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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Postgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology)

Postgraduate Course: Theoretical Archaeology (PGHC11329)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaPostgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology) Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThe course explores, at an advanced level, the diverse and changing nature of archaeology, from its beginnings in the 19th century to the present day. It covers the emergence of archaeology as an independent discipline, the progress of archaeological ideas and the intellectual relationship of archaeology with cognate disciplines in natural and social sciences, and humanities. The course aims to strengthen the engagement with the discipline, to enhance the theoretical sophistication of students, and to facilitate an understanding of theories and methodologies developed since the 19th century. The course also aims to develop further skills of analysis and critical appreciation of archaeological problems. To that end it presents archaeological ideas against the background of cognate disciplines,
covering broad definitions as well as ┐important┐ and ┐influential┐ archaeological theories and their exponents.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2013/14 Semester 2, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Learn enabled:  Yes Quota:  None
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Course Start Date 13/01/2014
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 33, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 163 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
- an understanding of the philosophical and theoretical viewpoints that underpin interpretative practices in contemporary archaeology; and of the relationship between the development of archaelogy and other disciplines within the social and historical sciences.
- an ability to develop arguments and coherent lines of reasoning on theoretical and philosophical issues within the discipline.
Assessment Information
Coursework equivalent to a 4000 word essay
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Not entered
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Not entered
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern The course is taught jointly by several members of academic staff and is delivered during the 1st semester of each academic year. It is based on a mixture of formal lectures and seminars.

The lectures will provide a broad framework for the various themes of the course. They cannot, and do not, deal with issues in detail. It is essential that the subjects highlighted in each of the lectures, as well as the cognate themes, are followed up by private study and reading. The bibliography relevant to the course is very substantial and you will need to learn to discriminate between the essential and the subsidiary readings - this is an important part of the learning process. You are encouraged to start building up your own personal bibliography as you progress through your studies.

The seminars, with specified readings available on e-reserve, follow upon the lecture and are designed to explore a particular theme in greater depth. They are conducted by means of small group discussions, are an integral part of the course and attendance is compulsory. Your contribution to them is important. If you are unable to be present due to illness, you should email the course convener, Dr M. S. Midgley ( with your apologies and forward a medical certificate to your Programme Director as soon as possible.
Course organiserDr Magdalena Midgley
Tel: (0131 6)50 2504
Course secretaryMs Rosie Edwards
Tel: (0131 6)50 3782
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