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The University of Southampton

ARCH6415 Archaeology Dissertation for Integrated Masters

Module Overview

The dissertation is a personal research project which is completed with guidance from a personal supervisor. It takes place over both semesters of your fourth year, and should involve original research and high-quality formal presentation of material. The word limit allows enough space for both analysis and discussion, as well as providing the required detailed account of methods and datasets used. The specific format of the dissertation and the support provided in preparing it is provided in the Archaeology Dissertation Handbook.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • Having successfully completed the module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the topic you have selected in your chosen field of study, engaging with critical debates through an extended piece of work.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Completion of this dissertation module will familiarise you with relevant theoretical approaches and analytical methods appropriate for your topic. You will encounter and engage with scholarly and policy debates relating to your chosen area of research. You will analyse and synthesise primary and secondary sources; evaluate and critically assess previous work on your chosen subject; and make connections between different critical methodologies. You may use interdisciplinary modes of
approaching your chosen subject.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • By means of this module, you will learn to communicate the results of specific research projects, demonstrating originality of thought and approach that moves beyond a simple synthesis of
secondary materials. You will be guided in the production of a professional-standard research output, with appropriate presentation of both arguments and data, as well as the management of any supporting materials (e.g. data files).


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 work autonomously beyond academia. It offers an opportunity considerably to enhance your archaeological skills.
In the initial stages of your dissertation, you will identify and develop the research skills that you need to undertake your dissertation project. You will be encouraged to engage with the research community through attending a range of relevant seminars, and through digital channels such as blogs. 

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 individual research activities, communication of your research aims and progress through supervisions, and (non-compulsory) attendance at research events such as seminars, which will familiarise you with diverse approaches to archaeological research topics.

Project supervision10
Wider reading or practice190
Completion of assessment task100
Total study time300

Resources & Reading list

Resources vary according to the topic. Your supervisor will provide indicative specific resources, supplemented by general resources provided by the Dissertation Co-ordinator and other staff.



Individual Presentation


MethodPercentage contribution
Diligence and Initiative  (10000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Diligence and Initiative  (10000 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


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:

Anything else not covered elsewhere

There are no additional costs required. However, some research projects may require you to fund activities. For example, you may need to travel to visit sites or archives. Funds may be available to support specific research activities, but these will be limited and will require you to apply for them in good time.

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

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