Accessibility statement

Team Project: Biomolecular Archaeology

Module leader: Michelle Alexander


This module requires a group of students to work together as a team to extract biomolecular data from bone, to analyse and interpret the data, and to produce a report to a professional standard.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students should be able to:

  • Be aware how biomolecular methods can be applied to archaeological deposits
  • Be aware of the cost of biomolecular analysis
  • Assess the scope and limitations of bimolecular methods under a range of conditions
  • Match analytical methods and results to research aims and objectives
  • Allocate and co-ordinate tasks, and communicate efficiently as a team
  • Produce a group report to a professional standard

Further information

This module follows on from the practical option in term 5 and allows students to practice the subject specific skills that they learnt over that period. The class will be split into groups of 4 or 5 students and given they a site report or scenario. Each group will have to propose a post-excavation analyses within a limited budget and produce a report to professional standards. Each group will have a preliminary session with the module leader in week 1 where they will be given the material to analyse. They will then have a half hour meeting each week from 2-4 with the module leader so that they can report on progress and issues regarding team working, and so that any queries can be answered.

Apart from direct contact with the module leader, the Yorkshare VLE will be used to ensure further attention to queries and as a place for discussion


This module will really focus your team working skills and you will be given some training on working in a team before you begin, but in addition the following skills will be developed:
  • Self management: as well as working in a team you will still have to manage your own time, and this may be particularly challenging this term with other assignments for other modules!
  • Communication: you will be engaging with other people in your team so will need to think about how to tailor information to your audience and how to present information clearly and appropriately. When it comes to the project you will need to work together and help write, edit and present the work to a professional standard
  • Team working: you will be learning how to co-operate with others, to take on different team roles including both leading and following, how to deal with problems
  • Problem solving: you will be retrieving, analysing and evaluating data and information from a range of different sources
  • Creativity and innovation: this is your own project and so you should have the opportunity to generate new ideas 
  • World of work awareness: this module is one of the key modules for preparing you for the world of work! You should gain an insight into how organisations work and after carrying out research on this project you may have a better insight on what sort of pressures exist in such a situation. You will be able to recognise the implications of turning an idea into a final product
  • Social, cultural and global awareness: you should all be able to identify the ethical issues associated with your research project and in relevant cases, apply the correct procedures
  • Application of IT: this will vary depending on the project but you should aim to develop your IT skills particularly in word-processing and presentation. You should also be using the internet effectively and may be using electronic means (such as email) for communicating with others in the group (without disadvantaging anyone, e.g. if someone does not use facebook)
  • Application of numeracy: many of you will be developing numeracy skills and will be critically evaluating data