Studying online

There are now 3 possible online modes for units:

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

Units available in Online Restricted mode have been adapted for online study only for those students who require the unit to complete their studies and who are unable to attend campus due to COVID border closures. To be enrolled in a unit in Online Restricted mode, students should contact their Student Advising Office through askUWA and include which of the below criteria applies:

  • You are a student who is currently offshore and unable to enter Australia.
  • You are a student in Australia who is impacted by state or regional border closures.

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ARCY3011 Australian Archaeology

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 option in the Archaeology major sequence
  • Level 3 elective
This unit focuses on the entire human history of Australia from first human colonisation ~65,000 years ago and through the arrival of Makassan traders and later European voyagers and colonists in the last 1000 years. This unit pairs theory such as culture history, processualism and post-processualism with informative case studies such as the Lake Mungo burials, human adaptations to climate change, rock art, colonial contact and Indigenous knowledge. Each case study is examined in terms of methods used, personalities involved, findings made, and how that research has informed our understanding of Australia's past. Contemporary issues such as heritage management, DNA analysis, repatriation and museum studies help students understand future trends in Australian archaeology.
Students are able to (1) demonstrate knowledge of the archaeological contribution to understanding the history of human occupation of Australia; (2) demonstrate an understanding of the major schools of theory influencing archaeological thought and how these have been applied to Australian archaeological case studies; (3) demonstrate a critical and reflective understanding of ethical issues relevant to the Indigenous occupation of Australia as well as subsequent non-Indigenous settlers/invaders; (4) demonstrate the skills required to link theory to specific archaeological case studies, using appropriate methods; and (5) independently and critically undertake research through the collection and interpretation of archaeological information and report on this process both orally and through written expression.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) essay; (2) tutorial assignment; and (3) quizzes. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Jo McDonald and Professor Peter Veth
Unit rules
Completion of 12 points of Level 1 Archaeology units and 6 points of Level 2 Archaeology units
ARCY3005 Archaeology of Indigenous Australia and ARCY3008 Archaeological Method and Theory
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 or contact your Faculty Office).
Participation in this unit will incur the following incidental fee(s):
field trip (estimated cost - $20).
Contact hours
2 hours per week
This is an essential Unit for anyone wishing to practice archaeology in Australia or South-East Asia.

No prescribed text but reccommended are:

Griffiths, Billy. 2018. Deep time Dreaming: uncovering ancient Australia. Carlton: Black. Inc

Hiscock, Peter. 2007. The archaeology of ancient Australia. London: Routledge

  • 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.