reflecting on their employability before applying for, and successfully gaining, graduate level jobs. It will also provide them with the chance to recognise and be in a position to apply for placements, work experience and other opportunities within the Department, School and University, which will enhance their employability. This module will also provide students with the opportunity to develop their self-awareness and self-promotion in the context of career decision-making, particularly in identifying career opportunities both within and outside of the archaeological discipline. It will also enhance their understanding of employer expectations and how to meet them (i.e. how to successfully promote employability and transferable skills). 

Assessable learning outcomes:

On completion of this module it is expected that the student will be able to:

  • Reflect on their employability and career interests and recognise how they connect with the career opportunities available for archaeologists i.e. develop a targeted career strategy

  • Reflect on the relevance of their Archaeology degree programme and other experiences for future career planning, and think critically about career development and employability

  • Identify and harness the transferable skills that they are developing through their degree studies in order to manage their own career development

  • Research personal career profile options and write an exemplar of a tailored application and/or personal profile using a CV

  • Develop time management and general personal and organisational skills through teamwork and collaboration

Additional outcomes:

This module also aims to encourage:

• An appreciation of the importance of professional contacts and opportunities to practice networking

• An understanding of how to translate a degree in archaeology into careers within and beyond the heritage industry

• Self-reflection, and recognition of the potential of personal qualities and expertise

• Written communication skills, including the ability to organise material and articulate critical reflections effectively

• IT skills through the use of digital technologies and online resources

• An understanding of recruitment and selection processes

• Awareness of the services and opportunities offered to students by the university’s Careers Centre.

Outline content:

Students will be:

  • Encouraged to keep a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) log to record and reflect on vocational and transferable skills developed throughout their degree programme, including skills gained over the summer vacations (e.g at the Part 2 Archaeology Field School or through other activities, such as the summer internship modules)

  • Encouraged to undertake UROP, RIS, Thrive and the RED award throughout their undergraduate years, according to their employability needs

  • Required to take at least one option from a package of training events delivered centrally by the Careers Centre, and to reflect on their usefulness as part of the reflective skills portfolio which will make up part of the summative assessment for this module

  • Required to work in small groups and use the web-enabled resources available from the Careers Centre

  • Required to attend a 1:1 CV feedback session with a member of the Careers Centre. As part of this process, students will then have to produce a ‘before’ and ‘after’ CV, with reflection on how the ‘after’ CV has been improved through interaction with the Careers Centre.

  • There will be three workshops run in the Autumn and Spring terms:

  • Workshop 1 will introduce the students to career choice and will develop reflexivity and self-awareness in the professional/careers context

  • Workshop 2 will be devoted to creating CV’s

  • Workshop 3 will introduce interview skills

In the Autumn term there will also be a practical session which will provide the students with the opportunity to network with archaeology and other graduates and to learn about their career options and pathways, and their experience of the world of work.

There will be two summative assessments:

  1. Students will produce a video recording of  themselves in an interview scenario, answering set questions using taught interview techniques

  2. Students will submit a reflective skills’ portfolio, which will contain the ‘before’ and ‘after’ CV, and other documents reflecting on their employability and career clarity/direction. As part of the portfolio students will be required to produce an ‘Action Plan’ detailing their strategy for boosting their employability throughout their undergraduate years. There will be opportunities throughout the module to discuss/receive feedback on a range of topics, including effective applications, and the potential (and pitfalls) of virtual presences and interviews.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Teaching and learning methods will include a combination of taught sessions incorporating team activities and collaborative learning experiences, and on-line learning including the use of in-class technology such as interactive quizzes. Reflection on all workshops and training courses will be a key part of the T&L methods and will be incorporated in the reflective portfolio.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 4 4
Seminars 2
Tutorials 2
Practicals classes and workshops 6 4
Guided independent study: 27 37 14
Total hours by term 37 47 16
Total hours for module 100

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 40
Portfolio 60

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

At the end of the Spring term each student will be required to produce a ‘before’ and ‘after’ CV, incorporating feedback from the workshops, and building on feedback received from the 1:1 Careers Centre session. This will be incorporated into a reflective skills’ portfolio which will contain evidence of skills’ tests taken, Careers Centre events attended, and any other evidence of Continuing Professional Development, building on the student experience of the workshops and 1:1 sessions.

Formative assessment methods:

Workshops with the module convenors and Careers Centre staff, and networking events. 

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:

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-submission of the CV and alternative coursework assignment in August/September (on deadlines to be agreed by the Department).

    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: 8 April 2019


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