Accessibility statement

Dissertation Preparation Skills at Masters Level


Module leader: Steph Piper


Most of you will have come to York with a strong first degree and thus will have developed some of the intellectual, critical and practical skills necessary to work successfully at Master's level.  The fundamental aim of this module is to prepare you for your dissertation, but the skills discussed during this module are also important for all forms of assessment; from seminar presentations to essays. 

In this module, we will refresh many of these skills and also prepare you for the new challenges which emerge at a postgraduate level, preparing you specifically for Master's level study and independent research in archaeology. All taught MA and MSc students are asked to attend two-hour sessions throughout the Autumn and Spring terms, as well as a cohort-specific dissertation workshop in the Summer Term. There will also be an optional refresher and advanced skills sessions on offer in the Summer Term, as you prepare to undertake your dissertation research.

This module does not have a specific assessment associated with it, as noted above, the module aims to provide background skills and we realise that some of you may already have these skills. On occasion, rather than physically attending the lecture, you may wish to use the "replay" (instructions) of the lecture, which will be made available a few hours after each session. Hopefully, this link will take you there, but if it does not, please go to the VLE and choose replay from the left-hand side menu list.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this module, students should:

  • Possess the core skills required for independent study, in particular, the dissertation
  • Be aware of the full range of critical, intellectual, and technical skills necessary to pursue Master's level study
  • Understand the ethical implications and social dimensions of pursuing archaeological research
  • Be familiar with the research support and facilities offered by the department and the university
  • Be able to engage effectively with the software and equipment needed for their own archaeological research
  • Be well prepared to undertake an independent research project at postgraduate level