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SPOC Academic Skills for Archaeologists


Admission requirements

This course is obligatory for a selected group of students who wish to apply for the master in Archaeology. You will be notified by the Admissions Committee if this is the case for you.

This course is optional for prospective Master students who seek assistance with their essay needed in the application process. The course is mandatory for pre-Master students.


This course introduces prospective Archaeology Master students to the level of academic skills required for the Faculty's courses.
We also show some of the specific characteristics of Leiden University in general, and the Faculty of Archaeology in particular. We intend to show you how we conduct research and to familiarise you with your chosen focus areas at our Faculty.

The four-week programme consists of 7 modules that show how what we expect of our students in terms of academic skills and archaeological background knowledge. This means that from a starter module focusing on group-based assignments on archaeological theory and general academic skills, the programme progresses to helping you to develop an interesting research question and to conduct your own research project in your chosen focus area.
You will also get feedback from both your fellow students and a Leiden specialist. By taking this SPOC you showcase your competences to your potential supervisor. By exploring your research field ahead of time you can get a head start on your MA research project.

Enroll by sending an email to Riia Timonen, indicating whether you are interested in following the SPOC as a pre-Master or Master student. Also provide the following information:

  • Name;

  • Initials;

  • Date of birth;

  • Address;

  • Cell phone number;

  • Email address.

Course objectives

On completion of this course you will have achieved the following:

  • You are familiar with the Faculty of Archaeology's written assignment guidelines;

  • You are aware of the discussion mores at the Faculty of Archaeology;

  • You know your fellow students and are aware of their research interests;

  • You are well-versed in building and communicating a focused research proposal;

  • You have produced a first essay focusing on your Master focus area and you have made contact with your specialisation staff.


Not applicable (online course).

Mode of instruction

Online course (SPOC).

Course load

Four-week programme consisting of 7 modules.

Assessment method

For (R)MA students: essay (100%).
Retakes are allowed.

For pre-Master students: The course includes several assignments, of which the assignments relate to developing your own research question, designing your research design and your research essay will be graded (20%, 30% and 50% respectively).
Retakes are allowed.

Dates and deadlines

For admission (R)MA:
Intake in February 2021:
Course starts on 15 August 2020, deadline 15 September 2020

Intake in September 2021:
Course starts on 1 February 2021, deadline 1 March 2021

For pre-Master students:
Intake in February 2021:
Course starts on 1 October 2020, deadline 1 November 2020

Intake in September 2021:
Course starts on 1 May 2021, deadline 1 June 2021

Reading list

Not applicable.


See Description.


For more information about this course, please contact R.E. (Riia) Timonen.