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Durham University

Postgraduate Module Handbook 2022/2023

Archive Module Description

This page is for the academic year 2021-22. The current handbook year is 2022-23

Department: Archaeology


Type Open Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2021/22


  • None


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • For students to learn how to conduct palaeopathological research using a biocultural approach, by consideration of specific themes and the evidence used to investigate them.


  • The module will cover specific themes relevant to better understand and evaluate palaeopathological findings. These themes include: living (environment), eating (economy and diet), travelling and migrating (contact/trade and conflict), caring (treating health problems), and working (occupation). Issues such as age (lifecycles), sex, gender and social status and their effects on health through time will be considered.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • In-depth knowledge of specific themes and how they can help to reconstruct past populations' health and lifestyle
Subject-specific Skills:
  • To critically collect and assess data and information from a wide range of sources such as the skeletal record, documentary evidence, artwork, archaeological materials and structures as well as ethnographic data
Key Skills:
  • Critical awareness of the need to study as many different aspects as possible - a holistic approach - to reconstruct health and disease in past populations.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Through lectures and seminars, students will consider how particular themes may be studied using both biological and cultural evidence.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 11 1 hour 11
Tutorials 1 Once 2 hours 2
Seminars 14 1-2 hours 14
Preparation & Reading 273
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 2,500 100%
Component: Poster Presentation Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Poster Presentation 100%

Formative Assessment:

The preparation achived in the module RSAS that precedes this module is considered to be sufficient formative preparation for the summative assignment in this module.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University