Archaeology and Ancient History

Frequently asked questions

What's the difference between Archaeology and Ancient History?


You will study the past, from the origins of the human species to the 21st century, learning the theories and methods of our discipline along the way. You will excavate at our fieldschool, conduct analysis in our specialist labs, and gain deep knowledge of past cultures from around the world. You will receive training from our in-house professional unit, University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS), who famously excavated the remains of Richard III. In your second year, you can choose between the BA or the BSc, allowing you to hone your skills for careers in the heritage sector, professional archaeology, or wherever your ambitions take you.

Ancient History

You will explore the classical world and its legacies. What's special about studying ancient history at Leicester is our wide temporal and geographical focus - you will learn about cultures from the Greek world from the Archaic to Hellenistic periods, and from early Rome to Late Antiquity. You will study the span of the ancient world, covering regions as diverse as the Near East, North Africa and Roman Britain. You will acquire skills to interpret a range of ancient sources, from literature and art to inscriptions and material culture.

Should I study a single or joint honours course?

We are a combined School of Archaeology and Ancient History and our strength is in diverse approaches to materials, texts and ancient sources. This is why we offer joint degrees in Ancient History and ArchaeologyHistory and Archaeology and Ancient History and History. Our joint degrees are specially tailored to combine the strengths of both disciplines, so if you want to combine different focuses across ancient history, archaeology and history, these degrees are for you.

Which should I choose - Archaeology BA or BSc?

The BA and the BSc are the same in Year 1, so you don't have to choose right away. Once you are here your personal tutor will be able to advise you, but in the meantime you can see the other FAQ answers below for some advice to help you think about your options.

I studied humanities/science subjects at school, can I still do the BSc/BA?

Absolutely. Archaeology is a broad discipline - this means that whatever you studied before is relevant, and we will teach you the skills you need for either degree pathway.

I am interested in a career in professional archaeology, which degree is for me?

Our BSc offers modules in professional archaeological practice in the 2nd and 3rd years, working together with ULAS, our in-house archaeology unit. This is for you if you want to be a professional archaeologist.

I don't want to choose a career right now, does it matter which degree I choose?

Both the BA and the BSc will open up opportunities to you. You will gain transferable skills applicable across a wide range of professions. Both degrees prepare you for careers in professional archaeology or heritage, or for careers outside the sector such as journalism, business, education or whatever else you decide.

I'd like to work in a museum or for an organisation like English Heritage. Which degree is best?

Our BA offers modules with placements for students in local museums such as the Richard III Visitor Centre, Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre or the British Museum, and also within the local council and local schools. This is for you if you want to acquire the skills for a career in heritage or related sectors.

I want to do fieldwork, which degree should I choose?

Fieldwork is an important part of all our archaeology degrees. BSc and BA students do 8 weeks of fieldwork throughout their degree, and joint honours students do 6 weeks. In your first year you will excavate at our fieldschool, and in your second year you can choose from projects all around the world, either those run by staff within Archaeology and Ancient History or external projects.

I am passionate about Romans/prehistory/human bones (i.e., insert interest here!) - which degree should I choose?

Both the BA and the BSc provide opportunities to specialise in particular periods, regions or approaches as you advance through your degree. Staff and your personal tutor will be able to advise which degree is best.

I’m transferring from distance learning to campus in my 2nd year, can I still do a BSc?

Absolutely. If you transfer to our campus degree you will have the choice of whether to follow the BA or BSc pathway. Staff and your personal tutor will be able to advise you.

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