Interdisciplinary research designs in environmental archaeology (PHD802)

This course deals with interdisciplinary research in environmental archaeology, i.e. relationships between past societies and the natural world (plants, animals and landscapes). Central to the course is project designs and methodological approaches of research topics primarily combining paleoecology and archaeology. The focus will be on Scandinavian archaeology from where ongoing research and relevant literature will be presented, analysed and discussed. During the course, the candidates get the possibility to advance their own research, by using their own projects as examples.

Course description for study year 2024-2025. Please note that changes may occur.


Course code




Credits (ECTS)


Semester tution start


Number of semesters


Exam semester


Language of instruction

English, Norwegian


The course will be centred on themes related to interdisciplinary research in Scandinavian archaeology. The themes will be addressed through student presentations, lectures by established researchers, classroom discussions (seminars) and a written assignment.


  • Geoarchaeology
  • Archaeobotany
  • Wetland archaeology
  • Landscape reconstruction
  • Agricultural development
  • Natural resources

Human-environment interactions (driving forces, impact, feedback)

The students will present papers from the themes included in the course, followed by discussions by all participants. The presentations should be prepared before the course starts.

Lectures will provide an overview of interdisciplinary research designs and methodology. Case studies of current research in environmental archaeology will be presented, with a focus on methodological approaches used to address different research questions.

The course will enable the PhD-student to develop his/her own research project. The post-course assignment may be part of the candidate's project and should be related to current archaeological research.

Learning outcome


After completing the course the student should:

  • have advanced knowledge of research designs used in environmental archaeology
  • be able to evaluate methods used in environmental archaeology
  • be able to develop new methodological approaches in environmental archaeology


After completing the course the student should:

  • be able to formulate new research questions, plan and execute research in environmental archaeology
  • be able to conduct research in environmental archaeology at an international level
  • be able to handle complex research questions and challenge existing knowledge in environmental archaeology

General competence

After completing the course the student should:

  • be able to identify ethical dilemmas and conduct research with integrity
  • be able to handle complex interdisciplinary research assignments
  • be able to communicate academic issues, analyses and conclusions in the field at an international level
  • be able to contribute to new thinking and innovation processes

Required prerequisite knowledge

Participants must be enrolled in a PhD programme.


Form of assessment Weight Duration Marks Aid
Active class room participation Post-course assignment 1/1 Passed / Not Passed

Students need to attend a one-week on-campus study programme. Presence is mandatory (MP). Mandatory requirements: 75% presence. If students do not fulfil the MP requirement, students will have to pass an assignment given by the course coordinators in order to take the course exam.

Course teacher(s)

Course coordinator:

Dawn Elise Mooney

Method of work

A combination of lectures, article presentations made by students, classroom discussions and post-course assignment.

Course assessment

There must be an early dialogue between the course supervisor, the student union representative and the students. The purpose is feedback from the students for changes and adjustments in the course for the current semester.In addition, a digital subject evaluation must be carried out at least every three years. Its purpose is to gather the students experiences with the course.


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