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Practical: Field Archaeology Survey Skills - ARC00059I

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  • Department: Archaeology
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Helen Goodchild
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23

Module summary

This module builds on the first year Field Skills practicals where students were introduced to the practicalities of landscape survey and geophysical data collection. Here you will get the opportunity to work hands on with the data and learn how to interpret and present what you’ve captured, while developing a deeper understanding of the landscape features of the UK.

Students have praised the module, saying: “The module leader is lovely and amazing at explaining things. I always look forward to my workshops with her. The course is engaging and I feel as if I learnt and progressed from the start, and I’m looking forward to applying what I have learned in next term’s project”

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Spring Term 2022-23

Module aims

The Practical Skills modules seek to introduce you to a range of skills in various diverse areas of archaeological practice and are designed to allow you to gain experience in a 'hands-on' manner.

This specific module aims to:

  • To introduce the various methods of non-invasive survey and familiarise students with the main techniques

  • To understand how survey data can be captured and applied, and to consider why these are important to the broader discipline of landscape archaeology

  • To understand the information potential and limitations of geophysical and earthwork survey

Module learning outcomes

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

  • Assemble and operate the departmental geophysical equipment
  • Understand survey basics and be able to set out a control framework to capture their own data
  • Acquire mapping data sets from online repositories
  • Carry out data processing at a basic level, and interpret and present geophysical results

Module content

This is an optional module, part of the suite of Spring Term practical modules. It has a companion Team Project which will run in the Summer Term.

This module provides a short refresher on the data capture, with three outdoor sessions, but focuses primarily on what we can do with that data and what it can tell us. Throughout the term you will get practical experience of processing geophysical data and performing basic LiDAR analysis. We will focus on how to interpret what we find from both geophysical and landscape survey, and present those data and interpretations using a digital drawing package, for inclusion in project reports.

The formative assessment will provide experience of critiquing published reports on the subject. A similar summative assessment will be submitted at the end of term, along with a class test which will assess the students knowledge of landscape and geophysical features and methods, as well as their interpretative skills.


Task Length % of module mark
Essay: Critique
N/A 50
Practical Class Test
N/A 50

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Essay: Critique
N/A 50
Practical Class Test
N/A 50

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

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.