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Degree type


Course length

3 years full-time


Durham City

UCAS code


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Typical offers

Typical offers
A Level AAB
International Baccalaureate 36

Course details

The extensive overlap between Anthropology and Archaeology makes them ideal subjects for a Joint Honours degree. The degree combines modules from the BA/BSc Anthropology degrees and BA Archaeology, providing a comprehensive understanding of humanity both past and present.

As a joint honours student you will receive a thorough grounding in the theory and practice of both anthropology and archaeology, as well as exploring the relationships between the disciplines.

In the second year, you will develop a deeper understanding of methods and theory in anthropology and archaeology, and pursue your growing interests through optional modules offered by both departments. You will also take an integrated module exploring the relationships between the two subjects.

In the final year, you will design and carry out your own research project for your dissertation. You may also choose to go on a residential field course.

As a student in the Anthropology and Archaeology Departments, you will be welcomed into both academic communities and can attend an extensive programme of research seminars, which may provide inspiration for your dissertation topic and even future study or employment.

Course structure

Year 1

Core modules:

Being Human: An Introduction to the History and Practice of Anthropology provides an overview of the history of anthropology, including the major theoretical developments and debates, and how these affect the practice of anthropology today.

Doing Anthropological Research provides hands-on training in anthropological research methods, both quantitative and qualitative. This module will prepare you for future research projects including fieldwork and your dissertation, and allow you to develop highly transferable research skills.

Discovering World Prehistory introduces world prehistory from the emergence of humankind to the rise of early states.

Introduction to Archaeological Methods and Scientific Methods in Archaeology provide a grounding in a range of methods and techniques used in archaeology today, and will help you develop a critical awareness of the potential and limitations of each.

In recent years, optional modules have included:

  • Peoples and Cultures
  • Human Evolution and Diversity
  • Health, Illness and Society
  • Ancient Civilisations of the East
  • Archaeology in Britain
  • Cities in Antiquity
  • Medieval to Modern: An Introduction to the Archaeology of Medieval to Post Medieval World.

Year 2

Core modules:

Debating Anthropology and Archaeology will show how archaeology and anthropology provide overlapping yet distinct perspectives on key aspects of social, cultural and biological aspects of human life, and will explore how common theories, concepts and approaches have moved between these disciplines.

Research Project Design builds upon previous methods training by providing the skills necessary to develop independent dissertation projects.

In recent years, optional modules have included:

  • Reading the Skeleton
  • Palaeoanthropology: The Story of Human Evolution
  • Primate Societies
  • Anthropology of the Body
  • Environment, Climate and the Anthropocene
  • Prehistoric Europe: From Foragers to State Formation
  • Ancient Mediterranean Civilisations: East and West
  • Becoming Roman: From Iron Age to Empire in Italy and the West.

Year 3 (Year 4 if undertaking a placement year or year abroad)

In your final year, you will design and carry out your own Dissertation on a topic of your choice, which will develop your independent research and project management skills. You can choose to do a dissertation based in either Anthropology, Archaeology, or an interdisciplinary approach combining insights from both fields.

In addition, you will study advanced topics in Anthropology and Archaeology and both departments offer opportunities to gain experience of carrying out fieldwork through either the Anthropology Field Course and/or Advanced Professional Training.

In recent years, optional modules have included:

  • Anthropology, Art, and Experience
  • Exhibiting Anthropology
  • Technological Primates
  • Anthropological Skills for Climate Change Survival
  • Violence and Memory
  • Human Reproductive Ecology
  • Primates in Peril
  • Forensic Anthropology
  • Palaeoanthropology and Palaeoecology
  • Food Security, Nutrition, and Sustainable Livelihoods
  • Specialised Aspects of Archaeology
  • Interpreting Heritage
  • Museum Representation
  • Archaeology and Global Sustainable Development.

Additional pathways

Students on the Anthropology and Archaeology BA can apply to be transferred onto either the ‘with Year Abroad’ or ‘with Placement’ pathway during the second year. Places on these pathways are in high demand and if you are chosen your studies will extend from three years to four.


You may be able to take a work placement. Find out more.


Your learning will be supported by a variety of teaching formats, such as lectures and smaller-group teaching in seminars and practical classes.

Our curriculum places a strong emphasis on inquiry-based learning and transferable skills, with a particular focus on designing and carrying out research projects. In your third year, you will undertake a dissertation in an anthropological or archaeological topic of your choice, preferably one that encompasses both subjects, giving you the chance to complete a major piece of independent work.

Our departments have a range of resources including skeletal collections, fossil cast collections and a material culture collection which are used in teaching and may also be available for independent project work.


We use a wide range of assessments designed to provide training in a variety of anthropological, archaeological and broader transferable skills, including not only 'traditional' essays and exams but also research projects, popular academic writing and outreach activities.

In your final year you will have the chance to design and carry out your own research project for your dissertation, with support and guidance from your supervisor.

Entry requirements

A level offerAAB.

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma/OCR Cambridge Technical Extended DiplomaDDD.

IB Diploma score36 with 665 in higher level subjects.

In addition to satisfying the University’s general entry requirements, please note:

  • We welcome applications from those with other qualifications equivalent to our standard entry requirements and from mature students with non-standard qualifications or who may have had a break in their study.
  • If you do not satisfy our general entry requirements, the Foundation Programme offers multidisciplinary degrees to prepare you for a range of specified degree courses.
  • We are pleased to consider applications for deferred entry.

Science A levels

Applicants taking Science A levels that include a practical component will be required to take and pass this as a condition of entry. This applies only to applicants sitting A levels with an English examination board.

Alternative qualifications

International students who do not meet direct entry requirements for this degree might have the option to complete an International Foundation Year.

English language requirements

Country specific information

Fees and funding

Full Time Fees

Tuition fees
Home students £9,250 per year
EU students £25,000 per year
Island students £9,250 per year
International students £25,000 per year

The tuition fees shown for home students are for one complete academic year of full time study and are set according to the academic year of entry. Fees for subsequent years of your course may rise in line with an inflationary uplift as determined by the government.

The tuition fees shown for overseas and EU students are for one complete academic year of full time study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.

Scholarships and Bursaries

We are committed to supporting the best students irrespective of financial circumstances and are delighted to offer a range of funding opportunities. 

Find out more about Scholarships and Bursaries

Career opportunities


With a degree in Anthropology, you will be equipped with a diverse and practical knowledge base, including highly transferable skills in designing and carrying out research projects. Employers worldwide value this skill set, particularly where creativity, curiosity and the ability to understand human culture and society are at a premium.

Our graduates apply their knowledge directly in fields such as health, community work, conservation, education, international development, culture, and heritage. Many progress into careers that require a broad understanding of human society and behaviour as well as the interpersonal, organisational, problem solving and independent thinking skills that come with the discipline. Such careers include advertising, publishing, journalism, teaching, human resource management, public relations, finance, law, consultancy and marketing.

A significant number of graduates progress onto higher level study with many pursuing anthropological research. Others take up professional postgraduate programmes in both related and non-related fields.

Of those students who graduated in 2019:

  • 85% are in paid employment or further study 15 months after graduation across all our programmes

Of those in employment:

  • 70% are in high skilled employment 
  • With an average salary of £24,000.

(Source: HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey. The survey asks leavers from higher education what they are doing 15 months after graduation. Further information about the Graduate Outcomes survey can be found


Our close links with industry specialists coupled with in-house archaeological facilities give you a taste of the industry from the beginning of the course. This experience helps develop a broad range of subject-specific skills from osteology, geochemistry and the conservation of archaeological objects, to survey and remote sensing techniques and applications for Geographic Information Systems. 

Transferable skills include problem-solving, metadata analysis and information technology, as well as teamwork, presentation, project planning and management. These skills are valued across many industries. 

Our graduates work for organisations all over the world, from national and international heritage organisations, museums, environmental agencies, and commercial archaeological services to law and publishing, forensic science, teaching, tourism, and local and national government.

Of those students who graduated in 2019:

  • 75% are in paid employment or further study 15 months after graduation across all our programmes

Of those in employment:

  • 75% are in high skilled employment
  • With an average salary of £22,000 

(Source: HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey. The survey asks leavers from higher education what they are doing 15 months after graduation. Further information about the Graduate Outcomes survey can be found here

Department information


Join a diverse and welcoming Department that takes a distinctly broad-based approach to the study of humanity. Each year around 120 undergraduate students join one of our single or joint honours degree courses. We are among the largest Anthropology departments in the UK and one of the few to combine the study of the social, biological and medical aspects of anthropology. This gives you the chance to explore humanity from multiple perspectives, covering our species' evolution over millions of years up to the present day diversity of human societies.

The academic team are passionate about teaching the next generation, with many lecturers actively involved in research and teaching in numerous areas that overlap with other subjects, including culture, environmental issues, evolution, genetics, forensics, language, literature, health, music, politics, primate behaviour, religion, reproduction, skeletal anatomy and many others still. And with a research-led approach, our teaching is constantly evolving to incorporate the latest developments into the curriculum.

Our flexible courses offer the opportunity both to explore the breadth of Anthropology and to specialise in one of our sub-disciplinary areas. We offer a residential field course to all our undergraduate students, providing hands-on experience of varied anthropological methods in practice.

For more information see our department pages.


  • 23rd in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2023.
  • 8th in The Complete University Guide 2024.


For a current list of staff, please see the Anthropology pages.

Research Excellence Framework

  • 45% of our research was rated as world-leading (REF 2021)


The Anthropology department is housed in the Dawson Building. It is conveniently located next to the main library, and close to lots of other departments and university services.

The Department’s state-of-the-art research facilities include a skeletal collection, a fossil cast collection, a material culture collection and many other practical resources.

We also house a number of research centres and laboratories including an Infancy and Sleep Centre which investigates infant and child sleep; the Physical Activity Lab to monitor physical activity levels in our everyday lives and an Ecology and Endocrinology Laboratory which is equipped to analyse human samples.

More information about our facilities and equipment.


Archaeology at Durham is an exciting and diverse discipline that delves into the past to inform our understanding of the modern world. Covering a wide range of topics from early human development and ancient civilisations to colonialism and slavery in the early modern world, this broad-based discipline can take you into many different careers. 

We are an inclusive and vibrant international teaching and research community that offers plenty of opportunities for you to get involved, from research seminars and reading groups to field-based projects. Our research-led approach to learning means you will be taught by subject specialists whose wide-ranging  interests span World, European and British archaeology from the last ice age to the post-medieval period. 

Combining practical work with traditional academic study, you will explore archaeological sites and historic buildings, study scientific methods, archaeological theories and computer techniques. Fieldwork takes you around the world, with previous projects ranging from Africa to the Lebanon. Closer to home you will learn about the rich and varied heritage of the UK. Our location in Durham is ideal for the study of archaeology with examples of medieval architecture, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and important historic sites, such as Hadrian’s Wall and a Saxon monastery within easy reach. 

We offer a range of single and joint honours BA and BSc degrees with flexible pathways to suit your interests and career goals, and most courses include the possibility of a work placement or year abroad.

For more information see our department pages.


  • 10th in the QS World University Subject Rankings for Archaeology 2023
  • 2nd in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023
  • 3rd in The Complete University Guide 2024
  • 7th in The Guardian University Guide 2023


For a current list of staff, please see our Archaeology pages.

Research Excellence Framework

  • 97% of our research outputs graded world-leading or internationally excellent (REF 2021)


We are based in the Dawson Building at the heart of the Durham city campus. We are one of the most comprehensively equipped archaeology departments in the UK with research laboratories in DNA, conservation, isotope analysis, environmental archaeology, luminescence dating, paleopathology and bone chemistry.

The Department is also home to a leading commercial archaeological fieldwork unit. This enables us to provide expert training in excavation and fieldwork techniques from working archaeologists. In addition, we have a number of dedicated library collections and a gallery which hosts our extensive collection of archaeological artefacts. 

Fieldtrips are an important part of the student experience at Durham. First year students undertake a two-week placement, with most working on our internationally significant excavations at Auckland Castle. Second- and third-year undergraduates join us on digs around the world to gain international experience, with recent projects in France, Spain, Kuwait, Nepal and Egypt.

More information on our facilities and equipment.


Find out more:

Use the UCAS code below when applying:



The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) handles applications for all undergraduate courses.

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