• Offered by School of Archaeology and Anthropology
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Archaeology
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Timothy Denham
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Summer Session 2015
    Autumn Session 2015
    Winter Session 2015
    Spring Session 2015
    See Future Offerings

This course provides flexible intensity of learning as a 6 unit course. The course delivers low-intensity online learning built around an intensive class of 5 days duration. The content is variable - offering a variety of core areas of research expertise in Archaeological Science, always taught over one academic session. The course has a standard generic structure, but with varied topic content, like a reading course or sub-thesis.

Students commence the course with 4-5 weeks of tuition on-line at low intensity as preparation. The student then attends a 5 day intensive course normally on campus at the ANU, at the ANU Kioloa Field station, at NARU or at another laboratory or residential field location. This intensive five day program is followed up with work on tasks and course assessments with on-line supervision at low intensity, for delivery and completion by the end of the session.

Normally each year, this course will deliver a minimum of three Master Class courses. The content and topics will vary from year to year, and will be selected according to student demand. At least ONE Master classes will be offered in each of the ANU Summer, Autumn and Spring Sessions from eg: 

  • Lithic Artefact Identification and Analysis
  • Coastal Shell Middens and Mounds in the Australian tropics
  • Radiocaron dating for Archaeologists: potential and pitfalls in the Analysis, Interpretation and Calibration of radiocarbon age-estimates
  • Isotope studies in Archaeological Science and Forensics Studies
  • Forensic Geoscience and Archaeology
  • Spatial Mapping in Archaeology
  • Skeletal Analysis of Archaeological Burials

The basic topic list of modules available for each academic year will be published on the website and made available on Study@ in the Spring Session of the preceeding year. 


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

On satisfactory completion of the course the student will have:

  • Developed a basic understanding of skills and concepts in the thematic area defined for the Master Class.
  • Practiced the core skills and handled materials, data and/or equipment which are appropriate to a basic level of research training or professional practice in the thematic area of the Master Class.
  • Acquired a sound overview of contexts and situations in which the theme area is applied in archaeological practice.
  • Reached  a level of expertise appropriate to designing a small project or desk-top study in which skills defined for the theme area of the Master Class could be applied.
  • Achieved a critical level of understanding of basic literature for the theme area of the Master Class. 


Indicative Assessment

Delivery of a scoping tasks/review paper ahead of the intensive week (30%); contributions to intensive course discussion/sessions and attendance (20%) and a project paper, completed in the second half of the academic session based on the module theme (50%), supported by on-line mentoring. All assessment to be completed within one ANU academic session. Word lengths not to exceed 2000 words on the scoping tasks/review paper (30%) and 4000 words on the project paper (50%).

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


The workload of this course will normally comprise i) 60 hours of preparation ii) 30-40 hours of intensive laboratory and/or field based tuition spread over 5 days for which attendance is compulsory and iii) up to 30-40 hours of follow-up tasks and/or private study for delivery of assessment tasks.


Requisite and Incompatibility

You will need to contact the School of Archaeology and Anthropology to request a permission code to enrol in this course.

Prescribed Texts

Varies by theme topic, but general preparatory and introductory background will normally be found for each Master Class module within one or more of the following MArchSci program recommended texts:

Balme, J. and Paterson, A.  (eds) 2006 Archaeology in Practice : a student guide to Archaeological Analyses. Blackwell Publishing: Oxford.

Brothwell, D.R. and Pollard, A.M. (eds) 2001 Handbook of Archaeological Sciences. John Wiley Interscience: Chichester.

David, B. and Thomas, J. (eds) 2008 Handbook of Landscape Archaeology. Left Coast Press: Walnut Creek.



Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $2604
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $4146
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Summer Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
1511 01 Jan 2015 23 Jan 2015 23 Jan 2015 31 Mar 2015 In Person N/A

Autumn Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
1456 01 Apr 2015 24 Apr 2015 24 Apr 2015 30 Jun 2015 In Person N/A

Winter Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
1521 01 Jul 2015 24 Jul 2015 24 Jul 2015 30 Sep 2015 In Person N/A

Spring Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
1451 01 Oct 2015 23 Oct 2015 23 Oct 2015 31 Dec 2015 In Person N/A

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