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ANTH495 Dissertation

Supervised individual research on a topic in archaeology.

ANTH 495 is an individual research project on an approved topic under the supervision of one or more members of staff, culminating in the submission of the dissertation of no more than 20,000 words (excluding footnotes, appendices and references). Submission date for dissertations is the last day of second semester.

The choosing of your topic is one of the most difficult decisions that you will have to make in the whole exercise. It will depend on the kind of interests you have developed in Archaeology and the availability of supervisors with appropriate expertise. Please review the list of staff members and areas of interest on the Archaeology Programme website. It is recommended that you consult with appropriate staff as soon as possible and before the end of your third year. If you have developed strengths in particular areas of your subject or become closely involved with certain courses, there would be considerable advantage in continuing with that work for your dissertation.

One important consideration, and one reason for consulting closely with staff, is making sure that you select a topic that is practicable within the time available. The challenge here is selecting something that is going to make a satisfying and rewarding piece of research, but that will also be of such size and scope that you will be able to bring it to completion on time. In Archaeology it is usually not possible to undertake primary excavation research for a dissertation unless you have made prior arrangements with a supervisor. Otherwise, laboratory analyses of previously excavated assemblages of artefacts or animal remains are frequently undertaken. Equally common are projects based around the analysis of primary documentary sources on aspects of past cultures or critical reviews of literature on aspects of archaeological heritage management and applications of new technologies to archaeological issues.

Paper title Dissertation
Paper code ANTH495
Subject Anthropology
EFTS 0.5
Points 60 points
Teaching period Full Year (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,045.00
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $17,899.00

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ANTH 490, ARCH 490
Limited to
BA(Hons), PGDipArts
All students enrolled for the BA(Hons) or PGDipArts are required to complete a dissertation (ANTH 490, ANTH 495 or ANAT 490).
Contact or individual members of staff

Teaching staff

Relevant academic supervisor.
Hons Coordinator: Dr Catherine Smith

Paper Structure
Preparation of dissertation.
Teaching Arrangements
Weekly meetings with supervisor/s.

Textbooks are not required for this paper but reading relevant to topic is essential.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Satisfactory completion of this paper will be shown by presentation of a dissertation which demonstrates that the student is able to

  • Develop an appropriate research problem and plan and conduct an investigation relevant to the discipline of archaeology
  • Undertake a literature review that places the topic within a wider field of knowledge
  • Critically analyse a body of knowledge relevant to the research problem within the field of archaeology
  • Select, justify and apply appropriate research method(s) to the research problem
  • Analyse, present, and discuss findings meaningfully
  • Prepare a written report on the project in ways appropriate to the discipline of archaeology

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Full Year

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system