Investigating British Archaeology (ARC1030)

StaffProfessor Oliver Creighton - Convenor
Credit Value15
ECTS Value7.5
NQF Level4
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks;

Module aims

The module introduces you to the chronology of British archaeology and engages you in the study of evidence in the field and in the presentation of archaeological heritage to the public.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Understand the chronology of British archaeology, including the main time periods from prehistory to the present
  • 2. Interpret archaeological field evidence, including ‘heritage sites’, landscapes, buildings and monuments, unexcavated remains
  • 3. Appreciate the information that can be gained about the past from local sites and monuments

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Identify the major challenges of studying different time periods
  • 5. Appreciate the relationship between data collected in the field and its interpretation

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 6. Contribute to a group presentation
  • 7. Work individually and as part of a team on interpreting field-based evidence
  • 8. Respond to feedback on assignments

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 the archaeology of Great Britain.
  • Chronology part 1: prehistory, including the Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze-Age and Iron-Age periods
  • Chronology part 2: Roman: invasion, Romanization and the late Roman period
  • Chronology part 3: medieval to modern Britain
  • Field evidence 1: making sense of sites and landscapes
  • Field evidence 2: historic Exeter
  • Group presentations
  • Summary/round-up/feedback

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 teaching22Portfolio of online sessions, including lectures and presentations, both live and recorded, and facilitated online group activities
Scheduled learning and teaching0.25Individual tutorial
Guided independent study127.75Guided independent study, including reading, research and preparation for classes, presentation and assignments.

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Field evidence interpretation tasksVarious interpretative tasks through 2 x sessions on field-based evidence (each including handouts, taking c. 1 hour total to complete)7-8Oral or written feedback

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
Historic Exeter group presentation5020 minutes Powerpoint presentation slides (guidance: 10-15 slides) 5 minutes per student 1-8Oral and written feedback
Writing a site guide501000 words (with illustrations)1-8Written feedback

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Historic Exeter group presentationWritten assignment 1000 words1-8Referral/Deferral period
Writing a site guideWritten assignment 1000 words1-8Referral/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

Basic reading covering entire module:

  • Hunter, J. and Ralston, R. (eds) 2009: The Archaeology of Britain: An introduction from earliest times to the twenty-first century. London: Routledge. [Available online via library catalogue]

Sample reading covering specific time periods:

  • Darvill, T. 2009: Prehistoric Britain. London: Routledge. [Available online via library catalogue]
  • Hamerow, H., Hinton, D.A. and Crawford, S. (eds.) 2011: The Oxford Handbook of Anglo-Saxon Archaeology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [Available online via library catalogue link to Oxford Handbooks Online]
  • Gerrard, C. and Gutiérrez, A. (eds.) 2018: The Oxford Handbook of Later Medieval Archaeology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [Available online via library catalogue link to Oxford Handbooks Online]

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

  • Sites and Monuments in Exeter

Available as distance learning?


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