Advanced Diploma in British Archaeology

Course details

Extend your knowledge of British archaeology with this one-year, part-time course.

This Advanced Diploma aims to give you a grounding in British archaeology within the context of the particular period under investigation. You will further your understanding of the skills and techniques needed to recover, process and evaluate archaeological evidence. You will also research and write a dissertation in a topic of your choice in British archaeology.

Who is this course for?

Equivalent to the third year of undergraduate study (FHEQ Level 6), this course is the next step if you have completed, or are due to complete, our Undergraduate Diploma in British Archaeology or other similar courses at second-year undergraduate level (FHEQ Level 5).

How you will study

You will attend weekly classes, which are usually on Thursday evening and two hours long. You will also have tutorials, weekend field visits and either a practical course held over two weekends or approximately one week of practical fieldwork. You are given a programme of reading for the teaching sessions and the written work. Assessment is based on three assignments, a practical logbook and a dissertation.

As well as the time spent in teaching sessions, you will need to spend around 12 hours a week studying in term-time. This might include reading, preparing course work, and visiting museums, libraries and sites. You will be able to use the facilities of the Continuing Education Library for your background reading and research.

The course in detail

Course content

There are three modules, which are offered in different years. You take one module for this course.​

  • Anglo-Saxon, Viking and Medieval Britain, starting October 2021
  • Early Prehistoric Britain, starting October 2022
  • Later Prehistoric and Roman Britain, starting October 2023

Anglo-Saxon, Viking and Medieval Britain

This module explores the period from roughly AD 400 to 1500 – an important time that set the scene for the development of Britain as we know it today. Following the collapse of the Roman Empire and leading up to the Reformation, this period witnessed social collapse, migration, and successive waves of influence from Scandinavia and Europe. The story of Britain during this time can be traced in the archaeology of settlements, buildings, landscape, trade and material culture, and we will use a range of evidence to examine the spread of new states, religions, beliefs and identities, towns, industries and patterns of consumption. In addition, dramatic crises such as the Viking attacks, the Norman Conquest and the Black Death will be investigated alongside long-term incremental changes.

Course structure

Provisional teaching programme for 2021-22

Thursday evenings, 7.00-9.00 pm

Michaelmas term (October - December)

  • Archaeology, history and the chronological framework, AD 400-1500

  • The archaeology of Post-Roman Britain

  • Germanic homelands and earliest settlement in England

  • Ritual and burial practice before the conversion

  • Age and gender in early Anglo-Saxon England

  • Middle Saxon settlement and landscape   

  • Practical Weekend I, Analysing human remains                                         
  • Warfare, civil defence and the Burghal Hidage
  • Landscapes of governance
  • Church and society in early medieval Britain

Hilary term (January - March)

  • Wics and the Middle Saxon economy

  • Ships, ports and maritime structures

  • The Viking Age in England
  • Pictish and Norse Scotland
  • State development and trade in Viking Age Scandinavia
  • Early Medieval metalwork
  •  The Norman Conquest
  • Practical Weekend II, Analysing human remains
  • Medieval towns 
  • Saturday session: Ashmolean Museum
  • Urban architecture
  • Group project presentations

Trinity term (April - June)

  • Agricultural landscapes: regional and environmental variations
  • Saturday visit: Museum of London and the city
  • Pottery: diet and lifestyle
  • Church and parish
  • Saturday field trip: Wallingford
  • Dwelling and farming
  • Abbeys and monasteries
  • Castles
  • Manors and vernacular architecture
  • The late Medieval period, c. 1350-1500

Assessment

You will need to complete:

  • Three assignments of up to 2,500 words.
  • A practical logbook of up to 4,000 words, to include two tasks. The tasks usually involve a practical element, for example a field trip and/or museum visit and/or archaeological fieldwork.
  • A 10,000-word dissertation on a topic agreed with the Course Director.

IT requirements

To study at this level you are expected to have some IT skills, access to a computer and the internet. Your course requires you to engage with the Virtual Learning Environment for course materials and uses the Department’s online assignment submission system. Students need to have regular access to a computer and the internet and some level of experience and skill including the use of Microsoft Word or similar word-processing package, email and internet browser such as Firefox or Google Chrome.

The computer you use should meet our recommended minimum computer specification.

Teaching staff

The Course Director is Dr Alison MacDonald. A range of tutors will teach specific topics.

The Course Director and tutors will be able to help you with academic advice and support. In addition, the Department runs a programme of Study Skills workshops designed to help you develop and improve the skills needed for effective study. For further information and to book a place, please email studyskills@conted.ox.ac.uk or contact +44 (0)1865 280892.

For advice on educational opportunities, credit transfer, disability and/or special needs provision and sources of funding, please email: student.support@conted.ox.ac.uk or contact the Course Administrator on +44 (0)1865 270369.

Contact information

If you would like an informal discussion on academic matters before making your application you may contact Dr Alison MacDonald: +44 (0)1865 270370 alison.macdonald@conted.ox.ac.uk

For queries on applications and admissions: +44 (0)1865 270312 undergraduate@conted.ox.ac.uk

For general guidance and advice, credit transfer, special needs provision and sources of funding: +44 (0)1865 280355 student.support@conted.ox.ac.uk

For information about Study Skills courses: +44 (0)1865 280892 studyskills@conted.ox.ac.uk

How to apply

This course will open to applications from Monday 21 September 2020.

Award and credit transfer

An Undergraduate Advanced Diploma will be awarded on completion of the course. Outstanding performance will qualify for a Distinction. You will be invited to receive your Advanced Diploma at the annual Awards Ceremony of the Department for Continuing Education, held at Oxford’s Sheldonian Theatre.

Students are eligible for the award of 60 transferable credit (CATS) points at FHEQ Level 6 on successful completion of the one-year course. Credit points may be transferred to the Open University, modular universities such as Oxford Brookes University, and other institutions of Higher Education. For further information about transfer of credit, contact the Student Adviser on +44 (0)1865 280355 or student.support@conted.ox.ac.uk.

Fees and expenses

The fee for 2021-22 is £2,678 (Home, Islands, and Republic of Ireland students) or £5,031 (Overseas students). An option to pay the fee in instalments may be available. Please be aware that fees will usually increase annually.

Following an announcement by the Universities Minister on 23 June 2020, EU fee status students starting a course in 2021/22 will no longer be eligible to pay fees at the ‘Home’ rate and will instead be charged the higher ‘Overseas’ rate. This change will not apply to Irish nationals living in the UK or Ireland, who will continue to be charged fees at the ‘Home’ rate for the duration of their course. 

Information on financial support can be found on our website here.

Pathways

The Department for Continuing Education offers archaeology day and weekend coursesweekly classesonline short courses and summer schools. In the Undergraduate programme we offer the Certificate in Archaeology, the Certificate of Higher Education, the Diploma in British Archaeology and the Advanced Diploma in British Archaeology. At Postgraduate level we offer an MSc in Applied Landscape Archaeology and the DPhil in Archaeology.

If you are planning on embarking on a new career as a result of your studies, or hope to progress in your current field, you can access help and advice through the University Careers Service.

Overseas students

This course is not suitable for overseas students who do not already live in the UK before the course begins. For information, refer to www.gov.uk/browse/visas-immigration.

English language requirements

Check information on the specific English language requirements for this course.

Applicants are required to have the Higher level scores.