BA in Archaeology and Anthropology


Co-ordinators: David Wengrow and Haidy Geismar

UCL has the largest and most diverse archaeology department and the leading broad-based anthropology department in the UK. They are located next to each other in the heart of London, within walking distance of the city’s major cultural attractions. At UCL, we pursue the big questions of the human past—how did our species evolve? what does it mean to be human?—and we relate those questions to the everyday problems and decisions that shape people’s lives. You can expect training in the full range of methods, theories and techniques from leading researchers in archaeology and anthropology, whose work spans the globe. Like other ‘Arch & Anth’ degrees, ours is built around a combination of archaeology, social anthropology, and biological anthropology. But unlike other universities we also incorporate a department of material culture studies, which takes seriously how new fashions and technologies—from mobile phones to denim jeans—are transforming societies throughout the world. We are also committed to understanding how the past is used in the present through a critical approach to the ever-increasing role of museums, tourism and cultural heritage in the global economy.

UCL Institute of Archaeology

Our teaching is structured around a combination of lectures and seminars, in addition to which you will follow a specially designed programme of small-group tutorials that are tailored to your degree. These tutorials continue throughout the duration of your studies at UCL, and ensure close and regular contact between students and staff as you progress to more advanced levels of understanding. We have no particular expectations about your GCE A level choices. Both sciences and humanities are essential to an understanding of human diversity, and here you will learn how they relate to one another, regardless of your educational background so far. You will become directly familiar with prehistoric and ancient societies by using our superb university collections, including the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology. You will also have access to laboratory facilities to develop analytical skills such as photography or computational analysis. And you will undertake practical fieldwork, so as to understand how archaeologists and anthropologists obtain information about human societies in the past and present. The skills that we offer are in wide public demand and have prepared former graduates for an extraordinary range of careers, both academic and non-academic.

Degree benefits

  • UCL is ranked the fourth best place to study archaeology in the UK by the Guardian University Guide 2017.

  • 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, Plants and Archaeology, Human Evolution, and 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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  • 'Most interesting three years of my life--so far!'. Ella Reiczyk, BA Archaeology & Anthropology
  • 'An amazing place. Friendly, warm and full of information'. Lewis Glover, BA Archaeology & Anthropology

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