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Researching Archaeology - ARC00051I

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  • Department: Archaeology
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Steph Piper
  • Credit value: 10 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23
    • See module specification for other years: 2021-22

Module summary

This module provides preparation for the third year dissertation by demonstrating through example how a piece of research is undertaken. At the end of the module, the students are expected to complete a research report to a professional standard, having been guided through the process step by step, and to submit a title for their own dissertation topic.

Students valued the way lectures directly fed into the project design, and led towards a greater understanding of the dissertation as a whole. They also enjoyed how the workshops allowed them to implement their newly acquired practical skills, with supportive staff members always on hand.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Spring Term 2022-23

Module aims

The Researching Archaeology module will introduce to students to:

  • The skills required for carrying out a piece of research, based on a given dataset

  • The skills required for producing a report to a professional standard

Module learning outcomes

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

  • Formulate a research question

  • Construct a bibliography related to the research question

  • Understand how to search for datasets or create new datasets

  • Use a spreadsheet effectively to collate and analyse data

  • Write a report

  • Recognise the ethical implications of undertaking research

Module content

Students are given a dataset which they then have to distill into Excel. Through this process they will begin to think about what sorts of questions they might like to ask of the data. Once they have organised the data and thought up some research questions, they will start to analyse the data using tools in Excel such as bar charts, piecharts etc. They will also develop skills in ArcGIS, a specialist mapping software that can be used to display the dataset. Finally, they will be expected to write up their findings into a report which sets out the research questions and objectives, a literature review, methods, results and conclusions.

Through the course of the module students will be given lectures which introduce them to key skills and each week they will have a workshop in the computing room where they can test the skills they are learning.


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

There is no formative assessment: their progress is monitored week by week in the workshops via googleapps


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Module feedback

Formative: The marker will share written feedback with you in a timetabled one-to-one meeting and you will have the opportunity to ask further questions about how to improve your work before your summative assessment. If you are unable to attend the feedback session, your tutor will share the formative feedback with you digitally.

Summative: Written feedback sheets will be uploaded to your e:vision account (your personal University of York online services account) within 20 working days of the submission deadline, along with your overall mark for the module. If you have any questions about your mark and/or your written feedback, you will be able to sign up for office hours with the marker.

Indicative reading

  • Booth, W.C., Colomb, G.G. and Williams, J.M. (2008) 3rd ed. The Craft of Research. London, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press

Detailed reading for the module will be available via YorkShare (the University's virtual learning environment). When you have enrolled on a module, you will be able to access the full reading list.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.