Bioarchaeology Dissertation (ARCM600)

StaffDr Catriona Mckenzie - Lecturer
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 primary and published data, and, where appropriate, propose new hypotheses and conclusions.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 6. Assimilate and critically analyse published/unpublished and field/laboratory data.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 (online, by phone 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 teaching activities 6Introductory 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 study594

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Research Proposal and Initial Bibliography 500 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

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
DissertationDissertation1-9Referred/Deferred Period

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