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Last modified: 28 Jun 2018 10:27

Course Overview

This course is the first stage in producing an archaeological dissertation, which is completed in Level 4. Lectures and practical training sessions introduce the theory and practice of archaeological research design. As the course progresses the student puts this into practice through the development of their own original research project, its presentation at a research seminar, and the submission of a full research proposal, which they subsequently take forward as their dissertation. A personal supervisor is identified and provides support, in addition to the other lecturers involved in delivering the lectures and skills training.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Professor Keith Dobney

Qualification Prerequisites


What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Archaeology (AY) (Studied)
  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

  • AY3516 Archaeological Research Project Part 1 (Dl) (Studied)
  • KL3512 Archaeological Research Project Part 1 (Studied)

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

As an introduction to the process of planning, conducting and writing up original research in archaeology, the first part of this course provides students with:
• an understanding of how to formulate archaeological research questions and how to develop a research design
• a review of archaeological study methods and practical techniques of data collection
• an understanding of the ethical issues raised by archaeological research
• advanced library research skills
• an appreciation of the alternative styles of writing for the presentation of archaeological research
• an understanding of techniques of drafting and editing large pieces of writing
• knowledge of how to prepare abstracts, bibliographies and footnotes
• an introduction to the peer-review process and the steps that lead from writing to publication.

The second part of this course provides students with supervision in the development of an original archaeological research project. By the end of the course, students will have:
• developed an archaeological research project with an original question, which either involves the collection and analysis of original material or a fresh theoretical approach to older data
• established a timeline and methodology for the completion of their research project
• considered the possible ethical and other practical implications of their research
• a good understanding of the literature relevant to comparable projects and that situates the project in its methodological and theoretical context.

Content: This course reviews the range of archaeological study methods and introduces students to the process of archaeological research design. The course covers techniques for advanced library research, writing and editing longer pieces of work, preparing abstracts and bibliographies, and assessing the ethical and other practical issues involved in original research. Students will receive supervision in the development of an original archaeological research project, and will prepare a full research proposal, accompanied by an annotated bibliography, that places the proposed research in its archaeological, methodological and theoretical context and sets out and justifies how the research is to be undertaken, and according to what programme of work.

Further Information & Notes

Junior single honours students must pass this course to proceed to senior honours.
This course is a pre-requisite for Archaeological Research Project Part 2. For flexible/distance learning students, KL 3512 is taken as a substitute for this course.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: Continuous assessment (100%) consisting of (1) a draft abstract, outline research proposal and annotated bibliography (20%) and (2) a full research proposal (80%).
Resit: No resit is possible.

Formative Assessment

Feedback during seminars.


Detailed written assignment feedback.

Course Learning Outcomes


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