archaeological dig site

Ancient History and Archaeology BA

3-4 years

Delve into the ancient world through studying a combination of material culture and texts. Combining Archaeology with Ancient History, this degree gives you the ideal mix of practical, critical and intellectual skills to explore and tackle exciting themes and aspects of the past which are relevant today.

Ancient History and Archaeology BA, 3-4 years

Delve into the ancient world through studying a combination of material culture and texts. Combining Archaeology with Ancient History, this degree gives you the ideal mix of practical, critical and intellectual skills to explore and tackle exciting themes and aspects of the past which are relevant today.

Start date:


Course information

Typical offer ABB

UCAS code VV41

Institute code L34

Taught by Archaeology and Ancient History

The Uni Guide logo

97% of students in work or further study six months after graduating (The Uni Guide)

Course description

Course description

During your Ancient History and Archaeology BA degree, you will develop an understanding of societies and cultures in the past, with an emphasis on Ancient Greece and Rome, as well as the wider ancient world in North Africa and the Near East. You will examine classical texts and material remains in order to understand these peoples and their legacies.

Practical experience is a key part of the archaeological part of this degree. You will have the opportunity to participate in fieldwork and field trips and gain skills in recognising past material culture. We have specialist facilities and an outstanding range of equipment for hands-on teaching and research in science-based analytical techniques, including our state-of-the-art human bone laboratory, environmental laboratory, zooarchaeology laboratory, and ceramics laboratory.

You will also have the opportunity to gain experience with local heritage organisations, schools and our professional archaeological unit (ULAS) through Year 2 and 3 module placements and our acclaimed accredited internship programme.

Our School of Archaeology & Ancient History hosts a world-class, international team of scholars engaged in cutting-edge research and teaching in our twin disciplines of Ancient History and Archaeology. We have a long history of making high-impact, world-leading discoveries, of which you could be a part. Our staff work all over the world on research projects – in Britain, Ireland, France, Italy, Greece, Central Europe, Egypt, North Africa, Sudan, Iran, Syria, Pakistan, South East Asia, China, Australia, the USA, the Caribbean and elsewhere – and we cover all periods, from the earliest humans to the recent past.

Entry requirements

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.
  • Access to HE Diploma: Pass Diploma with 45 credits at level 3, 30 of which must be at Distinction. 
  • International Baccalaureate: Pass Diploma with 30 points.
  • BTEC Nationals: Pass Diploma with DDM.
  • T Levels: Merit. All T Levels considered.

Other official national and international qualifications considered from across the world. You can review some of the qualifications we accept on our countries page and English Language equivalencies.

If your qualification or country is not listed, please contact us for more information, including the name and result of the qualification you have studied.

Second Year Entry may be possible with suitable qualifications.

Contextual offers

The University of Leicester is committed to providing equitable opportunities for all applicants from all backgrounds. We make contextual offers to support students who may be impacted by the area they live in, their personal circumstances or who have completed one of our progression programmes. These offers are usually one or two grades lower than the standard entry requirements. To qualify for a contextual offer, you must apply for an eligible course and meet specific criteria – check if you’re eligible.

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

Fees and funding

UK Students

Starting in 2025

Tuition fees for 2025/26 are yet to be confirmed. As an indication of what you might pay, the fees for students who started in 2024/25 were:

  • £9,250 in your first year. Tuition fees are subject to government regulations and may change in future years
  • Year Abroad: your fee will be £1,385 for that year

Find out more about scholarships and funding.

International Students

Starting in 2025

Tuition fees for 2025/26 are yet to be confirmed. As an indication of what you might pay, the fees for students who started in 2024/25 were:

  • £ 21,400 per year
  • Year Abroad: £5350, which is 25% of the full-time tuition fee

If you are resident outside the UK and the Republic of Ireland, you will need to pay a deposit of £3,000 to secure your place. This will be subtracted from your total tuition fee.

From 2022 onwards, EU nationals will pay the International fee. If you are an EU national with settled or pre-settled status under the EU settlement scheme, you may qualify for the UK fee (subject to criteria).

Find out more about scholarships and funding.

Careers and employability

Careers and employability

We are proud to host an on-site, professional archaeological unit, the award-winning University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS) - the team that found King Richard III. ULAS offer HEAR and CIFA accredited internships and provide valuable training and professional experience alongside your academic studies.

All our degrees provide transferable skills in communication, presentation, critical analysis and teamwork. This will be critical for your future career, whether it is in archaeological studies or in one of the wide range of professions that attract our graduates. It doesn't matter if you have little or no previous experience in archaeology or ancient history; we have designed our courses for maximum flexibility. This allows you to choose how you want to specialise or diversify as your knowledge and understanding develop.

For single and joint archaeology degrees, practical experience is a key element of our courses. You will participate in excavations and learn various fieldwork techniques throughout your degree to equip you with the skills and knowledge to interpret archaeological material.

Our dedicated work experience and outreach staff will organise placements for you in schools, heritage organisations, museums, field archaeology units, archives, laboratories and on external projects – complementing the volunteering provision within the University.

As part of our year 2 Heritage Skills and year 3 Archaeology and Ancient History in Education modules, you can do a placement/project in a school or heritage setting where you work with a teacher/heritage mentor to gain a range of experience and to design and deliver a lesson plan or outreach activity. These modules provide an excellent foundation for a PGCE or a career in heritage management.

We also offer Archaeology and Classics in the Community internships.

Interns support the introduction of archaeology and classics in local state schools, providing a wide range of enrichment opportunities based on our research. A programme of school and campus-based activities, training and mentoring delivered in partnership with the University's School of Education, develops skills which are essential for careers in teaching, heritage and museums.

Graduate destinations

Graduates from our Archaeology degrees have gone on to work for a wide range of employers including:

  • Bahrain National Museum
  • Royal Collection Trust
  • Council for British Archaeology
  • Teaching
  • Civil Service
  • University Of Leicester Archaeological Services

John took a few years out before applying to study Archaeology, and choose Leicester after being impressed by the welcome at an Open Day.

Careers and Employability Service

Get career-ready at Leicester with guidance from our award-winning Careers and Employability Service. We're here to give you a lifetime offer of support, even after graduation. Our team of specialist careers advisers and mentors will help you every step of the way. From supporting you with CVs and interviews, to volunteering opportunities and placements, we're here to help you reach your professional goals.


Related courses

Sustainable Development Goals

Sustainable Development Goals

We are committed to providing skills and knowledge to help prepare you tackle global challenges. We have mapped our undergraduate degrees for learning which aligns to the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.

This degree includes learning which relates to the following UN Sustainable Development Goals:

Find out more about the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Course structure

Year 1

Year 1

You will study the archaeological past from the origins of the human species to the 20th century, learning the aims and methods of archaeology along the way. You will also gain practical experience in a wide variety of archaeological skills. In early Summer, you will take part in a local archaeological fieldschool. Recently we have run fabulous fieldschools at Bradgate Park with sites from the Mesolithic to the historic period, including the Tudor mansion of Lady Jane Grey (England's famous nine-day Queen), and the Iron Age hillfort of Burrough Hill. And in Ancient History you will gain key insights into the span and names of ancient Greek and Roman history, and critically explore the types of textual guides to these cultures.


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, for your Ancient History strand, 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 be able to participate in a research excavation.

Core modules

Option modules

You will choose two option modules, one module from each of the lists below.

Ancient History modules

Archaeology modules

You will then choose a further three option modules from the lists below. Two should be from Ancient History and one from Archaeology.

Ancient History modules

Archaeology modules

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)

We’ll make sure you have everything you need for your future career: not just by awarding you a high quality degree, but also by helping you to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence you need to make your mark in the world as a Citizen of Change. One way you can do this is by opting to take a Year Abroad between Years 2 and 3 of your degree.

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 a career in the private, public or third sector - or plough your own furrow as an entrepreneur – you will find the experience invaluable.

For more information, including a list of destinations, please visit our Study Abroad website.

Please note

  • A year spent abroad still incurs a tuition fee, but this is much lower than for a normal year at Leicester. See the Fees and Funding tab of this page for details.
  • You may be eligible for a travel grant from Student Finance England.
  • Places are offered on a competitive basis, and eligibility is dependent on your academic performance in Years 1 and 2.
  • Language courses, at beginners or advanced level, are available through our Languages at Leicester scheme.

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

A core focus of your final year will see you 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 in your chosen theme. You will also choose four option modules from a wide selection. These are chiefly taught in smaller group sizes, which will help you to handle historical problems at a more advanced theoretical level, and to refine your skills in evaluating evidence and drawing conclusions from it.

Core modules

Option modules

Choose two option modules from:

Plus a further three 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.

Why Leicester?

Job prospects are excellent: 98% of our Ancient History students are employed (or studying for a Masters degree) six months after graduating. (DLHE)

The broad range of interests among our many staff means you won't be limited geographically or temporally, with specialists ranging from the ancient Mediterranean and beyond, to 18th century slavery studies and modern US politics.

Our academic staff have written or edited dozens of books and publish regularly in major national and international journals. Where other people only get to read what our experts think, you will be working directly with them, learning from them in lectures and questioning them in seminars.

Through the University's ‘Languages at Leicester’ programme you can study ancient languages like Latin or Greek or learn or enhance your modern language skills, from French to Spanish to Russian. Courses run from beginner to advanced level and can really add to your CV.

Reading list

See the types of texts you might read, over the summer, to get a feel for the course and arrive prepared and ready to go.

View a reading list for Archaeology and Ancient History degrees

Teaching and learning

All of our teaching is based around a stimulating combination of lectures, small group work, and practical ‘hands-on’ experience. 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 sources and by immediate engagement with questioning 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 final-year 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; they will also be key in you formulating professional-looking CVs for your next steps after the degree.

Independent learning

When not attending lectures, seminars or other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library ((in person or via online resources), , preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. To help with your independent learning, you can access the Library and our many social study spaces in halls of residence.

Your contact hours will depend on the option modules you select. However, we have a range of clubs and volunteering opportunities which mean you can spend extra time in and around the subjects you love! You can see details of the contact hours (and the types of topics covered) on individual module pages.

Academic support

The University's Centre for Academic Achievement provides help in the following areas:

  • study and exam skills
  • academic writing
  • presentations
  • dissertations
  • numerical data skills
  • referencing sources

The University's AccessAbility Centre offers support and practical help for students with dyslexia or other specific learning difficulties, including physical, mental health or mobility difficulties, deafness, or visual impairment.

Teaching staff

Across your degree, you will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules offered. PhD research and postdoctoral scholars who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader. Our teaching is strongly informed by the research we do. You can learn more about our staff and their wide-ranging expertise by visiting our staff profiles.

Apply now

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

Data about this course

students outside at a dig site

Having that connection with the physical remains of the past really captures the imagination.


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