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Unit information: Dissertation in 2021/22

Unit name Dissertation
Unit code ARCH35022
Credit points 40
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Hofer
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Anthropology and Archaeology
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

A dissertation is an extended piece of written work that provides students with the opportunity to identify and investigate a particularly topic in archaeology and/or anthropology and explore it systematically. In order to do so students are expected to demonstrate research skills and topic-specific knowledge gained throughout their degree, as well as appreciation of the intellectual challenge of formulating a valid research design.

This unit includes structured sessions from staff that provide guidance on research design and written communication. Individual staff supervisors will however be the primary intellectual support system guiding students during the academic year.


  • To develop students research skills
  • To impart broad knowledge of issues in research design
  • To develop students knowledge of research methods by applied learning
  • To give students opportunity to further extend their knowledge of a topic of interest to them by personal research
  • To provide advice, guidance and support on academic project management.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

1) Design and plan a viable research project

2) Identify a research topic that extends their own knowledge and skills, and in excellent cases adds to general scholarship

3) Choose and use research method relevant to their dissertation topic

4) Practise research management skills in respect of both their own work and maintaining an effective working relationship with an academic supervisor

5) Practise time-management through planning and organising a substantive piece of work over an extended period of time

6) Explain their in-depth understanding of their topic by writing an extended, structures, and well-argued piece of work.

Teaching Information

Supervision by a relevant advisor.

Assessment Information

The dissertation is weighted 100% for 40 credits with a maximum word length of 10,000 words. Additionally, the submission of a formative project proposal and ethical reflection (3000 words) is also required.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. ARCH35022).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.