[Press and Public Relations] Assessors Unearth Excellence In Archaeology And Ancient History



November 2001

No 174

The School of Archaeology and Ancient History at the University of Leicester has gained full marks in the latest assessment of teaching quality from the Quality Assurance Agency the 16th subject area at Leicester with an excellent result.

The School achieved 24 points out of 24 one of five subject areas at Leicester with maximum scores - gaining highest points in each of the six areas assessed as follows:

Curriculum Design Content and Organisation 4

Teaching Learning and Assessment 4

Student Progression and Achievement 4

Student Support and Guidance 4

Learning Resources 4

Quality Management and Enhancement 4

The University of Leicester now has the rare distinction of having 12 successive awards of 22 points or more from the QAA which equates with a mark of excellent. The University was rated as a top 20 UK University in the latest Sunday Times league table and the Financial Times placed Leicester in the top 20 in the country earlier in the year.

Every department assessed at the University since early 1998 has achieved this result adding to a number of Excellents achieved in earlier years.

The School of Archaeology and Ancient History joins Education, Museum Studies, Economics and Psychology as subject areas at Leicester that have achieved the maximum scores. Head of the School of Archaeology and Ancient History Professor Marilyn Palmer said:

This is a wonderful result for the School which actually represents a 24 in two distinct subject areas, Archaeology and Ancient History. Combined with our excellent Research Assessment Exercise rating of 5A, the QAA result confirms our position in the top flight of departments working in our two disciplines. A maximum score from the QAA reflects the innovatory spirit, enthusiasm and the strong teamwork that all staff - academic, professional, technical and clerical - contribute to the work of the School. Not only campus-based students, but also local students on Lifelong Learning courses and the many students from Britain, Europe and the USA on our innovative Distance Learning programmes can benefit from the School's obviously highly-regarded teaching provision.

Many of the School staff already contribute to the Certificate of Archaeology course at Vaughan College in Leicester, which will be run by the School itself from September 2002. People in Leicester will also be familiar with the archaeology contract unit within the School, the University of Leicester Archaeological Services, who are often seen digging on sites in the city and county but whose staff also contribute to teaching both on campus-based courses and those at Vaughan College. The endorsement of the excellence of both research and teaching in the University's School of Archaeology and Ancient History benefits not just the University but the City of Leicester, with its already well-known rich archaeological heritage.

The Vice-Chancellor Professor Robert Burgess added: This is a splendid achievement for staff and students in Archaeology and Ancient History. These rigorous external assessments provide a public demonstration of the excellence of teaching quality at Leicester, as well as the quality of the learning experience offered to our students.

The School of Archaeology & Ancient History is one of the largest and most innovative departments of its kind in the UK active in teaching, research, professional training and working with the general public. The School has an international reputation for high-quality research, teaching and training. Its diverse research activities in Britain and overseas, focusing on approaches widely applicable across regions and periods, resulted in an excellent grade 5 in the 1996 Research Assessment Exercise.

The School offers some of the most 'hands-on' archaeology courses in Britain, and enjoys close links with other Arts, Social Science and Science departments through joint degree courses and research projects. All academic staff engage in professional training, supervision of research postgraduates and teaching at all levels, offering specialist modules and contributing to team-taught courses, a strength of the School's innovative teaching and learning portfolio. ULAS, the in-house archaeological contractor service, contributes quality professional training to degree programmes.

NOTE TO NEWSDESK: For more information, please contact the School of Archaeology and Ancient History on 0116 252 2611


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Information supplied by: Barbara Whiteman
Last updated: 20 November 2001 15:03
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