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Practical Skills: 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: 2024-25

Module summary

This module introduces students to the practicalities of landscape and geophysical survey. Students will work hands-on to capture data in the field using different methods, but more importantly, in the classroom you will learn how to interpret and present it, while developing a deeper understanding of the landscape features of the UK.

Related modules

A directed option - students must pick a Practical Skills module and have a choice of which to take (one in Semester 1)

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2024-25

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. The modules introduce the practicalities of landscape and geophysical survey

This specific module aims:

  • 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:

  • Demonstrate an awareness of how to assemble and operate professional geophysical equipment
  • Demonstrate an understanding of survey basics and be able to set out a control framework to capture their own data independently
  • Acquire mapping data sets from the appropriate digital repositories used in the discipline
  • Apply the methods and techniques they have learned to process data and interpret and present geophysical results

Module content

This module provides a short introduction to data capture, with some 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.


Task Length % of module mark
Closed/in-person Exam (Centrally scheduled)
Exam : Practical Skills: Field Archaeology Survey Skills
2 hours 100

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

In class test at end of Semester as it is best to take place immediately after students have had practical experience of different techniques rather than waiting until after the Christmas break.


Task Length % of module mark
Closed/in-person Exam (Centrally scheduled)
Closed/in-person Exam
2 hours 100

Module feedback

Formative: oral feedback from module leaders in class

Summative: written feedback within the University's turnaround policy

Indicative reading

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.