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BSc (Hons) Archaeology

Analyse our ancient past with modern technology

Year of entry: 2024/25

UCAS code

V402

Institution code

Y50

Length

3 years full-time (plus optional placement year)

Typical offer

ABB (full entry requirements)

Start date

September 2024 (semester dates)

UK (home) fees

拢9,250 per year

International and EU fees

拢23,700 per year

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Discover York

in the UK

The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, 2023

in the UK

QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2023

in the Russell Group

for 'Learning resources' and 3rd for 'Teaching on my course' in forensic and archaeological sciences of universities included in the National Student Survey, 2023.

Advances in science mean we can discover more about the history of humankind than ever before.鈥

Our courses appeal to a wide range of students across the Arts and Humanities to the Sciences, and from those who always wanted to be archaeologists to those who have only discovered the subject at university, .

From new scientific techniques in archaeological fieldwork to the analysis of human and animal bones鈥, BSc Archaeology allows you to explore the past and its people from a scientific perspective. You can follow your interests in any time period, from the Palaeolithic to the 21st century. You'll develop your skills in a broad range of archaeological methods across the arts and sciences, through a combination of hands-on learning and small group teaching

Our department is renowned for being friendly and welcoming, meaning you'll get to know your lecturers and they'll get to know you. You'll have endless opportunities to get involved, from joining the to working abroad on a research project. We're based in the King's Manor in the city centre - a beautiful and truly unique Medieval building, with 

Accreditation

This course is accredited by the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA), the leading professional body representing archaeologists working in the UK and overseas. Accreditation recognises the value of knowledge of working practices across the sector. It provides you with the opportunity to join CIfA to support your professional development.

Course content

Our five undergraduate courses all have a common first year, so it's easy to change between them.

We emphasise flexibility - there's very little restriction on the modules you can choose to study. You'll complete a dissertation at the end of Year 3, allowing you to explore a topic that you find interesting in depth.

四虎影院 abroad

There are opportunities for you to spend time abroad during your course:

CIfA accreditation is not applicable to credit-replacing exchanges abroad where only two years are spent at York. Additional year abroad programmes, where three years are spent at York, are still accredited.

Archaeology also offers plenty of opportunities during vacation breaks to get involved with research abroad.

Placements

There are opportunities to spend time in industry as part of this course.

Year 1

Core modules

In your first year, your modules will cover:

You'll also take part in an excavation. This will give you hands-on experience in all aspects of assessing, collecting and analysing primary excavation data. It is a unique opportunity to be part of a really exciting phase of a research project.

It is taught during the academic year, so you won't be required to find an excavation placement during the summer vacation. If you are interested in taking part in further excavations during the vacation, we can help you find volunteering and paid opportunities to do further excavations - sometimes abroad!

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module.

Year 2

Core modules

Option modules

You will also study two option modules, or opt to take an elective module from another department:

The options available to you will be confirmed when you start your course.

Year 3

Core modules

You'll complete an 8,000-word dissertation on your research.

You will receive support, advice and guidance from your dissertation supervisor throughout your project. The range of expertise of our staff means we can provide you with guidance on a wide range of topics.

Option modules

You will also study one option module, or opt to take an elective module from another department:

The options available to you will be confirmed when you start your course.

Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

Learning by design

Every course at York has been designed to provide clear and ambitious learning outcomes. These learning outcomes give you an understanding of what you will be able to do at the end of the course. We develop each course by designing modules that grow your abilities towards the learning outcomes and help you to explain what you can offer to employers. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Engage critically in debates around scholarship that inform current archaeological science issues applicable to multiple periods of human society, using evidence from the UK and elsewhere in the world.
  • Design, execute and evaluate archaeological research projects to a standard informed by key theoretical, scientific, legal and professional principles and methodologies in an international context.
  • Generate, document and manage primary archaeological data from diverse sources of evidence with a focus on scientific approaches and conduct analysis using a range of digital technology.
  • Operate effectively as constructive and inclusive leaders and confident participants in teamwork in challenging environments and using data from multidisciplinary field and/or laboratory projects.
  • Apply critical and creative approaches to problem-solving in complex situations with diverse, fragmentary datasets that reflect biases in their generation, survival, identification and documentation.
  • Resolve challenges in interpretation and presentation from an interdisciplinary perspective with agility and awareness of ethical issues.
  • Confidently explain, communicate and debate ideas through written, visual, and oral forms of presentation to a wide range of public and professional audiences using print and digital media.
  • Contribute as independent scholars within the field of scientific archaeology through rigorous and imaginative inquiry in multidisciplinary contexts.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees

UK (home) International and EU
拢9,250 拢23,700

UK (home) or international fees?

The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status.

Fees for subsequent years

  • UK (home) fees may increase within the government fee cap in subsequent academic years. We will notify you of any increase as soon as we can.
  • International fees are subject to increase in subsequent years in line with the prevailing Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rate (up to a maximum of 10%).

More information

For more information about tuition fees, any reduced fees for study abroad and work placement years, scholarships, tuition fee loans, maintenance loans and living costs see undergraduate fees and funding.

Funding

We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2024/25 throughout the year.

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

Teaching Excellence Framework Gold Award

Gold-standard education

Our teaching, learning and student experience is outstanding, recognised by a Gold rating from the Office for Students in the 2023 national assessment (Teaching Excellence Framework).

Why we鈥檙e gold-rated

Teaching and assessment

You’ll study and learn with academics who are active researchers, experts in their field and have a passion for their subjects. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Teaching format

You'll be taught through a range of lectures, seminars, workshops, practicals, and independent learning projects. All our teaching is research-led, meaning our lecturers are teaching the subjects they're fascinated about, and ensuring you get the most current and cutting-edge knowledge.

We have always been passionate about small group teaching - we feel it is the best way to learn. You'll start off with a variety of teaching formats and as the course progresses you'll spend more time on intensive small group teaching and individual study.

We provide training in presentation skills throughout your course, helping you to prepare for your Assessed Seminar and Assessed Lecture.

Find out more about our teaching.

Timetabled activities

In your first year, you can expect:

Lectures2 hours per week
Seminars2 hours per week
Workshops2 hours per week
Practicals2 hours per week
Excavation2 weeks in Semester 2
Field trips1 full day and 7 mini trips
Feedback sessions1-2 hours

These figures are representative of a typical week. Your contact hours will vary throughout the year due to your module choices, non-compulsory classes, exam periods and changes to scheduled activities.

Outside your timetabled hours, you'll study independently. This may include preparation for classes, follow-up work, wider reading, practice completion of assessment tasks, or revision.

In the UK, full-time students are expected to spend 1,200 hours a year learning. That's about 40 hours of classes and independent study each week during semesters. Everyone learns at a different rate, so the number of hours you spend on independent study will be different to other students on your course.

Facilities

At York, you'll have access to a huge range of unique .

In King's Manor, we have:

  • teaching rooms and a state-of-the-art lecture theatre
  • a specialist library with dedicated study spaces
  • a large lab space for working with artefacts, soil and environmental samples, and skeletal remains
  • computer labs with printers, scanners and specialised photo software, digital drawing and mapping software
  • a student common room
  • our own cafe

On Campus West, we also have Bioarchaeology labs and the York Experimental Archaeology Research (YEAR) Centre. Bioarchaeology facilities include:

  • a laboratory for bone preparation (bone saws, drills etc)
  • gas chromatography
  • optical microscopy
  • expansive preparative laboratories
  • scanning and transmission electron microscopy
  • state-of-the-art protein mass spectrometry
  • NERC-recognised amino acid dating facility
  • ZooMS bone identification service
  • state-of-the art Ancient DNA facility

You'll have access to the campus library and other University resources, including the Borthwick Institute for Archives. You'll also have access to a wide range of archaeological equipment, including:

  • drones
  • fieldwork tools
  • Total Station theodolites
  • geophysical survey equipment (resistivity, magnetometry, ground penetrating radar)
  • handheld GPS systems
  • a laser scanner
  • a variety of photo and imaging technology

Teaching location

The Department of Archaeology is located in King's Manor, in the city centre. Our BioArCh and Palaeo facilities are located in or near the Environment Building on Campus West, around 30 minutes walk from King's Manor.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can use the fast and frequent bus service. Take a campus tour.

Assessment and feedback

You'll be assessed using a variety of methods, including essays, exams, assessed presentations and team projects.

During your degree, we'll help you to develop the skills you'll need to approach your assessments, from presentation skills to designing a research study. We'll take the time to provide detailed and personalised feedback on your work, allowing you to improve and refine your work.

Your course will culminate with the exciting challenge of leading and chairing a seminar, organising and presenting a lecture, and researching and writing a dissertation. You'll graduate confident in your ability to cope with challenges and able to apply your skills to many areas of work.

The excavation has been the highlight of my year at York. As a heritage student, I spend a lot of time working with the public. Everyone who came to the site agreed that it was amazing and it鈥檚 so fulfilling to be able to share this history with the people closest to it.
Amy, BA Archaeology and Heritage

Careers and skills

There has never been a better time to study archaeology. With major new infrastructure projects such as HS2, there is a national shortage of archaeologists in the country.

Our degrees prepare you for a range of careers; the unique combination of humanities and sciences gives you skills in everything from data analysis to essay and report writing.

If you're interested in going into the heritage sector, you'll be able to choose modules which provide you with a solid grounding in heritage studies alongside the practical skills needed to kick-start your career. You’ll be able to connect with museums and heritage organisations through volunteering, internships and placement opportunities.

You'll have lifetime access to subject-specific careers support, and prepare for your future throughout your university journey through our York Futures development plan.

For more on where an archaeology degree could take you, watch our .

Career opportunities

  • Heritage organisations (e.g. English Heritage, National Trust, Yorkshire Museum)
  • Local councils
  • NHS
  • Police
  • Accountancy
  • Media
  • Marketing agencies
  • Law

Transferable skills

  • Critical thinking
  • Data analysis and interpretation
  • Structuring arguments
  • Communication and presentation skills
  • Team working
  • Leadership skills
  • Management skills
  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Creativity and innovation

Entry requirements

Typical offer
A levels

ABB

Access to Higher Education Diploma 30 credits at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher
BTEC National Extended Diploma DDM
Cambridge Pre-U D3, M2, M2
European Baccalaureate 75% or higher
International Baccalaureate 34 points
T levels We will consider a range of T Level qualifications for entry. Please visit our dedicated T Levels page for a full list of accepted T Levels.
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers Scottish Highers - ABBBB

Advanced Highers - not required for entry

We may also be able to consider three Advanced Highers or a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers, where an applicant does not meet the grade requirement through Highers alone. Please contact us to discuss your qualifications.
International foundation programme from our International Pathway College or an appropriate alternative.
Other international qualifications Equivalent qualifications from your country

Alternative offers

Meeting the following additional criteria may qualify you for an alternative offer.

Criteria Adjustment
Widening participation If you successfully complete one of the following programmes, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to two A level grades (or equivalent) below our typical offer: Black Access Programme, Next Step York, Realising Opportunities, YESS, YorWay to York. More about widening participation.
Contextual offers If you have experience of local authority care or live in an area with low progression to university, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer. More about contextual offers.
EPQ If you achieve C or higher at EPQ, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer.
Core Maths If you achieve B or higher in Core Maths, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer.
MOOCs If you successfully complete our online course Exploring Stone Age Archaeology: The Mysteries of Star Carr do let us know, as you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer. More about MOOCs.

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Minimum requirement
IELTS (Academic) 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component
Cambridge CEFR 176, with a minimum of 169 in each component
Oxford ELLT 7, with a minimum of 6 in each component
Duolingo 120, minimum 105 in each component
GCSE/IGCSE/O level English Language (as a first or second language) Grade C / Grade 4
LanguageCert SELT B2 with a minimum score of 33/50 in each component
LanguageCert Academic B2 Communicator with a minimum score of 33/50 in each component
KITE 459 Main Flight score with 426 in each component
Skills for English B2: Merit overall, with Pass with Merit in each component
PTE Academic 61, with a minimum of 55 in each component
TOEFL 87 overall, with a minimum of 21 in each component
Trinity ISE III Merit in all components

For more information see our undergraduate English language requirements.

If you haven't met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current English language test scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.

Applying

To apply to York, you will need to complete an online application via UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

Mature students

We welcome applications from mature students - Archaeology is a popular degree for people coming back to education. If you're interested in studying with us, we encourage you to get in touch to talk about your experience and qualifications. 

Next steps

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Department of Archaeology

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