Institute of Archaeology


Degree Structure

Classes at UCL take the form of lectures, seminars, small-group tutorials as well as laboratory sessions. Most of the degree is structured around a combination of core modules, which are fixed by us, and optional modules chosen by you from a wide range of possibilities.

Teaching in your First Year is designed to ensure that you gain a solid foundation in archaeology and an introduction to your regional area of interest. Courses in your Second Year will focus on Egypt and Sudan, allowing you to develop specialist, in-depth knowledge of your chosen study area. In addition, you can choose from a wide range of options to follow the interests you developed in the course of your study. Available options include courses on scientific analyses, museum and heritage studies, and the archaeology of almost all areas in the world, including of the Near East, Africa, the Mediterranean, the Americas and Asia. We entertain close relationships with UCL History offering further courses on the Ancient Near East and the Classical World.

In your Third Year, you will write your dissertation, based on an extended piece of individual research. You choose the topic with guidance from a supervisor who will also help you see it through to completion. This will provide an excellent grounding for graduate research, should you choose to continue your studies beyond the BA, to MA or PhD. You will also complete two core modules, and can select others from a range of options, to help you think further on the relevance and importance of archaeology in the wider world, and the career paths ahead of you. The skills you will acquire at UCL are much in demand, across a broad variety of professions.

Starting in year one and running through the entire degree, you will be taught in degree specific tutorials, in addition to the courses outlined below. The degree tutorials ensure abundant face-to-face contact with your teachers and help you develop your individual skills and profile.

Our undergraduate programmes are unusual for including 70 days of partially funded fieldwork (depending on the project chosen this can be fully funded or partially funded for both subsistence and travel costs). Students can undertake fieldwork both in the UK and overseas. Field experience and teamwork are integral to this aspect of the our programmes, as reflected in our long-established Experimental Archaeology course which you will participate in on arrival at UCL, spending four days away from London with your teachers and peers exploring a wide variety of aspects of earlier technologies and archaeological processes. Together with the Training Excavation, in the summer of the First Year, this will help you to develop skills and experience needed to get the most out of the rest of your 70 days of fieldwork, carried out throughout your BA programme. In your third year, you will produce a portfolio describing your fieldwork experiences.

The following charts are examples of the degree structure; archaeology and free options may be taken in either the first or second terms. If you click on the course titles below you will obtain further information on the individual course contents. 

Year 1

In your first year, you will receive a solid grounding in the practical and methodological aspects of archaeology, as well as an introduction to major issues in Egyptian archaeology and writing. All students take the following core courses:

On top, you can choose one module from the following two options:

Year 2

The second year provides you with a more advanced understanding of Egyptian and Sudanese archaeology and allows you to develop your own specialised interests by choosing options. All students take the following five core courses:

Further modules amounting to 45 credits can be chosen from the wide range of 2nd and 3rd year Archaeology courses available each year. Those deemed particularly relevant to this degree include:

Year 3

In your third and final year, you continue to develop knowledge of particular subject areas through a choice of many course options, but are also given the chance to reflect critically on your fieldwork experience during the degree and to write a 10,000 word dissertation. More precisely, all students do the following:

Further modules amounting to 45 credits can be chosen from the wide range of 2nd and 3rd year Archaeology courses available each year, while a further 15-credit module may be taken in Archaeology or a related subject. Those courses deemed particularly relevant to this degree are given above while new Egyptian language courses are currently being developed.