Programme specification

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Programme title:

MA Public Archaeology

Final award (BSc, MA etc):

(where stopping off points exist they should be detailed here and defined later in the document)


UCAS code:
(where applicable)


Intake cohort(s) to which this programme specification is applicable:

(e.g. from 2015 intake onwards)

from session 2007-08 onwards

Awarding institution/body:

University College London

Teaching institution:

University College London


Social and Historical Sciences

Parent Department:
(the department responsible for the administration of the programme)

Institute of Archaeology

Departmental Web page address:

(if applicable)

Method of study:


The programme can be taken either full-time or part-time

Criteria for admission to the programme:

Length of the programme:

(please note any periods spent away from UCL, such as study abroad or placements in industry)

One calendar year full-time, two calendar years part-time

Level on Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ)
(see Guidance notes)

Level 7

Relevant subject benchmark statement (SBS)
(see Guidance notes)


Brief outline of the structure of the programme / its assessment:

(see guidance notes)

Board of Examiners:

Name of Board of Examiners:

MA Public Archaeology

Professional body accreditation

(if applicable):


Date of next scheduled accreditation visit:

The programme will a) introduce the range of areas in which archaeology has relevance to the wider public,

b) provide the student with an understanding of how archaeology is used in the public arena, and provide information on each of these areas to enable students to both understand and be in a position to interpret the different forms of application and manipulation c) to equip students with both the theoretical and practical knowledge to apply this knowledge to areas of public archaeology.

The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, qualities, skills and other attributes in the following areas:

A: Knowledge and understanding

Knowledge and understanding of:

  1. the range of applications that archaeology has in the public arena

  2. the ways in which policies towards archaeology are developed and created nationally and internationally, and applied, and the various forms of legal instruments that result, as well as the political significance of archaeology.

  3. the ways in which archaeology is presented in the media ( in all its forms), and the influences that affect these presentations

  4. current approaches to involving the public in archaeology through a variety of educational media, from museums through to schools and adult life.

  5. The economics of archaeology in terms of funding and income based approaches.

  6. The historical changes in the role of archaeology in terms of both the developed and the developing world.

  7. The development and motivation behind the alternative approaches to archaeology with particular reference to modern societies.

Teaching/learning methods and strategies:
1-7 Through a series of formal two hour lectures, seminars with student presentations, video viewings, and a series of visiting lecturers with first hand experience giving seminars on their work. In addition a series of field trips to relevant sites and developments which involve two weeks in total.


B: Skills and other attributes

Intellectual (thinking) skills:

  1. developing a critical and questioning approach towards the purpose of archaeology

  2. critical reflection on the complex relationship between archaeological specialists and the public understanding of archaeology

  3. ability to analyse the motivations behind the presentation of archaeology

  4. consideration of the political motivations behind the development and control of archaeology in different situations.

  5. Reflection on the costs and the 'product' of archaeology and its sustainability and purpose both economically and socially.

Teaching/learning methods and strategies:
Acquisition is enabled and developed throughout the course by introducing and presenting information that requires critical assessment. This in turn leads to active questioning and analysis of different motivations and approaches.

Field trips are used to question approaches and examine conflicting values of presentation.

Presentation and discussion is encouraged in both seminars and lectures.

Assessed essays and dissertation. The former are aimed particularly at critical analysis. The dissertation is emphasised as a vehicle for original research.

C: Skills and other attributes

Practical skills (able to):

The programme overall is aimed to help students

  1. communicate effectively both in writing and orally

  2. develop critical skills through listening and discussing issues

  3. develop an understanding of the ways in which policy development takes place.

  4. Develop practical research skills in libraries and in the field and through digital resources.

  5. Develop an understanding of wider values and uses of the values of archaeological information and material.

  6. Selection of an appropriate research topic for a dissertation.

Teaching/learning methods and strategies:

  1. essay writing

  2. presentations in seminars and discussion ( not assessed)

  3. lectures, seminars and field trips

  4. research for essays, presentations and dissertation

  5. through studies presented in seminars and also through fieldtrips and video sessions

  6. through individual discussion with students


D: Skills and other attributes

Transferable skills (able to):

The programme should encourage and enable students to

  1. communicate effectively

  2. develop research techniques that are both theoretically and practically based across a wide and interrelated range of areas.

  3. Identify and critically analyse complex problems.

  4. Develop an understanding of the requirements of consumers and audiences.

  5. Work in areas of public archaeology and undertake independent work

Teaching/learning methods and strategies:

Students will develop these skills both in the classroom, during seminars, on fieldtrips and through the production of essays and the dissertation.


Assessed essays and dissertation as well as oral examination at the end of term 2.

The following reference points were used in designing the programme:

  1. the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications:


  1. the relevant Subject Benchmark Statements:


  1. the programme specifications for UCL degree programmes in relevant subjects (where applicable);

  2. UCL teaching and learning policies;

  3. staff research.

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if he/she takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information on the learning outcomes, content and teaching, learning and assessment methods of each course unit/module can be found in the departmental course handbook. The accuracy of the information contained in this document is reviewed by the College and may be checked by the Quality Assurance Agency.

Programme Organiser(s) Name(s):

Tim Schadla-Hall/ Gabriel Moshenska

Date of production:


Date of review:

October 2015

Date approved by Chair of Departmental Teaching Committee:

October 2015

Date approved by Faculty Teaching Committee

October 2015

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