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Study Archaeology abroad

About this subject

  • About this subject
  • Is this the course for me?
  • Careers prospects
  • Studying Archaelogy
  • Where to study?

Defined at the study of humanity’s past, Archaeology is an approach to history that closely examines primary sources such as material culture and environmental data that remain from previous civilisations. Although in the USA Archaeology is considered to be a branch of anthropology (the science of humanity), in the UK it is seen as a subject within its own right, derived from the study of history.

Archaeology is vital in that it allows us to gain an understanding of the past. This is particularly the case for more ancient civilisations where levels of literacy were low and there remain no written records for historians to study.

Is this the course for me?

Are you passionate about history? Are you curious to make new discoveries about the past? If so, then Archaeology may be the perfect course for you.

Archaeology is a course that requires candidates to demonstrate a broad range of skills: the ability to analyse historical data; knowledge of both social and physical science; as well as the ability to evaluate the impact that key historical dates have had upon shaping today’s society.  Unlike pure Humanities degrees such as History, Archaeology not only demands an in-depth knowledge of a broad range of subjects, but requires more contact hours of undergraduates with their professors. Students who gain the most from a degree in Archaeology are those who can not only demonstrate a passion for the subject matter, but are hard working, self-motivated and organised.

Careers prospects

The majority of graduates who choose to study a degree in Archaeology look to pursue a career as an archaeologist upon graduation. While there are a few jobs in this field available to new graduates, not everyone can find the exact work they are looking for.

However despite this, many graduates with a degree in Archaeology find work within similar areas of interest. Many make use of their historical knowledge and analytical skills in order to work within academic establishments such as museums as curators or archivists.

Similarly many Archaeology graduates will also have learned skills throughout their degree that will be applicable to a number of industries. Between the collection of data, analysis of sources and writing of reports, a degree in Archaeology allows students to acquire skills that are transferable to other sectors such as finance, journalism and conservation.

For those with specific interests, there is always the option to study Archaeology at a postgraduate level. If you’re interested in teaching at secondary level, there is always the option to study for a PGCE. You can continue to work towards a PhD if you’re interested in a more academic career.

Studying Archaelogy

In the UK, the majority of students who study Archaeology at university level will be expected to have an A-level qualification, or for postgraduate courses score a 2:1 or equivalent in a related subject, such as Geography or History. Different universities will request different entry grades, but all will expect foreign applicants to get a minimum of 6.0 on an IELTS test if they are a non-native speaker. Some, more prestigious establishments will not accept students unless they achieve a 6.5.

Archaeology is all about research and analysis, so your methods of assessment will vary from field work and data analysis, to ongoing essays and end of term exams (although this will vary depending upon the module you are studying). The minimum length for an undergraduate Archaeology degree is 3-4 years, depending on whether you are offered the opportunity to extend your study for a year through a work placement scheme. This is particularly beneficial to those seeking to pursue field-work related careers.

Where to study?

When making your decision as to where to study, it is important to remember that you need to choose somewhere that will provide you with opportunities to increase your employability prospects, after graduation. Although it seems strange to be thinking about entering the world of work before you’ve even decided where to study, it is important to remember that university is a chance to network, as well as to study. It is always worthwhile taking a look at the campus careers service to see if they offer any part-time placements or industry-shadowing schemes for undergraduates.

Irrespective of the subject matter the location of your university will have a significant impact upon where you decide to study. However, when taking a degree in Archaeology, location becomes even more influential, as the history of a local area will often determine the specialist modules available. Before making your application, consider which era of Archaeology appeals to you the most and pick a university that can offer you a rich experience in these areas.

It is also important that you choose a university that suits your personality. Try to attend as many open days as possible, and speak to current students to find out about the social life of any potential universities. If you’re the sort of individual who finds large crowds daunting, then perhaps you’ll be better suited to a smaller establishment; after all you’ll have to live there for the next three years!

Before applying though, ensure that you check the entry level requirements of your chosen institution and that you can afford the fees. If finances are a tough area, consider applying for a grant or scholarship

What Archaeology courses are there?


Archaeology Of Specific Periods / Ages




Archaeological Sciences

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