Archaeological Fieldschool (ARC2004)

StaffProfessor Alan Outram - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level5
Pre-requisitesARC1010 and ARC1020; four-week fieldschool attendance
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks; Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

This module aims to provide practical experience of field archaeology work, giving basic practical competence in associated techniques, recording methods and interpretation issues. Students will gain an understanding of how methods studied at level 1 are put into practice to meet the aims of a particular archaeological project.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of various techniques of practical archaeological
  • 2. Understand how the methods studied at level 1 are put into practice to meet the aims of a particular archaeological project
  • 3. Demonstrate basic competence in various practical archaeological techniques

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Use appropriate archaeological terminology
  • 5. Prepare primary data (under guidance) and deploy information from technical projects

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 6. Write a basic report, deploying visual and written material
  • 7. Interpret a variety of information forms and synthesise data from disparate sources
  • 8. Put what they have learned into a broader context and reflect upon the success of methods in meeting aims
  • 9. Work in a team, within a hierarchical structure, and co-operate with and learn from peers

Syllabus plan

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

  1. Briefing on the module contents and nature of assessments.
  2. Workshop on approaches to designing archaeological field research
  3. Workshop to provide assistance with project writing

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 teaching160Archaeological Fieldschool (approximately four working weeks)
Scheduled learning and teaching53 workshops. A short introductory one, and two more substantial ones involving some lecture content and online discussion supported by online materials.
Guided independent study135Independent study

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
Continuous assessment of field skills (performance, attitude, team skills)50Four week field school1-5, 7-9Mark and written comments
Project relating to the conduct of field research503500 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
Continuous assessmentNot re-assessable; see pre-requisite1-5, 7-9Referral/Deferral period
ProjectProject (3500 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

  • Aston, M. (1985). Interpreting the Landscape.London: Batsford.
  • Barker, P. (1982). Techniques of Archaeological Excavation.London: Batsford.
  • Renfrew, C. and Bahn, P. (2012). Archaeology: Theories Methods and Practice (6 th Ed.)London: Thames andHudson.
  • Roskams, S. (2001) Excavation.Cambridge: CUP.
  • Aston, M. (1985). Interpreting the Landscape. London: Batsford. Barker, P. (1982). Techniques of Archaeological Excavation. London: Batsford. Bettess, F. (1990). Surveying for Archaeologists. Durham: University of Durham. Renfrew, C. and Bahn, P. (1991). Archaeology: Theories Methods and Practice. London: Thames and Hudson.

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Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Available as distance learning?


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Key words search

Archaeology, excavation, fieldschool