ARC3000 - Archaeological Dissertation

2021/2 Module description

StaffDr Robert Morkot - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level6
Pre-requisites60 credits of archaeology at EACH levels 1 and 2, i.e. 120 credits
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks; Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module description

In this module you will research independently a topic of your choice in the field of Archaeology and write up your research in a dissertation. You will start preparing for your dissertation during the second term of year 2, deciding on an appropriate topic which must be approved by your dissertation supervisor. 

Module aims

The module will develop the ability to define a field of enquiry, undertake a sustained period of research into it and produce a dissertation upon it. It will encourage the application of knowledge, principles, skills of enquiry and (where appropriate) illustrative skills. It will develop the ability critically to evaluate the issues relating to the subject area.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Critically analyse and deploy primary archaeological data and acquire a detailed knowledge of the subject area under investigation
  • 2. Prepare and deploy appropriate illustrative material
  • 3. Know the chronological and methodological frameworks of the research area and use related conventions in their correct contexts

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Ability to undertake a sustained enquiry
  • 5. Deploy bibliographical skills
  • 6. Evaluate conflicting opinions

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 7. Devise, implement and keep to a work schedule
  • 8. Produce a substantial written report, using appropriate illustrations

Syllabus plan

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that it will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • Introduction to dissertations (early in term2 of stage 2). Dissertation Handbook issued.
  • Consultation with potential supervisor to define topic (during  term 2 of stage 2).
  • Submission of Dissertation Proposal Form: by week 8 of term 2
  • Early October: meeting with supervisor to discuss progress made during vacation.
  • Further meetings with supervisor: late November/early December; late January/early February; March.
  • Dissertations are regarded as examinable components and as such, feedback will not be available until after the exam board has met.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching1Introductory synchronous meeting
Scheduled learning and teaching2Consultation with dissertation supervisor by e-mail/zoom as mutually agreed
Guided independent study297Self-directed study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Dissertation proposal form200 words1Oral discussion

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Dissertation plan101000 words3, 5Mark and written comments
Dissertation9010000 words1-8Mark and written comments

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Dissertation plan (1000 words)Dissertation plan (1000 words)3, 5Referral/Deferral period
Dissertation (10000 words)Dissertation (10000 words)1-8Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Baxter, l., Hughes, C. & Tight, M. (1996): How to Research.
  • Buckingham: Open University Press. Bell, J. (1993): Doing your Research Project. Buckingham: Open University Press.
  • Creswell, J.W. (1994): Research Design: Qualitative and Quantitative Methods. London: Sage.
  • Parsons, J. & Knight, P.G. (1995): How to do tour Dissertation in Geography and Related disciplines. London: Chapman & Hall.
  • Rudestam, K.E. & Newton, R.R. (1992): Surviving your Dissertation. London: Sage.

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

  • Departmental collection of examples of dissertations.

Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date


Important please note

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the module descriptors for the Online Module Selection process, please be aware that on rare occasions it may be necessary to remove proposed modules for reasons beyond our control. In addition, there are still some new modules going through the accreditation process. These will be offered in due course by the relevant discipline.

All modules displayed below have been approved by the approval process but may require further minor amendments before the commencement of teaching.

We are committed to providing an outstanding education and high quality teaching. You can find out details of your modules and any potential changes on these pages. If you are a returning student, joining after the first year or a postgraduate student details of your module changes will be provided in August. 

Foreign Language Centre modules

Term 1 module codes listed above ending with C, i.e. FLF1115C, are only available to outbound students who are away in Term 2. Students studying all year must select the standard module across both Term 1 and 2.