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Study information

Programme Specification for the 2024/5 academic year

BSc (Hons) Archaeological Science

1. Programme Details

Programme nameBSc (Hons) Archaeological Science Programme codeUFS3HPSHPS06
Study mode(s)Full Time
Part Time
Academic year2024/5
Campus(es)Streatham (Exeter)
NQF Level of the Final Award6 (Honours)

2. Description of the Programme

This programme will train you in the theory and practice of using archaeological scientific methods to investigate the past. The program will introduce you to the nuts and bolts of scientific approaches, their contexts of application, their strengths and limitations. It will focus on training you to interpret and critique datasets using both published datasets and those you will produce yourself over the course of your studies. A distinctive feature of this program is a third stage comprising 60 credits (half a year) devoted to practical application, delivered through the Practicing Archaeological Science module (focused on teamworking and application of a range of scientific methods) and the Archaeological Science Dissertation Project (a substantial piece of individual research).

When you begin your studies, you will be issued with an Archaeology Skills Passport to log your experience. This is something recognised by professionals in the industry and will help open doors to specific archaeological job opportunities. You will also graduate with a solid foundation of transferable skills including critical analysis, independent research and expert communication that will lead to a wide range of other careers in the industry and beyond. Advice and guidance on your programme can be sought from your personal tutor and programme director. All staff offer regular office hours that you can drop into without a prior appointment for this purpose.

Advice and guidance on your programme can be sought from your personal tutor and programme director. All staff offer regular office hours that you can drop into without a prior appointment for this purpose.

3. Educational Aims of the Programme

This programme develops your foundational knowledge of archaeology as a discipline and, specifically, a critical understanding of the scientific methods and techniques used in archaeological research.

You will acquire knowledge of the science that underpins a range of different methods, and therefore understand the key strengths and limitations of these individual approaches. The programme will also develop your skills in the practical application of scientific analytical techniques to archaeological datasets, the statistical analysis of quantitative data and the ability to develop interpretations that follow.

You will be exposed to a variety of teaching and assessment methods and encouraged to work both individually and as part of a team, providing a solid basis for career progression in the academic world and beyond.

4. Programme Structure

5. Programme Modules

https://www.exeter.ac.uk/study/studyinformation/modules/?prog=archaeology

 

You may take optional modules as long as any necessary prerequisites have been satisfied, where the timetable allows and if you have not already taken the module in question or an equivalent module.

You may take elective modules up to 30 credits outside of the programme in any stage of the programme as long as any necessary prerequisites have been satisfied, where the timetable allows and if you have not already taken the module in question or an equivalent module.

Stage 1


90 credits of compulsory modules, 30 credits of optional modules

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
ARC1070 Practical Skills in Archaeology 30No
ARC1007 Archaeological and Forensic Science Practicals 15No
ARC1010 Themes in World Archaeology 15No
ARC1020 Essential Archaeological Methods 15No
ARC1040 Artefacts and Materials 15No

Optional Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
ARC1008 Forensic Archaeology 15No
ARC1030 Investigating British Archaeology 15No

Stage 2


45 credits of compulsory modules, 75 credits of optional modules.

a - You must take either ARC2003 or ARC2004 (you can only take one of these modules).

 

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
ARC2003 Archaeological Fieldwork Project [See note a above]30Yes
ARC2004 Archaeological Fieldschool [See note a above]30Yes
ARC2130 Discovering the Past with Molecular Science 15No

Optional Modules

b - You must take at least a total of 60 credits of 'Scientific' modules from across this and the final stage 'Scientific Modules' groups.

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
Archaeological Science Stage 2 Scientific Modules 2024-5 [see note b above]
ARC2504 Zooarchaeology 15 No
ARC2514 Forensic Anthropology 15 No
ARC2512 Palaeobotany 15 No
ARC2513 Aerial Survey 15 No
Archaeological Science Stage 2 Option Modules 2024-5
ARA2014 Regions and Empires in Islamic Archaeology 15 No
ARC2118 Lords to Lepers: Medieval Social Worlds 15 No
ARC2124 Giving and Taking: Anthropology and Archaeology of Circulation and Exchange 15 No
ARC2131 Palaeolithic Archaeology of Homo Sapiens 100,000-12,000 BP 15 No
ARC2135 Trading Places, Towns, Royal Palaces and Fortifications: Early Medieval Centres in Europe 15 No
ARC2400 Understanding the Landscape of Roman Britain 15 No

Stage 3


60 credits of compulsory Dissertation, 60 credits of optional

 

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
ARC3010 Archaeological Science Dissertation 45No
ARC3013 Practicing Archaeological, Forensic and Heritage Science 15No

Optional Modules

c - You can only take one module from either ARC3003 or ARC3136.

d - You must take at least a total of 60 credits of 'Scientific' modules from across this and the stage 2 'Scientific Modules' groups.

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
ARC3003 Professional Placement [see note c above]30No
ARC3136 Advanced Fieldwork [see note c above]15No
Archaeological Science Final Stage Scientific Modules 2024-5 [see note d above]
ARC3510 Experimental Approaches to Forensic and Archaeological Investigations 15 No
ARC3611 Funerary Osteoarchaeology 15 No
ARC3133 Digital Pasts 15 No
ARC3512 Palaeobotany 15 No
ARC3513 Aerial Survey 15 No
Archaeological Science Final Stage Option Modules 2024-5
ARC3118 Lords to Lepers: Medieval Social Worlds 15 No
ARC3124 Giving and Taking: Anthropology and Archaeology of Circulation and Exchange 15 No
ARC3131 Palaeolithic Archaeology of Homo Sapiens 100,000-12,000 BP 15 No
ARC3135 Trading Places, Towns, Royal Palaces and Fortifications: Early Medieval Centres in Europe 15 No
ARC3136 Advanced Fieldwork 15 No
ARC3400 Understanding the Landscape of Roman Britain 15 No

6. Programme Outcomes Linked to Teaching, Learning and Assessment Methods

Intended Learning Outcomes
A: Specialised Subject Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

1. Demonstrate understanding of the scientific principles underpinning a range of techniques used to investigate archaeological datasets and use these to interpret/critique published work
2. Demonstrate understanding of the benefits and limitations of a range of scientific techniques used to investigate archaeological datasets
3. Demonstrate understanding of the contexts in which a range of archaeological scientific techniques may or may not be applied
4. Demonstrate awareness of the excavation process and the implications for sample origins
5. Demonstrate an ability to assess and interpret quantitative dataset
6. Demonstrate understanding of the chronology of archaeological periods and the main themes in archaeology from early prehistory to the end of the Middle Ages
7. Show familiarity with some key archaeological sites and finds
8. Show awareness of some major themes and debates in recent/current archaeological research
9. Use appropriate archaeological terminology

1-3 are developed initially through ARC1007, ARC1020 and ARC1070, followed by ARC2130 and developed in increasing sophistication through fieldwork (ARC2003/2004), the ‘scientific’ option modules at stages 2 and 3, and the Archaeological Science Dissertation Project.

4 is developed through ARC1020, ARC1007 and ARC 1070, and then at a more critical level during archaeological fieldwork (ARC2003/2004) and the new compulsory third year modules Practicing Archaeological Science and the Archaeological Science Dissertation Project.

5 is developed in ARC1020 and ARC2130, with further skills acquired as necessary during completion of the Archaeological Science Dissertation Project.

6-9 are developed through ARC1010, ARC1020, and then through various thematic options at levels 2 and 3.

The assessment of these skills and knowledge is through a combination of term-time essays, other written reports/projects, oral presentations, a fieldwork-related project, a dissertation and unseen examinations. The focus is on application of the knowledge gained through taught classes to interpret/critique published work, develop new insights and suggest pathways for future investigation.

Intended Learning Outcomes
B: Academic Discipline Core Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

10. Present evidence-based arguments
11. Judge between competing views
12. Present and summarise quantitative data graphically and statistically
13. Show clear awareness of the basic philosophical questions arising from academic research
14. Think and write broadly about large themes
15. Comprehend and deploy complex terminology and discourses
16. Use a library, field visits and the world-wide web to find information
17. Deploy critical argument, based on professional standards of evidence use
18. Identify problems of reliability and bias in, and more generally evaluate, evidence
19. Reference sources accurately in written work, including use of the Harvard system in Archaeology
20. Answer questions concisely in writing
21. Present work and answer questions orally

These skills are developed throughout the degree programme, but the emphasis becomes more complex as students move from stage to stage. They are developed through lectures and seminars, written work, practicals, field visits and oral work (both presentation and class discussion).

The assessment of these skills is through a combination of term-time essays, other written reports/projects, oral presentations, a fieldwork-related project, a dissertation and unseen examinations.

Intended Learning Outcomes
C: Personal/Transferable/Employment Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

22. Undertake independent study and work to deadlines.
23. Use a word processor, analyse quantitative data using suitable software packages (e.g. Excel, SPSS) and extract information from the world-wide web.
24. Select, digest and organise material from disparate sources for suitably illustrated, clear and concise written work of varying length.
25. Prepare graphical summaries of quantitative data
26. Evaluate own work.
27. Participate in oral discussions; present and evaluate complex arguments and ideas orally; digest, select and organise material for oral presentations.
28. Work with others as part of a team.
29. Interact effectively with peers and staff
30. Undertake group work, including the presentation and discussion of material in groups.
31. Plan and execute a demanding piece of work over a long time scale.

22-23 are essential for successful completion of the programme, and are developed continuously throughout stages 1-3.
24 is developed through a variety of written assignments throughout the programme.
25 is developed initially in ARC1020 and then more extensively in ARC2130 and the new core modules at stage 3 (Practicing Archaeological Science and the Dissertation module)
26 is developed through appraisals and the qualitative self-assessment involved in completing cover sheets for all assignments.
27 is initiated as group work and presentations at stage 1 and developed through group and individual presentations and class and small group-based debates and seminars in option modules at stages 2 and 3.
28-30 are developed through interaction in seminars, group presentations and discussion of datasets particularly in in ARC2130 and the new compulsory module Practicing Archaeological Science.
31 is developed through the Archaeological Science Dissertation Project (a substantial piece of work, expected to be bigger and more complex than the standard Exeter undergraduate dissertation).

22-24 are assessed in all modules
25 is assessed in ARC2130, the new core modules Practicing Archaeological Science and the Archaeological Science Dissertation Project.
26-29 are covered in formative assignments across many of the optional modules at stages 2 and 3, and specifically in the core module ARC2130.
30 is covered in ARC2130 and specifically assessed in the new core stage 3 module Practicing Archaeological Science
31 is assessed through the dissertation

7. Programme Regulations

Classification

8. College Support for Students and Students' Learning

All students within Archaeology have a personal tutor for their entire programme of study, whom they meet at least three times a year, and who are available for at least two hours a week. Personal tutors also conduct a Personal Development Planning (PDP) interview in January when students discuss a pre-completed self-appraisal with their tutor, and agree an 'action plan' to consolidate and improve performance over the coming year.

Other useful information and student resources can be accessed via the Exeter Learning Environment (ELE): http://vle.exeter.ac.uk/login/index.php , which has specific information on library skills, essay writing and research skills.

9. University Support for Students and Students' Learning

10. Admissions Criteria

11. Regulation of Assessment and Academic Standards

12. Indicators of Quality and Standards

The programme is not subject to accreditation and/ or review by professional and statutory regulatory bodies (PSRBs).

13. Methods for Evaluating and Improving Quality and Standards

14. Awarding Institution

University of Exeter

15. Lead College / Teaching Institution

Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS)

16. Partner College / Institution

Partner College(s)

Not applicable to this programme

Partner Institution

Not applicable to this programme.

17. Programme Accredited / Validated by

0

18. Final Award

BSc (Hons) Archaeological Science

19. UCAS Code

F420

20. NQF Level of Final Award

6 (Honours)

21. Credit

CATS credits

360

ECTS credits

180

22. QAA Subject Benchmarking Group

[Honours] Archaeology

23. Dates

Origin Date

20/05/2019

Date of last revision

02/09/2021