Dissertations are compulsory at Stage 3, and count as two modules. Students in joint honours programmes can undertake a dissertation in their second discipline where appropriate.

Undertaking an independent piece of research can be one of the most rewarding academic challenges of an undergraduate degree. It allows students to apply the skills that they have learnt through their studies, and often brings the opportunity to work closely with faculty in front-line research. The possibility of co-authorship on an academic publication can follow from this if the work is of a high enough standard.

The process of selecting a dissertation topic begins at Stage 2 and is incorporated into the ARP2043 module programme. Full details about the Archaeology & Palaeoecology dissertation module that accompanies this work during Stage 3 (ARP3056) can be found here.  Below are some examples of recent and current dissertation titles:

Prehistoric Archaeology of Ireland, Britain and the Near Continent

  • Investigating the occurrence and the social impacts of droughts during the Middle Neolithic
  • The Ordnance Survey Memoirs as a source for the study of Bronze Age and Iron Age metalwork deposition practice in Ireland
  • An experimental study of the impact on lead alloying on the physical properties of Late Bronze Age socketed knives
  • A GIS approach to archaeological landscapes: a viewshed analysis of Bronze Age hillforts in Northern Irelands
  • A GIS approach to the study of Neolithic stone axes in Northern Ireland
  • A study of Solutrean engraved bone artefacts
  • A study of Neolithic carved stone ball
  • An experimental reconstruction of Irish cremation archaeology using hardwood and softwood
  • Pottery firing: an experimental approach to fuel selection

Historical Archaeology of Ireland, Britain and the Near Continent

  • Bones, battles and brutality: an osteoarchaeological analysis of medieval violence in Ireland and England
  • A mixed-method evaluation of the relative influence of British Second World War archaeology on Britain’s post-war narrative
  • The application of archaeological evidence in the analysis of place names of sites on the Shetland Islands
  • Identifying ritual specialists in the burial record in Scandinavia from the 1st millennium AD
  • On the outskirts of an Empire: Hiberno-Roman relations during the Irish Iron Age
  • The evolution of perpetuation of religious symbolism, as demonstrated by holy wells in Christian Ulster
  • A re-evaluation of the origin of the Viking Age Dublin buildings
  • Irish Anglican church layout in County Down in the 18th and 19th centuries
  • Ear disease in medieval Ireland: an examination of ear ossicles from medieval Ranelagh
  • Seventeenth-century ceramists at Killyneese: an examination of dermatoglyphics on ceramic sherds
  • Gender differences in Victorian grave memorials in Belfast
  • The landscape of Viking burials in Ireland
  • Recent Monastic site excavations in Ireland
  • Early Tudor warfare in Ireland: architectural and historical perspectives
  • Early Medieval Grain Drying Kings
  • The late medieval parish churches of counties Antrim and Londonderry
  • The similarities and differences of provincial centres in Ireland
  • Identifying and understanding inauguration in medieval Ireland
  • A grave discovery: The forgotten of Cathedral Hill, Downpatrick

Mediterranean Archaeology

  • Greeced enlightenin’: a study of Greek archaeology in the QUB teaching collections
  • The image of heros and the practice of heroization in the Late Bronze Age Mediterranean
  • Greek burial traditions in Sicily, with a specific reference to museum displays on this theme
  • A geoarchaeological characterisation and 3D morphometric study of prehistoric mining tools from the Lower Segura Valley, South East Spain
  • Bronze Age settlements in Crete
  • Representations of gender in prehistoric cultures, with a focus on Ancient Egypt

World Archaeology

  • Oh mummy! Ethical issues and public opinion surrounding the display of human remains, with special reference to Takabuti
  • A social analysis of the Hunno-Sarmatian period cemetery ‘Kokel’, Tuva, South Siberia
  • Rediscovering Early-Middle Stone Age Collections from the Kegera River
  • What were Giant Bifaces used for? An Experimental Approach
  • Assessing the use of digitisation of Assyrian artefacts as a means of preserving the past in conflict zones and encouraging wide research and interpretation
  • New evidence in the role of bone technology across the Pleistocene-Holocene transition in Southeast Asia
  • A conservations plan for the Terracotta Warriors and associated materials found at Emperor Qin Shihuangdo’s burials complex, Xi’an, China
  • Changing biodiversity of fauna in a tropical preserved environment (in Northern Vietnam)
  • The residue analysis of Da But pottery fragments excavated from Hang Hanh and Hang Moi caves, in Vietnam
  • Nephrite, networks and the Southeast Asian Neolithic: a case-study of jade use within the Da But culture of northern Vietnam
  • The role of freshwater crab in the early Neolithic of Vietnam: a zooarchaeological study
  • Cultural heritage desctruction in armed conflicts
  • Did physical attributes play a role in the choice of caves during the early and mid Holocene in southeast Asia?
  • A statistical analysis of perforated shell discs from Hang Thung Binh 1 cave, Trang An Landscape Complex, Vietnam
  • The relationship between archaeologists and the Goddess Movement
  • The potential of Southeast Asian Islands in terms of archaic hominin evolution


  • A methodological comparison of hand-drawn illustration and photogrammetry for the reproduction of faunal butchery marks within the archaeological record
  • A peat record of past environmental and ecological changes in north Iceland
  • Testing the replicability of palaeoenvironmental indicators in bogs using tephra horizons
  • A study of human activity and landscape use of the Garron Plateau in the Antrim Uplands
  • Assessing the dating density of published Palaeo-record
  • Cryptotephra in sedimentary sequences
  • How does the rate of climate change at the start of the Holocene compare to the rate predicted for the 21st century
  • More than a mire: a palaeoenvironmental study of Lackan Bog and the importance of public engagement