History and Archaeology

BA, 3-4 years

This is for you if... you want to dig a level deeper than your A-level studies and learn the skills and concepts that allow us to confirm or challenge, with material evidence, that which written sources tell us.

Course Description

The History and Archaeology BA will give you the chance to study two distinct disciplines that both enhance our understanding of human societies and cultures in the past. It is the complementary, yet different, nature of these disciplines that makes this degree so challenging and exciting.

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

Practical experience is a key part of our degrees. You will have the opportunity to participate in excavation work during your degree to ensure that your skills are continually employed and developed.

In the first two years of this degree you will split your time between the study of archaeology and history but in your third year you will have the opportunity to specialise more in history or archaeology, should you wish to.

This course draws on the expertise and experience of our Centre for Historical Archaeology, the UK’s only research institution dedicated to the archaeological study of the past 500 years.

Key Facts
Typical offer
UCAS code
Start date
September 2018
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?

You will receive practical training from ULAS (University of Leicester Archaeological Services), who were involved with the discovery of Richard III.

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

Our New History Lab brings together staff and students every fortnight to discuss history over tea and cake. Guest speakers have included newsreader Julie Etchingham and historian Melvyn Bragg.

Our staff teach and research across a wide range of topics - from medieval to modern periods and across all the continents. This is reflected in the diversity and breadth of modules that you can study.

Course Structure

Year 1

Year 1

In your first year you will split your studies equally between archaeology and history, taking modules covering medieval, early modern and global history, providing you with a thorough grounding in historical methods and practice at university level. You will also study the archaeological past from the origins of the human species to the twenty-first century, along with the aims and methods of archaeology. A key part of your first year will be your participation in an excavation training school at Bradgate Park - a local park dating back to the 13th Century which was the location of one of the first unfortified brick-built aristocratic houses in England - later the birth place of Lady Jane Grey.

Core modules

Option modules

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 2

Year 2

In your second year you will continue to balance your studies equally between the two   subjects. You will have more opportunity to shape the course of your degree this year as you will be able to choose option modules from the areas of history and archaeology that interest you the most. You will also have the opportunity to study a range of laboratory-based modules, covering subjects such as environmental archaeology and artefact analysis. At the end of your second year you will participate in a research excavation, which can take place anywhere in the world.

If you would like to write your third year dissertation on an area of history rather than archaeology then you must take the option module The Historian’s Craft.

Core modules

Option modules

Choose two option modules from:

And a further 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 International Office.

    Please note that 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 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

    Your final year is an opportunity to delve into the areas of greatest interest to you. Your dissertation can be written on any topic that relates to history and archaeology. You will be able to choose your option modules from an extensive range of topics including history, archaeology, thematic history and science. You must take at least one additional module in the subject in which you are writing your dissertation.

    Core modules

    Option modules

    You can choose either

    • to take four option modules, one of which must be History and one of which must be Archaeology.
    • or to take a History special subject. You will then take two further option modules, one of which must be in Archaeology.

    History special subjects:

    • Beauty, Sex & Science: Whose Body is it Anyway c. 1550-2015? 
    • Church, State and Belief in Soviet Russia 
    • From Gin Lane to Westminster 
    • Genocides and Mass Violence in Europe and its Colonies in the Twentieth Century
    • Ideals of Womanhood in Nineteenth Century America
    • Israel and Palestine: the Story of a Land, 1882 to the Present
    • Poverty and Welfare in Britain 1597 to the Present
    • The British Anti-Slavery Movement 1787-1833 
    • The Cause: Women’s Suffrage 
    • The French Revolution, 1789-1804
    • The Presidency of Franklin D Roosevelt

    History option modules:

    Archaeology option 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.

    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

    You will be taught by a variety of methods, ranging from large lectures to seminars to individual tutorials. Lectures are used to provide historical narrative and to raise key historical questions and areas of debate. Seminars are where you share your opinion about those debates and put forward your interpretation of history. In your first year you will normally have around ten contact hours per week, with more emphasis being placed on small group teaching and independent study as you progress through your degree. You will also have the opportunity to get hands on experience of excavations throughout your degree.

    Assessment is through exams and coursework (both long and short essays), source analyses, group projects and presentations. Approximately two thirds of your final degree mark will be based on your coursework; one third on your exams.

    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.

    Overall workload

    Typical workload hours for Department of Archaeology and Ancient History courses in 2016/17:

    Year 1: 20% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

    • Teaching, learning and assessment: 240 hours
    • Independent learning: 960 hours

    Year 2: 13% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

    • Teaching, learning and assessment: 156 hours
    • Independent learning: 876 hours

    Optional year abroad: If you’re spending a year abroad, your contact hours will vary depending on the institution you’re studying at.

    Final year: 8% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

    • Teaching, learning and assessment: 96 hours
    • Independent learning: 1104 hours

    While your actual contact hours may depend on the option modules you select, the above information gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities for each year of your course.

    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 are closely matched to the content of 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.

    Entry Requirements

    • A/AS-levels: ABB. Two AS-levels can be considered in place of one A-level. General Studies or Critical Thinking accepted. History A-level is preferred but not essential.
    • EPQ with A-levels: BBB + EPQ at grade B.
    • GCSE: English and Maths at grade C.
    • Access to HE Diploma: Pass relevant diploma with 45 credits, 30 of which must be at distinction
    • International Baccalaureate: Pass Diploma with 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 University.

    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 2018

      • £9,250 in your first year. After 2018/19, the tuition fee you pay may increase annually in line with inflation and is subject to government regulations.
      • Year Abroad: your fee will be £1,250 for that year.

        Find out more about scholarships and funding.


      • Starting in 2018

        • £15,980 per year
        • Year Abroad: your fee will be £3,995 which is 25% of the full-time tuition fee.
          Find out more about scholarships and funding.

        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; Archaeology and Ancient History in Education) and volunteer for Archaeology and Classics in the Community.

        The 'History in the Classroom' module includes practical teaching experience by incorporating a placement in a local school.


        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
        History and Archaeology BA 3 years full-time VV14 Apply Now
        History and Archaeology with Year Abroad BA 4 years full-time VV14 Apply Now
        History and Archaeology
        3 years full-time
        UCAS Code
        History and Archaeology with Year Abroad
        4 years full-time
        UCAS Code

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