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ARA8180 : Early Medieval Western Europe

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Sophie Moore
  • Lecturer: Dr Duncan Wright
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


This module will provide students with an in-depth knowledge of major themes in early medieval archaeology in Western Europe. We will study the sources and methods that are available to early medieval archaeologists such as archaeological excavation and survey, landscapes, artefactual studies, and historical documents.

The aims of this module are:
1. To provide an advanced understanding of the sources and methods used by early medieval archaeologists.
2. To provide an in depth knowledge of key themes relating to the early medieval archaeology of western Europe.

Outline Of Syllabus

Exact topics will vary from year to year and will be finalized in consulation with students. Example topics include.

The end of Rome and the Migration Period
Early medieval settlements
Late Antiquity
Kingship and the origins of kingdoms
Burials in the age of conversion
Churches and monasteries
Travel, trade and exchange
The origins of the medieval landscape
Medievalisms and the alt-right

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion861:0086:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading701:0070:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching92:0018:00Present in person - presentations and debate
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities112:0022:00non-synchronous structured learning assigned week by week to support scheduled seminar.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery22:004:00Tutorial to provide guidance on preparation of assessed work
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

1. Seminars will provide advanced knowledge and critical understanding of themes through presentation and in-depth discussion of detailed case-studies.
2. Tutorials to provide specialist guidance on preparation of assessed work: x1 in preparation for Essay 1, x1 in preparation for Essay 2.
3. Private study to provide in-depth understanding through background reading, preparation of seminar presentations, identification/collation/analysis of information for assessments.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M351500 word essay
Case study1A652500 word essay
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Oral Presentation1M15 minute presentation on the topic of the final essay. Alternatively, students can choose to submit a formative essay of maximum 1000 words.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The Essays will assess ability to draw on a range of relevant data and published interpretations and critically analyse them in relation to one or more key themes in early medieval archaeology. They will also provide the opportunity to demonstrate an advanced ability to apply relevant analytical techniques (e.g. GIS; artefact analysis).

The formative assessed presentation gives the students the opportunity to present the topic of their final essay and receive feedback, mimicking the relationship between conference papers and journal articles in professional practice.

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

This module can be made available to Erasmus students only with the agreement of the Head of Subject and of the Module Leader. This option must be discussed in person at the beginning of your exchange period. No restrictions apply to study-abroad, exchange and Loyola students.

Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending semester 1 only are required to finish their assessment while in Newcastle. Where an exam is present, an alternative form of assessment will be set and where coursework is present, an alternative deadline will be set. Details of the alternative assessment will be provided by the module leader.

Reading Lists