The British Neolithic ARCH4016

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will offer an introduction to the chronology and material culture of the Neolithic of Britain with reference where relevant to Ireland. A series of themes which have emerged in recent years as major research areas will be addressed, including the chronology and mechanisms of the beginning and end of the Neolithic; the significance of material culture and materiality; regionality and identity; and settlement and everyday life.


12x1hr lectures and 8x1hr seminars, timetabled at two hours per week over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into Archaeology, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes who qualify under the University's 25% regulation.

Excluded Courses





1500-word essay: 30%

1000-word (equivalent) poster exercise: 20%

90-minute examination, equivalent to 1500 words: 50%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ give a basic understanding of the chronology and material culture of the British Neolithic, focusing on temporal resolution, geographical distribution and regional variation;

■ outline the main arguments concerning the nature of the start, and the end, of the Neolithic in Britain, where necessary drawing on evidence from outwith Britain including Ireland and northwest Europe;

■ present an overview of recent and current theoretical models and trends in British Neolithic studies;

■ draw attention to current excavation and post-excavation results, and consider their implications for our understanding of the British Neolithic

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ explain current theoretical discourse on the Neolithic of Britain and how this discourse arose;

■ discuss critically the main aspects of the British Neolithic and their chronology;

■ evaluate critically the dominant role monumentality has played in Neolithic studies to date;

■ compare and contrast the efficacy of different theoretical and abstract models, particularly the use of social theory.

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.