Module Catalogue 2023/24

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

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr David Walsh
  • Lecturer: Professor Ian Haynes, Dr Jane Webster, Dr Eric Tourigny, Dr Rob Collins, Professor Lisa-Marie Shillito
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



This module will explore the archaeology of Britain from the beginning of the Roman period to the 20th century. The lectures will provide a survey of the character of the archaeology of Roman Britain, the medieval period, and the post-medieval period, and will illustrate the ways in which this material has been interpreted. Taught components will also be used to support students with their writing skills (e.g. grammar, style, presentation, structure, referencing), and help students to develop a clear understanding of best practice in the preparation and presentation of written work at degree level. The seminars will investigate specific topics and themes in greater depth, and build upon the knowledge and understanding developed during lectures.

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 medieval period in Britain
The later medieval period in Britain
Post-medieval and modern archaeology: industry and consumption

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

1. a basic knowledge of the most common categories of Roman, early medieval, late medieval and post-medieval archaeological evidence from Britain;
2. a basic understanding of certain key themes in the historical archaeology of Britain

Intended Skill Outcomes

1. a basic ability to recognise a wide range of Roman, medieval, and later sites, landscapes, and material culture;
2. the ability to identify and use specialised archaeological publications including fieldwork and excavation reports and periodicals;
3. the ability to analyse and relate archaeological data from the historical periods to specific key themes or questions;
4. the ability to recognise common basic stylistic, grammatical, structural and presentational faults in undergraduate writing, and to self-correct written work accordingly.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture221:0022:002 lectures per week
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion611:0061:00Preparation for two essays
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading181:0018:00Structured reading and Canvas quiz on each lecture
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:001 seminar per week
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities181:0018:00Write Right and additional reading
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study701:0070:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

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

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M501750 words
Essay2A501750 words
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Research proposal2M500-word essay plan and bibliography
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Two essays 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, and develops key skills in research, reading and writing. The research proposal will help students develop, and provide opportunities for critical feedback on, their ideas and approaches for the summative assignments.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2023/24 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2024/25 entry will be published here in early-April 2024. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.