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 provides intensive training in essential archaeological field skills. Students receive hands-on instruction before and after the field school and learn to: formulate a research design, satisfy all legal, safety and ethical compliances, conduct field surveys, create and use artefact and site recording forms, recognise and excavate stratified deposits, take samples for radiocarbon dating, use camera equipment, use survey equipment for site and topographical mapping, prepare and create section drawings, process finds, analyse finds, store finds, and publish results. During fieldwork students develop skills working in teams and with stakeholders such as land owners, Indigenous Australians, media, and the public. The final report is an output that can be listed on the student's professional CV.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Non-standard teaching periodUWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 core unit in the Archaeology major sequence

Students are able to (1) develop research designs utilising key theoretical, practical, and ethical principles of archaeological field work; (2) use appropriate knowledge, skills, and methods to undertake and process basic archaeological surveying, excavation, sampling, and surface collection; (3) work in a team in field conditions in a safe, efficient, and ethical manner; and (4) create recording forms and field journals to professional standards.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) in-field exercises; (2) final Report; and (3) field Notebook. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Emilie Dotte, Prof. Alistair Paterson
Unit rules
ARCY1001 Think Like an Archaeologist
and ARCY1002 Experimenting with Archaeology
ARCY1001 Think Like an Archaeologist
or ARCY1002 Experimenting with Archaeology and one of ANTH1001, GEOG1104, GEOG1106, EART1104, EART1105
or HIST1901
Successful completion of
ARCY3002 Doing Archaeology: Fieldschool
Approved quota: 30—selection is based on the weighted average mark (WAM). However, selection will guarantee a place to anyone needing to take the unit to complete their major.
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):
(1) Field School expenses (outside metropolitan area) (estimated cost - Between $100-$600)
(2) Field School expenses (within metropolitan area) (estimated cost - Between $100-$600).
Contact hours
3-hour lecture-practical every second week
field school: 7-12 days during the mid-semester break
This unit teaches skills and content that are recognised and can be recorded as Group A and/or Group B Skills according to the Australian Archaeology Skills Passport of the Australian Archaeological Association:

To deliver the individual and group learning outcomes of this unit, participation in all learning experiences and assessment tasks is essential. Non-participation will result in some, or all vital content being missed, marks not earned, and/or penalties being applied.

The field work component runs for ~7-12 days, usually during the mid-semester break. Students should ensure that they are able to attend every day of the field school during these times. Students should not enroll for this unit if they are unable to attend each day of the fieldschool or the lecture-practicals before and after the fieldschool. This is a great Work Integrated Learning experience that teaches essential archaeological skills in a real-world situation. And it is fun!

There are incidental fees up to $600 for this unit to cover fieldwork-related costs for the running of the field school component.

This unit teaches skills and content that are recognised and can be recorded as Group A and/or Group B Skills according to the Australian Archaeology Skills Passport of the Australian Archaeological Association: .

If students anticipate difficulties in completing their fieldwork due to special circumstances (e.g. health reasons), they should contact the unit coordinator as soon as possible. Alternative arrangements may be possible in limited circumstances.

Burke, Heather, Michael Morrison  and Claire Smith. 2017. The archaeologist's field handbook. Crow's Nest: Allen & Unwin.

Book is available in electronic and hard copy in 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.