Archaeology with a Placement Year BA
Archaeology with a Placement Year BA (2022)
This degree offers all the flexibility of the Archaeology BA programme combined with the opportunity to work as a part of a professional team to excavate, survey, study, manage and conserve historic sites and finds. Working alongside the expert staff at Archaeology South-East (ASE), in a stimulating and innovative environment, you will be at the forefront of new archaeological discovery, engaging with the public to promote an understanding of the historic environment.
UK tuition fees (2022/23)
Overseas tuition fees (2022/23)
Programme startsSeptember 2023
Application deadline25 Jan 2023
UCAS course code
- 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
- A total of 16 points in three higher level subjects, with no higher level score below 5.
- 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:
BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF) or BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (RQF - teaching from 2016) with Distinction, Distinction, Distinction.
Pass in Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 30 credits at Distinction, 12 credits at Merit and 3 credits at Pass, all from Level 3 units.
Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A levels at grades ABB.
ABB at Advanced Highers (or AB at Advanced Higher and BBB at Higher)
D3,M1,M1 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects
Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.
Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.
Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.
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 participationUCL 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
UCL Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are intensive one-year foundation courses for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.
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: ucl.ac.uk/upc.
English language requirements
The English language level for this programme is: Good
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If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency. 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.
Core modules in the first year provide a grounding in the practical and theoretical methods in archaeology and an introduction to major issues in world prehistory.
The second and fourth years provide a more advanced understanding of archaeology and allow you to develop your own specialised interests by choosing optional modules in particular subject areas.
During year three up to eight students, who have demonstrated an aptitude and commitment in years two and three, will work as a part of a professional team to excavate, survey, study, manage and conserve historic sites and finds. Working alongside our expert staff, in a stimulating and innovative environment, you will be at the forefront of new archaeological discovery, engaging with the public to promote an understanding of the historic environment.
What this course will give you
When you join us at UCL to study for our BA Archaeology with a Placement Year degree, you become part of a top-class institution, currently ranked third in the world for archaeology in the QS World Rankings and second in the UK in the Guardian Newspaper’s University Guide 2022 League Table with a score of 91.2 out of 100. We offer an inclusive, diverse working environment at all levels of study.
Combine a wide-ranging degree in archaeology at a world-leading university with a year of professional training and paid employment as part of a leading professional archaeological team working in South-East England.
Optional modules (which may not run every year) include Greek Art & Architecture, Zooarchaeology, The Age of Stonehenge, Human Evolution, Museum Archaeology .
The degree includes 70 days of partially funded fieldwork (both physical and digital online fieldwork): destinations have included Belize, Spain, USA, Romania, Portugal, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Wales, Scotland, Uganda & Greece.
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 with a Placement Year.
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.
Compulsory modules provide a structured progression that ensures you maintain a directed training in archaeology throughout the programme. In addition, you choose optional modules to study geographical regions and time periods in more depth, or archaeological materials you would like to learn about and practical skills you wish to gain. There are around 60 archaeology optional modules that run on a biennial basis (approximately 30 each year) and range from Roman Art, Architecture to Pottery Analysis; from Geoarchaeology to Zooarchaeology; from the Amazonia or the Aztecs to Stonehenge, China and Early Islamic Archaeology.
First year compulsory modules give you a grounding in the broad range of materials analysed by archaeologists, the practical methods of fieldwork and an introduction to social anthropology and a survey of world archaeology.
70 days of fieldwork includes a training excavation and opportunities to work on further projects (including museum work & digital projects) in the UK. In your second year you may choose to go to many other parts of the world. For example, projects have taken place in Belize, Montenegro, Uganda, Spain, Romania and China.
Second year core modules provide you with a more advanced understanding of archaeological theories and develop your research and presentation skills.
In the third year you become an employees of Archaeology South East (ASE), while also continuing to be UCL students with a personal tutor, pastoral support and access to UCL library etc. During the placement you will work on a number of projects while also engaging in a structured program of training and build a portfolio of practical experience within the historical environment and archaeology sector.
In your final (fourth) year: You will present a portfolio that demonstrates critical reflection on your fieldwork experiences. You draw upon your previous modules, fieldwork, extra-curricular experiences and interests to debate the relevance of archaeological knowledge for wider discussions and topical issues relating to the past, present and future of humanity. You write a dissertation on a detailed subject that you will choose with the help of a supervisor
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 can take you all over the globe; other recent projects have taken place in Montenegro, Peru, Wales, Spain, Romania and China).
Coursework, typically 1,000-2,500 word essays, is used to assess most modules. Some modules involve an examination element too. The completion of 70 days' fieldwork is a requirement for all archaeology students.
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. They also develop excellent transferable skills providing the experience necessary to work both within the archaeology, heritage and museum sector and in numerous sectors outside of the discipline.
Our graduates go on to work in a wide variety of fields from archaeology (fieldwork, research and academia), heritage, museums, the UK civil service and police, law, engineering, business - the question really is, what can't you do with an archaeology degree? This degree also gives the students a year working in commercial archaeology.
Throughout the degree, which includes 70 days of fieldwork, students build on transferable skills and the ability to work collaboratively and effectively within teams as well as working independently in order to execute research. Students develop strong research and analytical skills and an appreciation 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 Practioner 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
|Tuition fees (2022/23)||£9,250|
|Tuition fees (2022/23)||£29,400|
The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2022/23 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 2022/23 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.
Students on a placement year pay 15% of their corresponding full-time fee.
Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/undergraduate/funding-your-studies.
When on placement with Archaeology South East (ASE), students are required to pay a proportion of annual fees to UCL. There will be additional costs associated with your placement, such as accommodation, subsistence, purchasing clothes and getting to and from work each day. While on the placement ASE will pay students above the minimum wage, supply some work clothing and equipment and cover travel and accommodation when working beyond the catchment of the ASE offices. Most students find that this pay covers the year’s expenses.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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 is assessed by a central UCL team and the Archaeology department. The personal statement and predicted grades are used for assessment and sometimes extra information is requested.