Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This Unit gives students the opportunity to gain academic credit through a supervised rock art recording and archaeological excavation project run by UWA's Centre for Rock Art Research + Management in partnership with Rio Tinto's Cultural Heritage team and Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation and Rangers. The field school is part of Rio Tinto's contributions under their Conservation Agreement for the National Heritage Listing of the Burrup Peninsula. The Unit provides students with a great opportunity to develop practical and conceptual skills associated with Indigenous archaeology and rock art research. Students work alongside Traditional Owners and Rangers from the Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation, as well as archaeologists, heritage managers and members of the public.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Non-standard teaching periodUWA (Perth)Off-campus
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 elective

Students are able to (1) successfully undertake rock art recording—identify and classify motifs, accurately document motifs on specialised rock art recording forms, use digital photography, sketching and tracing to record single and superimposed motifs; (2) successfully undertake survey and mapping—know the basic principles of archaeological survey, set a dumpy, use a dumpy, record excavation heights and points, and use a compass and map for survey and recording; (3) successfully conduct archaeological processing—use sieves, conduct primary on-site sorting of archaeological material; (4) successfully use a variety of recording forms (level, feature recording, artefact sorting, cataloguing, stratigraphic); (5) understand basic ethical considerations involved in the archaeological study of rock art and working with groups of stakeholders; and (6) successfully work in a team in field conditions in a safe and efficient manner.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) participation; (2) practical and in-field exercises

; and (3) final report. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Jo McDonald and Professor Peter Veth
Unit rules
ARCY2004 Archaeology of Rock Art.
enrolment is subject to quota.
Students must be physically fit or, if differently abled, inform the Unit Co-ordinator.
All medical conditions also need to be disclosed to ensure Occupational Health and Safety compliance.
Approved quota: 12—preference is given to students who have successfully completed ARCY2004 Archaeology of Rock Art. Enrolment is also based on student's academic merit in Archaeology and related subjects.
Incidental fees
Incidental student fees and charges are costs incurred by students as part of their studies at UWA that are in addition to their tuition fees (further information is available here).
Participation in this unit will incur the following incidental fee(s):
Sundry expenses. (estimated cost - $20-30).
Contact hours
10-14-day residential field school on the Burrup Peninsula (Murujuga), Western Australia. Participation in all aspects of the fieldschool as well as the pre and post fieldschool briefings is compulsory.
Students must be physically fit to participate in this field school. All health conditions must be disclosed.

Optional but recommended:

McDonald, J. & Veth, P. 2012.  A Companion to Rock Art: London" Wiley-Blackwell.

Mulvaney, K. 2015.  Murujuga Marni: The Rock Art of the Macropod Hunters and the Mollusc Harvesters: Perth. UWA Press.

Books are available in the Reid Library

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.