Programme structure - published for 2023-24
8.1 The structure of the programme, duration, credits, qualification(s)
Full details on programme structure for individual degree programmes is provided here:
8.2 Projects, placements and study abroad
8.2.1 Finding projects
All IoA BA and BSc degrees have a Fieldwork Requirement. Further information is given on the IoA Undergraduate Fieldwork Moodle. Students can also contact Charlotte Frearson, the Student Fieldwork and Placement Co-ordinator.
8.2.2 Information on placements
BA in Archaeology with a Placement Year
This is a 4 year degree incorporating a one year internship, which is hosted by Archaeology South-East (ASE), the contract division of the UCL’s Centre for Applied Archaeology. Students may apply to this degree, or transfer into it during their first or second year. Acceptance is conditional on a review of the student’s progress during the 1st and 2nd year and a demonstrable interest and aptitude for fieldwork. There are a limited number of internships available. Second year students who wish to continue onto the internship will be required to make an application and submit a CV and reference letter in early December of their 2nd year, all applicants will be interviewed to select the most appropriate students at the discretion of the Degree Tutor and Archaeology South-East. Successful applicants will be given a contract for a year’s paid employment during their placement at Archaeology South-East.
With successful completion of the year’s internship being credited as 120 ‘shell credits’ to be awarded on a pass/fail basis. This will not contribute to the classification of the final degree which will be awarded on the basis of the student’s 1st, 2nd and 4th year UCL taught course marks. Students who did not satisfy the requirements of the internship year would transfer back into the 3 year BA Archaeology degree.
During their year’s internship the student will work on a number of projects while also engaging in a structured program of off-the-job training which will mirror the requirements of a Level 5 apprenticeship. The standards for these apprenticeships covers an impressive range of skills training. Although the emphasis on learning skills during employment is not directly equivalent to academic qualifications, a Level 5 apprenticeship is considered to be equivalent to a foundational degree. ASE was on the steering group to develop the apprenticeship standards for archaeology and historic environment practitioners, and the internships will include 20% of off-the-job training sessions.
MSc in Conservation for Archaeology and Museum
The two-year IoA MSc in Conservation for Archaeology and Museums involves an eight month internship in the second year of the degree. This is normally divided between two institutions.
8.2.3 Information on study abroad options
If a student is unable for reasons of safety or significant discrimination to go to the country they are expected to go to for the year abroad, the department (in liaison with the Study Abroad office) will endeavour to find an alternative placement (in a different country) wherever possible. Where this does not prove possible, arrangements for transfer to an equivalent three-year programme (without a year abroad) will be made. See also sections 15.1.7 and 15.3 below.
BA in Archaeology with a Year Abroad
Building on the Institute of Archaeology’s global connections, this degree offers all the flexibility of our normal BA Archaeology programme combined with the opportunity to study abroad. The first, second and fourth years are essentially the same as those of years 1-3 of the BA Archaeology programme. The entire third year will be spent at a partner institution in Europe, USA, Canada, Australia or elsewhere outside the UK.
The Institute of Archaeology UCL currently has European partnerships in place with universities in Austria, Poland, Denmark, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, and Greece. Outside Europe, specific partnerships are currently in place in the US (Universities of California, Texas and Washington as well as SUNY at Stonybrook), Canada (University of Toronto), Japan (Waseda University) New Zealand (University of Auckland) and Australia (Universities of Sydney, Western Australia and Flinders).
The goals of the year abroad are to allow students to experience higher education in a different setting, access high-level expertise from beyond UCL, and gain familiarity with the practice of archaeology outside the UK. Students taking the year abroad will need to be in good academic standing and is conditional on a review of the student’s progress during the 1st and 2nd year they will also need the linguistically competent relevant for their exchange destination. They will be supported by the departmental Study Abroad Tutor and the Study Abroad Office in preparation for their visit (which they will apply for during their 2nd year), and during their time abroad. The programme of study that they undertake in the partner institution will be agreed with the Study Abroad Tutor prior to departure. Successful completion of the year abroad will be credited as 120 ‘shell credits’ to be awarded on a pass/fail basis. This will not contribute to the classification of the final degree which will be awarded on the basis of the student’s 1st, 2nd and 4th year UCL taught course marks. Students who did not satisfy the requirements of the year abroad would transfer back into the 3 year BA Archaeology degree.
If a student is unable for reasons of safety or significant discrimination to go to the country they are expected to go to for the year abroad, the department will endeavour to find an alternative placement (in a different country) wherever possible. Where this does not prove possible, arrangements for transfer to an equivalent three-year programme (without a year abroad) will be made. See also sections 15.1.5 and 15.3 below.
8.2.4 Information about regulations concerning the year abroad
Please see above 8.2.3.
8.2.5 Information on internships from UCL Careers
UCL has web resources, a student toolkit and bookable appointments for students to support them with applications for internships, and guidance in sourcing opportunities.
Please note that this information may be subject to change due to Covid-19 – please check the Internships website below for the most up-to-date information.
8.3 Professional accreditation
8.3.1 Details of any professional accreditation and associated requirements integrated into the programme and requirements for students
The Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA) and University Archaeology UK (UAUK) have accredited all the Institute of Archaeology’s Undergraduate degrees. This is an important additional way of confirming that your degree provides the skills relevant to a career in the historic environment.
Accreditation is awarded to those degrees courses that cover a range of National Occupation Standards and training in the skills relevant to a career in the historic environment. This is similar to sectors such as engineering, planning and architecture, where an accredited degree is a well-established entry route leading to professional status. The IoA was one of 7 universities to be included in the first cohort of archaeology departments to be awarded accreditation after a joint panel from CIfA and UAUK reviewed the degree structure and content, visited our teaching facilities and field training programme and interviewed staff and students. Accreditation means that students enrolled in any of our Archaeology 3 or 4 year undergraduate degrees are offered membership of CIfA, which is recognised as mark of the skills required for employment in archaeology. Amongst other benefits student members gain access to further e-learning modules and specialist professional networks and Jobs Information Service bulletins.
The IoA field unit, Archaeology South-East (ASE) is a registered organization with CIfA. ASE has approximately 140 staff with three offices (in Essex, East Sussex and London) that provide employment opportunities for some UCL students including our BA with a year’s placement.
Our CIfA accreditation is primarily based on the following core modules:
ARCL0010: Introduction to Archaeology
ARCL0002: World Archaeology
ARCL0012: Sites and Artefacts – including the Experimental Archaeology Course
ARCL0013: People and Environments
ARCL0011: Field Methods – including the 1st year Archaeology Field Course
ARCL0029: Public Archaeology (not compulsory for BA Archaeology and Anthropology, BA Classical Archaeology, BA Egyptian Archaeology)
ARCL0038: Research and Presentation Skills
ARCL0030: Current issues in archaeological theory
ARCL0037: Interpreting Archaeological Evidence (not compulsory for BA Archaeology and Anthropology, BA Classical Archaeology, BA Egyptian Archaeology)
ARCL0059: Field Archaeology Portfolio (not compulsory for Classical Archaeology)
ARCL0077: Archaeology in the World
The way these relate to individual degree program structures varies. All students undertake the Archaeo-tech course (which forms an assessed part of module ARCL0012 Sites and Artefacts), as well as a two-week Field Training course (which forms an assessed part of module ARCL0011) to learn excavation, survey and recording techniques. Developing these basic skills prepares students for the rest of the 70 days fieldwork which is a compulsory part of the degree and is assessed through module ARCL0059 Field Archaeology Portfolio. During their 70 days fieldwork students develop practical skills and teamwork, through opportunities on excavations, heritage sites, museums, archives and outreach activities in the UK or overseas. In their final year most students complete the ARCL0059 portfolio where they critically discuss whether the fieldwork projects they participated in used available resources effectively to achieve their research or public outreach objectives; students also write a self-assessment of how their own skills have developed (to raise their awareness of transferable skills and life-long learning). For students on degree programs that do not have the Field Archaeology Portfolio as a compulsory core course, we encourage you to take this module if you wish to use the CIfA accreditation. Your optional modules also help to develop more specific skills and often take your critical engagement and understanding to a much higher level. Our compulsory final-year module ‘Archaeology in the World’ draws upon your knowledge and experience to reflect upon the relevance of archaeology for wider public debates. All students produce a final-year 10,000-word dissertation.