Ancient History and Archaeology

BA, 3-4 years

This is for you if... you want to delve into the ancient world through studying the artefacts and literature that has formed our understanding of it.

Course Description

During this degree you will develop an understanding of societies and cultures in the past, with particular emphasis on Ancient Greece and Rome. You will examine both classical texts and material remains in order to understand the past and consider the sometimes paradoxical relationship between the two.

You will have the chance to study a wide array of topics during your time here. Our staff have particular expertise in Roman archaeology, prehistory, historical archaeology, archaeological theory, and the archaeological sciences, as well as all aspects of Classical (Greek and Roman) history.

Practical experience is a key part of the degree. You will have the opportunity to participate in excavation work to ensure that your skills are continually employed and developed. We offer a wide variety of archaeological fieldwork options.

Our degrees provide transferable skills in communication, presentation, critical analysis, and teamwork that you can use in your future career, whether that is in archaeological or historical studies or in one of the wide range of other professions that attract our graduates. It doesn't matter if you have little or no previous experience of either discipline; we have designed our courses for maximum flexibility, allowing you to choose how you want to specialise or diversify as your knowledge and understanding develops.

As one of our members, you will be provided with a fertile and stimulating environment for learning, which will enable you to contribute to our understanding of the past.

Key Facts
Typical offer
UCAS code
Start date
September 2017
Archaeology and Ancient History

Admissions enquiries
+44 (0)116 252 5281

Course enquiries
+44 (0)116 252 2609

Archaeology and Ancient History website

View Key Information Sets

Why Leicester?

By volunteering in our 'Archaeology and Classics in the Community' scheme you can work towards the Leicester Award for Employability.

We run an incredible week-long study tour in Rome and also offer fieldwork opportunities across Britain and as far away as America.

We have nine specialist laboratories (including a new Osteology Lab): four dedicated to teaching and all available for student use.

Archaeology and Ancient History at Leicester achieved 95% student satisfaction in the NSS in 2015, with 100% for staff enthusiasm.

Course Structure

Year 1

Year 1

During your first year you will be introduced to Greek and Roman history and two sources modules, which introduce the basic types of primary materials relevant to ancient history. You will also study the archaeological past from the origins of the human species to the twentieth century, and participate in an excavation training school at Bradgate Park. This Leicestershire park dates back to the 13th century and was the location of one of the first unfortified brick-built aristocratic houses in England - later the birthplace of Lady Jane Grey, the 'Nine Day Queen'.


Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Year 2

Year 2

In your second year you will choose two aspects of Greek and Roman history to study in detail. These are taught through a combination of lectures and seminars, with a strong emphasis on encountering ancient primary sources in translation. You will also take two core modules focusing on sources and methods in ancient history and archaeological theory that will give you the key skills you need to succeed in these subjects. At the end of the year you will participate in a research excavation, although you may be able to undertake a visit to Rome instead.

Core modules

Option modules

Choose four option modules from: 


Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Year Abroad (optional)

Year Abroad (optional)

If you want to, you can spend your third year studying abroad at one of our partner institutions or working in an industrial placement (eligibility is dependent on your academic performance in Years 1 and 2). Alternatively, you can opt to continue studying at the University and complete your degree in three years.

Studying abroad is not just for people who are interested in travelling and meeting new people. It is about acquiring life skills that are becoming increasingly significant for a wide range of jobs in our modern globalised society. Whether you go on to work in the private sector, the state sector, a non-governmental organisation, or become self-employed you will find the experience invaluable. Find out more from our International Office.

Please note, a year spent abroad or on an industrial placement still incurs a tuition fee, but this is much lower than for a normal year at Leicester. See our Fees and Funding section for details.

We have links with several European universities, administered through the European Erasmus scheme. If you are eligible for a loan from Student Finance you can apply for a travel grant from them. During your second year at Leicester you will receive appropriate language training.

  • For the latest information on the future of the Erasmus scheme at UK universities please see our Brexit microsite 

We have links with the following universities:

We also have links with some universities outside Europe. If you are receiving financial assistance from Student Finance your support will continue and you may also be eligible to apply for additional travel grants or scholarships. We have links with the following universities:

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Final Year

Final Year

You will write a dissertation on a topic of your choice that may be focused on either ancient history or archaeology, although you are encouraged to use both historical and archaeological sources. You will also choose four option modules from a wide selection. These are chiefly taught through seminars to help you handle historical problems at a more advanced theoretical level, and to refine your skills in evaluating evidence and drawing conclusions from it.

Option modules

Choose four option modules from:

Plus your dissertation

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Major/Minor Degrees

Major/Minor degrees enable you to create your own degree. You can study a core area in depth (your major subject), while also exploring an additional area (your minor subject).

Why not complement your Major with a subject that you enjoyed before, or which has vocational elements that can boost your career prospects? Alternatively, you may want to try something completely new that you’ve always been interested in, like a language.

Find Out More

Teaching and Assessment

All of our teaching is based around a stimulating combination of lectures, small group work, and practical ‘hands-on’ experience. Flexible academic classes are combined with practical instruction in the field. You will have the chance to study a wide range of different societies and will develop the skills to examine them in more detail. Your studies of the classical world will be complemented by tuition in the ancient languages and by immediate engagement with the importance of Greece and Rome to contemporary society.

Your assessment may include essays, exams, lab reports, practical tests, group work, and oral presentations - plus of course your dissertation.

In addition, you will have regular meetings with your personal tutor to discuss progress in your studies. Your personal tutor will also provide a sympathetic ear for all matters of personal concern, whether they be academic, financial, housing, career, or social issues.

Entry Requirements

  • A/AS-levels: ABB. Two AS-levels can be considered in place of one A-level. General Studies or Critical Thinking accepted.
  • EPQ with A-levels: BBB + EPQ at grade B. Two AS-levels considered in place of one A-level. General Studies accepted.
  • GCSE: English and Maths at grade C.
  • Access to HE Diploma: Pass diploma with 45 credits at level 3, including some at Distinction.
  • International Baccalaureate: Pass Diploma with 28-30 points.
  • BTEC Nationals: Pass Diploma with DDM.

Other national and international qualifications welcomed. If you do not meet the entry requirements for this course, you can apply for the International Foundation Year run by our dedicated International Study Centre. The ISC provides academic and English language support to help you progress to your chosen undergraduate degree at the University of Leicester.

Second Year Entry may be possible with suitable qualifications.

Selection Process

When considering your application, we will look for evidence that you will be able to fulfil the objectives of the course and achieve the standards required. We will take into account a range of factors including previous exam results.

Applicants are not normally interviewed. If you receive an offer you will be invited to visit the department.

English Language Requirements

IELTS 6.5 or equivalent. If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. If you do not yet meet our requirements, our English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU) offers a range of courses to help you to improve your English to the necessary standard.

International Qualifications

Find your country in this list to check equivalent qualifications, scholarships and additional requirements.

Countries list

Fees and Funding

  • Starting in 2017

    • £9,250 in your first year. After 2017/18, the tuition fee you pay may increase annually in line with inflation (RPIX) and is subject to government regulations. (RPIX is a measure of inflation in the UK, equivalent to all items in the Retail Price Index (RPI) excluding mortgage interest payments.)
    • Year Abroad: your fee will be £1,250 for that year.

    Find out more about scholarships and funding.


  • Starting in 2017

    • £15,290 per year

    Year Abroad: your fee will be £3,822.50 which is 25% of the full-time tuition fee.

Career Opportunities

We have dedicated work experience and outreach tutors who organise placements for you in schools, museums, field archaeology units, archives, laboratories, and on external projects – complementing the volunteering provision within the University.

You can choose to take career-focused modules (such as Professional Skills or Archaeology and Ancient History in Education) with our volunteering scheme: Archaeology and Ancient History in the Community.


Our Career Development Service is here to support you, with advice on interviews, CVs, work experience, volunteering, and more. From Freshers’ Week to Graduation and beyond, they are here to help you reach your professional goals.

Course Qualification Duration UCAS Code Availability
Ancient History and Archaeology BA 3 years full-time VV41 Apply Now
Ancient History and Archaeology with Year Abroad BA 4 years full-time VV41 Apply Now
Ancient History and Archaeology
3 years full-time
Ancient History and Archaeology with Year Abroad
4 years full-time

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