The University of Southampton
Courses

ARCH6413 Professional Placement in the Archaeological and Cultural Heritage Sector

Module Overview

A key component of higher archaeological practice is the development of archaeological vocational skills, and the application of what is learnt at university in the working environment. The archaeological methods and skills taught at university have diverse uses, including industrial and commercial applications, and use in academic research. For students undertaking the Higher Archaeological Practice pathway the Professional Placement in the Archaeological and Cultural Heritage Sector module provides a compulsory component of involvement with one of a number of leading heritage institutions and companies, extending graduate education beyond the lecture room to placements in the archaeological sector and heritage industry. The module provides the opportunity for students to work and learn in one of their key areas of interest, such as in an archaeological unit, a museum, or laboratory. Orientation sessions will be held at the university for students to discuss module expectations and offer guidance. The majority of the time (4 weeks) is designated to time spent embedded with an outside institution, where students will work and learn about the archaeology sector and heritage industry and experience it first-hand. The assessed outcomes for the module will take the form of a report, project work or small exhibition, completed by the students as part of their time with these institutions, and assessed by a panel of academics and student supervisors from the host institution.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

To introduce you to life and work in the archaeological sector and heritage industry, giving you the opportunity to apply skills you have learned at university and to gain experience in applying these skills under supervision in a real world environment.

Learning Outcomes

Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Knowledge of the processes and workflows applied in the archaeological sector and heritage industry, and first-hand experience of those sectors.
  • Experience of different workflows and application of skills to the production of a report, project or exhibition to stated deadlines.
  • Hand-on experience of recording, survey, excavation, archive research and assessment to fulfil stated aims of research or work.
  • Learning of relevant industry skills based on university modules and four weeks first-hand experience in the archaeological sector and heritage industry.
Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • To evaluate the relationship between professional practice skills learned at university, and how these relate to vocational environments.
  • To be cognisant of the workflows associated with work in the archaeological sector and heritage industry.
  • To demonstrate appropriate skills and complete work under supervision and to a deadline in a particular area of the archaeological sector and heritage industry.

Syllabus

The module is delivered directly through a placement with a leading heritage sector institution, with orientation lectures at the start of the module. The topics covered by the module will typically include: • Outline of the different parts of the archaeological sector and heritage industry and how they relate to the statutory and local government systems for recording and protecting cultural heritage. • Outline of learning progression for the placement. • First-hand experience of work in selected industry, including field survey, excavation, archive research, finds processing and other aspects. • Professional report writing, presentations and transcript writing, small project and exhibition work.

Special Features

This module includes an extensive work placement, seminars and discussions led by both members of industry and academics.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

• Professional Placement Training • Lectures • Tutorials • Presentations • Student-led panel interviews

TypeHours
Lecture2
Work based learning148
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Carver, J J. (October 2013). The Challenges and Opportunities for Mega-Infrastructure Projects and Archaeology. Papers from the Institute of Archaeology. ,23 , pp. 0.

Hunter, J. and Ralston, I. (1993). Archaeological Resource Management in the UK: An Introduction. 

Aston, M. (1985). Interpreting the Landscape: Landscape Archaeology in Local Studies. 

Richards, J. and Robinson, D. (2000). Digital Archives from Excavation and Fieldwork: Guide to Good Practice. 

Planning for the Historic Environment. Planning Policy Statement 5: Planning for the Historic Environment.

Howard, P. (2007). Archaeological Surveying and Mapping: Recording and Depicting the Landscape. 

Barker, P. (1982). Techniques of Archaeological Excavation. 

The Challenges and Opportunities for Mega-Infrastructure Projects and Archaeology.

Assessment

Assessment Strategy

This module allows for two modes of assessment; formative and summative. Formative feedback will be used to aid your learning throughout the module via feedback on a blog you will create. Here you will be able to aggregate journal articles, case studies and pose questions. The summative assessment will take the form of a written report, presentation, small project or exhibition (following feedback from your supervisor). This assessment has been designed to directly follow current practice in industry, helping to improve your employability skills. Placement Document This assessment will be based on a diary and critical reflection by the student. A set of specific learning aims, devised by the student and their workplace and academic supervisors, will form the basis of the document. The student will then keep a record of their work, activities and reflections, material studied or accessed, and insights or conclusions. Students are expected to complete an entry into this document on a weekly basis. • Project: This assessment will be based on one of the following forms of project, all of which will be aligned with the module’s learning outcomes: • Report: An excavation, survey, geophysics, or assemblage report designed in light of the specific learning aims established by the student and their workplace and academic supervisors, and based on work carried out during the placement by the student. • Presentation: A 45 minute presentation, supported by Powerpoint or similar slide presentation and presentation transcript, based on the specific learning activities established by the student and their workplace and academic supervisors, to communicate the results of work carried out during the placement by the student. • Exhibition: A small exhibition, using written material, museum archive and gallery resources, based on the specific learning activities established by the student and their workplace and academic supervisors, and work carried out during the placement by the student. • Written Scheme of Investigation (Research Design): A written scheme of investigation (WSI) using a desk-based assessment for a site or set of archaeological material, based on the specific learning activities established by the student and supervisor, and work carried out during the placement by the student.

Formative

Blog

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Critical Reflection 25%
Report  (4000 words) 75%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Report  (4000 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal

Costs

Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Travel Costs for placements

This module requires a work placement of 148 hours (4 weeks) with a leading heritage organisation. Reasonable travel expenses (usually up to £350) will be covered for students, but students and institutions will not be paid.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.

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