Structure of BA in Archaeology and Anthropology degree for students who first enrolled in or before September 2012
On arrival at UCL you will participate in our
long-established Experimental Archaeology course, spending four days
away from London to do things like pottery making, copper smelting,
flint-knapping, wood working, and collecting and processing wild foods.
This is both an opportunity to learn about life in the past first-hand
and to get to know each other and our staff in an informal setting. As
part of your degree you are required to complete 70 days of
archaeological and/or anthropological fieldwork, which you can spread
across the three years of study. This might involve travelling to join
one of our many foreign expeditions, working closer to home in a museum
placement, acquiring technical skills in a laboratory setting, or
spending time within an unfamiliar community in the UK or abroad to
conduct ethnographic research. Whatever you choose you will receive
individual supervision on this aspect of your course as well as
financial support, and we will ensure that you are placed with a high
quality project. In your third year you will produce a portfolio
describing your fieldwork experiences.
Your classes at UCL will take the form of lectures and small-group seminars, as well as laboratory sessions and individual supervision for your dissertation and fieldwork portfolio. The course is structured around a combination of core courses, which are fixed by us, and optional courses chosen by you from a wide range of possibilities. The core courses ensure that you will maintain a balanced training in archaeology and anthropology throughout the 3 years, while the options allow you to develop specialist skills in a particular region or area of analysis.
In your first year as an Arch & Anth student you will
receive a solid grounding in the methods and theories of social and
biological anthropology, material culture studies, and archaeology. Your
classes will also include an introduction to major developments and
issues in world prehistory such as human evolution, the origins of
farming, and the development of early states and civilizations.
Throughout your degree your lecturers and course coordinators will be on
hand to explain how the various aspects of archaeology and anthropology
interrelate in theory and practice. Over the summer you will also join
our training excavation to get first-hand experience of archaeological
- Past Societies (ARCL1003) (1 course unit)
- Introductory Social Anthropology (ANTH1005A) (0.5 course unit)
- Introduction to Material and Visual Culture (ANTH1001) (1 course unit)
- Introduction to Biological Anthropology (ANTH1014B) (0.5 course unit)
- Introduction to Field Methods and Techniques (ARCL1006) (1 course unit)
In the second year, you will progress to a more advanced
understanding of archaeology and anthropology, and also begin to form
your own perspective on these subjects by choosing options. You can
choose from literally dozens of options covering all parts of the world
and an enormous variety of topics. These might include the study of
living primates, learning in depth about a particular ancient
civilization, or about the cultures of a part of the world you are
especially interested in. A full range of the options available in Years
2 and 3 can be found on our departmental websites.
- Current Issues in Archaeological Theory (ARCL2028) (0.5 course unit)
- Introduction to Theoretical Perspectives in Social Anthropology and Material Culture (ANTH2006) (0.5 course unit)
- Research and Presentation Skills (ARCL2038) (0.5 course unit)
- Option(s) in Archaeology (amounting to 1 course unit)
- Option in any area of Anthropology (1 course unit)
- Free option in Archaeology or Anthropology (0.5 course unit)
In the third year, you will take further optional courses,
and apply the skills you have learned to an independent piece of
investigative research: the 10,000 word dissertation. This may relate to
any area of archaeology or anthropology, or combine aspects of both.
You choose the topic with guidance from a supervisor who will also help
you see it through to completion. The dissertation offers a chance to
explore those aspects of the human past or present that fascinate you
most, with expert guidance. It is also excellent grounding for graduate
research, should you choose to continue your studies beyond the BA. In
your final year you will receive general training in research and
presentation skills, which will be of use in any walk of life.
- a Fieldwork Portfolio (ARCL3056; 0.5 course unit)
- a Dissertation (ARCL3024; 1 course unit) (ideally combining archaeology and anthropology around a selected topic)
- Free options in Archaeology or Anthropology (2.5 course units)
Options may be chosen from the full range of archaeology and anthropology course available in a given year.