Students on this programme learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical classes, fieldwork, excavation, informal but scheduled one-on-one support, and self-directed learning, such as research, reading, and writing. All of these are supported by a state of the art virtual learning environment, Durham University Online (DUO). Seminars, tutorials, and practical classes are much smaller groups than lectures, with tutorials often involving no more than eight students working with a professor or lecturer; seminars and practicals can be larger but are still small enough to allow one-on-one interaction with tutors. Practicals also allow hands-on experience of the work professional archaeologists perform. The same is true of fieldwork, which at Durham is fully funded, and consists of engaging in archaeological work in the field with members of academic staff. This emphasis on small-group and practical teaching reflects a conscious choice to enhance the quality of the learning experience rather than the quantity of formal sessions. In fact, the degree programme is designed to feature fewer formal sessions and more independent research as students move from their first to their final year. Small-group teaching and one-on-one attention from the personal academic advisor (provided for all students when they enter the programme) are part of the learning experience throughout, but by the final year classroom time gives way, to some extent, to independent research, including a capstone dissertation - supported by one-on-one supervision - that makes up a third of final year credits. In this way the degree programme systematically transforms the student from a consumer of knowledge in the classroom to a generator of knowledge, ready for professional or postgraduate life. These formal teaching arrangements are supported by “drop-in” surgeries with teaching staff and induction sessions that begin in the week before the start of the programme and continue at key times throughout each year of the programme.
Durham , United Kingdom