Single Honours Archaeology

You are very welcome to Single Honours archaeology. As a single honours student you are part of a unique community of scholars that have chosen to focus on archaeology within UCD. This page provides additional information and support for your studies. If you are currently in stage one and would like to apply to do single honours you will need to have passed at least 10 credits of archaeology at stage one and have filled in the application form (see below).  If you would like to discuss any aspect of single honours archaeology then please feel to contact Dr Rob Sands.

Dr Rob Sands
Single Honours Coordinator
E-mail: robert.sands@ucd.ie

Archaeology Undergraduate 2017-2018 Modules & Pathways at a glancePDF|

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Programme Description

Single Honours in Archaeology provides you with core skills and key competencies in archaeological practice, including a variety of practical and theoretical archaeological subjects. Archaeology combines aspects of the humanities, social sciences and applied sciences, and you will develop considerable intellectual flexibility in learning how to be interdisciplinary in your approaches to the past. In studying archaeology, you will develop critical transferrable skills, including working both independently and as part of teams, time management, data analysis, academic writing, IT skills and oral communication. You can choose from a diverse suite of modules, including options in archaeological science, prehistoric archaeology, global archaeological perspectives, experimental archaeology and the archaeology of historic environments. The archaeology of Ireland in its global context is an important emphasis and the teaching programme presents both Irish and international material, and highlights Ireland’s important position within the global archaeological community. You will engage with key archaeological sites and landscapes within Ireland through field-based teaching across a range of modules. The programme introduces you to national legislative frameworks as well as practical considerations of ‘doing’ archaeology, including the opportunity to participate in the School summer fieldwork training programme and work experience modules. You will also have the opportunity to develop your practical skills through experimental archaeological methods.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the single honours programme you should have:

  • Acquired a critical understanding of the nature of international archaeological practice in the 21st Century, including reflection on the roles of archaeology and the past in modern digital society;
  • Acquired practical and interpretative knowledge of a range of archaeological skills and approaches including archaeological excavation, archaeological sciences, field survey and palaeoenvironmental methods;
  • Demonstrated understanding of key changes in human society globally from prehistory to the present day, particularly as reflected in Ireland’s internationally renowned archaeological record;
  • Demonstrated ability to critically evaluate original data, transform it into knowledge in interdisciplinary context and communicate their results effectively;
  • Demonstrated an ability to conduct independent and self-planned research projects, using appropriate methodologies and equipment
  • Enhanced your key transferable skills, including the ability to write essays, reports, reflective learning journals and produce portfolios to high academic standards; to critically assess and correctly reference academic literature; to effectively present your work, both through presentation and through printed media (e.g. posters) and to work as part of small groups to achieve specific objectives

School Support

Your progress and well-being are extremely important to us. It may surprise you to know but we get more satisfaction out of our job if you are doing well and we genuinely want you to succeed. Unfortunately, life is life and the path is not always easy or smooth so we provide the following lines of support:

Module coordinator

The role of the module coordinator is to oversee all aspects of the module and please first refer any questions about a module to the relevant module coordinator. If for any reason you are having problems contacting or getting a response from a coordinator please feel free to contact the Single Honours Coordinator for advice. 

Single Honours Coordinator

E-mail: robert.sands@ucd.ie

The role of the single honours coordinator is to keep oversight over the whole single honours programme. If you would like to discuss your progress, if you are having difficulties or you would simply like to raise issues or provide suggestions please feel free to contact me, Rob Sands, by email and we can arrange a time. My formal office hours are usually Tuesday 10.30 – 11.30 AM and Thursday 10.30 – 11.30 AM – if you are passing at those times, and I am free, please drop in.

The School Office (Room K004)

E-mail: student.archaeology@ucd.ie       Telephone: +353 (01) 716 8312

The School Office is an extremely important part of the School, it is the administrative hub of School activities. Open office hours are posted on the office door. The School Administrator (Ms Angela Mc Ateer) will help with any questions regarding student administrative or organisational matters. When the Office is closed, or if the Administrator is not available, your queries should be sent by e-mail to: student.archaeology@ucd.ie. We will expect you to include your UCD student number in all correspondence with the School.

Personal well-being and good health are central to academic achievement and over the course of your studies you may experience personal problems that may affect your academic work - perhaps an illness, a bereavement, loneliness, financial difficulties or relationship problems. While we would wish to support you as much as we can, and always feel free to talk us, there are issues that require certain professional supports and expertise. We can advise on where you might get most appropriate support if you wish. As a starting point the University provides a range of advice, support and resources to help students tackle such problems (these services are listed below) and you should consider availing of these if you require advice or assistance on any matter.  Please feel free to avail of these (see below) but always, if you are able, also let the School know if you are having difficulties. Remember the sooner an issue is identified and the appropriate people are made aware the more likely it is that it can be dealt with and we can help you.

UCD Student Advisers

Provide support to students throughout their university experience

UCD Chaplains

Provide both religious and pastoral care

UCD Student Health and Counselling Service

Provides on-campus medical, psychological and psychiatric care,

UCD Access Centre

Provides advice and support to students with disabilities, long term medical conditions or specific learning difficulties (e.g. dyslexia)

UCD Student Support

Provides a wide range of practical supports and links

Student Union Welfare

The Student’s Union provide a wide range of help and support include welfare advice

Throughout your time with us we will be evaluating and grading your work. This confirms to sets of guidelines and standards and you can find more information about these on the assessment web site. Please note that we have a second marking policy in operation within the School under which a proportion of all work is marked by two members of staff to ensure consistency and parity. The whole process is also reviewed by an external examiner.

Some general thoughts!

The level of degree that you achieve relates completely and directly to the quality of the work you submit over you time with us. However, in turn, the quality of work you submit relates directly to:

  • The effort you put into conducting that work.
  • Your attention to detail when putting that work together.
  • Your ability to manage your time so that work is not done in a rush at the last minute.
  • Your ability to put together a well written, well-constructed, well-argued and well-supported piece of work.

In addition, to get the most out of your abilities, consider the following:

  • Always spend some time really thinking about what is being asked.
  • The more you are reading and thinking about the subject the easier the work will be. 
  • The more you are paying attention and asking questions the easier the work will be.
  • Yes module work can be difficult, time consuming and challenging but try to see it as something to enjoy. Your time at University is short so get the most out of it.
  • Communication - if you know you are in difficulty or think you will be let us know.
  • Discuss things with fellow students, attend extra curricula events such as seminars and join the Archaeological Society.

In short the more engaged and proactive you are the better you will do and the easier and more enjoyable your time with us will be

Getting work in on time

Unfortunately, like in any professional environment deadlines are important and you should always deliver your work on time, unless there is a justified reason for not doing so. Delivering late work has no benefit to you at all, will incur late penalties and leaves us with less time to devote to other aspects of your time with us.

You will be aware of this from stage one but please reacquaint yourself with the UCD Late Submission Policy below:

  • Coursework received at any time within two weeks of the due date will be graded, but a penalty will apply.
  • Coursework submitted at any time up to one week after the due date will have the grade awarded reduced by two grade points (for example, from B- to C).
  • Coursework submitted more than one week but up to two weeks after the due date will have the grade reduced by four grade points (for example, from B- to D+).
  • Coursework received more than two weeks after the due date will not be accepted. Submission dates may be extended in exceptional circumstances; students should contact the relevant module coordinator in the first instance and will be expected to provide written supporting evidence to the School (e.g. a medical certificate). Where coursework is submitted late due to unanticipated exceptional or extenuating circumstances, students must present an explanation to the School providing written supporting evidence such as a medical certificate. The School may, at its discretion, retrospectively award an extension in such cases

What happens if I am ill? (Extenuating Circumstances)

Unfortunately, most of us at some stage will suffer from illnesses that affect our ability to meet deadlines or fully achieve our potential. If you find yourself in health or other difficulties (e.g. bereavement; family problems) it is very important that you contact the School as soon as possible. 

Problems of various kinds may be taken into account in marking work, or considering whether or not a late penalty should apply for an essay. It is important that you speak to the tutor, module co-ordinator or year head. They will ask you to complete an Extenuating Circumstances form in the School office during open office hours and will ask you to provide an original medical certificate or other supporting documentation in addition to the declaration. This will be placed on file, and may be taken into consideration in assessing your work. It is important that you advise us of problems as early as possible; if at all possible, tell us in advance of the deadlines that you are concerned about. Please note that any issue relating to extenuating circumstances submitted to the School is dealt with in strictest confidence by staff.

Unfortunately, most of us at some stage will suffer from illnesses that affect our ability to meet deadlines or fully achieve our potential. If you find yourself in health or other difficulties (e.g. bereavement; family problems) it is very important that you contact the School as soon as possible. The School of Archaeology and UCD generally have a variety of excellent support services for students who are in need (see other sections on this page).

It is important that you advise us of problems as early as possible; if at all possible, tell us in advance of the deadlines that you are concerned about. Please note that any issue relating to extenuating circumstances submitted to the School is dealt with in strictest confidence by staff.

Problems of various kinds may be taken into account in marking work, or considering whether or not a late penalty should apply for an essay. It is important that you speak to the tutor, module co-ordinator or year head. They will ask you to:

  • Complete a school copy of an Extenuating Circumstances form in the School office during open office hours
  • Provide an original medical certificate or other supporting documentation in addition to the declaration. This will be placed on file, and may be taken into consideration in assessing your work. 

As you move through your time at university each year will present new challenges and you will progress through stages. Modules are assigned to levels broadly equating to difficulty. During your stage 1 you will have mostly been taking level one modules. In stage 2 you will mostly be taking level 2 modules and in stage 3, level 3 modules. These stages and levels represent progressions in our expectations of you, your expectations of yourself, the extent to which the module will challenge you and the depth of knowledge that you will be expected to attain.

From Stage 1 to Stage 2

As you progress through your degree, you should be growing as a scholar and we will be expecting both your skill base and confidence to grow as well. By the time you reach Stage 2 you will already have been meeting deadlines, managing your schedule and producing university standard work. At Stage 2 we will expect you to understand how to put your work together, to reference other people’s ideas properly and to understand how to avoid problems such as plagiarism. If you feel any of this is still an issue please seek advice promptly (see support section below). There is no point in hiding from a problem and the sooner you get the basics sorted the easier the rest of your work will be.

There is at least one key difference between Stage 1 and Stage 2. At stage 1 we will primarily tend to focus on whether you know the information delivered in the various modules. At Stage 2 we will be developing your critical faculties so that you not only know the archaeology but can also develop and respond to arguments that relate to it.

From Stage 2 to Stage 3

Stage 2 to Stage 3 also provides the opportunity to mark a step up in expectations. We will be expecting an increased level of critical awareness and knowledge. At this stage you will mostly, if not entirely, be taking level 3 modules, when assessing these modules we consider additional criteria and in general you can expect them to be more challenging. Appendix A at the back of this document gives you a good sense of the way in which we evaluate your graded work and the qualitative difference between levels.

Although we work in a modular system and it is, therefore, easy to see everything in terms of unrelated boxes, it is important for you to think about the connections and overlap between modules. An extremely important level 3 module is the Supervised Research Project. This gives you the opportunity to explore and research a topic of your choice. Crucially, you have ownership of the topic that you choose. Unlike an essay, a project or a lab that we have given you as part of a module’s assessment, the dissertation provides the opportunity to develop and frame your own research question or questions. It gives you the experience of doing independent research and presenting that research to a professional standard. However, with more freedom also comes more responsibility. Establishing a good topic is not easy so the sooner you start thinking about it the better. We would recommend that once you have committed to Single Honours you should be thinking about what you might like to do. The more you have thought about it the more relaxed and enjoyable completing it will be. Using the connections between modules, extra curricula activity and conversations with staff to refine what you are interested in will give you the best grounding for a well-rounded project.

While attending lectures, labs, seminars and finishing your assigned work for modules is obviously key to completing your degree the more engaged you are with the subject the better. The more this is part of your thinking the more likely it is that you will do well and the easier and more enjoyable the work will be.  Read as much as you can, listen and watch relevant media output (but be critical!), talk to each other and to the staff. In addition there are also structured ways in which you can engage with archaeology outside of the class, seminar room or laboratory.

Archaeological Society

The UCD Archaeological Society is run by students, and we strongly encourage you to join, both for academic and social reasons. The Society fulfils an important social role, with regular coffee afternoons and other events helping to break down the daunting scale of the University. 

Seminar Series

The School runs a weekly academic seminar series from 5.30-6.30 pm each Thursday throughout teaching term, covering a wide range of archaeological subjects. These are jointly organised by the School and the Archaeological Society and are free to attend, open to all, and offer an exceptional opportunity to broaden your archaeological horizons. Seminars will be advertised more fully in the School of Archaeology corridor and on its website.

Fieldwork Opportunities

Fieldwork is a key component of archaeology. Fieldwork opportunities will change from year to year and opportunities exist both within and outside of the School, we will endeavour to make you aware of as many opportunities as possible but it is also important that you are proactive.