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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Archaeology

Undergraduate Course: Archaeology 1A (ARCA08004)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryArchaeology 1A provides a basic introduction to archaeology for those who may or may not have studied the subject before. The lectures start by outlining what archaeology is, and how it is practised.
Course description A series of lectures under the sub-heading 'Discovering the Past' deal with the principles and methods of archaeological investigation, analysis and reconstruction. There are also sections on 'how humans evolved' (introducing human evolution and the hunter-gatherers of the Palaeolithic) and 'early agricultural societies', which charts the crucial shift from hunting and gathering to farming in the Near East and Europe; the first sedentary food-producing societies are introduced as a prelude to the rise of civilizations in the Near East and Europe, covered in Archaeology 1B.

The course is designed to provide a systematic introduction to Archaeology, and to present some important areas of archaeological research. It aims to help students to develop their:
ability to find and evaluate information, and set it in context;
ability to critically appraise evidence and present reasoned argument;
skills in literacy, in particular the preparation and writing of academic essays.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  109
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 9, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 163 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework (50%): consisting of 1 main essay (40%) and 1 short report (10%).
Written exam (50%).

Essay: 1500-word limit (excluding bibliography)
Short Report: max 700-word limit (excluding bibliography)
Exam: 2 hours; 2 questions to be answered from a choice of 7
Feedback Students will receive written feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the tutor/Course Organiser during their published office hours or by appointment.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)Archaeology 1A2:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, a sound knowledge of the subject considered in the course;
  2. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to assimilate a variety of sources and formulate critical opinions on them;
  3. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to research, structure and complete written work of a specified length, or within a specified time;
  4. demonstrate an ability to make informed contributions to class discussion and give an oral presentation as required;
  5. demonstrate an ability to organise their own learning, manage their workload, and work to a timetable.
Reading List
RENFREW, C. & BAHN, P. 2012. Archaeology: Theories, Methods and Practice. 6th edition. London: Thames & Hudson. Companion website:

SCARRE, C. (ed.) 2013. The Human Past: World Prehistory and the Development of Human Societies, 3rd edition. London: Thames and Hudson.
Companion website:
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information Also tutorials
KeywordsArchaeology 1A
Course organiserDr Catriona Pickard
Tel: (0131 6)50 2372
Course secretaryMs Amanda Campbell
Tel: (0131 6)50 2501
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