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Virtual Reality and 3D Modelling - ARC00122M

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  • Department: Archaeology
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Guy Schofield
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
    • See module specification for other years: 2023-24

Module summary

Virtual Reality & 3D modelling provides an overview of VR and 3D technologies currently used within archaeology and heritage, with a focus on the creation of visualisations for interpretation and dissemination. The module will introduce how to evaluate and use archaeological evidence to inform the creation of 3D visualisations, with students producing a number of 3D models throughout. Virtual Reality and game engine technology will also be explored as some of the ways in which 3D models can be visualised and made accessible to different audiences.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2024-25

Module aims

This module aims to:

  • Expose students to the basic principles behind 3D modelling and a range of 3D modelling techniques
  • Provide the opportunity to learn to critically and creatively apply 3D modelling skills within archaeological and heritage settings
  • Enable students to become familiar with the challenges involved in using 3D modelling and VR to visualise archaeological sites and artefacts

Module learning outcomes

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

  • Demonstrate a systematic understanding of how to use 3D models and virtual reality in archaeological research and dissemination
  • Demonstrate a practical understanding when and how to use 3D modelling and virtual reality in archaeology
  • Demonstrate self-direction and originality in creating 3D and virtual reality models from underlying archaeological data, applying a range of transferable 3D modelling skills
  • Demonstrate critical engagement with the appropriate media for specific projects (e.g. games, VR or animation)

Module content

This module introduces students to the principles of creating 3D models of both archaeological structures and artefacts, enabling them to create a series of models demonstrating core skills of 3D modelling. The module will prepare students for the self-led development of expertise in this field following the conclusion of studies. As well as the skills of 3D modelling we will also cover specific production skills needed for the development of assets for media outlets and museums.


Task Length % of module mark
Reflective written piece and 2 models
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Reflective written piece and 2 models
N/A 100

Module feedback

Formative: oral feedback from module leaders

Summative: written feedback within the University's turnaround policy

Indicative reading

Clark, J.T. 2010. The fallacy of reconstruction. in Forte, Cyber-Archaeology. Oxford: BAR.

Frankland, T. (2012). A CG artist's impression: Depicting virtual reconstructions using non-photorealistic rendering techniques. In A. Chrysanthi, P.F. Murrieta and C. Papadopoulos (eds) Thinking Beyond the Tool: Archaeological Computing and the Interpretive Process. Oxford: Archaeopress, 24-39.

Watterson, A. (2012). Hyper-Realism, Photo-Realism and Learning to be Realistic:

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.