ARMIDS-Issues and Debates

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

Module Convenor: Dr Gundula M├╝ldner


Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module provides graduate students with a conceptual understanding of human burial archaeology 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 understand human skeletal remains from archaeological contexts, and a critical awareness of central issues within burial archaeology that can be applied to both the optional modules and the dissertation

Assessable learning outcomes:

Provide a conceptual understanding of the key approaches and methodological debates in human burial archaeology.

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 burial archaeology;

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 burial archaeology.

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 by demonstrating how knowledge can be gained by analyses of 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 human burial archaeology and associated methodological debates, including approaches to burial archaeology and the nature of the evidence, age and the life-course, sex and gender, race and ancestry. 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 introduces case-studies and with examples from multiple continents and cultures.

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.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10
Seminars 10
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 20
    Wider reading (directed) 20
    Advance preparation for classes 10
    Essay preparation 30
Total hours by term 100 0 0
Total hours for module 100

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 70
Oral assessment and presentation 30

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Coursework (c. 2000 words) – 70%

Presentation – 30%

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:

Assessment requirements for a pass:

A module average of 50% overall.

Reassessment arrangements:

Resubmission of coursework and alternative assessment in lieu of presentation.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 10 April 2019


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