Archaeology Dissertation

Module code: AR3059/AR3060 (double module)

The final-year dissertation gives you the opportunity to bring together all the research skills and wider reading that you have continually been developing over the course of your degree and use these skills to produce an extended piece of independent research over the course of your third year.

The dissertation is 10,000 words in length, spans both the autumn and spring semesters, and you get to choose the topic. You can build on knowledge that you have already acquired in your other modules or, alternatively, if there is a subject that you’ve always wanted to find out about but haven’t had the opportunity, then this is your chance to expand your learning even further. Many of the topics that students opt for are inspired by the research interests and expertise of our staff.  Whatever you decide to work on, the whole point of the dissertation is that it is your project. As a result, students often find this to be one of the most exciting parts of their whole degree and our students frequently win national prizes for their dissertations.

Right from the start you will be able to discuss your ideas with members of staff who will work closely with you to refine your topic and who will be happy to help guide your initial reading and shape your project around a workable question. You will have regular one-on-one meetings with your supervisor (at least eight hours per term, but you can meet more regularly if you want to) and they will offer advice and guidance throughout the project.

To give you some idea of the range of subjects available, here are just some of the dissertation topics that students have studied in recent years:

  • Viking Boat Burials in Britain and Scandinavia
  • The Education of Women in Ancient Greece
  • Trench Art in the First World War
  • The Impact of the Black Death on Diet and Agriculture in Britain
  • Gender and Magic in the Roman World
  • The Cultural Significance of the Rubber Duck
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