Institute of Archaeology


IoA Student Handbook

This student handbook provides information to students for the 2023-24 academic session.

Provost’s Welcome to UCL

UCL President and Provost, Michael Spence (Copyright: Mat Wright 2021)

Dear students, 

A warm welcome to those of you who are new and congratulations on making UCL your university of choice. To those of you returning, welcome back.   
Your UCL education will take you deep into your chosen field and give you its broader context in our rich multidisciplinary academic culture. It will help you develop skills and networks to prepare you for your future.   
We want you to learn how to think, not what to think, through UCL’s research-based approach to education. Our students are our partners and contributors, working alongside world-leading academic staff to pursue excellence, break boundaries and make an impact on global challenges.   
I warmly encourage you to shape your journey at UCL. Take our university-wide surveys and work in partnership with academics to make your programme of study even better.  Each programme also has opportunities for you to volunteer as an academic representative to work closely with your department to improve the student experience.

This is an exciting time to make your voice heard, with our recently opened campus at UCL East and work underway on implementing our 2022-2027 strategic plan for education. Preparations have also begun on marking UCL’s bicentennial in 2026 and our student partners will be involved in planning an inspiring programme of events to celebrate this landmark anniversary.

UCL is a community of great minds. You are a valuable member of that community. I hope you will take every opportunity to shape your time with us, so that your experience is the best possible.   

Dr Michael Spence
UCL President and Provost 

IoA Director's Welcome

Professor Kevin MacDonald, UCL Institute of Archaeology

Dear students,

Welcome to the UCL Institute of Archaeology.

We are one of the UK's leading specialist institutions, and one of the largest centres for archaeology, cultural heritage and museum studies in the world. Founded in 1937, we actively pursue research at archaeological sites and collections, as well as with living communities globally.

More than 60 academic staff work at the IoA, teaching and conducting research including archaeological fieldwork, laboratory analyses and conservation, artefact studies, public archaeology and theoretical, synthetic, and analytical work. We aim to provide you with stimulating, research-led courses within flexible and wide-ranging degrees. Our graduates have an enviable record in securing employment in both public and private sectors.

The IoA is ideally located in the heart of Bloomsbury, near both the British Museum and British Library, in London’s cultural hub.  We inhabit a purpose-built building, completed in 1958, on picturesque, historic Gordon Square. We enjoy unrivalled resources for students and staff, especially our world-leading Archaeological Library, the Wolfson Laboratories, and our own major archaeological collections. We have a rich programme of high-profile international speakers, symposia, seminars, and other events every year.

We are also a partner of Archaeology South-East (ASE), the commercial archaeology division of the UCL Institute of Archaeology. ASE works across south-east England, London and internationally to bring the world-class expertise of UCL to clients and communities in need of advice on heritage protection and archaeological research. Our partnership provides students with the opportunity to gain knowledge of the world of contract archaeology.

You are now a member of the IoA with its long tradition of excellence and inquiry. You are also a member of UCL and will be able to enjoy the benefits of studying in a diverse, highly-ranked university.

I invite you to take full advantage of the unique opportunities which lie before you.

Professor Kevin MacDonald
Director, UCL Institute of Archaeology






Detailed Table of Contents:

1 Welcome to UCL

1.1 Provost's Welcome
1.2 Covid-19: Possible Changes to Information

2 Introduction to the department and parent faculty

2.1 Introduction to the department and its history
2.2 Explanation of the relationship between department and faculty
2.3 Key staff members within the department and faculty

3 Departmental staff related to the programme

3.1 Explanation to students of the roles of module and programme leaders and other key staff involved in programme delivery

4 Key dates

4.1 Term dates, exam/assessment period, core activities
4.1.1 UCL Term Dates: 2023-24
4.1.2 UCL Examination Periods 2023-24
4.2 Department- and faculty-level events and key dates
4.3 How UCL and the department will communicate with students (Central and Local)

5 Hours of Study

5.1 Hours of study (Central and Local)
5.2 Personal study time
5.3 Attendance requirements
5.3.1 Attendance Requirements
5.3.2 Tier 4 students: Absence from teaching and learning activities

6 Our expectations of students

7 UCL's Student Support Framework

8 Programme structure

8.1 The structure of the programme, duration, credits, qualification(s)
8.2 Projects, placements and study abroad
8.2.1 Finding projects
8.2.2 Information on placements
8.2.3 Information on study abroad options
8.2.4 Information about regulations concerning the year abroad (academic requirements if they exist)
8.2.5 Information on internships from UCL Careers
8.3 Professional accreditation
8.3.1 Details of any professional accreditation and associated requirements integrated into the programme and requirements for students

9 Tutorials and Supervision

9.1 What Students Can Expect in Terms of Academic and Personal Tutoring
9.2 Transition Mentors (first-year UG only)
9.2.1 Transition Mentors

10 Advice on choosing module options and electives

10.1 Choosing modules
10.1.1 Choosing modules
10.1.2 UCL Module Catalogue
10.1.3 Module Selection and Verification Deadlines
10.1.4 Change of Module Selection
10.2 Contact details for staff who can give advice

11 Changes to Registration Status

11.1 Information on How to Change, interrupt or Withdraw from a Programme
11.1.1 Changing modules
11.1.2 Changing programme
11.1.3 Interruption of studies
11.1.4 Withdrawing from a programme
11.1.5 Informing the Student Loans Company of changes to your student status
11.2 Key Contacts in the department for assistance with any of the above

12 Progression, Award and Classification

12.1 Information on how a student progresses through the programme – what does a student need to complete and pass to be awarded a degree, what are the consequences of unsatisfactory progress
12.2 How will marks be combined to reach a classification?

13  Information on assessment

13.1 How will students be assessed?
13.2 What are the marking criteria and learning outcomes?
13.3 What marking scale is in use on the programme?
13.4 What is feedback, and how will students recognise it (questions in lectures, emails etc.)? How and when will students receive feedback on their work and what will it look like?
13.5 UCL Standard turnaround time for feedback
13.6 For written examinations, a link to the UCL Examination Guide for Candidates on the Examinations and Awards website
13.6.1 Examinations
13.6.2 Intercollegiate Exams
13.7 For coursework submissions, clear information about where and how to submit work, including details of any electronic submission methods and the technical support available
13.8 Information about penalties for late submissions
13.8.1 Late Submission Penalties
13.9  Information about absence from assessment
13.9.1 Absence from Assessment
13.10 Information about word counts and penalties 
13.11 Information about the consequences of failure
13.12  Academic Integrity
13.13  Information about academic integrity and accepted referencing methods in the discipline
13.14  Information about academic integrity (plagiarism) in the discipline
13.15  Information about research ethics, approvals process, code of conduct, etc. on the programme (where applicable)
13.16  Information about Marking, Second-Marking and Moderation (Central and Local)
13.17  Information about the External Examiner process and how to access reports via Portico

14 Learning Resources & Key Facilities

14.1 Information on UCL-wide learning resources and key contacts for support
14.1.1 UCL Library Services
14.1.2 UCL Information Systems Division (ISD)
14.1.3 UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE) 
14.1.4 Sustainable UCL
14.2 Information on department/faculty library spaces/resources, IT provision/support, social spaces etc.
14.2.1 How to access Moodle and support contacts 
14.3 Portico – what it is, why it is important and who to contact for support
14.3.1 Portico
14.4 Research Student Log
14.4.1 Research Student Log

15 Student Support and Wellbeing

15.1 Information regarding central wellbeing and support services
15.1.1 UCL Student Support and Wellbeing 
15.1.2 The Student Enquiries Centre
15.1.3 Student Advisers for First Year Undergraduates
15.1.4 Disability, Mental Health and Wellbeing team
15.1.5 Student Psychological and Counselling Services 
15.1.6 International Student Support  
15.1.7 Study Abroad support 
15.1.8 Accommodation 
15.1.9 Financial support 
15.1.10 Student of Concern 
15.2 Information about registering with a doctor and out-of-hours support services 
15.2.1 Registering with a Doctor 
15.2.2 Counselling, support and information helpline 
15.2.3 Crisis support - immediate and urgent help 
15.3 Information on how students can access support/information related to Equity and Inclusion
15.3.1 Equity and Inclusion 
15.3.2 Inclusion Leads
15.4  Information about UCL’s approach to preventing and responding to harmful behaviours 
15.4.1 Bullying, harrassment, sexual misconduct and/or domestic abuse 
15.4.2 Support for students who have been affected by sexual violence and/or domestic abuse 

16 Employability and Careers

16.1 Opportunities available, where and how to get advice, career planning tips
16.2 Information on UCL Careers
16.3 Entrepreneurship at UCL

17 Student Representation

17.1 Information on Students’ Union UCL, how to run for election and how to find a representative
17.2 Student Societies
17.3 Information on Academic Representatives
17.4 Role of the Staff-Student Consultative Committee
17.5 Other ways (specific to the department/programme) that students can give feedback, including local processes and key contacts
17.6 Students’ Union Advice Service
17.7 Informal and Formal Student Complaints
17.7.1 Informal resolution
17.7.2 Formal complaints

18 Student Feedback

18.1 The importance of feedback and how UCL uses the results
18.2 Student surveys and how UCL uses the results, including information about the NSS, PTES and the New to UCL survey
18.3 Module Dialogue - what it is and why it is important
18.4 The ASER process and how student representatives are involved
18.5 UCL ChangeMakers
18.6 Student Quality Reviewers

19 Sport and Physical Activity

19.1 TeamUCL
19.2 Project Active
19.3 Bloomsbury Fitness

20  Volunteering Services

20.1 About Volunteering Services

21 Data Protection

21.1 How UCL uses student information, for what purposes, and the steps taken to safeguard this information; Where to find information security, intellectual property and email policies; Information on how to enquire or make a related complaint

22 Health, Safety and Security

22.1 UCL Health, Safety and Security information
22.2 Health and Safety information concerning the department

23 After Study

23.1 Information on degree certificates and transcripts
23.1.1 Degree Certificates
23.2 Information about the HEAR
23.3 Graduation Ceremonies
23.4 Information on UCL Alumni activities and key contacts (Central and Local)