Internal Quality Audit
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Internal Quality Audit

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LONDON’S GLOBAL UNIVERSITYQUALITY MANAGEMENT AND ENHANCEMENT COMMITTEEINTERNAL QUALITY REVIEW REPORTINSTITUTE OF ARCHAEOLOGY26 April 2007Review team:Professor Chris Carey, Head, Department of Greek and Lati[nT eam leader]Professor Chris Danpure, Department of BiologyMs Kit Leighton-Kelly, University of Bristol (External member)Dr Sajeda Meghji, Eastman Dental InstituteAdministrative Secretary:Mr Gary Hawes, Senior Academic Support Officer, Academic ServicesKey to abbreviations used in this ReportAHRC Art and Humanities Research CouncilFTE full-time equivalentHEFCE Higher Education Funding Council for EnglandHEIs Higher Education InstitutionsIoA Institute of ArchaeologyIQR Internal Quality ReviewNIQA New Internal Quality AuditQAA Quality Assurance AgencyQME Quality Management and EnhancementQMEC Quality Management and Enhancement CommitteeRAE Research Assessment ExerciseSAS Society of Archaeology StudentsSES Self-evaluative statementSSCC Staff Student Consultative CommitteeTC Teaching CommitteeUCAS University and Colleges Admissions Service1 THE IQR PROCESS1.1 The IQR of the IoA was conducted according toG uthidee lines for the Conduct ofInternal Quality Review (Academic Units and Programmews)h ich were developed i n2001-02 by the QMEC Working Party on Internal Quality Audit/Assessment. 1.2 In accordance with the methodology set out in Gthuei delines, the IoA produced aSES, which is attached aAtP PENDIX 1, along with supporting ...

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LONDON’S GLOBAL UNIVERSITY
QUALITY MANAGEMENT AND ENHANCEMENT COMMITTEE INTERNAL QUALITY REVIEW REPORT INSTITUTE OF ARCHAEOLOGY 26 April 2007 Review team: Professor Chris Carey, Head, Department of Greek and Latin [Team leader] Professor Chris Danpure, Department of Biology Ms Kit Leighton-Kelly, University of Bristol (External member) Dr Sajeda Meghji, Eastman Dental Institute Administrative Secretary: Mr Gary Hawes, Senior Academic Support Officer, Academic Services
Key to abbreviations used in this Report AHRC Art and Humanities Research Council FTE full-time equivalent HEFCE Higher Education Funding Council for England HEIs Higher Education Institutions IoA Institute of Archaeology IQR Internal Quality Review NIQA New Internal Quality Audit QAA Quality Assurance Agency QME Quality Management and Enhancement QMEC Quality Management and Enhancement Committee RAE Research Assessment Exercise SAS Society of Archaeology Students SES Self-evaluative statement SSCC Staff Student Consultative Committee TC Teaching Committee UCAS University and Colleges Admissions Service
1 THE  IQR PROCESS 1.1 The IQR of the IoA was conducted according to the Guidelines for the Conduct of Internal Quality Review (Academic Units and Programmes) which were developed in 2001-02 by the QMEC Working Party on Internal Quality Audit/Assessment. 1.2 In accordance with the methodology set out in the Guidelines , the IoA produced a SES, which is attached at APPENDIX 1, along with supporting documentation.
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Internal Quality Review Report Institute of Archaeology – 26 April 2007 The review team's visit comprised a brief tour of the IoA and its facilities, and a series of interview sessions with the IoA’s staff and students – the schedule for these is detailed at APPENDIX 2. The aims of the review visit were explained at the start of each interview session: it was intended for the visit to be a constructive and developmental exercise, the purpose of which was to identify areas of good practice and, where necessary, recommend refinements to current QME-related practices and areas of activity within the IoA, in the overall interests of encouraging and disseminating good practice across UCL. This report is set out broadly according to the headings of the Academic Committee Guidelines for Good Practice (or ‘Gold Book’). A summary of the main findings of the review team's visit is at section 13 of this Report.
PROFILE OF THE IOA The IoA is part of the Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences at UCL, and is physically located at 31-34 Gordon Square. The IoA’s distinction as the largest university-based archaeological institution in Britain and a world leader in the discipline is reflected by the range and diversity of the undergraduate and graduate degree programmes and courses that it offers, as well as by a first-class track record in teaching and research. The IoA received a score of 23 (out of 24) in the QAA Subject Review that was undertaken in 2001, and a rating of ‘5(A)’ in RAE 2001. The Department’s complement of staff currently includes 63.80 FTE academic staff (comprising 10.5 FTE Professors, 5.5 FTE Readers, 14 FTE Senior Lecturers and 32.8 FTE Lecturers) and 37.48 administrative, clerical and technical support staff. At undergraduate level the Department currently offers the following degree programme options: BA Archaeology BSc Archaeology BA Egyptian Archaeology BA Archaeology, Classics and Classical Art At postgraduate level the Department currently offers the following taught MA programme options: MA in African Archaeology MA in Archaeology MA in Archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East MA in Archaeology of London MA in Artefact Studies MA in Comparative Art and Archaeology MA in Cultural Heritage Studies MA in Egyptian Archaeology MA in Field Archaeology MA in Managing Archaeological Sites MA in Maritime Archaeology MA in Museum Studies MA in Principles of Conservation MA in Public Archaeology
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Internal Quality Review Report Institute of Archaeology – 26 April 2007 MA in Research Methods for Archaeology MSc in Conservation for Archaeology and Museums MSc in Forensic Archaeological Science MSc in GIS and Spatial Analysis in Archaeology MSc in the Palaeoecology of Human Societies MSc in Skeletal and Dental Bioarchaeology MSc in the Technology and Analysis of Archaeological Materials In addition, the Department offers research degrees in Archaeology at MPhil and PhD level. As of 1 December 2005, there were 216.5 FTE undergraduate students, 204 FTE postgraduate taught students, and 84 FTE research students enrolled at the IoA.
STRUCTURE AND MANAGEMENT Although overall responsibility for the management of the IoA resides with the Director, there is a comprehensive hierarchy of committees and sub-committees in place to oversee the IoA’s operations and academic provision, which includes, in addition to the usual statutory committees, a Research Committee, a Graduate Research Students Sub-Committee, a Grants Sub-Committee, a Departmental Tutors Sub-Committee, a Facilities Sub-Committee and a Fieldwork Sub-Committee. The various IoA tutors, Research Group Co-ordinators, Programme Co-ordinators, and the Academic Administrator and other administrative support staff also play important roles in the day to day running of the IoA. All of the IoA’s committees report directly (or, in the case of sub-committees, via the parent committee) to the termly Staff Meetings, where the various Chairs give oral reports highlighting the main matters arising from the Minutes of the most recent meetings. Formal staff meetings are supplemented by informal staff meetings, which take place throughout the year, as well as by weekly staff coffee mornings. There is also a Policy Group, comprising the Director of the IoA, the QME Officer (see 3.4 below), the Chairs of the Teaching and Research committees, and the Research Group Co-ordinators, which convenes regularly to consider and advise on management and policy issues. Although the membership of the IoA’s committees for the next session is received and approved annually at the Staff Meeting that takes place in the Third Term, the review team noted that there did not appear to be formal terms of reference for any of these committees enshrined in the IoA’s supporting documentation or elsewhere on the IoA’s web pages. The IoA should take action to draw up and publicise formal terms of reference for all of its committees. As a means of helping the IoA to prepare for, and respond to, the requirements of IQR and annual monitoring, the post of QME Officer was established in 2006, and the current postholder, who is an established member of the IoA’s academic staff and a former Chair of the TC, has played a pivotal and proactive role since then in helping to coordinate and enhance the IoA’s QME structures and mechanisms, and in serving as a general quality ‘troubleshooter’ within the IoA. In addition to routinely attending meetings of the IoA’s key committees, the QME officer is taking an active role as a
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member of the IoA’s Syllabus Review Working Group (see 8.2 below), and will also be involved in the forthcoming review of the IoA’s Teaching and Learning Strategy. The review team commends the IoA on its establishment of a dedicated QME Officer post. In terms of its academic staff profile, the IoA has managed in recent years to anticipate a number of staff retirements through new appointments, and this should be sufficient in the short to medium term to ensure that it will not have to restrict its range of programme and course options. The IoA notes in its SES, however, that the degree to which it will be able to maintain its existing strengths through new staff appointments in the wake of further staff retirements will hinge on how well it continues to meet Faculty and UCL regeneration targets, and it will be continuing to monitor this situation closely. The IoA would appear prima facie to be relatively well provisioned in the area of support staff, with 14.8 FTE administrative and clerical staff, though it is accepted that a lot of these staff members’ time is devoted to various aspects of student support and administering a variety of systems and activities across the IoA, including managing the IoA collections and IT and photographic facilities. The loss of a recent administrative support post as a consequence of the UCL Regeneration Programme gives particular urgency to the question of the use of the IoA’s administrative support staff. The IoA is encouraged to use the outcomes of its administrative/clerical review to improve support for its core activities where possible.
STAFF SUPPORT All new and probationary academic staff are assigned a senior staff member - usually the Co-ordinator of their Research Group - as a mentor, and are also allocated a lower teaching load during their first session. The schedule of staff reviews, whereby all staff are appraised biennially by a trained member of staff, is now back on track after experiencing some slippage in recent years, and should be completely up-to-date by the end of 2008. In the interim between formal appraisals, academic staff have more informal annual research-focussed interviews to monitor their research progress and to help them to focus their future research plans. The IoA has had a strong record of academic staff development in recent years, and all academic staff are reminded of the IoA procedure for putting themselves forward for promotion. In recent years the IoA has sought to implement a more proactive sabbatical leave policy whereby staff with defined research objectives are encouraged to put themselves forward for a sabbatical on a one in seven term or year basis, subject to teaching needs being covered and the provision of an approved project proposal. Members of the IoA’s staff are also encouraged to apply for AHRC Research Leave Funding where applicable. Peer observation of teaching takes place annually within the IoA in accordance with UCL policy, and all academic staff are sent a reminder e-mail at the beginning of each session outlining the IoA guidelines and procedures for this, along with a 'checklist' for  observation based on the criteria used by HEFCE observers for teaching quality
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Internal Quality Review Report Institute of Archaeology – 26 April 2007 assessment. Instances of peer observation taking place are recorded by the Academic Administrator, and reported annually to the IoA’s TC. The IoA has a formal workload scoring model covering all teaching, administrative and student supervisory duties, which was established in 1997 for the purpose of assessing and managing staff workloads. The model, which is kept under annual review, provides a basis for monitoring staff commitments to ensure that they have sufficient time to supervise their postgraduate students, informing the allocation of administrative responsibilities, and assessing the practicality of new teaching proposals, and has helped to encourage comparability and transparency of academic staff workloads across the IoA. The review team commends the IoA on its formal system of workload scoring to assess and manage staff workloads. The last internal quality review involving the IoA, which was conducted in 2001 under the NIQA methodology, advised that a more formal staff development scheme needed to be considered. Since then the IoA has established a Staff Development Sub-Committee to provide a forum for discussion and dissemination of staff development issues. As well as drawing attention to opportunities for training both within the SDTU and externally, the Sub-Committee has been proactive in organising a series of bespoke in-house staff development seminars dealing with such topics as interviewing applicants, supervising graduate students, use of the online Graduate Logbook, meeting the needs of students with disabilities, and teaching with WebCT. All staff at the IoA are expected to attend at least one day’s staff development training per year. In commending this particular innovation, the review team was pleased to note the Director of the IoA’s own active participation in the in-house training seminars. The review team commends the IoA on the establishment of a Staff Development Sub-Committee and the organisation of in-house training seminars for staff. The review team was particularly impressed by the availability of core documentation, including the various documents comprising the Staff Handbook, on the IoA’s IQR web pages, which had been created for the purpose of the review visit. The review team commends the IoA on the online availability of core documentation supplied for the purpose of the review visit. The IoA is encouraged to continue to make this online resource available to staff after the review visit.
RECRUITMENT AND RECEPTION  OF STUDENTS As noted in its SES, undergraduate student recruitment remains an area of concern for the IoA, despite the fact that the decline in undergraduate applications is very much a subject trend nationally. Moreover, the IoA feels that undergraduate student recruitment has the potential to become even more of an issue as a consequence of reduced flexibility over the minimum A-level grades permissible for admission to UCL. From 2007 the minimum standard entry offer for undergraduate student applicants will be BBB, and the IoA is concerned that this will diminish opportunities for making
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exceptional offers to students coming into the subject via some of the non-standard routes. Similarly, the IoA notes in its SES that changes to UCL’s admissions procedures that will prevent exceptional offers being made to students formerly classified as ‘mature’ may also have a disproportionate effect on undergraduate student recruitment, particularly as students in this category currently account for around 20% of its undergraduate student intake. The IoA is still awaiting guidance on this particular issue from the UCL Admissions Office, and it will not be able to assess the full impact of both of these changes until after the latest round of UCAS applications.    The IoA is actively seeking to address ways and means of improving its student recruitment at undergraduate level, and has set up a working group to explore possible options for this. Through the appointment of a Widening Participation and Diversity Officer, it is also exploring greater involvement and investment in a range of outreach activities, including, amongst other things, hosting a range of activities during National Archaeology Week, running taster courses, school visits and classes, holding evening sessions for mature applicants, and establishing archaeology projects linked to relevant curricula at several schools. The IoA has also committed funds to support the Camden@UCL Young Archaeologists Club for a further three years. Other strategies, such as targeting collaborations at schools with relevant A-level teaching, are presently under discussion. A recent survey of undergraduate and postgraduate applicants has also highlighted the importance of the IoA website as a recruitment tool, and this is presently being over-hauled to present a more exciting profile and to include endorsements from past students. Some of the undergraduate students interviewed by the review team felt that the IoA’s website should give greater prominence to some of the IoA’s unique selling points, such as the 70 days of funded fieldwork (see 7.3 below), the variability of course options, and the fact that the IoA offers a much better level of financial support relative to other HEIs. Also, there are plans for the web pages to give more focus to the sorts of jobs and careers that graduates of the IoA move into, and to highlight ‘ex-stars’ where appropriate. The IoA is introducing a more competitive three-year undergraduate degree programme in Classical Archaeology with effect from 2008-09, and the introduction of combined honours degree with Anthropology with effect from 2009-10 has been proposed. The latter degree programme option is already offered by the IoA’s competitor departments at Oxford, Cambridge, Durham and Bristol, and will hopefully prove a popular means of accessing high quality students. The IoA is also currently exploring the possibility of adding a year abroad option to its BA and BSc programmes, since this option has proven to be successful in increasing undergraduate recruitment in other disciplines within the Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences. The review team also noted that there might be opportunities for the IoA to increase its undergraduate student load by making more use of the UCL internal market, especially since science-based Archaeology courses tend to prove popular with undergraduates enrolled in programmes within the Faculty of Life Sciences. However, as the IoA notes in its SES, there is a tendency for students from other departments to find the content of some of the IoA’s courses to be somewhat inaccessible. The IoA is encouraged to continue in its efforts to explore options for addressing its recruitment difficulties at undergraduate level, and to engage its current cohort of undergraduate students in this process, where appropriate.
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The IoA currently offers the widest range of postgraduate taught Masters programmes of any archaeology department in the UK, and the largest number of options within those programmes. Given this coverage and the popularity of its taught postgraduate programmes, the IoA feels that it should give continuing emphasis to the recruitment of postgraduate taught students for the foreseeable future. However, the review team noted that the IoA will need to give careful deliberation to a marketing strategy for its postgraduate taught student recruitment to ensure the continuing viability of its programme and course options. This is an integral element of the revisions currently being implemented in revisions to the IoA web-site. Most applicants to the IoA’s postgraduate taught programmes have a background in Archaeology or Anthropology, and around 25-30% of incoming postgraduate taught students studied for their undergraduate degrees within the IoA. The IoA regularly recruits above its overseas student targets, and around 39% of its current cohort of Masters students are from overseas. In light of the popularity of its Masters degree programmes internationally, the IoA has been successful in persuading UCL to make more bursaries available for postgraduate taught students, and it has also asked degree programme coordinators to come up with a strategy for identifying potential future sponsors of postgraduate taught student bursaries. The IoA is particularly keen to attract more overseas students from Africa for its MA in African Archaeology, and, in light of this, the review team suggested that they might look to liaise with the UCL Development and Corporate Communications Office, with a view to obtaining external funding for bursaries, especially for students from Africa. The IoA’s taught Masters programmes serve as feeders into its postgraduate research programmes, where there is a strong retention of students, with around 50% of PhD students having done their Masters degree at the IoA.
STUDENT  SUPPORT All first year undergraduate students receive a comprehensive handbook, in addition to an additional handbook which covers what they need to know in the first two weeks of term. There are also inclusive student handbooks available for each undergraduate year cohort, as well as for students enrolled on the BA in Archaeology, Classics and Classical Art, and affiliate students. Each of the IoA’s postgraduate taught programmes also has its own student handbook, and there is a handbook for the IoA’s postgraduate research students. Although there are comprehensive supervisory arrangements in place for all students who study at the IoA, undergraduate students benefit from a particularly high level of academic and pastoral support. There are two complementary tutorial systems in place for undergraduate students: in addition to being assigned a Personal Tutor, with whom they meet at least termly to review their progress and receive guidance on such matters as course choices and fieldwork opportunities, undergraduate students also have recourse to a Year Tutor, who monitors each year group and specialises in different areas which are of particular concern to students in that year. In their final year, undergraduate students are also assigned a supervisor for their dissertation, who liaises with the Year 3 Tutor over progress. For postgraduate taught students, the Degree Programme Co-ordinators effectively fulfil the roles comparable to the undergraduate Personal Tutors and Year Tutors. However, all MA/MSc students are
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Internal Quality Review Report Institute of Archaeology – 26 April 2007 also assigned a Personal Tutor, who serves as an alternative channel of communication to discuss academic or non-academic issues. The review team commends the IoA on the high level of academic and pastoral support available to undergraduate and postgraduate students. As a supplement to the high level of tutorial support and supervision that is available to undergraduate and postgraduate students through the IoA’s academic staff, the Academic Administrator and other administrative staff of the IoA are on hand to offer practical advice on degrees, courses, and all administrative matters, and to recommend students to specific Tutors, Advisors, and officers both within the IoA and UCL. The students interviewed by the review team as part of the visit confirmed that the IoA’s administrative staff were extremely helpful and approachable, and often served as the next port of call in the absence of their Personal Tutors and Programme Co-ordinators. The review team commends the IoA on the high level of support offered to students generally by its team of administrative staff. The IoA’s student-run SAS regards support of new students as a key part of its role. In addition to producing an Alternative Prospectus, which is sent to new undergraduate students in August each year, and organising social events at the beginning of term and throughout the session, the SAS also runs an annual one day conference, which gives students a chance to present subjects that interest them and to gain valuable lecturing experience. The SAS website has also recently introduced an Archaeology discussion forum or use by all of the IoA’s students. The elected officers of the SAS include student representatives for each student cohort, as well as representatives with responsibility for mature students, overseas students, and students with disabilities, and regular meetings are held with the Director of the IoA to discuss student views and any other issues. The students interviewed by the review team gave testament to a strong sense of community and student involvement engendered by the SAS. Following the IoA’s successful involvement in piloting the UCL Transition Programme Student Mentoring Scheme, an archaeology-focused student mentoring scheme for first-year students has also now been implemented, although take-up of this has so far been limited owing to the comprehensive student support systems already in place within the IoA. The review team felt that the IoA should certainly be commended on the SAS as a complement to its own student support mechanisms, although it noted that some involvement from the IoA’s staff might be necessary from time to time to monitor its activities to ensure that these were being run in compliance with UCL rules, regulations and codes of practice . The review team commends the IoA on the support offered to its students through the student-run Society of Archaeology Students. During the first few weeks of their first-year studies, new undergraduate students are required to submit a 1500-word practice essay, which is marked by their Personal Tutor. As well as helping to build student confidence prior to the submission of work which will count towards the marks for their degree, the practice essay also allows Personal Tutors to identify students who would benefit from assistance with essay writing at an early stage, along with any students who should be assessed for dyslexia and/or related conditions.
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Internal Quality Review Report Institute of Archaeology – 26 April 2007 The review team commends the IoA on the requirement for first-year undergraduate students to submit a practice essay for diagnostic purposes during the first few weeks of their studies. Student support facilities within the IoA are generally excellent. As well as having modern and well-equipped analytical and photographic laboratories, and its own computing facility, the Archaeological GIS Laboratory, which offers specialised facilities currently unavailable on the general UCL network, the IoA also has its own archaeological collections, which, along with the Petrie Museum collections, are used extensively in teaching and research. The IoA also has its own Library, which is part of UCL Library Services, and which has an international reputation as one of the finest archaeological collections in the world. The limitation of access to this Library in the evenings and during weekends, particularly out of term time, however, has been a major area of student dissatisfaction in recent years. The IoA has made regular representations on this issue to the UCL Library Committee, and in 2006 special funding was made available centrally by UCL to fund an extension of opening hours during the Summer Term. The IoA is hopeful that these arrangements will be repeated for the summer of 2007. The IoA provides training for new postgraduate research students through its Graduate Induction Programme, which is run by the Graduate Tutor and involves fortnightly meetings during the first year, beginning with an introduction to the basic structures, processes and resources for graduate research at the IoA, followed by brief student presentations of their research topics to identify common themes and concerns and foster cooperation within the cohort, going on to introduce topics such as constructing bibliographies, publishing articles in journals, writing CVs, preparing for interviews, writing and presenting conference papers, interaction with the press, and data processing and analysis. The IoA’s training scheme has been specifically commended for its quality by the AHRC. The review team commends the IoA on its Graduate Induction Programme for postgraduate research students. The Graduate Tutor has overall responsibility for all postgraduate students within the IoA. However, owing to the high proportion of postgraduate students enrolled in study at the IoA, the Graduate Tutor is assisted by a Deputy Graduate Tutor, who has overall responsibility for all MA and MSc students, shares the chairing of first year research student reviews and second year MPhil to PhD upgrade sessions, and provides back up if the Graduate Tutor is not available. Despite the fact that all postgraduate students are informed of the role and responsibilities of the Graduate Tutor during their induction week sessions, some of the postgraduate research students interviewed by the review team did not seem to be aware of who they might approach in the event that any disputes or problems arose between them and their supervisor(s). The IoA should take action to ensure that all postgraduate students are fully aware of the roles of the Graduate Tutor and the Deputy Graduate Tutor and of the option of approaching these individuals in the event that any problems arise between them and their supervisor(s). Although postgraduate research students meet regularly with their supervisors, and have been informed that the use of the Graduate School Research Student Log Book to record these meetings is mandatory, the Log Book remains extremely unpopular among the IoA’s staff and students. Among the criticisms levelled at the Log Book
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Internal Quality Review Report Institute of Archaeology – 26 April 2007 are that it is cumbersome, counter-intuitive, confusing to interface with, user-unfriendly, and a general waste of time which involves too much subsidiary documentation. However, the review team noted that the Log Book would be invaluable in the event that any disputes arose between supervisors and research students which subsequently lead to grievance cases. Although the IoA has been involved in the lengthy process of consultation with the Graduate School over the use of the Log Book since the latter’s inception some seven or so years ago, the review team felt that, given the general level of antipathy towards the use of the Log Book within the IoA, the IoA should be encouraged to garner suggestions from staff and students on how aspects of the Log Book might be usefully improved, with a view to submitting these to the Graduate School. The IoA should take action to ensure that staff and postgraduate research students are aware of the mandatory requirement to use the Graduate School Research Student Log as a means of documenting academic progression and skills development training. The IoA is further encouraged to gather constructive comments and suggestions from its staff and postgraduate research students on how to improve aspects of the Graduate School Research Student Log, with a view to feeding these back to the Graduate School. While research students meet with their principal supervisors before the start of their studies to finalise their research proposals, their secondary supervisors are not appointed until the first meeting of the Graduate Research Student Sub-Committee, which takes place a few weeks after the start of term. Although some research students who were interviewed by the review team drew attention to this delay between appointment of their principal and secondary supervisors, the IoA feels that there is little point in appointing secondary supervisors until after students have actually arrived at the IoA and had an opportunity to discuss and define their proposed research, including the broad range of supervision required, in detail with their supervisors. Moreover, it feels that secondary supervisors are best appointed by the Graduate Research Student Sub-Committee since this Sub-Committee is better placed to take account of staff workload. However, the review team felt nevertheless that, given the importance of the availability of the secondary supervisor as a resource early on in a student’s research career, the IoA would do well to review its procedure for appointing secondary supervisors. The Institute is encouraged to review its procedure for appointing secondary supervisors to postgraduate research students, with a view to ensuring that this process is undertaken much earlier in the course of postgraduate research students’ studies. The IoA feels that its five Research Groups provide an important focus for encouraging internal research collaboration and communication among and between academic staff and postgraduate research students.   All postgraduate research students choose to be members of one of the Research Groups upon arrival at the IoA, and, in 2006, the role of students within these Groups was further developed through the appointment of Student Co-ordinators for each of the Groups, who were charged with assisting the Research Group Co-ordinator in organising seminars, workshops, and conferences. While the review team felt that the activities of the Research Groups represented an intelligent and exemplary way of sharing expertise and of giving students access to current research and debate, it noted that some postgraduate research students who were interviewed as part of the review visit felt
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Internal Quality Review Report Institute of Archaeology – 26 April 2007 that the Groups themselves were too broadly defined and RAE dominated. Some students also felt that, although there was some activity between the different Research Groups, it was largely left up to individual students to organise this, and that there would be better ways of seeking to promote interaction between research students. The IoA is encouraged to rearticulate the value of its Research Groups to its postgraduate research students, particularly in light of the perception among some students that these groups are primarily RAE-driven and of more relevance to the IoA’s staff. PIA (Papers from the Institute of Archaeology) is an annually published academic journal which was launched in 1989 by some of the IoA’s research students to serve as a means of encouraging students to publish their research, thereby reflecting the breadth of postgraduate research at the IoA of Archaeology. Since then, it has developed into an international, self-financing, non-profit refereed publication which is stocked in almost fifty university libraries worldwide. All papers submitted to PIA are refereed by established professionals, and they are only published once the editorial board and the referees are convinced of their suitability. Although in recent years it has been increasingly difficult to get research students to publish their work in PIA , it still offers a unique opportunity for PhD students to publish their first paper The review team commends the IoA on its student-produced journal Papers from the Institute of Archaeology . Although there are some opportunities within the IoA for postgraduate research students to gain teaching experience, the IoA sees these as limited by the amount of internal and AHRC training funding that is available, as well as by the need for it to balance the quality of its teaching with the possibilities for teaching it can reasonably provide for such a high proportion of postgraduate students. Nevertheless, students continue to raise this as an issue at SSCC meetings, and, although some academic staff have arranged for their own PhD students to teach one or two classes in their areas of expertise, the IoA is aware of the need to try to arrange opportunities for this on a more systematic basis. The IoA feels, however, that, unless students wish to teach without payment, there is no obvious solution to this issue. The IoA is encouraged to continue to explore possibilities for increasing and systematising teaching opportunities for its postgraduate research students.
THE TEACHING FUNCTION AND  PROCESS All teaching activity within the IoA is co-ordinated and monitored by the TC, whose minutes are circulated by e-mail to all members of staff and student representatives, and posted on the IoA intranet. Matters considered by the TC are, whenever appropriate, discussed and, if necessary, approved at meetings of the Director's Policy Group and IoA Staff Meetings. Teaching at the IoA is designed to be varied and challenging, and takes place through lectures and seminars supplemented by tutorials, discussion sessions, demonstrations, material handling sessions, laboratory work, projects, and field-trips. Directed self-study is considered an essential part of the learning process, and students are helped in the development of study skills through tutorial sessions which
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