Dissertation (ARCM008)

StaffDr Marisa Lazzari - Lecturer
Credit Value90
ECTS Value45
NQF Level7
Pre-requisitesAt least 60 credits of taught Postgraduate Taught Archaeology modules
Co-requisitesAt least 90 credits of other Postgraduate Taught Archaeology modules
Duration of Module Term 2: 15 weeks; Term 3: until deadline end of August weeks;

Module aims

To pursue an individual programme of research applying appropriate principles and methodologies to a case-study or studies approved by the programme director and the relevant supervisor, to read extensively in the background literature relevant to the topic, to evaluate and utilise appropriate methods and techniques suitable for developing the research, and to write a coherent and well-ordered dissertation presenting the research.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Demonstrate a systematic and comprehensive understanding of techniques and/or methods appropriate to the dissertation topic
  • 2. Demonstrate originality in the application of knowledge, together with a developed understanding of the context of wider research relevant to the dissertation topic
  • 3. Demonstrate a developed knowledge and understanding of the literature relating to the dissertation topic

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Demonstrate self-direction in the collating of information from disparate sources
  • 5. Demonstrate a developed practical understanding of established techniques and archaeological methodologies, including specific techniques and methodologies appropriate to the material under study
  • 6. Analyse and integrate primary published and unpublished data, drawing on the grey literature where necessary, and, where appropriate, propose new hypotheses and conclusions
  • 7. Assimilate and critically analyse published/unpublished library, museum, lab and field data 8. present a clearly structured, well written and appropriately illustrated dissertation
  • 8. Demonstrate critical awareness of practical and theoretical issues relating to the subject of the dissertation
  • 9. Produce a coherent research design that shows familiarity with standard research methods

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 10. Undertake an extended piece of research largely through self-study
  • 11. Show organisation relating to deadlines, acquisition of necessary skills, etc
  • 12. Produce a well-written and well-presented assignment

Syllabus plan

Spring term: One seminar introducing the requirements and scope of the dissertation, and two tutorials to develop an outline proposal leading to the submission of a research design.

Summer term: two tutorials giving specific advice on research topic and checking progress.

Long vacation: One contact event (may be by email) to check progress, timing dependent on staff availability.

The module continues until the deadline at the end of August.

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 seminar and two tutorials to support the initiation of the project and the production of research design during Spring semester (ILO 10). At least two tutorials to support the pursuit of the project during the Summer term. One contact event for support over the Long Vacation, timing dependent on staff availability.
Guided independent study894Independent study time

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Research design2000 wordsAllOral 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
Dissertation10030000 words maximumAllWritten feedback

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
DissertationDissertation (30000 words maximum)AllReferral/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

  • The dissertation is to be presented according to the style laid out in the Archaeology Handbook. General reading Baxter, L., Hughes, C. & Tight, M. 1996: How to research. Buckingham: Open University Press.
  • Bell, J. 1993: Doing your research project. Buckingham: Open University Press.
  • Creswell, J.W. 1994: Research design: qualitative and quantitative methods. London: Sage.
  • Flick, U. 1998: An introduction to qualitative research. London: Sage.
  • O'Connor, M. & Woodford, F.P. 1975: Writing scientific papers in English. Oxford: Association of Scientific Publishers.
  • Parsons, T. & Knight, P.G. 1995: How to do your dissertation in geography and related disciplines. London: Chapman & Hall.
  • Rudestam, K.E. & Newton, R.R. 1992: Surviving your dissertation. London: Sage.

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Key words search

Archaeology, Dissertation, Research