Research Design in Archaeology (ARCM110)

StaffDr Carly Ameen - Lecturer
Credit Value15
ECTS Value7.5
NQF Level7
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks;

Module aims

The aim of this module is to:

• Provide you with an understanding of the different approaches to archaeology and how results interdigitate with other disciplinary fields.
• Provide you with first-hand experience of the research process, from idea inception to results dissemination.
• Provide knowledge of issues of reliability, validity and ethics in archaeological research.
• Develop collaborative and organisational skills.
• Enhance confidence in research participation, leadership and communication.
• Develop data analysis and interpretation skills
• Advance the development and impact of your own research projects.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Demonstrate knowledge and appreciation of a wide range of approaches to archaeological research that are required for the specific tasks of the module
  • 2. Demonstrate knowledge and appreciation of practical issues relevant to the design of archaeological projects that are required for the specific tasks set in the module

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 3. Demonstrate familiarity with specific skills relating to data management and practice in archaeological research
  • 4. Show familiarity with a wide range of research design strategies in the discipline, and discern their applicability in a variety of contexts

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 5. Work collaboratively with colleagues to achieve common goals
  • 6. Demonstrate skills in summarising complex arguments succinctly
  • 7. Design and plan projects
  • 8. Understand and demonstrate the importance of visual presentation
  • 9. Demonstrate ability to communicate variously with diverse audiences

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:
• Approaches to archaeology and interdisciplinary research
• Experimental archaeology
• Ethics and risk assessment in archaeological research
• Managing collaborative working
• Research design and funding proposals (including CVs)
• Managing and analysing datasets
• Visualising evidence (e.g. graphic design and photography)
• Conference organisation and presentation
• Journals, article writing and submission processes.
• Public engagement and research dissemination

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 Teaching18Equivalent of 9 x 2-hour sessions including mini-lectures, discussion and research activities.
Scheduled Learning and Teaching44 hours of conference organisation (student led)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching88-hour conference (inc. set up and shut down)
Guided independent study120Independent study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Research pitch presentations5 minutes, 5 slides plus class participation1-4,7-8Oral feedback (lecturer and peers)
Assignment Development DraftEquivalent of 500-word outline1-4,6-7Written or oral via compulsory one-on-one meetings
Conference organisation workshop4 hours student-led sessions 1-7Individual oral feedback (lecturer)

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
Research Portfolio601000-word research proposal 1-page logo design (250 words equivalent) And EITHER 500 words suitable for blog OR 250-word press release1-4,6-9Written
Conference presentation405-minute poster or 5-slide presentation 300-word conference abstract 200-word reflective statement about contribution to the conference organisation. 1-9Written and oral

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Research portfolioResearch portfolio1-4,6-9Refer/defer period
PresentationPresentation1-9Refer/defer 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 50%) 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 50%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:

• Alley, M. 1996: The Craft of Scientific Writing. New York: Springer-Verlag
• Bentley, A., H. Maschner & C. Chippindale. 2008. Handbook of Archaeological Theories. Altamira Press
• Briscoe, M.H. 1996: Preparing Scientific Illustrations: A Guide to better posters, presentations and publications. New York: Springer-Verlag.
• Davis, M. 1997: Scientific Papers and Presentations. London: Academic Press
• Ferguson, J. 2010. Designing Experimental Research in Archaeology: Examining Technology Through Production and Use. U Colorado Press.
• Johnson, M. 2010. Archaeological Theory: An Introduction (2nd ed.). Wiley-Blackwell.
• O’Leary, Z. 2013. The Essential Guide to doing your Research Project. Sage
• Zimmerman, L, K. Vitelli, J. Hollowell-Zimmer. 2003 Ethical Issues in Archaeology. Altamira press

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Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

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Key words search

Archaeology, research design