ARA1030 : The Archaeology of Britain from the Romans to the 20th Century

  • Module Leader(s): Dr Jane Webster
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


In this module we will study the archaeology of Britain from the beginning of the Roman period to the 20th century. Through lectures we will survey the nature and interpretation of the monuments and material culture of Roman Britain, the early middle ages, the later middle ages, and the post-medieval period. Lectures will also be used to help students improve their writing skills (grammar, style, presentation, structure, referencing) and develop a clear understanding of best practice in the preparation and presentation of written work at degree level. Through seminars we will investigate selected topics and themes in greater depth.

The aims of this module are therefore to:
• introduce the Roman, early medieval, late medieval and post-medieval archaeology of Britain
• introduce the interpretation of the historical periods through landscapes, monuments and material culture
• improve and enhance student writing skills

Outline Of Syllabus

The archaeology of Roman Britain
The early middle ages: Anglo-Saxons, Britons and Vikings
The later middle ages: from the Norman Conquest to the Reformation
Post-medieval and modern archaeology: industry and consumption

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion721:0072:0045% of guided independent studies
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture341:0034:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading721:0072:0045% of guided independent studies
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching61:006:00Seminars
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study161:0016:0010% of guided independent studies
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The period-based lectures provide basic information and overviews. The 12 writing skills lectures furnish students with key skills required to produce degree level written work. Six small-group tutorials (on aspects of the four main syllabus areas) will provide opportunities for in-depth discussion and analysis based around students’ prepared presentations.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination902A50N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M502000 words
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Oral Presentation2MN/A
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

An essay and an unseen examination will test written communication skills and students' ability to relate their knowledge to some of the main themes in the archaeology of historic periods in Britain.

Submitted work tests intended knowledge and skills outcomes, develops key skills in research, reading and writing.

All exchange students at Newcastle University including Erasmus, study-abroad, exchange proper and Loyola are warmly encouraged to do the same assessment as the domestic students unless they have compelling reasons not to do so. If this is the case, they are offered the option of writing one 3,000 word essay to be handed in by 12.00 p.m. of the Friday of the first week of the assessment period. This will replace all assessment work required of domestic students. If they wish to take up this option, students need to discuss it with their module leader, having checked with their home university that the new assessment will be accepted by them.

Students who opt for the alternative assessment because they will have to leave Newcastle University before the assessment period (excluding Erasmus students, who are contractually obliged to be at Newcastle until the end of the semester) should hand in their 3000-word essays before they go away. If this is not possible, they should tell the School exchange coordinator that they are going to submit their essays in absentia, then submit their essays through Blackboard and email copies of the essays to the School Office ( Any essay received after the deadline will be considered as a late submission.

Reading Lists


Disclaimer: The University will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver modules in accordance with the descriptions set out in this catalogue. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, however, the University reserves the right to introduce changes to the information given including the addition, withdrawal or restructuring of modules if it considers such action to be necessary.