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

Postgraduate Course: Research Sources and Strategies in Archaeology (PGHC11079)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course has essentially three aims: 1) to help you to commence research for a dissertation and to provide guidance on good research practices; 2) to give you practice in some practical research exercises and communication skills, including presenting a research topic or proposal to peers using PowerPoint, preparing a poster about your proposed research and writing a research proposal; 3) to familiarize you with certain aspects of the practice and profession of Archaeology both inside and outside Universities, with primary reference to the UK.
Course description The course differs from most other MSc Archaeology/Osteoarchaeology courses in that it is not tied to any single theme, period or place, although there is a strong emphasis on Research Skills (including communication skills) and general knowledge of the academic and professional context of the discipline. The first part of the course consists primarily of presentations on selected topics (research and library skills, dissertation writing, ethics, SPSS, museum skills, employment opportunities and job-seeking issues). In addition, a number of guest speakers are invited, usually professionals working in various branches of archaeology (such as heritage management, commercial archaeology, museums), to give short talks about aspects of their work or about doing research in local or national organisations. The course encourages you to learn while thinking more actively and independently about your own research.

The last three or four weeks of the course are for individual Masters students to deliver power point presentations to the group on a research topic of their own choosing (these count towards assessment: see below) and a group poster presentation session.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements All students taking this course must attend the Health & Safety Awareness training session at the start of the semester. If this course is not on your Degree Programme Table you must seek the permission of the course organiser before being enrolled in this course.
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 75 %, Practical Exam 25 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Students are required to produce:
a 2,000 word (excluding bibliography) research proposal (50%);
a poster (25%);
and to deliver a PowerPoint presentation (approximately 10 minutes duration) normally in weeks 8-11 (25%).
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an ability to devise a programme of research and to locate relevant sources of information.
  2. Demonstrate by way of coursework and seminar participation, an ability to understand and apply research skills to the investigation of material or other topics for a dissertation;
  3. Demonstrate the ability to develop and sustain original scholarly arguments in oral and written form in seminar discussions, presentations, and coursework by independently formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence;
  4. Demonstrate, by way of seminar discussions, presentations, and written coursework, originality and independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
Reading List
Biggam, J. 2011. Succeeding with your Master's Dissertation. A step-by-step handbook. Open University Press (2nd ed).

Swetnam, D. & Swetnam, R. 2009. Writing your Dissertation. Howtobooks, Oxford (3rd ed).

Wallace, M. & Wray, A. 2011. Critical Reading and Writing for Postgraduates. Sage Study Skills. (2nd ed).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserDr Robert Leighton
Tel: (0131 6)50 8197
Course secretaryMiss Danielle Jeffrey
Tel: (0131 6)50 3782
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