Archaeological Fieldschool (ARC2004)

StaffProfessor Alan Outram - Lecturer
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15.00
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


1. debriefing; explaining the assessments; how to present the report; consideration of project aims

2. project background information; evaluation of the success of projects and personal contribution 3. surgery workshop for project

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 teaching activities160Archaeological Fieldschool (approx 4 working weeks)
Scheduled learning and teaching activities42 x 2 hour workshops
Guided independent study136Independent 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)504 week field school 1-5, 7-9mark and written comments
Project503500 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
ProjectProject 3500 words1-8Refer/defer period
Continuous assessmentnot re-assessable; see pre-requisite1-5, 7-9Refer/Defer period

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 (6th 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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Key words search

Archaeology, excavation, fieldschool