Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Archaeology 2B:Theory and Practice ARCH2011

  • Academic Session: 2021-22
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 2 (SCQF level 8)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course provides students with the opportunity to learn about the craft of archaeology in terms of the concepts and theories through which past societies are understood and the practical and scientific skills, methods and techniques which archaeologists use to recover, analyse and interpret artefacts, sites and landscapes.


Lectures: Wednesday, Friday at 12noon over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus; seven two-hour practical classes and one residential weekend fieldtrip. In any one week, a student will typically have two lectures and a practical class.

Requirements of Entry

Grade D3 or above in Archaeology 1B (ARCH1002), or at the discretion of the Head of Subject.

Excluded Courses





Worksheet based on the fieldtrip (2000 words) - 30%

Reflexive report consisting of completed pro formas reflecting on each set of linked lectures and practical sessions (2000 words) - 30%

Practical portfolio consisting of products of activities at each practical class (equivalent 2500 words) -40%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Engage with key developments in the history of archaeological thought, practice and technique;

■ Establish a grounding in contemporary theory and interpretation, practice and method in archaeology ;

■ Examine the relationships between archaeological data, methods and interpretations;

■ Gain experience in the practical and scientific methods and techniques of archaeology.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Outline central themes in the history of archaeology as a discipline

■ Discuss the inter-disciplinary nature of archaeology

■ Evaluate the inter-relationships of theory, method and data in archaeological practice and interpretation

■ Apply key archaeological skills, methods and techniques

■ Critically reflect upon individual and group work undertaken in the context of an archaeological project

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.