Archaeology BSc

3-4 years

Gain an exceptional range of hands-on experience, engage with the practice and theory of archaeology, and develop the key skills and knowledge needed for a career in the profession.

Submit course enquiry

Archaeology BSc, 3-4 years

Gain an exceptional range of hands-on experience, engage with the practice and theory of archaeology, and develop the key skills and knowledge needed for a career in the profession.

Submit course enquiry

Start date:


Course information

Typical offer BBB

UK fee £9,250

UCAS code F400

International fee £21,400

Institute code L34

Taught by Archaeology and Ancient History

Complete University Guide

19th in the UK for Archaeology (Complete University Guide 2024)

Course description

Course description

With our Archaeology BSc, you will gain knowledge of the professional archaeological sector, and receive exceptional training in professional archaeological skills from our in-house archaeological unit ULAS, who made the world-famous discovery of Richard III.

Leicester is one of a few universities in the country to have an Archaeology BSc accredited by the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA) and University Archaeology UK (UAUK). This means you’ll graduate with a qualification widely recognised as the first step on a career pathway leading to professional status.

Practical experience is a key part of the course. You will participate in excavation and various forms of fieldwork throughout your degree to ensure that your skills are continually used and developed. You’ll benefit from our excellent facilities and nine specialist laboratories, including our refitted Osteology, Zooarchaeology, and Materials labs.

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

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

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

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

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.
  • 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 school.

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 2024

  • £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 2024

  • £21,400 per year
  • Year Abroad: £5,350, 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.



This course is accredited by the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists.

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. This means that you can begin to gain training and professional experience whilst you are studying with us.

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; 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 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.

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 and you will be able to 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 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, professional practice and archaeological theory. The Professional Archaeological Practice module will enable you to become familiar with the commercial sector, from the initiation of a project to its final publication. 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 Leicester University project or a project of your choice anywhere in the world (subject to approval).

Core modules

Option modules

Choose three option modules from:

Then choose 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)

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

This is the chance for you to specialise in a topic that interests you for your dissertation. You will take modules in advanced archaeological fieldwork and will enhance your experience of professional practice. In addition, you will be able to take option modules including various laboratory-based modules.

Core modules

Option modules

Choose two option modules from:

Plus one option module 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.

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.

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 Centre for Academic Achievement 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 BSc Duration 3 years full-time UCAS Code F400 Availability How to apply
Course Archaeology Qualification BSc Duration 4 years full-time UCAS Code F400 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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