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Designing Archaeological Research


Admission requirements



The bachelor thesis concerns a small, problem-oriented research on an archaeological topic. The goal of this course is to equip you with the tools to develop your project, determine and answer research questions, and write your thesis.

Course set-up

The course will be organised around live online lectures and group activities, with preparatory exercises that will include watching pre-recorded videos and readings, as well as graded homework assignments.

Course objectives

After the course, the student is able to:

  • identify and critically assess the elements of published research projects;

  • define their own area of research following the “C.A.R.S.” method;

  • discern various research traditions in archaeology;

  • prepare an effective and comprehensive introduction paragraph to their research project;

  • schedule their research time using a Gantt chart;

  • prepare an annotated bibliography using organisational software such as Mendeley, Zotero, or RefWorks;

  • search for information using library resources;

  • choose which kinds of statistical approaches are appropriate to their research questions;

  • identify and discuss ethical issues related to archaeological research.


Course schedule details can be found in the BA3 time schedule.

Mode of instruction

  • Pre-recorded and in-class lectures;

  • In-class discussions;

  • In-class group exercises.

Due to COVID-19 measures in place, the mode of instruction may change.

Course load

  • 12 hours of lectures (both live and pre-recorded);

  • Written assignments and quizzes;

  • In-class exercises.

Assessment method

  • Weekly short written assignments/quizzes, graded on a fail/low pass/pass/high pass scale.

Most will be individual, some will be group exercises. Assignments will have strict deadlines which will be indicated on Brightspace.

For their final project, students will prepare a Nature-style first paragraph introduction of their thesis, and an annotated bibliography of 10 sources following the Faculty of Archaeology thesis formatting guidelines.

The weekly assignments are worth 60% of the total grade, the final assignment is worth 40%.
All assignments must have a passing grade in order to pass the course.
Only the final project can be retaken.

All exam dates (exams, retakes, paper deadlines etc.) can be found in the BA3 examination schedule.
Deadlines for assignments are included in the course syllabus.

Reading list

To be announced.


Registration via uSis is mandatory.

  • The Administration Office will register all BA1 students for their tutorials (not lectures; register via uSis!).

  • BA2, BA3, MA/MSc and RMA/RMSc students are required to register for all lectures and tutorials well in time.

  • The Administration Office registers all students for their exams, students are not required to do this in uSis.


For more information about this course, please contact dr. R.M.R. (Roos) van Oosten.


Compulsory attendance.