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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

ARCH54630: Artefact Studies

Type Open Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2019/20

Prerequisites

  • None

Corequisites

  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.

Aims

  • To enable students to gain an understanding of the theory, practice and status of artefact studies, from both an archaeological and an inter-disciplinary perspective, with particular reference to museum collections and archives;
  • To learn about the physical properties, and traditional production and consumption, of a range of materials and products;
  • To gain and develop skills in handling, analysing, interpreting and recording a range of materials and artefacts;
  • To examine and compare the artefactual assemblages of different periods and cultures.

Content

  • This module helps students to gain an understanding of the theory, practice and status of artefact studies, from both an archaeological and an inter-discplinary perspective, with particular reference to musem collections and archives. More specifically, students learn about the physical properties and traditional production and consumption, of a range of materials and artefacts. They also develop skills in handling, analysing, interpreting and recording a range of materials and artefacts from different periods and cultures.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • A range of major humanistic and scientific approaches, techniques, key terms, concepts, themes and debates relating to the study of artefacts.
  • The material composition, technology of production, uses and cultural context of a range of inorganic and organic artefacts from different periods and cultures collected in museums and archives.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Collect, examine, record, analyse, interpret critically, draw justifiable conclusions from, synthesise, present and acknowledge artefact-related research information (including both quantitative and qualitative information from publications, collections, databases, subject specialists and tutors), selecting and using appropriate methods carefully and accurately, in line with the aims and objectives of a research plan.
  • Handle, examine, analyse, identify, classify, interpret, document, describe and report (in written and graphic form) artefacts from different periods and cultures, using appropriate methods carefully, safely and accurately, summarising critically their physical nature, structure and composition, key features, condition, use, history, significance, age, provenance, relationship to other relevant objects, in line with a research plan.
Key Skills:
  • Use computer and information technology (e.g. word processing, databases, graphing and image processing).
  • Access library, museum, archive and World Wide Web resources.
  • Undertake advanced independent study, research and problem solving.
  • Communicate information and arguments effectively, in written, visual and computerised form, to specialist audiences.
  • Take responsibility for personal, professional and ethical development within the museum and cultural heritage sector or within academia, responding actively to critical feedback.
  • Manage time effectively, working to time-tables and meeting deadlines.

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

Teaching Methods and Contact Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 14 Weekly 1-2 hours 28
Tutorials 8 Weekly 1-2 hours 16
Seminars 1 Once 2 hours 2
Practicals 12 Weekly 1 hour 12
Fieldwork 1 Once 3 hours 3
Preparation & Reading 239
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Organic Artefact Report Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Report 3,000 words 100%
Component: Inorganic Artefact Report Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Report 3,000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

500 word inorganic artefact research design


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.