Archaeology and Anthropology BA

London, Bloomsbury
Archaeology and Anthropology BA (2025)

Our Archaeology and Anthropology BA offers a cross-disciplinary exploration of human experience and societies, past and present. You will learn how ethnographic accounts and archaeological remains are used to investigate patterns of social, cultural, economic and political change, seeking to make sense of human diversity across the world.

UK students International students
Study mode
3 academic years
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
Programme starts
September 2024
Application deadline
31 Jan 2024
UCAS course code

Entry requirements

No specific subjects. At least two A level subjects should be taken from UCL's list of preferred A level subjects.
English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 5.

Contextual offer information

CCC more about contextual offers
No specific subjects. At least two A level subjects should be taken from UCL's list of preferred A level subjects.
English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 5.
A score of 17 points in three higher level subjects, with no higher level score below 5.

Contextual offer

30 more about contextual offers
A total of 15 points in three higher level subjects, with no higher level score below 5.

UK applicants qualifications

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

Equivalent qualification

Pass in Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 30 credits at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit, all from Level 3 units.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF) or BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (RQF - teaching from 2016) with Distinction, Distinction, Distinction.

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

A,A,B at Advanced Highers (or A,A at Advanced Higher and B,B,B at Higher)

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

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

International applications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

Access and widening participation

UCL is committed to widening access to higher education. If you are eligible for Access UCL you do not need to do anything in addition to the standard UCAS application. Your application will be automatically flagged when we receive it.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPC) prepare international students for a UCL undergraduate degree who don’t have the qualifications to enter directly. These intensive one-year foundation courses are taught on our central London campus.

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:

English language requirements

The English language level for this programme is: Level 2

Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

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

Course overview

The Archaeology and Anthropology BA explores the development of human societies and human diversity around the world, analysing patterns of global social, cultural, economic and political change from Prehistory to the Early Modern Period. You will learn how archaeological evidence and ethnographic accounts help us to decipher the history of the places that we have inhabited and transformed over time to gain an understanding of how humans lived in the past and present.

You will examine a broad range of topics including cultural difference, the relationship between people and “things”, climate change, colonialism, economics, technology, gender, disease and the intersections of physical, social, and biological landscapes. You will benefit from object-based teaching and learning, making use of UCL Ethnography Collections and the Institute of Archaeology Collections.

The degree includes compulsory modules from both anthropology and archaeology, ensuring you maintain balanced training in both disciplines throughout the programme. Compulsory modules provide a foundation in social and biological anthropology, material and visual culture, and the key theories and methods of archaeology (including artefact studies and field methods).

The second and third years provide a more advanced understanding of archaeology and anthropology and allow you to develop your own specialised interests through your optional module choices. Optional modules (subject to change) include Geoarchaeology, Zooarchaeology, The Anthropology of Fashion, Documentary Film Making, Decolonising Anthropology, and Advanced Field Techniques.

In the final year you are given the chance to reflect critically on your fieldwork experience and the skills you have been developing during the degree through a 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.

What this course will give you

You will become part of a world-class institution, recognised for the excellence of our teaching, research and career prospects in both disciplines. We are currently ranked third in the world for archaeology and fourth for anthropology in the QS World Rankings 2022. Anthropology and Archaeology are ranked fifth in the UK in the Guardian University Guide 2023.

You will have access to a huge variety of optional modules, covering a diverse range of topics, regions and time periods, offered by both the Institute of Archaeology and Department of Anthropology.

The degree includes 70 days of partially funded fieldwork, including physical fieldwork in destinations across the globe and digital fieldwork. Recent fieldwork destinations include the UK, Belize, Greece, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Uganda, USA and Tunisia.

Teaching and learning

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 15 or 30 credits, adding up to a total of 120 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 30-credit module is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

Upon successful completion of 360 credits, you will be awarded a BA (Hons) in Archaeology and Anthropology.


Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

First year compulsory modules give you a grounding in the methods and theories of social and biological anthropology, material culture studies, and archaeology.

Second and third year modules provide a more advanced understanding of archaeology and anthropology and allow you to develop your own specialised interests through your optional module choices.

In your final year you will present a portfolio designed to encourage you to critically reflect on your fieldwork experiences. You will also write a 10,000 word dissertation on a subject selected with the support of a supervisor.

You will be able to select optional modules that provide an in-depth study of particular regions or topics. Optional modules, subject to change, include Evolution and Human Behaviour, The Anthropology of Social Media, Archaeological Photography, and The Archaeology of Human Remains.

All students will complete 70 days of partially-funded fieldwork, which includes excavation, museum work, research and digital fieldwork.

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.

Fieldwork is a major component of the degree with 70 days of partially funded fieldwork being a compulsory element. Fieldwork includes excavation, museum work, research, and digital fieldwork projects. This can take you all over the globe. Recent projects have taken place in England, Wales, Scotland, Belize, Georgia, Greece, Kazakhstan, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Tunisia, Uganda and USA.

Each student will engage in 1200 learning hours every year, made up of teaching time (lectures, seminars and workshops), independent study, assessment and feedback.


Coursework, typically 1,000-2,500 word essays, is used to assess most modules. Some modules also involve an examination element.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.

Online - Open day

Undergraduate Virtual Open Days

UCL is London's leading multidisciplinary university, voted University of the Year 2024 by the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide. With students from over 150 different countries, UCL is a diverse global community of world leading academics and students. Join us at our Virtual Open Days and discover why UCL might be the place for you! Check out our Open Days webpages where you can find out about the programmes on offer, student services and book live Q&A sessions to get your questions answered.

The foundation of your career

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 variety of fields from archaeology (fieldwork, research and academia) and anthropology, heritage, museums, the UK civil service and police, law, engineering, business - the possibilities are extremely wide and varied. Alumni have gone on to work for consultancies, city businesses and the government, as well as museums, academia and heritage organisations. 


Throughout the degree, which includes 70 days of partially-funded fieldwork, students develop highly desirable transferable skills valuable across a range of job sectors. This includes both independent working and teamwork skills, research and analytical skills, planning and project management, and an understanding of the importance of recovering primary data through practical experience.


All UCL Institute of Archaeology undergraduate degrees are accredited by the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA) and Universities Archaeology UK (UAUK).  On graduation students can become a Practitioner member of CIfA (PCIfA), which demonstrates the skills required for employment in archaeology, heritage and museums, as well as a commitment to maintain high professional standards, attributes that are important for employment in many sectors within or outside of archaeology.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £9,250
Tuition fees (2024/25) £34,400

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2024/25 academic year. The UK fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. Fees for future years may be subject to an inflationary increase. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2024/25 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.

Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website.

Additional costs

Fieldwork (UK and Overseas) costs can be partially covered by the department depending on the chosen destination with some of the fieldwork being fully covered financially by the fieldwork grants provided. Students normally cover the costs of their own equipment (trowel / tent / sleeping bag / boots / jackets etc.). Email Charlotte Frearson for a more comprehensive list of equipment. 

A guide including rough estimates for these and other living expenses is included on the UCL Fees and funding pages. If you are concerned by potential additional costs for books, equipment, etc., please get in touch with the relevant departmental contact (details given on this page).

Funding your studies

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.


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.

Next steps

Your application

We are looking for students who can demonstrate an interest in the past, human experience, and the development of human societies across geographical regions, time periods and material cultures. We will refer to your Personal Statement for evidence of critical thinking, communication and analytical ability. We are keen to attract a diverse student cohort, and welcome applications from mature students.

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.


For further information on UCL's selection process see: How we assess your application.

Once an offer has been made applicants are invited to attend a Post Offer Open Day (in person and virtual are organised) 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. Alternative arrangements can be made for those living overseas including Virtual Open Days and tours outside of the advertised dates. 

The UCAS application forms are assessed by a central UCL team and the Institute of Archaeology.  The personal statement and predicted grades are used for assessment and sometimes extra information is requested.  

Got questions? Get in touch

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