Archaeology BA, 3-4 years

Start date:

2020
2021

Course information

Typical offer BBB

UK/EU fee £9,250

UCAS code V400

International fee £17,450

Institute code L34

Taught by Archaeology and Ancient History

What can we learn from archaeology? What do the artefacts we dig up tell us about civilisations, communities and individuals? Learn practical skills and develop a unique long-term perspective on human, animal and material worlds and their relevance to the present.

Course description

Course description

Due to the ongoing impact of the global pandemic we have had to evaluate all of our courses to ensure that we adhere to Government guidelines to protect the health and wellbeing of our staff and students. This means that as we work through these changes the modules, delivery methods and assessments shown, including those shown for future years, are subject to change.

Our Archaeology BA will enhance your understanding of the diverse societies of the past through the traces they have left in the form of material objects and texts. We will cover material from the first use of stone tools 3.3 million years ago to the present day.

Leicester is world-famous for our discovery of Richard III, and you’ll benefit from working alongside academics who have made incredible finds.

Practical experience is a key part of the course. You will participate in excavations and learn various fieldwork techniques throughout your degree to equip you with the skills and knowledge to interpret what you unearth. You will have the opportunity to gain experience with local heritage organisations, schools and our professional archaeological unit through Year 2 and 3 module placements, and our accredited internship programme.

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

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; 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.

At the end of your first year you can choose to transfer to the Archaeology BSc.

What's the difference between the BA and the BSc?

In year one, our BA and BSc follow the same structure, providing you with a broad introduction to archaeology. You then specialise in the second and the third year. This means that there is flexibility to change course at the end of the first year if you change your mind about which is best for you.

  • The Archaeology BA has an emphasis on heritage and the heritage sector
  • The Archaeology BSc has an emphasis on training as a professional archaeologist

Download a prospectus (PDF, 6MB)

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

  • A/AS-levels: BBB. Two AS-levels can be considered in place of one A-level. General Studies or Critical Thinking accepted.
  • EPQ with A-Levels: BBC at A-Level + EPQ at grade B.
  • Access to HE Diploma: Pass Diploma with 45 credits at level 3, 24 of which must be at Distinction.
  • International Baccalaureate: Pass Diploma with 28 points.
  • BTEC Nationals: Pass Diploma with DDM.

Other national and international qualifications considered. If you do not meet the entry requirements for this course, you can apply for the International Foundation Year – Society and Culture run by the Global Study Centre. The GSC provides academic 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

Fees and funding

UK and EU Students

Starting in 2020

  • £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 £1,250 for that year

Find out more about scholarships and funding.

International Students

Starting in 2020

  • £17,450 per year
  • Year Abroad: £4,362.50, which is 25% of the full-time tuition fee

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.

Career Development Service


Get career-ready at Leicester with guidance from our award-winning Career Development 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

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. You will be able to take part in a local archaeological fieldschool. Recently we have run fabulous fieldschools at Bradgate Park, with archaeological sites from the Mesolithic to the historic period, including the Tudor mansion of Lady Jane Grey (England's nine-day Queen), and the Iron Age Hillfort of Burrough Hill.

Core modules

In the summer following your first year you will take part in our fieldschool.

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

During your second year, you will study core modules in fieldwork, heritage skills and archaeological theory. The Heritage Skills module will enable you to gain experience of the heritage sector. In addition you will be able to choose five option modules covering different archaeological periods and specialisms. At the end of your second year, you will undertake fieldwork on either a University of Leicester project or a project of your choice anywhere in the world (subject to approval).

Core modules

Option modules

Choose three option modules from:

Plus two 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 (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 Global Opportunities team.

Please note, a year spent abroad 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 Erasmus+ scheme. If you are eligible for a loan from Student Finance you can apply for a travel grant from them. Languages courses, at both beginners and advanced level, are available through the University’s Languages at Leicester scheme.

  • 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

This is the chance for you to specialise in a topic that interests you for your dissertation. In addition, you will take a module in advanced archaeological fieldwork, plus option modules in a variety of subjects.

Core modules

Option modules

Choose two option modules from:

Plus two 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 fantastic! A full 100% of our Archaeology students are employed (or studying for a Masters degree) six months after graduating. (DLHE)

Our award-winning archaeological services company, ULAS, offers accredited internships and work experience opportunities every year.

You will be working with, maybe even taught by, the archaeologists who discovered King Richard III.

Between Years 1 and 2 you will work on our annual summer fieldschool. In the past, we have excavated Bradgate Park, home of Lady Jane Grey, and Burrough Hill Iron Age hillfort. In 2020 we will start excavating a brand new site for our fieldschool.

Archaeology at Leicester

Jo loves the opportunities that the course offers to apply practical skills in a real archaeological setting.

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

Teaching

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 periods and regions and will develop the skills to examine them in more detail. You will have the option to transfer to the BSc in Year 2, which places more emphasis on training as a professional archaeologist.

Assessment

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.

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, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. To help with your independent learning, you can access the Library and our 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 all the time you want involved in the subjects you love! You can see details of the contact hours on individual module pages.

Academic support

Our Student Learning Development Team provides help in the following areas:

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

Our 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

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge inform the modules on the course. PhD research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader. Our teaching is informed by the research we do. You can learn more about our staff by visiting our staff profiles.

Apply now

Course Qualification Duration UCAS Code Availability
Course Archaeology Qualification BA Duration 3 years full-time UCAS Code V400 Availability Apply Now
Course Archaeology with Year Abroad Qualification BA Duration 4 years full-time UCAS Code V400 Availability Apply Now