Investigating British Archaeology (ARC1030)

StaffProfessor Oliver Creighton - Convenor
Professor Stephen Rippon - Lecturer
Professor Alan Outram - Lecturer
Credit Value15
ECTS Value7.5
NQF Level4
Duration of Module Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims


The module introduces students to the chronology of British archaeology and engages them 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 evidence in the field, including ‘heritage sites’, landscapes, buildings and monuments, unexcavated remains.
  • 3. Interpret archaeological evidence in the field, including ‘heritage sites’, landscapes, buildings and monuments, unexcavated remains.

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 fieldtrips.
  • 8. Respond to feedback on assignments.

Syllabus plan

  • 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
  • Fieldtrip 1: earlier sites and landscapes
  • Fieldtrip 2: later sites and landscapes
  • Field exercise: historic Exeter
  • Group presentations


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 activity229 x 2 hour classes; 2 x field trips
Scheduled learning activity0.25Individual tutorial
127.75Guided 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 trip tasksVarious interpretative tasks through 2 x field trips 7,8Verbal 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 Presentation5015minutes1,2,3,5,6,8Feedback sheet and verbal feedback
Individual presentation hand outs501000 words (with illustrations) 1,2,3,5,6,8Feedback sheet

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 words1-8Refer/Defer period
Individual presentation handoutsWritten assignment 1000 words1-8Refer/Defer period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Darvill, T. 2009: Prehistoric Britain. London: Routledge.

Hinton D.A. 1990: Archaeology, Economy and Society: England from the Fifth to the Fifteenth Century. London: Seaby.

Hunter, J. and Ralston, R. (eds) 2009: The Archaeology of Britain. London: Routledge.

Johnson, M. 1996: An Archaeology of Capitalism. Oxford: Blackwell.

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Other resources

Sites and Monuments in Exeter

Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date


Key words search