University of Bradford: Undergraduate Programme specification
The BSc Archaeological Sciences is a highly focussed degree in scientific archaeology, providing the most intensive scientific training of any archaeology degree offered in the UK.
Archaeology is fundamental to our understanding of how we evolved, how our communities developed, and how we study, preserve and interpret our past. At Bradford, our distinctive approach emphasises the integration of the natural and physical sciences in this enquiry in accordance with the University's mission, 'Making Knowledge Work'. BSc Archaeological Sciences has as its focus the relationship between archaeology and methods of scientific analysis and emphasises the application of science based research to the discipline. A characteristic of Bradford's approach is the examination of human-environment interactions within a chronological framework, which provides a time-depth perspective of contemporary concerns such as ecosystems, globalisation and sustainability. This programme of study provides the student with a sound knowledge of how scientific techniques can be used within the greater discipline of archaeology.
Archaeological Sciences has an excellent research profile, which supports our teaching in all areas. Throughout the programme, you will acquire skills that will be useful not only in Archaeology, but in whatever profession you choose to follow. These include project and time management, critical review and analytical thinking, presentational skills, computer and other applied IT skills and the management of data. These will be taught, practised and assessed. Over the last 15 years, more than 92% of our graduates had found employment within six months of completing their studies.
Fieldwork, which contributes to each of the awards, takes place during the summer vacation between stages one and two: recent sites include Swandro, (Orkney), Old Scatness (Shetland), Duggleby Howe (Yorkshire) and Dyffryn Lane, (Wales).. Staff research informs much of the curriculum, especially in the final stage (50% of our research was recently (RAE 2008) judged to be ‘internationally excellent’, including 20% which was judged to be ‘world leading’)’.
Three years or four years?
You may undertake a placement between stages two and three. It is quite clear that students who do undertake a placement not only have an even better chance of employment, but also tend to gain a higher classification in their degree award. Your degree title will reflect the successful completion of the placement.
When you have completed the placement, you will have acquired the following:
Professional Skills, according to the specific programme of training, including aerial survey; excavation/fieldwork; post-excavation; artefact conservation and finds management; artefact analysis, geophysical survey; Sites and Monument Record management; education, heritage and museum work.
Personal Transferable Skills, including further development of communication, problem-solving, administrative and IT skills; time management; the ability to work independently; self-motivation; adaptability; team working.
The programme is intended to:
deliver a flexible programme of study in Archaeological Sciences, that reflects areas of staff expertise, for example in chronology and isotopic analysis;
encourage the development of independent learning skills, by providing a supportive, structured environment;
develop wide subject knowledge and understanding, and provide training in discipline skills to enable graduates to pursue further programmes of study or careers in archaeology or related practice;
develop personal transferable skills to enable a significant proportion of graduates to pursue further programmes of study or careers in non-cognate fields;
provide educational opportunities for mature and alternatively qualified students, as well as for school-leavers and traditionally qualified students.
Programme Learning Outcomes
When you have completed the programme you will be able to:
LO1. Appraise theories of human biocultural evolution
LO2. Review archaeological theory and practice; the archaeology of the British Isles, the scientific principles underlying archaeology, landscape development and the formation and nature of the archaeological record
LO3. Evaluate archaeological field monuments, principles and methods of environmental archaeology; concepts of archaeological chronology and scientific dating techniques
LO4. Review the administrative legislative and financial context of modern archaeology
LO5. Evaluate sampling strategies and excavation and recording techniques
LO6. Explain fundamental physical and chemical principles underpinning techniques of analysis; and principles of selected analytical techniques
LO7. Evaluate archaeological artefacts, materials and production technology
LO8. Evaluate growth, decline and sustainability of different human societies within different environmental contexts
LO9. Recognise and handle archaeological artefacts and materials
LO10. Interpret stratigraphic sequences and archaeological evidence
LO11. Apply a variety of scientific techniques
LO12. Assess the instrumental techniques applied to the analysis of archaeological materials;
LO13. Employ practical laboratory skills
LO14.Evaluate and integrate scientific analysis within a broader archaeological context;
LO15. Formulate a research design
LO16. Design and complete a substantial work of independent study
LO17. Employ skills in critical thinking and data evaluation, basic numerical and statistical techniques; independent learning and research
LO18. Apply scientific concepts to different contexts
LO19. Employ IT and computer assisted learning skills; written and oral communication skills; time management skills; analytical, numerical and problem solving skills
LO20. Use scientific formulae and calculations
LO21. Prepare a curriculum vitae
LO22. Present within a conference format
Stage 1 (FHEQ Level 4)
Stage 1 introduces the major strands of the degree programme. The first major strand is fieldwork (Malham Field Course), which prepares the ground for fieldwork at stage 2. This includes introductions to techniques of field survey and archaeological geophysics. Scientific Frameworks for Archaeology provide grounding in the range of approaches to archaeological material and introduces the distinctive ‘Bradford brand’ which blends the perspectives of the sciences and the humanities in the study of the human past.
In stage 1 you will develop knowledge and understanding of archaeological principles, and laboratory skills. By the end of stage 1 you will be able to appreciate the breadth and range of the discipline, will have gained a broad understanding of the principles of archaeological theory and practice, an understanding of key themes and topics in world archaeology, an appreciation of the use of scientific methods in archaeology, and will have acquired experience of archaeological fieldwork through guided group-work in the field. As stage 1 is shared with the BSc Archaeology and BA Archaeology, it will also be possible for students to change programmes at this stage if, having gained a fuller understanding of the discipline, they feel that one of the other programmes will better equip them for the career path that they have in mind.
If you have achieved the regulatory credit points at Level 4 and have achieved learning outcomes 1-3, 9-11 and, operating only within a context that has been defined for you, learning outcomes 17-20, you may exit the programme and are eligible for the award of Certificate of Higher Education.
Stage 2 (FHEQ Level 5)
In stage 2 the key core modules Laboratory Science and Instrumental Analysis develop the scientific principles and practice that are intrinsic to this programme. Stage 2 develops the fieldwork strand (Archaeology Field Course) and introduces coverage of aspects of archaeological theory and method (Theoretical Archaeology, Artefact Studies) to fulfil the major benchmarking requirements in those areas. The core module Advanced Methods in Archaeology offers further depth in areas such as archaeological geophysics. You will have the opportunity to broaden your experience in the environmental/consultancy area by having Environmental Impact Assessment available as an option.
By the end of stage 2 you will be able to critically discuss current themes, issues and approaches in archaeological sciences and will have gained a critical appreciation of relevant laboratory techniques (preparing you for the optional Placement Year). You will have developed skills in archaeological fieldwork as well as a range of transferable skills (e.g. in data gathering and evaluation).
If you have achieved the regulatory credit points at Levels 4 and 5 and have achieved learning outcomes 1-7 and 9-13 and, operating both within and beyond a context that has been defined for you, learning outcomes 17-22, may exit the programme and are eligible for the award of Diploma of Higher Education.
Stage 3 (FHEQ Level 6)
Stage 3 provides the opportunity to develop and refine your analytical skills in a major piece of guided research (Individual Project), while further analytical themes in archaeological science, specifically linked to ongoing research in Archaeological Sciences, are dealt with in the core module Archaeometry. Other modules are all presented as options, allowing students to select from a range of cultural/thematic/methodological modules as best suits their own perceived needs as they acquire greater confidence and understanding of their personal aspirations and career plans.
By the end of stage 3 you will be able to critically evaluate research in your field, and further refine your understandings of archaeological evidence from a range of time-periods and regions. You will have developed enhanced skills in archaeological sciences, beyond those available in most undergraduate programmes in the sector, as well as a range of transferable skills.
Students who have achieved the regulatory credit points at Levels 4 to 6 and have achieved learning outcomes 1-16 and operating in a context that is, in part, at the forefront of the discipline, learning outcomes 17-22, are eligible for the award of BSc (Hons)
Students who have not met the credit requirements for an Honours degree but have achieved the regulatory credit requirements for the award of an Ordinary degree and have met learning outcomes 1-14 and 17-22 are eligible for the award of an Ordinary degree.
Students who have additionally successfully undertaken placement study are eligible to be awarded the degree entitled Archaeological Sciences with Professional Placement.
The Curriculum meets the requirements of the subject benchmark statement for Archaeology published by the QAAHE.
The curriculum may change, subject to the University's progarmme approval, monitoring and review procedures.
Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategies
The teaching and learning strategy takes into consideration the learning outcomes, progression through the levels of study, the nature of the subject and the student intake, and the need for you to take greater responsibility for your own learning as you progress through the programme.
The assessment strategy is designed to support the learning outcomes of each programme and each specific module. A wide range of formative and summative assessment methods are used, including essays, worksheets, laboratory reports, reflective journals and examinations.
For example, in the core module Archaeometry at stage 3 the emphasis is on evaluating current research, including fundamental research in archaeological sciences carried out within the Division. This feeds through into the assessment, which comprises three critical reviews of recently published research. Detailed feedback will be given on each critical review before the next submission is due and there will be opportunity to view annotations on the scripts in individual meetings with tutors.
Part-time (intensive) route
Students may also elect to undertake this degree programme on an intensive part-time route over four years instead of three years full-time. In such cases they would follow the programme of study outlined below, undertaking 80 credits per year rather than the 120 credits taken yearly on the full-time route. Note that this route does not allow for a placement year.
Year 5 (half year only)
This Programme conforms to the standard University Assessment Regulations which are available at the following link: http://www.bradford.ac.uk/aqpo/ordinances-and-regulations/
The University welcomes applications from all potential students regardless of their previous academic experience; offers are made following detailed consideration of each individual application. Most important in the decision to offer a place is our assessment of a candidate’s potential to benefit from their studies and of their ability to succeed on this particular programme. Entrance requirements for each programme will vary but consideration of your application will be based on a combination of your formal academic qualifications and other relevant experience.
If you have prior certificated learning or professional experience which may be equivalent to parts of this programme, the University has procedures to evaluate this learning in order to provide you with exemptions from specified modules contained within the curriculum. Please talk to us if you do not fit the standard pattern of entry qualifications.
The University of Bradford has always welcomed applications from disabled students, and these will be considered on the same academic grounds as are applied to all applicants. If you have some form of disability you may wish to contact the programme leader before you apply.
A typical offer to someone seeking entry through the UCAS main scheme would be 240 points (CCC). Applications are welcome from mature students (those over 21 years of age on entry) and from candidates with non-standard qualifications (eg Science Foundation Course, BTEC, a 12 unit VCE Double award in science, Scottish Higher or Irish Leaving Certificate, International Baccalaureate, GNVQ or Access qualifications in science) or, lacking academic qualifications, having significant relevant experience. Up to 40 students are admitted to Stage 1 each year.
The JB Priestley Library on the city campus provides a wide range of printed and electronic resources to support your studies. We offer quiet study space if you want to work on your own, and group study areas for the times when you need to discuss work with fellow students. Subject librarians for each School and Division provide training sessions and individual guidance in finding the information you need for your assignment, and will help you organise your references properly.
Student PC clusters can be found in all our libraries and elsewhere on the campus. Many of these are open all the time. You can also use the University's wireless network to access the internet from your own laptop. Most of our online journals are available on the internet (both on and off campus), and you can also access your University email account, personal information and programme-related materials this way.
Staff are on hand during the daytime to help you if you get stuck, and there is a 24 hour IT helpline available.
The Divisional student handbook (available on the Divisional web-site) lists specific resources useful to Archaeology students, including a list of electronic resources produced by the Subject Librarian.
Students are encouraged to join the Archaeology Society which sponsors social and academic events, and runs a Coffee Bar in our student common room. Students are also encouraged to attend the Division’s weekly Guest Lectures where prominent scholars from other institutions (as well as from within the Division) present cutting-edge research. These lectures are valuable in complementing the formal taught component of the programme and confirm the Division’s status as a top research department.
The Division of Archaeological Sciences is well equipped with teaching and research laboratories for the specialisms covered in the programme and students use these facilities in modules and in dissertation research. Specialised laboratories include: the Biological Anthropology Research Centre (BARC); North Atlantic Research Laboratory; the Iron Age Research Laboratory; Conservation laboratory; Geophysics Laboratory; Archaeobotany and archaeozoology research collections, and. Bradford’s state-of-the-art University Analytical Centre, a £3m facility housing the major analytical instruments of the University. There is also an extensive collection of over 3000 specimens of rock, minerals and fossils to support geology and earth science components of the programme, and the ecology modules are supported by excellent microscope facilities and supporting biological materials. An excellent stock of field equipment is available for use by students, including equipment for geophysical and topographic survey (both conventional and electronic).
Student Support and Guidance
Support for you personally and in your programme of study will be provided both by the University and the Programme Team. You will be allocated a personal tutor who is someone with whom you will be able to talk about any academic or personal concerns. The School will ensure that there is someone available with whom you feel comfortable to help and support you. You will be provided with a comprehensive series of handbooks that you can consult on a range of learning issues and your programme tutors will be available to consult on subject specific queries.
The University and the Division have a well-deserved reputation in this area. You will be allocated a personal tutor, but in practice all members of staff operate an open-door policy. Personal tutors and dissertation supervisors also provide guidance for your personal development planning. If you opt for a placement you will be visited by your personal tutor and supported by the Placements Tutor and Placements Secretary.
We value the feedback provided by students and collaborate with the Students’ Union, through a system of programme representatives and formal staff student liaison committees, so that any issues you wish to raise are addressed rapidly.
The Students’ Union and the University of Bradford work in partnership to provide confidential counselling and welfare services where you can get help with any aspect of your personal or academic life. Student Financial and Information Services (based in the Hub) will provide you with information about a diverse range of issues such as council tax, personal safety and tourist information. International Students can access a range of additional advice and support services through the Students’ Union.
Employability and Career Development
The University is committed to helping students develop and enhance their employability profile and capabilities through learning opportunities embedded within the curriculum.
Furthermore, the University is committed to supporting students to develop their commitment towards a career pathway(s) and to implementing a career plan. Professional career guidance and development support is available throughout your time as a student and as a graduate from Career Development Services. The support available from Career Development Services includes a wide range of information resources, one to one appointments, a weekly workshop programme, a mentoring programme, graduate recruitment and careers fairs, plus information and help to you find part time work, summer work placements, graduate internship programmes and graduate entry vacancies. In addition, some students as part of their programme of study may have the opportunity to complete a Career & Personal Development accredited module delivered by the Career Development Service.
All students are encouraged to access Career Development Services at an early stage during their studies and to use the extensive resources available on their web site www.careers.brad.ac.uk.
Career Development Services annually undertakes a survey of all graduates to find out their destination six months after graduation. The survey gathers data on the employment and further study routes graduates have entered and a range of other information including job roles, name and location of employers, salary details etc. The survey findings for each programme of study are presented on the programme information pages on the University website and via Career Development Services’ website www.careers.brad.ac.uk
For this programme specifically, we provide tailored careers advice through our Personal Tutor system. This begins early, and may be a consideration in the selection of placement opportunities should you decide to take the 4 year route. The placement itself provides an excellent introduction to the careers market in archaeology and equips students extremely well for employment in the archaeological/heritage sectors. For all students, our investment in fieldwork, and our dedicated ‘hands-on’ approach to the teaching of archaeology has ensured that Bradford graduates have long been seen as extremely well-grounded in the skills and knowledge that employers look for. The Division also organises an employability workshop in the spring term.
Learner Development Unit for Academic Skills Advice
For undergraduate students who are looking to improve their marks during their time at university, study skills and maths advice is available to all regardless of degree discipline or level of study. Students can access a programme of interactive workshops and clinics which is delivered throughout the year. This is in addition to our extremely popular face-to-face guidance from our advisers, who also offer a wide range of online and paper based materials for self-study.
University policies and initiatives
Learning and Teaching
Our University approach to learning, teaching and assessment is encapsulated by an integrated set of themes and principles within our Curriculum Framework. All of our degree programmes have been designed to provide you with an inclusive and engaging learning environment which gives you the opportunity to thrive and develop in your area of study. Our research-informed programmes have a particular focus on developing your employability. We also place a strong emphasis on collaborative, real-world and enquiry-based learning, supported by appropriate learning technologies. Our assessment is designed not just to measure your achievement, but also to shape and guide your learning through preparing you for the increasing level of challenge as you progress through your degree. Together, these lead to you developing a distinctive set of graduate attributes which will prepare you for life beyond university.
Ecoversity is a strategic project of the University which aims to embed the principles of sustainable development into our decision-making, learning and teaching, research activities campus operations and lives of our staff and students. We do not claim to be a beacon for sustainable development but we aspire to become a leading University in this area. The facilities we create for teaching and learning, including teaching spaces, laboratories, IT labs and social spaces, will increasingly reflect our commitments to sustainable development. Staff and student participation in this initiative is crucial to its success and its inclusion in the programme specification is a clear signal that it is at the forefront of our thinking in programme development, delivery, monitoring and review. For more details see www.bradford.ac.uk/ecoversity
The University of Bradford and the School of Life Sciences are committed to the principles of Education for Sustainable Development as outlined in the UNESCO definition (see http://info.brad.ac.uk/admin/ecoversity/what-sustainability.php ). The programme provides opportunities both to explore the sustainable development challenge (particularly through reflection on the time depth of human interactions with landscape, ecosystems and resources) and to develop a responsible professionalism.
For example, the Stage 1 module ‘Humans Past and Present’ explores a range of themes relevant to the impact of past human communities on their landscapes and ecosystems, and examines the ways in which humans have adapted to environmental change over the long term. A further set of modules develop students’ skills in responsible professional practice: in this respect, Environmental Impact Assessment and Heritage Management are particularly relevant. Increasingly developing levels of responsibility as students progress, this pair of modules helps students to develop their skills in problem-based interdisciplinary holistic learning, as applied to the creation of and support for culturally and environmentally sustainable environments in specific case study locations. Themes relating to sustainability and environmental adaptation also occur in numerous other modules, both core (e.g. Field Course 1 (Malham)) and optional (e.g. Geohazards).
For further information, please check the University prospectus or contact Admissions.
The contents of this programme specification may change, subject to the University's regulations and programme approval, monitoring and review procedures.
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