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Unit information: Professional Practice in 2015/16

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Professional Practice
Unit code ARCHM0067
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Prior
Open unit status Not open




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


This unit will provide essential knowledge of professional practice in archaeology and will introduce key practical skills such as aerial photography, topographic and geophysical survey, GIS and excavation. The unit will also cover the identification and interpretation of a variety of sites, landscapes and seascapes.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this unit a successful student will be expected to:

1. Know where to access information about sites, monuments and landscapes (HERs, NMR, on-line resources, etc);

2. Interpret Aerial Photographs;

3. Apply the principles of map regression analysis;

4. Critically assess historical sources;

5. Understand the principles and practice of archaeological excavation

6. Undertake topographical archaeological survey;

7. Undertake geophysical survey;

8. Summarize the principles and methods of geographical information systems;

9. Explain where and how archaeology is conducted as a profession.

Teaching details

Lectures Practicals x2 fieldtrips

Assessment Details

A Desk-Based Assessment of an Archaeological Site or Landscape, or an Earthwork Survey or Geophysical Survey with accompanying report (5000 words = 100% assessment for unit).

The Desk-Based Assessment comprises a detailed documentary (historic and contemporary), cartographic and photographic study of a site in order to assess its archaeological potential and is commonly used in the commercial sector. Those wishing to undertake a more practical approach can carry out either a geophysical or earthwork survey and produce an accompanying report.

Reading and References

Bettess, F. 1992. Surveying for Archaeologists. Durham: University of Durham.

Bowden, M. (ed.) 1999. Unravelling the Landscape: an inquisitive approach to archaeology. Stroud: Tempus

Brophy, K. & Cowley, D. 2005. From the Air: Understanding Aerial Archaeology. Stroud: Tempus

Chapman, H. 2006. Landscape Archaeology and GIS. Stroud: Tempus

Gater, J. & Gaffney, C. 2003. Revealing the Buried Past: Geophysics for archaeologists. Stroud: Tempus

Greene, K. & Moore, T. 2010. Archaeology; An Introduction. Routledge.