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BA Latin and French

Year of entry: 2020

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Course unit details:
Classics, Ancient History, Archaeology and Egyptology Dissertation

Unit code CAHE30000
Credit rating 40
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Full year
Offered by Classics & Ancient History
Available as a free choice unit? No


This module is designed to enable students to write a sustained piece of independent research, in the form of the Dissertation, addressing key questions/problems in Archaeology, Classics or Ancient History. Through a series of workshops and case studies, supported by individual tutorials with the Dissertation supervisor, students will be given guidance on appropriate topics, and assistance in framing their research proposal. Workshops will focus on the relationship between concepts, theory and practice, and the ability to synthesise, analyse and critique archaeological information. Advice on time management and accessing resources will also be provided. Supported by supervisions, students will develop confidence in conducting original research, expressing informed opinion and reflecting on the research process. The course will also enhance writing and presentation skills to appropriate academic standards.



  • Enable students to identify a research topic for sustained, independent research
  • Develop awareness of the relationship between theoretical frameworks, methods and practice
  • Develop research skills, including:
  • Identification of research issue/question: define scope and select appropriate research methodology
  • Develop ability to retrieve information from a variety of sources: libraries, databases, websites and reports
  • Enhance ability to evaluate and critique secondary literature
  • Conduct original synthesis of primary evidence
  • Evaluate and present results of analysis, in the context of broader research


  • Build confidence in expressing opinion, in an informed manner, and reflect on the research process
  • Develop awareness of standards of academic presentation



Semester 1, L3

Week 1    Introduction – Dissertation Topics, Titles and Proposals



Week 4    Knowing what resources are available-Trip to Central Library/Deansgate library?



Week 5    Research Methods – using resources and gathering evidence: avoiding plagiarism!



Week 9    Research methods – synthesizing, analyzing and interpreting evidence, and time management


Week 10  Structuring an academic argument. The literature review: linking concepts, theories and evidence – developing research questions


Semester 2, L3

                              Week 3            Writing Skills


                              Week 5            Presenting the Dissertation


  Week 8            Class Workshop – Revision of key aspects of Dissertation and troubleshooting





Teaching and learning methods

8 x 2 hour workshops, led my departmental staff

8 dedicated consultation hours with module coordinator

Total of 4 hours individual supervisions


Knowledge and understanding

  • Demonstrate critical awareness of previous scholarship on the research topic
  • Evaluate previous arguments and offer informed opinion
  • Engage with primary and secondary data and formulate opinion/argument
  • Synthesise and summarise results
  • Reflect on their contribution to knowledge and understanding of the past, identifying strengths and weaknesses within their own research


Intellectual skills

  • Conduct independent research and present results in a professional, ethically informed manner (NB plagiarism)
  • Present a clear, coherent and logical argument, in relation to an identified research issue or question
  • Present the essay in accordance with appropriate standards of academic referencing, citation and bibliography, annotation, illustration and data analysis (where apposite)


Practical skills

  • Plan, conduct and report on research, within a specified timetable, making use of available resources
  • Take active responsibility for academic progress and development: identify a programme of work, arrange regular supervisions, reflect on and learn from feedback (both written and oral)
  • Make relevant use of research resources, archaeological equipment, collections etc. and utilise them in a safe, approved fashion


Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Conduct Ethics and Risk Assessments where necessary
  • Identify skills gaps and seek relevant training and support where necessary
  • Conduct themselves as a member of a research community, showing appreciation for research support (through apposite use of communication, letters of permission, and acknowledgements)


Employability skills

The course involves a large number of important employment skills, most notably an ability to analyse and examine a large amount of often difficult information, an ability to see both sides of an argument, the ability to synthesise an argument in a cogent form, the ability to retrieve information from complex sources and present it in a compelling and cogent fashion.

Assessment methods

Assessment task

Formative or Summative


Weighting within unit (if summative)

Dissertation Proposal


200 words


Dissertation outline, plan and draft bibliography


1000 words


Written sample


c.2000 words


Final Dissertation


10-12,000 words



Feedback methods

Feedback method

Formative or Summative

Oral feedback on questions within workshops, consultation hours and supervisions


Written/oral feedback on proposal, plan and submitted writing sample


Written feedback on final essay



Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Practical classes & workshops 16
Supervised time in studio/wksp 4
Tutorials 8
Independent study hours
Independent study 372

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Nicholas Overton Unit coordinator

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