|About this course:|
|Course work includes:|
|3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)|
|No residential school|
This course explores the human past across all inhabited areas of the globe, from the last Ice Age to historic times. It covers most of the past 12,000 years, ending with the fall of the Roman Empire in Europe, but continuing until the eighteenth century in the Pacific and North America. Its main focus is the development of human culture and societies – from agriculture to technology, and from the earliest civilisations to the spread of populations worldwide. The course fosters a broad knowledge and understanding through a comparative approach to study, introducing methodology and theoretical issues when necessary.
Modules at Level 2 assume that you are suitably prepared for study at this level. If you want to take a single module to satisfy your career development needs or pursue particular interests, you don’t need to start at Level 1 but you do need to have adequately prepared yourself for OU study in some other way. Check with our Student Registration & Enquiry Service to make sure that you are sufficiently prepared.
No current presentation - see Future availability
|This course is expected to start for the last time in November 2014.|
This course will be of particular interest if you have studied or are thinking about studying history; history of science, technology and medicine; classical studies; or art history. The principal themes are the beginnings of agriculture; the development of cities, states and empires; and the spread of human populations around the globe. The major world civilisations, Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Classical, Chinese, Aztec etc. are all included, along with other societies that did not develop to the same level of complexity.
The course also introduces you to the archaeological study of human societies. Its focus is not so much upon teaching basic study skills (appropriate to first level) but upon developing your ability to assimilate and synthesise information. There’s no examination at the end of the course; instead you’ll take some first steps in independent study as you complete an extended essay as an end-of-module assessment (EMA). Blocks 1-3 take a chronological and geographical approach to the development of human culture and society. Block 4 consists of a range of thematic studies that will extend your knowledge and understanding of how archaeology can add to our knowledge of the past.
Although this is a 30-credit course it lasts only 18 weeks. Therefore you will be studying at a rate equivalent to a 60-credit course, but for a shorter period.
This course’s core text is The Human Past: World Prehistory and the Development of Human Societies edited by C. Scarre, which is sent as part of your study materials. Your work with the text will be supported by a study guide, which will contain in-text exercises and references to work on an audio CD and exercises based on using the internet. The course makes extensive use of the internet, introducing you to archaeology online and developing the skills you need to effectively use the internet for study.
This course will provide you with a knowledge and critical understanding of the development of human cultures worldwide and some of the principles, concepts and techniques used in the study of the archaeology of the world.
It will provide you with the opportunity to apply knowledge and understanding accurately to a range of issues, questions and problems relating to the contemporary understanding of the global human past, through the critical evaluation and interpretation of archaeological evidence in a variety of case studies.
Through your assignments, you’ll be able to compare and use different approaches to issues in world archaeology. You’ll have the opportunity to deploy your skills to communicate information, arguments and ideas effectively, using the appropriate style and language. In the EMA, you’ll find, critically evaluate and use information accurately to write an extended essay using ICT tools and skills, as appropriate.
This is a Level 2 course and builds on the Level 1 courses The arts past and present (AA100), Voices and texts (A150) and Making sense of things: an introduction to material culture (A151). These Level 1 courses develop skills such as logical thinking, clear expression, essay writing and the ability to select and interpret relevant materials. They also offer an introduction to a range of subjects in the arts and humanities.
If you have not studied at university level before, you are strongly advised to study at Level 1 before progressing to Level 2 study.
Your regional or national centre can advise you on where you can see reference copies of Level 1 study materials. Some are also available from Open University Worldwide Ltd. We particularly recommend looking at these materials if you have not successfully completed Level 1 study or studied at an equivalent level elsewhere.
If you have any doubt about the suitability of the course, please contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service.
No preparatory work is necessary for this course. If you have not taken a Level 1 course in the arts, you will find it useful to have The Arts Good Study Guide (E. Chambers and A. Northedge, The Open University), which will help you to develop your study skills.
As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the Module Regulations and the Student Regulations which are available on our Essential documents website.
Written transcripts of any audio components and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) versions of printed material are available. Some Adobe PDF components may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader and musical notation and mathematical, scientific, and foreign language materials may be particularly difficult to read in this way. Other alternative formats of the study materials may be available in the future. Our Services for disabled students website has the latest information about availability.
Students with a visual impairment will find the visual material (plans, diagrams, illustrations) challenging since they are often intended to communicate complex visual as well as factual information. Where possible, the Course Team will provide written descriptions and explanations of a limited number of images. The fulfilment of the learning outcomes of the course will not be dependent upon powers of visual discernment in this course and assessment will not incorporate visual materials.
If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Visit our Services for disabled students website for more information, including:
Printed study materials, an audio CD and a website. You’ll also receive a copy of the course text:
C. Scarre (ed.), The Human Past: World Prehistory and the Development of Human Societies, Thames and Hudson (2005).
The ability to play CDs.
This course makes extensive use of the internet. All the tutorials are online, an integral part of the course is a specially designed website, and some of your assignments will require you to use the internet. The course helps you to learn about using the internet to study archaeology and does not expect you to have highly developed online skills before you start. If you choose to take the course and you do not have regular access to the internet, you will find that your experience of the course is diminished.
You will need a computer with internet access to study this course as it includes online activities, which you can access using a web browser.
You can also visit the Technical requirements section for further computing information including the details of the support we provide.
You will have a tutor who will help you with the study material and mark and comment on your written work, and whom you can ask for advice and guidance both in online conferences and by telephone or email. Teaching will also be via an online conference, for which full guidance will be provided.
Contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.
The assessment details for this course can be found in the facts box above.
You will be expected to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) online through the eTMA system unless there are some difficulties which prevent you from doing so. In these circumstances, you must negotiate with your tutor to get their agreement to submit your assignment on paper.
The end-of-module assessment (EMA) can be submitted on paper or online using the eTMA system.
The details given here are for the course that starts in November 2014 when it will be available for the last time.
Students who studied this course also studied at some time:
We regret that we are currently unable to accept registrations for this course. Where the course is to be presented again in the future, relevant registration information will be displayed on this page as soon as it becomes available.
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The Open University is the world’s leading provider of flexible, high quality distance learning. Unlike other universities we are not campus based. You will study in a flexible way that works for you whether you’re at home, at work or on the move. As an OU student you’ll be supported throughout your studies – your tutor or study adviser will guide and advise you, offer detailed feedback on your assignments, and help with any study issues. Tuition might be in face-to-face groups, via online tutorials, or by phone.
For more information read Distance learning explained.
|About this course:|
|Course work includes:|
|3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)|
|No residential school|
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