Bioarchaeology Dissertation (ARCM600)

StaffDr Catriona Mckenzie - Convenor
Credit Value60
ECTS Value30
NQF Level7
Duration of Module Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

To pursue an individual programme of research, applying appropriate principles and methods to the study of a topic relating to Bioarchaeology that has been approved by the module convenor.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Demonstrate a systematic and comprehensive understanding of techniques or methods of Bioarchaeology appropriate to the particular research topic
  • 2. Demonstrate originality in the application of knowledge, together with an understanding of the wider research context of the dissertation topic
  • 3. Demonstrate self-direction in the collating of information from disparate archaeological sources
  • 4. Demonstrate a practical understanding of established techniques and archaeological methods
  • 5. Analyse and integrate data, and, where appropriate, propose new hypotheses and conclusions.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 6. Assimilate and critically analyse published/unpublished and/or field/laboratory data.
  • 7. Present a clearly structured, well-written and appropriately illustrated dissertation

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 8. Research a topic as an independent individual
  • 9. Develop time management skills and adhere to deadlines

Syllabus plan

Spring term: One seminar discussion session introducing the requirements and scope of the dissertation, and one tutorial discussion session discussing an outline proposal.

Summer Term and Vacation Period: Three tutorials giving specific advice on the research topic and monitoring process, either in person or remotely using an online platform or via e-mail. 

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 teaching6Introductory group seminar and tutorial to support the initiation of the project during spring term. Three tutorials to support the pursuit of the project during the summer term and vacation.
Guided independent study594Private study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Research proposal and initial bibliography500 words2-3, 6, 8Oral discussion and written comments

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
Dissertation10015 000 words1-9Mark and written feedback

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
DissertationDissertation1-9Referral/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 50%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of referral will be capped at 50%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Baxter, L., Hughes, C., and Tight, M., 1996. How to research. 4th Edition. Buckingham: Open University Press. *Available online.
  • Bell, J., 2014. Doing Your Research Project: a Guide For First-Time Researchers. 6th Edition. Buckingham: Open University Press. *Available online.
  • Creswell, J.W., 2014. Research design: qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. 4th Edition. London: Sage. *Call No. 300.72CRE.
  • Flick, U., 2014. An introduction to qualitative research. 5th Edition. London: Sage. *Call No. 001.42FLI.
  • O'Connor, M., and Woodford, F.P., 1975. Writing scientific papers in English. Oxford: Association of Scientific Publishers. *Call No. 501.49OCO.
  • Rudestam, K.E., and Newton, R.R., 2015. Surviving your dissertation: a comprehensive guide to content and process. 4th Edition. London: Sage. *Call No. 378.2RUD.

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Key words search

Archaeology, Bioarchaeology, Research, Dissertation