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Designing Archaeological Research


Admission requirements

Bachelor Archaeology first year obtained, plus 30 ec from the remaining BA Archaeology programme.


The goals of this course are to review academic skills, such as proper referencing and citation, outline-writing, etc., and to learn new organisational skills that will help you develop an archaeological research project.
The latter will include choosing research questions, methods and datasets; identifying stakeholders; acquiring funding; project planning; project reporting and communication strategies; and risk assessment.

We will also discuss some of the broader issues surrounding ar-chaeological research, including various archaeological traditions, ethical considerations, and the open science framework.

Course objectives

After the course, the student is able to:

  • Correctly apply the Faculty of Archaeology's guidelines for written assignments, including formatting of in-text citations and bibliography, proper use of figure captions, proper titles, correct outlines for a research thesis;

  • Search for information using library resources, and prepare an annotated bibliography;

  • Identify research lacunae and assess the match between research questions and methods;

  • Prepare a project summary for peers and other stakeholders;

  • Identify and discuss ethical issues related to archaeological research, including plagiarism, record keeping, and the open science framework.


Course schedule details can be found in MyTimetable.
Log in with your ULCN account, and add this course using the 'Add timetable' button.

Mode of instruction

  • Pre-recorded and in-class lectures;

  • In-class discussions;

  • In-class group exercises.

Assessment method

There are four types of weekly assignments: quizzes, small individual assignments, big individual assignments, and group written assignments.

  • Basic knowledge will be tested by quizzes (20%); Quizzes are graded on a 10-point scale, 5.5 and higher being a pass;

  • In-class group exercises (10%) and the big individual written exercises (40%) will be graded on the following grading scheme: a high pass (10 points) / pass (8 points) / low pass (6 points) / fail (4 points) and low fail (1 point);

  • The small individual assignments are not graded, they will only be recorded as fulfilled (pass) when a serious attempt has been made. The big APAquiz will be recorded as a pass, when the score is 80% or higher. Small individual assignments can be retaken;

  • The final written assignment will be to create an annotated bibliography of five sources and an outline of a thesis document (on a real or “made up” topic). It will be graded on a standard Leiden 10-point scale and will be worth 30%.

Assessment deadlines

All assessment deadlines (exams, retakes, paper deadlines etc.) can be found in MyTimetable.
Log in with your ULCN account, and add this course using the 'Add timetable' button. To view the assessment deadline(s), make sure to select the course with a code ending in T and/or R.

Deadlines for the in-class and individual written assignments are included in the course syllabus. Most are due before the following week’s class.
Written assignments must be submitted on time. We will accept one late assignment per person, provided that the assignment is submitted no more than one week late. Late assignments will be graded at the end of the course.
All assignments must be submitted in order to pass the course. Students must pass the final assignment to pass the course. In case of a fail, the final assignment can be retaken.

Please note that if you did not submit a final assignment or received lower than a 3.0 on the final assignment, you must apply to the Board of Examiners with justification for why you should be eligible for the retake.

Reading list

Chapters from:

  • Lida, P., Rachael, R., de Boer, M., Naoko Araki, M., & Agnello, F. (2020). The Concise APA Handbook: APA 7th edition. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing. E-book is available in the library;

  • Other texts to be announced.


For lectures, tutorials, and exams, enrolment through MyStudymap is mandatory.
You are also required to confirm your exam in MyStudymap. No confirmation = no participation!

General information about registration can be found on the Course and Exam Enrolment page.


For more information about this course, please contact dr. R.M.R. (Roos) van Oosten or prof. dr. J.C.A. (Jan) Kolen.


Compulsory attendance.