History and Archaeology BA, 3-4 years

Start date:

2020
2021

Course information

Typical offer ABB

UK/EU fee £9,250

UCAS code VV14

International fee £17,450

Institute code L34

Taught by Archaeology and Ancient History

Aristotle said it best: the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. By studying history and archaeology side by side, you’ll dig deeper into the sources and material evidence of the past.

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.

The History and Archaeology BA will give you the chance to combine two disciplines that enhance our understanding of human societies and cultures in the past. This degree has particular emphasis on the medieval and modern periods, although you will also have the opportunity to study the deep past. You will examine both historical texts and material remains and consider the relationship between the two.

You will have the opportunity to take part in fieldwork and to develop a wide range of practical skills. 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 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.

In the first two years of this degree you will split your time equally between the study of archaeology and history. In your third year your dissertation can be in either history or archaeology.

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.

Download a prospectus (PDF, 6MB)

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. History A-level is preferred but not essential. 
  • EPQ with A-levels: BBB + EPQ at grade B.
  • 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 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 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

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 this course have gone on to work for a wide range of employers including:

  • Nissan
  • Department of Education
  • Troubador Publishing
  • British Standards Institution
  • Bahrain National Museum
  • Royal Collection Trust
  • Council for British Archaeology
  • Civil Service
  • University of Leicester Archaeological Services

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.

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

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 21st century, along with the aims and methods of archaeology.

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

Option modules

Choose one option module from:

Then choose 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.

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 one history option module from:

Then choose one archaeology option module from:

Then choose one archaeology option module from:

Plus either Becoming the Historical Researcher (if you plan to write your third year dissertation on history)

Or two more history option modules: choose one option module from:

And 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.

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 Study Abroad Unit.

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 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 (History dissertation)

Final Year (History dissertation)

Core module

Option modules

Choose four option modules from the lists below, two from the lists marked A and two from the lists marked B. You can choose either one history module and three archaeology modules or two modules from each subject.

History modules list A

Archaeology modules list A

History modules list B

Archaeology modules list B

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.

Final Year (Archaeology dissertation)

Final Year (Archaeology dissertation)

Core module

Option modules

Either choose four option modules from the lists below, two from the lists marked A and two from the lists marked B - you should choose one archaeology module and three history modules.

History modules list A

Archaeology modules list A

History modules list B

Archaeology modules list B

Or choose one archaeology module from either of the Archaeology lists above and one history special subject module from this list:

Plus your Archaeology 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.

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.

History at Leicester

Researching in the Library, Jaipreet found the ‘Special Collections’ particularly valuable.

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 reading lists for:

Teaching and learning

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 the course.

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.

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 are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. Our teaching is informed by the research we do. You can learn more about our staff by visiting our staff profiles for history and archaeology.

Apply now

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