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Durham University

Postgraduate Modules 2019/2020

Module Description

Please ensure you check the module availability box for each module outline, as not all modules will run in each academic year. Each module description relates to the year indicated in the module availability box. Please be aware that modules may change from year to year, and may be amended to take account of, for example: changing staff expertise, disciplinary developments, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback.

Department: Archaeology


Type Open Level 4 Credits 60 Availability Available in 2019/20



  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To ensure that students have the opportunity to engage in research, practising, developing and demonstrating research skills in a particular facet of the subject.


  • Under guidance of the assigned dissertation supervisor, students will cover the following:
  • familiarisation with published literature on a specific topic
  • development of a research design
  • data collection; evaluation and drawing of conclusions. Data may derive from fieldwork, library or laboratory
  • writing and presenting a dissertation of up to 15,000 words in a manner and format appropriate to the subject area.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Students will show in-depth knowledge of bioarchaeological theory and methodology in their specialist topic, demonstrating critical awareness and understanding of their research in the wider setting of bioarchaeology.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Students will demonstrate familiarity +with published literature relevant to the subject, be able to gather data and critically evaluate findings.
Key Skills:
  • The ability to collect and analyse relevant bioarchaeological materials and/or data, draw relevant conclusions and to present these in an appropriate form.

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

  • The planning of research and dissertation outline is discussed in a lecture as part of ARCH40130. Students will present their dissertation design in class and will receive feedback. Subsequently, tutorials on a one-to-one basis will give further guidance.

Teaching Methods and Contact Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Tutorials 10 over vacation 1 hour 10
Preparation & Reading 588
Oral Presentation 1 1st week of term 2 hours 2
Total 600

Summative Assessment

Component: Dissertation Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
dissertation 15,000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

Research design 1,500 words

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

    If you have a question about Durham's modular degree programmes, please visit our User Guide. If you have a question about modular programmes that is not covered by the User Guide, or a query about the Postgraduate Module Handbook, please contact us using the Comments and Questions form below.