Timetable information in the Course Catalogue may be subject to change.

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Postgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology)

Postgraduate Course: Research Skills for Archaeology and Classics (online) (PGHC11507)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe compulsory core course introduces students to a whole range of research skills and methods that will stay with you as you establish yourself as a researcher. Offering a range of transferable skills, this course will develop your potential for locating and working with resources, their critical evaluation, and the robust presentation of your ideas ¿ through written as well as spoken media. Providing a solid research grounding, our core course is the foundation for skills to enable you to get the maximum benefit from your 'Ancient Worlds' MSc online. It will also help ensure that you make the right course choices to meet your goals.
Course description Ancient Worlds is a diverse MSc programme in Archaeology and Classics, covering a huge chronological, as well as geographical range. To enable students to gain the maximum benefit from the programme, this compulsory core course will provide guidance and grounding in a range of appropriate skills and methods for research. This core course will provide skill sets and introductions to skill sets that are relevant to the study of archaeological material, including texts, objects, and contexts in the broadest sense.

Due to its breadth, students opting for this MSc programme may have undergraduate degrees that have focussed within specific areas, e.g. Archaeology, Classics, and/or Ancient History, or aspects thereof. Students of this 'Ancient Worlds' programme, will have varied goals, from aiming to narrow research focus into a specific time period within a region, for example, to wishing to widen regional or chronological knowledge to undertake comparative research. Students may have very clear ideas already of future research areas that they wish to pursue, or they may be looking to gain broader knowledge bases, with or without the intention of pursuing further research.

To address the necessary range of themes appropriate, the course will be taught between the Archaeology and Classics Subject Areas, to provide specialist knowledge in research skills and methods that will be relevant to the course options that you will take as part of the MSc programme.

The weekly topics have been designed to be of relevance to the wide variety of courses that you will study on your MSc programme, and for your dissertation research. Also, the topics deliver transferrable skills that have applications in many areas.

The course will help you to develop your potential as a researcher through investigating how to locate and access resources that will be required not only for individual courses in the MSc programme, but for your dissertation research, and research post-programme. These resources include accessing librarybased publications, varied archival material, maps, and object assemblages within museum collections. Some of this material will be available only in person, and other material accessible online.

The core course will be taught over 11 weeks and consist of a blend of screencasts, live seminars and a student Discussion Board. Through the screencasts we will deliver key aspects of information, and examples/case studies relevant to the weekly topics. The indicative weekly topics will be listed on LEARN. The live seminars will be an opportunity to discuss the themes in greater detail, and may be structured around a key article, data-set, and/or guided reading. These seminars will be recorded so that you have the opportunity to listen back to them, both for those who are able to attend, and those who cannot. Additionally, there will be a Discussion Board to encourage communications between students, allowing for an opportunity for general discussion as well as that focussed on specific questions.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Students need to meet any costs for museum entry, or fieldtrips or site visits conducted as part of their self-study and coursework preparation for this course.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  21
Course Start Semester 1
Course Start Date 18/09/2023
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Online Activities 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 70 %, Practical Exam 30 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework:
4,000 word critical reflection (70%)

Practical Exam:
One 10 minute PowerPoint presentation discussing the relative benefits of applying a range of methods to a specific research question (topic to be agreed in advance), with voice recording (30%)
Feedback Students will receive written feedback on their coursework, and will have the option to discuss that feedback further with the Course Organisers by appointment through 'Collaborate' or by email. Formative feedback will be given in the form of the comments relating to the first piece of coursework. This will be the presentation. For the final piece of work, the critical essay, students are expected to suggest their own topic, but to have done so in consultation with one of the course organisers in advance.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. gain a broad understanding of the depth of time covered by Ancient Worlds, and in particular the conventions used within the subject areas, and the means by which they are derived.
  2. access resources/networks related to 'Ancient Worlds' within their own geographical locations (or intended research locations), either in person or via digital/online media, as a means to create our own research environment and develop scholarly networks.
  3. demonstrate the ability to analyse and reflect critically upon relevant methods and practices in contemporary Archaeology and Classics and their place in the wider context of research into these subject areas.
  4. gain a good understanding of the types of methods/analyses that will be useful for working with certain types of archaeological (including textual) evidence.
  5. demonstrate originality and independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers; and a considerable degree of autonomy.
Reading List
Carlson, D.L. 2017. Quantitative Methods in Archaeology Using R. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Carver, M. 2009. Archaeological Investigation. London: Routledge.

Drennan, R.D. 2009. Statistics for Archaeologists: a common sense approach. 2nd Ed. Springer.

Johnson, M. 2010. Archaeological Theory: an Introduction. Oxford: Blackwell, (2nd ed).

Knapp, A. B. (ed) 1992. Archaeology, Annales, and Ethnohistory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Lucas, G. 2005. The Archaeology of Time. London: Routledge.

Morley, N. 1999. Writing Ancient History. London: Duckworth.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Benedikt Eckhardt
Tel: (0131 6)50 9110
Course secretaryMiss Mel Baker
Tel: (0131 6)50 4030
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information