Undergraduate prospectus

  • Start date: September 2017

Archaeology BA

In this programme some of the world’s leading researchers introduce essential archaeological concepts, issues, and analytical techniques. Through your selection of optional modules, field projects and dissertation topics you will also develop knowledge of particular chronological periods, geographical areas and specialist skills to support your own interests and development.

Key information

UCAS code
3 years
Application deadline
15 January 2017
Applications per place
3 (2015 entry)*
Total intake
65 (2017 entry)*
* Figures relate to Archaeology subject area

Entry requirements

A levels

No specific subjects.
English Language and Mathematics at grade C. For UK-based students, a grade C or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required. UCL provides opportunities to meet the foreign language requirement following enrolment, further details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/ug-reqs

IB Diploma

A score of 16-17 points in three higher level subjects, with no score lower than 5.

UK applicants qualifications

For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:

Equivalent qualification

Edexcel Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF), or Edexcel Level 3 BTEC National Diploma (NQF) with Distinction, Distinction, Distinction.

Pass in Access to HE Diploma, with 18 credits awarded with distinction in the Level 3 units, the remainder of the Level 3 units with Merit. Or a minimum of 28 credits awarded with Merit in the Level 3 units.

D3,D3,M1 - D3,M1,M1 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects

AAB-ABB at Advanced Highers (or AB at Advanced Higher and BBB at Higher - AA at Advanced Higher and BBB at Higher)

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A-Levels at grades AAB-ABB.

International applications

In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are intensive one-year foundation courses for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.

Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a 12-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.

For more information see: www.ucl.ac.uk/upc.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Degree benefits

  • The 2016 Guardian newspaper's number one place to study Archaeology in the UK.
  • The Institute of Archaeology's degree programmes offer an unrivalled variety of optional modules, covering a very diverse range of archaeological topics in both a theoretical and a practical manner.
  • Optional modules include everything from Roman Art and architecture to Pyrotechnology to Archaeology and plants to Human Evolution to Archaeology and Climate Change.
  • The degree includes 70 days of funded fieldwork - both in the UK and overseas (from Spain, France and Montenegro to Belize, China and Uganda to name a few).

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Institute of Archaeology.

  • 73% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.


A short video with more information.

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Degree structure

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 1.0 credit is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

The Archaeology BA and BSc share many of the same core modules in your first and second year. The routes then differ in the focus of optional modules as you choose modules with a greater (BSc) or lesser (BA) concentration on the scientific analysis of findings.

The first year provides a solid grounding in archaeological and anthropological concepts, practical methods in archaeology and an introduction to major issues in world prehistory.

The second and third years provide a more advanced understanding of archaeology and theoretical approaches, and allow you to develop your own specialised interests by choosing optional modules in particular subject areas.

In the third year you are given the chance to reflect critically on your fieldwork experience during the degree through a fieldwork portfolio, and write a 10,000-word dissertation on a detailed subject that you will choose, research and write up with the help of a supervisor.


An indicative guide to the structure of this programme, year by year.

Compulsory modules

Field Methods
Introduction to Archaeology
Introduction to Social Anthropology
People and Environments
Sites and Artefacts
World Archaeology: The Deep History of Human Societies

Optional modules

You will select one 0.5 credit option from the following:

Introduction to Egyptian and Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology
Introduction to European Prehistory
Introduction to Greek Archaeology
Introduction to Roman Archaeology
Texts in Archaeology

Compulsory modules

Applications or Archaeological Science
Current Issues in Archaeological Theory
Interpreting Archaeological Evidence
Research and Presentation Skills

Optional modules

You will select a total of 2.0 credits from the following areas:

0.5 credits in world archaeology
0.5 credits in archaeological science or skills – an updated list will be published each year
Options in Archaeology or a related subject to the value of 1.0 credit

Compulsory modules

Archaeology in the World
Field Archaeology

Optional modules

You will select a total of 2.0 credits from the following areas:

0.5 credits in world archaeology
0.5 credits in archaeological science or skills – an updated list will be published each year
Options in Archaeology or a related subject to the value of 1.0 credit

Your learning

You will be taught using a mixture of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, either field or laboratory-based. Full use is made of our extensive teaching and reference collections and close connections to the national museums and collections of London.


Coursework, typically 1,500-2,500 word essays, is used to assess most courses. Most compulsory modules and some optional modules involve an examination element too. The completion of 70 days' fieldwork is a requirement for all students in archaeology.

Further Information

Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: Archaeology BA.


Throughout the degree, which includes 70 days of fieldwork, students develop the ability to work collaboratively and effectively within teams as well as working independently in order to execute research. Students develop strong research and analytical skills and an appreciation of the importance of recovering primary data through practical experience.

Students learn to communicate effectively verbally, visually and in writing to diverse audiences and develop a sensitivity to different cultures.

Our graduates go on to work in a wide variety of fields from archaeology (fieldwork, research and academia), heritage, museums, the UK civil service and police, law, engineering, business - the question really is, what can't you do with an Archaeology degree?


First career destinations of recent graduates (2012-2014) of this programme include:

  • Archaeologist, AC Archaeology
  • Archaeological Site Assistant, Archaeological Solutions
  • Communications Co-ordinator, The Cree Foundation
  • Learning Support Officer, National Maritime Museum
  • Advertising Sales Executive, The Independent

*Data taken from the 'Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education' survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2012-2014 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers and UCL Innovation and Enterprise can help you find employment or learn about entrepreneurship.

Alumni view

All of the museum trips, archaeological excavations and the internship in a museum were key to me getting my first job in a museum and the networks I gained while at university are still helping me with my career now. Emma Traherne - Archaeology BA (2010)

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2017/18 academic year and are for the first year of the programme only.

UK/EU students
£TBC (2017/18 - see below)
Overseas students
£23,710 (2017/18)

UK/EU undergraduate fees are currently (August 2016) capped at 9,000 and UCL charges fees at the level of that cap. This cap on UK/EU undergraduate fees is currently under review by the UK Government and may be subject to increase for the year commencing 2017 and for each year of study thereafter. Fees for overseas students may be subject to an annual increase in subsequent years of study by up to 5%.

Please see the full details of UCL's fees and possible changes on the UCL Current Students website


Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.

Departmental scholarships

The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.

Application and next steps

Your application

We use predicted grades, references, previous academic records and the personal statement on your application to assess your suitability for the programme. You should demonstrate your interest in studying archaeology and explain the measures you have taken to sustain your interest in the past. Evidence of interests and activities beyond the school curriculum will also be of benefit.

How to apply

Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.

Application deadline: 15 January 2017


All applicants under consideration are asked to complete a compulsory questionnaire, based on the degree applied for, which is used in conjunction with the UCAS form to assess suitability.

On completion of the questionnaire, unless living overseas, applicants are then invited to attend an applicant open day, where they will meet staff and students and will be able to see all of the facilities on site at the UCL Institute of Archaeology and UCL.

Additionally, the open day allows you to learn about our archaeological artefacts, meet specific tutors, tour UCL and the institute, and find out more about the degree programmes, resources and facilities we offer. Alternate arrangements can be made for those living overseas.

For further information on UCL's selection process see: Selection of students

Page last modified on 14 October 2016 at 12:46 by UCL Publications & Marketing Services. Please contact us for content updates.