University of Chester

Programme Specification
Archaeology MRes
2017 - 2018

Master by Research



University of Chester

University of Chester

Chester campus

Postgraduate (Taught)

Full-time and Part-time

Classroom / Laboratory,

1 year full-time; 2 years part-time

6 Years

Annual - October



17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Arts and Humanities History and Archaeology



MRes in Archaeology

Friday 30th September 2011

  • To provide graduate students with the opportunity to develop an independent, substantial piece of scholarly research into an aspect of archaeology that fits with the department's supervisory expertise.
  • To be informed by, and to contribute to, broader academic debates about the methods, approaches and practices that underpin the modern archaeological discipline.
  • To provide students with advanced archaeological research training appropriate for both Level 7 and doctoral research.
  • To develop students' self-management, planning and communication skills.
  • To prepare fully those students with suitable interests for further postgraduate research at the Master/Doctor of Philosophy level and beyond.

Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of the nature and value of archaeology and an appreciation of the scholarly study of archaeology’s interaction with society.

Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of selected themes and issues, examined in their national, regional or local contexts.

Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of the range, nature and value of primary and secondary sources, theories and methodologies for the study of archaeological subjects.

Demonstrated the ability to read and use material evidence and (where appropriate) other sources both critically and empathetically while addressing content, context and perspective.

Demonstrated the capacity to plan, conduct and present a programme of original research.
Applied scholarly conventions.

Demonstrated the skills of the researcher including bibliographical skills, selection and synthesis of primary and secondary sources and the ability to provide original analysis in relation to questions appropriate to the discipline.

Demonstrated the above key skills within a professional environment or as required for continuing professional development.

Demonstrated the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment or further professional development requiring the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility.

Demonstrated self-discipline and self-direction in their work with others in a reasoned way.

Communicated effectively, both orally and in writing.

Used information technology as and when appropriate.

Demonstrated analytical ability and the capacity to consider and solve problems.

Demonstrated intellectual integrity and maturity, empathy and insight. 

The MRes is comprised of

1. Two compulsory, Level 7 modules:

  • HI7332 (Research Skills in Archaeology and Heritage) - 20 credits
  • HI7338 (Research Dissertation) - 140 credits

2. One optional Level 7 module to be chosen from the following:

  • HI7333 (Archaeological Heritage in Practice)
  • HI7407 (Investigating Past Landscapes and Environments)
  • HI7409 (Landscapes and Memory)

There are no exit awards within the MRes programme.

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
HI7332 7 Research Skills in Archaeology and Heritage 20 Comp
HI7333 7 Archaeological Heritage in Practice 20 Optional
HI7338 7 Research Dissertation 140 Comp
HI7407 7 Investigating Past Landscapes and Environments 20 Optional
HI7409 7 Landscapes and Memory 20 Optional

MRes (180 credits)
All MRes students complete HI7332 (Research Skills in Archaeology- 20 credits) and HI7338 (Research Dissertation - 140 credits), and one other optional 20-credit module.

Possession of an upper, second class honours degree in any relevant discipline with additional emphasis placed upon the student's preparedness for study and performance at interview which will inform the selection process. A lower, second class degree can be mitigated by experience. Decisions concerning the allocation of credit, either for admission or advanced standing, will be the responsibility of a Credit Allocation Panel. Credit value will be given for appropriate certificated or experiential learning completed within the previous five years and through which an applicant can demonstrate prior achievement of learning outcomes related to one or more programme modules. A student seeking advanced standing must apply before enrolment.

There is currently no MRes in Archaeology Benchmark Statement but the QAA code of practice for research degree is relevant and has been drawn upon.

Acquisition of core knowledge, themes and debates is achieved through lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials and private study, supplemented where appropriate by field visits. The balance of these delivery methods will be tailored appropriately for each module. The focus will be on small-group teaching via seminars, supported by individual tutorials in order to engage students with current debates, methods and discoveries. Workshops and field visits will engage students with primary archaeological data as appropriate.

The Dissertation will be taught by one-to-one tutorial supervision. Meanwhile, all delivery methods and private study will be enhanced via the use of VLE resources that will be fully utilised in accordance with proven customary practice for University of Chester undergraduate programmes in archaeology.

The core, 20-credit module, HI7332, is assessed by two, 1000-word written assignments and a 2000-word Skills Passport.  The Skills Passport enables students to select and tailor their research skills training from a selection available in any given year. The core 140 credit module HI7338 is assessed by a 28,000-word dissertation.

Reassessment will be as assessment.

On completion of this programme, a successful graduate will have acquired a range of communication and transferable skills (as embraced by both the educational aims of the programme and the programme outcomes - see above) valuable to their current or potential employers. The critical skills students will have acquired and developed with enable them to interpret, analyse and evaluate a wider range of material evidence, architectures and landscapes relevant to a range of professional careers. The programmes’ graduates will also be highly motivated and proficient in the completion of complex projects to deadlines and through guided independent study. Graduates will have high-level research skills and the ability to apply their knowledge and research findings in a range of contexts. Those graduating from the programmes will also be able to construct and interrogate original ideas and reflect on their own abilities and skills.  In the light of these characteristics, graduates will be prepared for further research at Master/Doctor of Philosophy level in terms of both key skills and subject knowledge.

The Department of History & Archaeology programmes respect the standard University policies regarding admissions, widening access and participation, equal opportunities and APL, as applied centrally by the University. Consistent with the University's commitment to widening access and participation, the programme conforms to the University's flexible approach and welcomes applications from mature students and from groups normally under-represented in higher education.

The University of Chester values the diversity of its student body and aims to provide quality of opportunity in all its activities. All suitably qualified students are welcome on this programme, irrespective of race, gender, disability or age. Every effort will be made to accommodate students with specific learning or physical needs and to ensure that all students benefit equally. Each case will be examined individually and the University's Inclusion Plans will provide guidance and support, as appropriate. International students who meet the admissions requirements are welcome and will enrich both the programme and the postgraduate community at the University; support and guidance are provided for international students at the institution, particularly through the International Student Welfare Officer.


Student Support and Guidance

All students are issued with a comprehensive programme handbook and a module handbook at the commencement of each module. Students needing further advice are welcome to consult the Programme Leader (who acts as the Personal Academic Tutor for students on the programme), or the Module Tutor.

Learning Resources

Students have access to the University's open-access IT suite, the main campus library and other academic libraries (via the SCONUL scheme).

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