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Degree type

BSc

Course length

3 years full-time

Location

Durham City

Degree type

BSc

Course length

3 years full-time

Location

Durham City

UCAS code

F402

UCAS code

F402

Ready to Apply?

Typical offers

Typical offers
A Level AAB
BTEC DDD
International Baccalaureate 36

Course details

This course allows students to develop an overview of world archaeology, but also to focus on the range of scientific techniques used to explore the past. With access to state-of the-art laboratory facilities and outstanding training by some of the world’s leading archaeological scientists, you will have the opportunity to learn techniques such as DNA and isotopic analysis, Geographical Information Systems, geoarchaeology, archaeobotany, and the analysis of human and animal skeletal remains. By the end of the degree you will be equipped with cutting-edge science and social science research skills, and a wide range of transferable skills relevant to many career paths, including data management and analysis, critical thinking and writing, and written and oral presentation.

As a BSc Archaeology student, you will have the opportunity to develop your knowledge and skills through a series of Scientific Methods in Archaeology modules, as well as second-year Advanced Skills options, and third-year Specialised Aspects of Archaeology options. Class-room teaching is complemented by small-group tutorials and lab-based practicals, that will guide you in developing expertise in ancient landscapes and environments, past climate change, diet, migrations, mobility, health, animal-human interactions, scientific dating, materials science, and techniques for conservation relevant to archaeological objects and collections. All BSc Archaeology students have the opportunity to take part in archaeological fieldwork in the UK and abroad, engaging directly with current departmental research projects, and learning a host of archaeological and transferable skills. The capstone of the degree is your own research project, or dissertation, which you will develop under the direct guidance of a member of staff who is an expert in the field.

Students studying this course can also follow a route accredited by CIfA, the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists. Choosing an accredited undergraduate degree is widely recognised as the first step on a career pathway leading to professional status. To obtain a CIfA accredited degree, students study modules which equip them with the requisite theoretical and practical knowledge to act as a foundation for a career in the UK commercial archaeology sector.

Year 1

Compulsory modules:

  • Archaeology in Britain
  • Archaeology Practicals
  • Scientific Methods in Archaeology 1.

Examples of optional modules:

Choose up to three modules from the following lists of modules which have been available in previous years:

  • Discovering World Prehistory
  • Cities in Antiquity
  • Medieval to Modern: An Introduction to the Archaeology of the Medieval to Post-Medieval World
  • Ancient Civilisations of the East
  • One or two modules in another department.

Year 2

Compulsory modules:

  • Professional Training (requires three weeks of fieldwork in the summer preceding Level 2)
  • Scientific Methods in Archaeology 2
  • Developing Archaeological Research (required to take a dissertation in Archaeology at Level 3).

Examples of optional modules:

Choose two modules selected from the following lists of modules which have been available in previous years:

  • Prehistoric Europe
  • Becoming Roman
  • Archaeology of Medieval and Post-Medieval Britain
  • East Mediterranean in the Bronze Age
  • Ancient Mediterranean civilisations: East and West
  • Advanced skills in Archaeology (Single).

Another module listed under 4 OR a module in any department (including a language module).

Year 3 (Year 4 if undertaking a Year Abroad)

Compulsory modules:

  • Dissertation (double module)
  • Advanced Professional Training (requires three weeks of fieldwork in the summer preceding Level 2)
  • Scientific Methods in Archaeology 3.

Examples of optional modules:

Two modules from:

  • Specialised Aspects in Archaeology (single or double)
  • Interpreting Heritage
  • Museum Representation
  • A module in any department.

Fieldwork

All Single Honours students undertake six weeks’ compulsory fieldwork; three weeks at our field school in the first year, and three weeks at an excavation of your choice in the second year.

For Single Honours students, only one module in any department may be taken over the second and third years.

Placement

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

Study abroad

We currently have links with the universities of Gothenburg (Sweden), Mainz (Germany), Bordeaux (France), Vienna (Austria) and the Free University of Berlin (Germany), as well as Bergen (Norway) and Koc (Turkey). Studying abroad through one of these exchanges, like the Year Abroad, will involve inserting an extra year into your programme of study between your second and final years. If, in your second year, your application for a place is successful, you will be transferred from the three-year version of your degree to a four-year version. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in excavations run by members of staff and colleagues of other universities at various places round the world.

Typical offers

Typical offers
A Level AAB
BTEC DDD
International Baccalaureate 36

Course details

This course allows students to develop an overview of world archaeology, but also to focus on the range of scientific techniques used to explore the past. With access to state-of the-art laboratory facilities and outstanding training by some of the world’s leading archaeological scientists, you will have the opportunity to learn techniques such as DNA and isotopic analysis, Geographical Information Systems, geoarchaeology, archaeobotany, and the analysis of human and animal skeletal remains. By the end of the degree you will be equipped with cutting-edge science and social science research skills, and a wide range of transferable skills relevant to many career paths, including data management and analysis, critical thinking and writing, and written and oral presentation.

As a BSc Archaeology student, you will have the opportunity to develop your knowledge and skills through a series of Scientific Methods in Archaeology modules, as well as second-year Advanced Skills options, and third-year Specialised Aspects of Archaeology options. Class-room teaching is complemented by small-group tutorials and lab-based practicals, that will guide you in developing expertise in ancient landscapes and environments, past climate change, diet, migrations, mobility, health, animal-human interactions, scientific dating, materials science, and techniques for conservation relevant to archaeological objects and collections.

All BSc Archaeology students have the opportunity to take part in archaeological fieldwork in the UK and abroad, engaging directly with current departmental research projects, and learning a host of archaeological and transferable skills. The capstone of the degree is your own research project, or dissertation, which you will develop under the direct guidance of a member of staff who is an expert in the field.

Students studying this course can also follow a route accredited by CIfA, the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists. Choosing an accredited undergraduate degree is widely recognised as the first step on a career pathway leading to professional status. To obtain a CIfA accredited degree, students study modules which equip them with the requisite theoretical and practical knowledge to act as a foundation for a career in the UK commercial archaeology sector.

Year 1

Compulsory modules:

  • Archaeology in Britain
  • Archaeology Practicals
  • Scientific Methods in Archaeology 1.

Examples of optional modules:

Choose up to three modules from the following lists of modules which have been available in previous years:

  • Discovering World Prehistory
  • Cities in Antiquity
  • Medieval to Modern: An Introduction to the Archaeology of the Medieval to Post-Medieval World
  • Ancient Civilisations of the East
  • One or two modules in another department.

Year 2

Compulsory modules:

  • Professional Training (requires three weeks of fieldwork in the summer preceding Level 2)
  • Scientific Methods in Archaeology 2
  • Developing Archaeological Research (required to take a dissertation in Archaeology at Level 3).

Examples of optional modules:

Choose two modules selected from the following lists of modules which have been available in previous years:

  • Prehistoric Europe
  • Becoming Roman
  • Archaeology of Medieval and Post-Medieval Britain
  • East Mediterranean in the Bronze Age
  • Ancient Mediterranean civilisations: East and West
  • Advanced skills in Archaeology (Single).

Another module listed under 4 OR a module in any department (including a language module).

Year 3 (Year 4 if undertaking a Year Abroad)

Compulsory modules:

  • Dissertation (double module)
  • Advanced Professional Training (requires three weeks of fieldwork in the summer preceding Level 2)
  • Scientific Methods in Archaeology 3.

Examples of optional modules:

Two modules from:

  • Specialised Aspects in Archaeology (single or double)
  • Interpreting Heritage
  • Museum Representation
  • A module in any department.

Fieldwork

All Single Honours students undertake six weeks’ compulsory fieldwork; three weeks at our field school in the first year, and three weeks at an excavation of your choice in the second year.

For Single Honours students, only one module in any department may be taken over the second and third years.

Placement

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

Study abroad

We currently have links with the universities of Gothenburg (Sweden), Mainz (Germany), Bordeaux (France), Vienna (Austria) and the Free University of Berlin (Germany), as well as Bergen (Norway) and Koc (Turkey). Studying abroad through one of these exchanges, like the Year Abroad, will involve inserting an extra year into your programme of study between your second and final years. If, in your second year, your application for a place is successful, you will be transferred from the three-year version of your degree to a four-year version. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in excavations run by members of staff and colleagues of other universities at various places round the world.

Learning

On this course you will learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical classes, fieldwork, excavation, informal but scheduled one-to-one support, and self-directed learning, such as research, reading, and writing.

All of these are supported by a virtual learning environment, Durham University Online (duo). Seminars, tutorials, and practical classes are much smaller groups than lectures, with tutorials often involving no more than eight students working with a professor or lecturer; seminars and practicals can be larger but are still small enough to allow one-on-one interaction with tutors.

Practicals also allow hands-on experience of the work professional archaeologists perform. The same is true of fieldwork, which at Durham is fully funded, and consists of engaging in archaeological work in the field with members of academic staff.

This emphasis on small-group and practical teaching reflects the quality of the learning experience rather than the quantity of formal sessions. In fact, the degree is designed to feature fewer formal sessions and more independent research as you move from your first to your final year.

Small-group teaching and one-on-one attention from a personal academic advisor (provided for all students when they start) is part of the learning experience throughout, by the final year classroom time gives way, to independent research, including a dissertation, you will be supported by one-on-one supervision that makes up a third of final year credits. This degree transforms you from a consumer of knowledge in the classroom to a generator of knowledge, ready for professional or postgraduate life. These formal teaching arrangements are supported by “drop-in” surgeries with teaching staff and induction sessions that begin the week before you start and continue at key times throughout each year of the course.

You can also attend an extensive programme of research-focused seminars where staff and visiting scholars present their cutting-edge research.

Entry requirements

A level - AAB.

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

International Baccalaureate score - 36 to include 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. Please contact our Admissions Selectors.
  • 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.
  • If you are an international student who does not meet the requirements for direct entry to this degree, you may be eligible to take an International Foundation Year pathway programme at the Durham University International Study Centre
  • 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 £23,100 per year
Island students £9,250 per year
International students £23,100 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

Archaeology

Of those students who graduated in 2018:

  • 90% are in paid employment or further study 15 months after graduation across all our programmes

Of those in employment:

  • 71% are in a professional or managerial job
  • Average salary of £22,500

(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 www.graduateoutcomes.ac.uk)

Department information

Archaeology

From the Palaeolithic to the post-medieval, from Iceland to India, from architecture to ancient DNA – broad and dynamic, archaeology changes constantly with new discoveries and innovative research. Combine hands-on work with traditional academic study. Learn from expert staff; take part in fieldwork, real excavations and finds; study historic buildings, scientific methods, archaeological theory and computer techniques; and learn how they all help us to understand the past.

For more information see our department pages.

Rankings

  • 4th in the QS World University Subject Rankings for Archaeology 2021.
  • 3rd in The Complete University Guide 2021.
  • 3rd in The Guardian University Guide 2021.

Staff

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

Research Excellence Framework

  • Ranked joint 1st in the UK for Internationally Excellent and World-leading research impact (REF 2014).

Facilities

We are one of the most comprehensively equipped archaeology departments in the UK. Our facilities include project rooms with state-of-the-art interactive technology, teaching laboratories, a computer suite, a photographic studio, internationally renowned scientific research laboratories in DNA, conservation, isotopes, environmental archaeology, luminescence dating, palaeopathology, soil and bone chemistry, and collections that support research in biometrics, informatics, and Anglo Saxon stone sculpture.

More information on our facilities and equipment.

Apply

Find out more:

Use the UCAS code below when applying:

Apply

F402

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

Learning

On this course you will learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical classes, fieldwork, excavation, informal but scheduled one-to-one support, and self-directed learning, such as research, reading, and writing.

All of these are supported by a virtual learning environment, Learn Ultra. Seminars, tutorials, and practical classes are much smaller groups than lectures, with tutorials often involving no more than eight students working with a professor or lecturer; seminars and practicals can be larger but are still small enough to allow one-on-one interaction with tutors.

Practicals also allow hands-on experience of the work professional archaeologists perform. The same is true of fieldwork, which at Durham is fully funded, and consists of engaging in archaeological work in the field with members of academic staff.

This emphasis on small-group and practical teaching reflects the quality of the learning experience rather than the quantity of formal sessions. In fact, the degree is designed to feature fewer formal sessions and more independent research as you move from your first to your final year.

Small-group teaching and one-on-one attention from a personal academic advisor (provided for all students when they start) is part of the learning experience throughout, by the final year classroom time gives way, to independent research, including a dissertation, you will be supported by one-on-one supervision that makes up a third of final year credits. This degree transforms you from a consumer of knowledge in the classroom to a generator of knowledge, ready for professional or postgraduate life. These formal teaching arrangements are supported by “drop-in” surgeries with teaching staff and induction sessions that begin the week before you start and continue at key times throughout each year of the course.

You can also attend an extensive programme of research-focused seminars where staff and visiting scholars present their cutting-edge research.

Entry requirements

A level - AAB.

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

International Baccalaureate score - 36 to include 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. Please contact our Admissions Selectors.
  • 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.
  • If you are an international student who does not meet the requirements for direct entry to this degree, you may be eligible to take an International Foundation Year pathway programme at the Durham University International Study Centre
  • 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

The tuition fees for 2023/24 academic year have not yet been finalised, they will be displayed here once approved.

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

Archaeology

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 www.graduateoutcomes.ac.uk)

Department information

Archaeology

From the Palaeolithic to the post-medieval, from Iceland to India, from architecture to ancient DNA – broad and dynamic, archaeology changes constantly with new discoveries and innovative research. Combine hands-on work with traditional academic study. Learn from expert staff; take part in fieldwork, real excavations and finds; study historic buildings, scientific methods, archaeological theory and computer techniques; and learn how they all help us to understand the past.

For more information see our department pages.

Rankings

  • 8th in the QS World University Subject Rankings for Archaeology 2022
  • 3rd in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022
  • 3rd in The Guardian University Guide 2022.

Staff

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)

Facilities

We are one of the most comprehensively equipped archaeology departments in the UK. Our facilities include project rooms with state-of-the-art interactive technology, teaching laboratories, a computer suite, a photographic studio, internationally renowned scientific research laboratories in DNA, conservation, isotopes, environmental archaeology, luminescence dating, palaeopathology, soil and bone chemistry, and collections that support research in biometrics, informatics, and Anglo Saxon stone sculpture.

More information on our facilities and equipment.

Apply

Find out more:

Use the UCAS code below when applying:

Apply

F402

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

Visit Us

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  • Time: 00:00 - 23:59
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  • Time: 13:30 - 16:00
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