This Archaeology BA Honours degree focuses on developing your key practical skills. You'll form a thorough knowledge of archaeology topics – from prehistory to the recent past – and graduate prepared for a varied career in the heritage sector and beyond.
Through hands-on learning experiences, you will investigate the social, historical and cultural contexts in which past societies developed, drawing on evidence from a range of disciplines.
You'll explore the North East, a region that's steeped in history while on field trips, and have opportunities to go abroad.
You’ll begin your degree with an introduction to the discipline of archaeology. You will explore how archaeology has changed our understanding of the past, before learning more specialist analytical techniques and focusing on specific cultures or global regions.
As you progress through your degree, you’ll choose from a diverse range of modules and tailor your options to fit your own interests.
Quality and ranking
- 8th in the UK – The Guardian University Guide 2020
- 9th in the UK – The Complete University Guide 2020
- top 150 – Archaeology category – QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019
- top 200 – Arts and Humanities category – Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject 2018
Modules and learning
The information below is intended to provide an example of what you will study.
Most degrees are divided into stages. Each stage lasts for one academic year, and you'll complete modules totalling 120 credits by the end of each stage.
Our teaching is informed by research, and course content changes periodically to reflect developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, student feedback, or numbers of students interested in an optional module.
Full details of the modules on offer will be published through the Programme Regulations and Specifications ahead of each academic year. This usually happens in May.
To find out more please see our terms and conditions.
You’ll be introduced to a range of archaeological techniques used to understand the past, often focusing on British case studies from prehistory to the recent past. This includes the unique module Stuff: Living in a Material World, where you think about the relationships formed between people and their things.
In the summer following your first year, you will complete two weeks of funded fieldwork along Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site.
|Greek and Roman Art and Archaeology||20|
|West meets East: Greek History and Society, 776-200 BC||20|
You’ll study materials from a greater geographical range and expand your skillset to include specialist laboratory and computer analytical techniques. You’ll also complete a further two weeks of funded fieldwork choosing from one of our many projects in the UK or abroad.
|Advanced Fieldwork Training||0|
|Archaeological Theory and Interpretation||20|
|Fieldwork and Archaeological Practice||20|
You’ll choose from a wide range of optional modules, enabling you to select the topics that fascinate you most, whether it’s Roman frontiers or Ancient Greek bodies.
You’ll also complete a dissertation on a topic of your choice while receiving guided supervision from an expert member of staff.
|Dissertation in Archaeology||40|
Teaching and assessment
You will learn from a dynamic range of methods and activities, including:
- practical activities
- site visits
- fieldwork training
- independent study
These activities take place in the classroom, the library, the field, the museum and the laboratory.
You'll be assessed through a combination of:
Dissertation or research project
Examinations – practical or online
Skills and experience
Throughout your studies you’ll have opportunities to undertake hands-on archaeological work and object-handling sessions, putting the knowledge you learn in the classroom into practice.
Each summer you’ll complete a minimum of two weeks of funded fieldwork. After year one you'll undertake this at Hadrian's Wall, and at the end of year two you’ll choose from projects in the UK and abroad. These opportunities enable you to hone your practical skills while also making connections with associated heritage organisations.
You’ll have the opportunity to apply for a scholarship to spend the summer following your second year working alongside academic staff on your own research project.
In your final year, using the skills developed during your degree, you’ll write a dissertation on a topic of your own choosing. During this, you’ll hone your investigative skills as you undertake independent research with access to extensive print and electronic resources, as well as archives and special collections.
Experience life in another country by choosing to study abroad as part of your degree. You’ll be encouraged to embrace fun and challenging experiences, make connections with new communities and graduate as a globally aware professional, ready for your future.
You have the opportunity to study abroad in either Stage 2 or 3. You can study in an EU country as part of an Erasmus exchange or further afield.
Get career ready with a work placement and leave as a confident professional in your field. You can apply to spend 9 to 12 months working in any organisation in the world, and receive University support from our dedicated team to secure your dream placement. Work placements take place between stages 2 and 3.
You'll gain first-hand experience of working in the sector, putting your learning into practice and developing your professional expertise.
If you choose to take a work placement, it will extend your degree by a year. A work placement is not available if you're spending a year studying abroad. Placements are subject to availability.
Facilities and environment
Our archaeology degree courses are taught in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at our city-centre campus.
Facilities include a dedicated archaeology laboratory with petrology microscopes and stereo-microscopes for artefact analysis, and permanent collections including human remains, animal bones, Roman pottery and our Victorian household collection.
There's also the Cluster for Interdisciplinary Artefact Studies, delivering professional training in handling artefacts and extensive collections in the University-led Great North Museum adjacent to campus.
You'll have the support of a lecturer as a personal tutor throughout your degree, and a student mentor will help you settle in.
Archaeology is a new subject for everyone: we teach you all you need to know, and support your progress through to the end of the degree.
Peer mentors will help you in your first year. They are fellow students who can help you settle in and answer any questions you have when starting university.
Some of our graduates opt for careers in the heritage sector working for government, museums and private consultancies, such as:
- English Heritage
- National Trust
- British Museum
- National Parks
- Headland Archaeology
- Wardell Armstrong Archaeology Services
- MOLA Headland Infrastructure
- Northern Archaeological Associates
- Pre-Construct Archaeology Limited
As an archaeology student at Newcastle University you'll develop a wide range of transferable skills, due to the interdisciplinary and investigative nature of the subject, which are highly sought by employers.
Some students begin careers as professional archaeologists, while others enter the heritage sector. There are lots of opportunities to engage with employers prior to graduation.
Other archaeology graduates use their team-working, project management and analytical skills to work in other fields, for example as company archivists, information technologists, specialist librarians and researchers. These skills are especially valued in industries such as publishing, broadcasting and public relations. Some students become teachers, lawyers, or start their own businesses.
Make a difference
Our unique Heritage City website connects you with heritage projects and employers in the region.
Work placements are available as part of your degree, and there are many volunteering opportunities to enhance your CV.
Students in their second year can apply for funding to support their own research projects over the summer break.
Our award-winning Careers Service is one of the largest and best in the country, and we have strong links with employers. We provide an extensive range of opportunities to all students through our ncl+ inititiative.
All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2020 entry.
Other UK qualifications (and PARTNERS)
Qualifications from outside the UK
English Language requirements
Through our PARTNERS programme, you could receive an offer up to three grades lower than the typical requirements, and get support throughout the application process. To apply through PARTNERS, you must be based in the UK and meet our eligibility criteria.
Entrance courses (INTO)
International Pathway Courses are specialist programmes designed for international students who want to study in the UK. We provide a range of study options for international students in partnership with INTO.
This policy applies to all undergraduate and postgraduate admissions at Newcastle University, including Newcastle University London. It is intended to provide information about our admissions policies and procedures to applicants and potential applicants, to their advisors and family members, and to staff of the University.
Tuition fees and scholarships
Tuition fees for 2020 entry (per year)
The maximum fee that we are permitted to charge for UK students is set by the UK government.
As a general principle, you should expect the tuition fee to increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, subject to government regulations on fee increases and in line with inflation.
You will be charged tuition fees for each year of your degree programme (unless you are on a shorter exchange programme).
The tuition fee amount you will pay may increase slightly year on year as a result of inflation.
Year abroad and additional costs
For programmes where you can spend a year on a work placement or studying abroad, you will receive a significant fee reduction for that year.
Some of our degrees involve additional costs which are not covered by your tuition fees.
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Open days and events
There's no better way to get a feel for Newcastle University than to come and visit our beautiful campus, located in one of the UK's most exciting student cities. The dates are now confirmed for our Undergraduate 2020 Open Days:
• Friday 26 June
• Saturday 27 June
• Saturday 19 September
Each open day is from 9am to 4pm.
Sign up for alerts, and we'll let you know when you can book to attend next Open Day.
You can also meet us at exhibitions across the UK.
Or you can join us for an event at our London Campus.
How to apply
Apply through UCAS
To apply for undergraduate study at Newcastle University, you must use the online application system managed by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). All UK schools and colleges, and a small number of EU and international establishments, are registered with UCAS. You will need:
- the UCAS name and institution codes for Newcastle University (NEWC/N21)
- the UCAS code for the course you want to apply for
- the UCAS 'buzzword' for your school or college
If you are applying independently, or are applying from a school or college which is not registered to manage applications, you will still use the Apply system. You will not need a buzzword.Apply through UCAS
Apply through an agent
International students often apply to us through an agent. Have a look at our recommended agents and get in touch with them.