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The University of Southampton

ARCH6125 Archaeology Dissertation (60 Credit pathway)

Module Overview

The dissertation is a personal research project of 15,000 words, which is completed with guidance from a personal supervisor. It takes place over the summer period and should involve original research and high-quality formal written presentation of material. The 15,000 limit allows enough space for both analysis and discussion, as well providing the required detailed account of methods used. As part of this module you will give an oral presentation as opportunity to receive feedback from staff and fellow students.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Relevant theoretical approaches applicable to your chosen field of study;
  • Relevant analytical methods appropriate for your chosen field of study;
  • Scholarly debates relating to your chosen field of study.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • competently communicate ideas in oral presentations.
  • define and manage research projects
  • access recent research findings on the development of archaeology as an academic discipline
  • demonstrate effective research skills.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Analyse/ synthesize primary and secondary sources;
  • Evaluate and critically assess previous work on your chosen subject;
  • Demonstrate originality of thought and approach which moves beyond a simple synthesis of secondary materials.


The dissertation is a considerable piece of self-directed research. It aims to give you the opportunity to undertake an extended piece of independent research, with guidance from a supervisor. It will require reflection on a theoretical framework and critical analysis relating to your chosen topic. It will enable you to make an original contribution to the literature on Archaeology and prepare you for progressing to more advanced study and to preparation of work autonomously beyond academia. It offers an opportunity considerably to enhance your archaeological skills, and in particular those based within your chosen programme During the two semesters preceding your dissertation, you will: • Identify and develop the research skills that you need to undertake your dissertation project. • Be encouraged to engage with the research community through attending and presenting at a range of relevant seminars, workshops or conferences, and through digital channels such as blogs. • Prepare a Project Design. During the summer you will primarily be working independently to execute and write-up your research project. You will have periodic meetings with a supervisor to monitor your progress and discuss any problems that arise. You may also provide updates via digital channels. Towards the end of the summer vacation you will submit draft chapters and sections for feedback at these supervision meetings.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include - tutorial support from a dedicated dissertation supervisor, and from the Dissertation Co-ordinator, and other related staff Learning activities include: 3/8/2016 Archaeology Masters Dissertation - individual research - communication of research - attendance at research events such as seminars

Completion of assessment task588
Total study time600



Research design


MethodPercentage contribution
Diligence and Initiative  (15000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Diligence and Initiative  (15000 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: External

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