- Archaeology achieved 100% overall satisfaction as rated by final-year undergraduate students in the 2017 National Student Survey
- 6th for overall student satisfaction in England for Archaeology, and 2nd out of modern universities in England (National Student Survey 2017)
- Learn from world-leading archaeology scholars in a stimulating and engaging environment
- Use our fully equipped laboratory and the latest range of industry-standard surveying equipment, including a ground penetrating radar and geoscan gradiometers
- Join fieldwork projects abroad, such as in Barbados and Georgia
Archaeology takes a painstaking look at the physical evidence of past societies to trace the evolution and cultural history of humanity. Ancient landscapes, buildings, artefacts and the people themselves can all reveal a small part of a bigger picture. Our BA in Archaeology takes you on an immersive and exciting journey through time — from the earliest human ancestors to the industrial age - drawing from subjects within the humanities, sciences and social sciences to understand past cultures and conserve them for future generations.
Winchester is home to experienced archaeology scholars who provide stimulating and engaging teaching materials. In a supportive environment, you learn highly-relevant fieldwork techniques and rigorous academic training in library-based research. Our department is one of only a handful of academic faculties to be a registered organisation with the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists, a quality assurance scheme for professional practice in the field.
To make sure you make the most of fieldwork in the UK and abroad, we have excellent field equipment, including a ground penetrating radar, geoscan gradiometers, a magnetic susceptibility meter and an X-ray fluorescence analyser. In addition, you use specialist computer software such as Geoplot, EKKO Mapper and Voxler geophysics. Our department also has a commercial research consultancy (ARCA), where you can learn from highly-trained specialist staff. The consultancy offers valuable laboratory work experience – an opportunity to combine your academic expertise with delivering high-quality commercial solutions.
Year 1 provides a sound foundation in the theory and practice of archaeology, including world prehistory. It is rounded off with a four-week excavation in the summer. During Years 2 and 3, you focus on the archaeology of specific periods in European history, such as Roman Britain and a range of methodological topics.
Popular Year 2 modules include the Greek World, Early or Later Prehistoric Europe, Medieval Archaeology, The Archaeology of Death and Burial, The Archaeology of Religion and Ritual, and a week-long Fieldwork module visiting sites in another part of Britain. Year 3 modules feature The Celts, The Archaeology of Africa, Roman Art and Architecture, and The Archaeology of Buddhism. You undertake fieldwork throughout the course and pool all your learning into a final-year dissertation.
As we become more attuned to how the past is able to help shape our future, archaeologists are increasingly playing key roles in policy development and decision-making. Graduates enter the archaeological profession and work in museums, heritage organisations, commercial archaeology and local authorities. Others find careers within applied science, for example environmental management, geomatics and remote sensing.
Graduates from the programme are well equipped to enter the archaeological or heritage profession via a career in museums, heritage organisations, commercial archaeology or local authorities.
94.4% of our 2015/16 graduates (first degree and other undergraduate courses) were in employment and/or further study six months after completing their course.
Pre-approved for a Masters
If you study a Bachelor Honours degrees with us, you will be pre-approved to start a Masters degree at Winchester. To be eligible, you will need to apply by the end of March in the final year of your degree and meet the entry requirements of your chosen Masters degree.
ABOUT THIS COURSE
100% Student satisfaction
As rated by final year undergraduate students in the 2017 National Student Survey, Archaeology achieved 100 per cent overall satisfaction.
Suitable for applicants from:
UK, EU, World
You have the opportunity to undertake professional practice placements during the programme for three months, six months or one year. Three or six month placements can be taken as part of credit bearing modules, allowing you to undertake a work placement and still graduate within three years.
There are UK fieldwork opportunities throughout the year and a summer excavation. Students can also join fieldwork research projects elsewhere in the world such as Barbados, Corsica, Georgia, Belgium, Greece and Ethiopia.
Our BA (Hons) Archaeology course provides an opportunity for you to study abroad in the United States of America (USA). For more information see our Study Abroad section.
Learning and teaching
Our aim is to shape 'confident learners' by enabling you to develop the skills needed to excel in your studies here and as well as onto further studies or the employment market.
You are taught primarily through a combination of lectures and seminars, allowing opportunities to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures in smaller groups.
In addition to the formally scheduled contact time such as lectures and seminars etc.), you are encouraged to access academic support from staff within the course team, your personal tutor and the wide range of services available to you within the University.
Over the duration of your course, you will be expected to develop independent and critical learning, progressively building confidence and expertise through independent and collaborative research, problem-solving and analysis with the support of staff. You take responsibility for your own learning and are encouraged to make use of the wide range of available learning resources available.
Your overall workload consists of class contact hours, independent learning and assessment activity.
While your actual contact hours may depend on the optional modules you select, the following information gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities at each level of the course.
Year 1 (Level 4): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*
Teaching, learning and assessment: 252 hours
Independent learning: 948 hours
Year 2 (Level 5): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*
Teaching, learning and assessment: 396 hours
Independent learning: 804 hours
Year 3 (Level 6): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*
Teaching, learning and assessment: 216 hours
Independent learning: 984 hours
*Please note these are indicative hours for the course.
King Alfred or West Downs, University of Winchester
Our validated courses may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams, or practical performances.
We ensure all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used on the course you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day or Open Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.
Percentage of the course assessed by coursework
The assessment balance between examination and coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. The approximate percentage of the course assessed by different assessment modes is as follows:
Year 1 (Level 4)*:
31% written exams
13% practical exams
Year 2 (Level 5)*:
6% written exams
19% practical exams
Year 3 (Level 6)*:
6% written exams
31% practical exams
*Please note these are indicative percentages and modes for the programme.
We are committed to providing timely and appropriate feedback to you on your academic progress and achievement in order to enable you to reflect on your progress and plan your academic and skills development effectively. You are also encouraged to seek additional feedback from your course tutors.
2018 Entry: 104-120 points
A GCSE A*-C or 9-4 pass in English Language is required.
International Baccalaureate: 26 points
If English is not your first language: Year 1/Level 4: IELTS 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in writing or equivalent
Course Enquiries and Applications
Telephone: +44 (0) 1962 827234
Send us a message
International students seeking additional information about this programme can send an email to International@winchester.ac.uk or call +44 (0)1962 827023
Explore our campus and find out more about studying at Winchester by coming to one of our Open Days.
Year 1: Level 4
|Introduction to Archaeological Resources||15|
This module introduces students to a range of archaeological resources through well-defined practical tasks and site visits. Students will be introduced to local sources of archaeological and historical information through a tour of the City of Winchester, visits to the Record Office, Museums and Historic Environment Record. In addition, an introduction to online resources such as the Archaeological Data Service, Historic Environment Records and EDINA will provide students with a sound guide to their use. Students will then work in pairs on different activities each week including the analysis of pottery fabrics, map interpretation, aerial photograph plotting, compiling HER-type data, simple bone identification and deposit mapping.
|Introduction to Material Culture||15|
Archaeologists deal with things. These things (material culture or artefacts) are a way of understanding the lives of the humans who made them. This course presents you with a detailed background to the main categories of material culture that you might encounter on any archaeological sites; these items include: stone tools, pottery, coins, metalwork etc. You will learn about the technology behind these artefacts, and crucially how things that we make do not just have a simple function, but also encode important symbolic information as well. By the end of this course you will look afresh at the way humans make and give meaning to even the most mundane and everyday items.
|Archaeology of the Historic Period||15|
This module provides a brief conspectus of the historical period from the emergence of civilizations through to the present day. The world context is emphasised and the major developments in each period will be explored. The module is illustrated throughout by case studies through which students can appreciate how ideas about these cultures have developed from the beginnings of antiquarian archaeology to the application of modern theory. Key conceptual issues, such as exchange/trade, colonisation, political, religious and social developments, will be explained and discussed in relation to specific examples.
|Introduction to Archaeological Fieldwork||15|
This module introduces students to the range of fieldwork techniques available to archaeologists and explores their various strengths and weaknesses. It outlines how each technique works and provides a guide to their appropriate use. The first part of the module comprises a series of lectures that introduce each technique and the equipment used. The second half of the module provides an opportunity for introductory training on equipment used by the Archaeology Department at a local archaeological site.
|Introduction to Archaeological Science||15|
This module provides an introduction to methods, theoretical underpinning and application of the biological, Earth and physical sciences in archaeology. It also introduces mathematical concepts that are of vital importance in using scientific data in archaeology. The module is divided into five parts comprising: a: methods of age estimation (e.g. chronometric and incremental approaches), b: provenancing studies (e.g. of stone and ceramic artefacts, but also layers on archaeological sites), c: locating archaeological sites (remote sensing), d: palaeoenvironmental reconstruction (e.g. of past vegetation and animals), and d: economic investigation (e.g. subsistence and diet, craft activities). Each theme is explored by first discussing the theoretical basis of approaches that are used, for example introducing uniformitarian concepts when discussing palaeoenvironmental reconstruction examining the range of techniques available, exploring in detail those most frequently used and then discussing how data are interpreted and problems that might result.
|The Development of Archaeology||15|
Understanding the history and evolution of your discipline is very important. From antiquarianism to the beginnings of scientific archaeology and the work of pioneers such as Worsaae, Montelius and Pitt-Rivers in Europe, Schliemann at Troy, Evans at Knossos this module maps the goals of the archaeologist right through the 20th century to the present day. This module provides a history of the development of archaeology in which the key methodological and conceptual advances will be introduced and the background to these developments explained.
|Introduction to Archaeology||15|
This module forms an introduction to the principles and methods upon which the study of archaeology is based. No prior knowledge of the subject is assumed or expected. The philosophical distinctiveness of the subject is outlined, and the various sub-divisions within archaeology (e.g. environmental archaeology, experimental archaeology) are examined. This leads on to an assessment of the methods of establishing chronological sequences in archaeology, and an overview of the methods to be examined in more detail in later modules. These thematic lectures are buttressed by the use of sessions looking at case studies of recent research projects within the Department in order to help draw together and assist understanding of the key themes. Parallel study skills sessions alongside this lecture series allow you to develop quickly the key skills needed in an HE environment.
This module provides an introduction to the development of humans from hominid origins to the development of written forms of communication. Therefore, although the module has a single chronological starting point (c 7.5 my BP), it has a variable end point depending upon the part of the world under discussion. The module addresses the main stages of human evolution and development, starting with the separation from the Honinidae (the human family) from the Pongidae (the apes), the transition from Australopithecines to Homo and eventually to modern humans, and covering the origins and development of crucial human processes such as technology, social systems, art, farming and urbanisation. The significance of the independent invention of key developments (such as agriculture) in different parts of the world will be stressed. By these means, the student will gain a greater awareness of the main sequences of human development on a world scale, be able to better appreciate the 'time lines' of the prehistoric periods and will understand how the prehistory of the British Isles is a connected sub-set of that of both continental Europe and the world as a whole.
Year 2: Level 5
The module considers the planning and preparation of archaeological research and the research methods used, with particular reference to the dissertation. A wide range of archaeological methods are assessed, including artistic analysis, typology, bioarchaeology, geophysical survey, satellite imagery, written sources, and standing building recording. The sources of archaeological information, including archives, grey literature, the Archaeology Data Service, Historic Environment Records and the Portable Antiquities Service are also reviewed. Ethics in archaeological research are also examined.
|Geographic Information Systems||15|
Geographic Information Systems (sometimes known as Geographic Information Science), or GIS has been used as both a tool and as an approach in archaeology since the mid-1980s and in geography since the late 1970s. From the late 1990s onwards it has been a mainstay of both disciplines and is used for recording and interpreting excavation and survey data, managing various types of archival data and for analysing landscape and population. In this module we discuss what GIS is, the usefulness or otherwise of different types of GIS, types of data that can be used in a GIS and how GIS data can be queried, analysed, output and interpreted. Students are also taught how to use the basic procedures of one standard GIS package. The module is divided into lecture sessions and practicals. Although there are no pre- or co-requisites, it is assumed that students will be well versed in use of standard Office packages such as Excel and Access, that they will have knowledge of raster editing software (e.g. PhotoShop, Paint etc), that they have access to the University’s Learning Network and sufficient available network space to be able to access the downloads used in the practical sessions.
All humanities subjects are grounded in theory. These bodies of theory may or may not be explicitly stated, but you use them, whether you are aware of them or not. It is easiest to think of theory as the set of tools that you can use to ‘fix’ or understand a problem. This course takes a wide multi-disciplinary view of archaeology, so will draw upon cultural theory, visual theory and anthropological theory. You will be encouraged to read and log a set of key historical texts, and in each lecture a case study is used to help you understand the main issues under discussion. In this way, you will be able to understand the appropriateness of theories which may be relevant to your research interests and to gain a wider appreciation of how we think through problems and issues.
|Archaeological Fieldwork 1||15|
The module comprises four weeks of archaeological fieldwork, a minimum of 50% of which must be spent on the principal training excavation run by the Department of Archaeology at the University of Winchester. A maximum of 50% of the module can, therefore, be spent on another approved project, within which the student might be involved in excavation or other field-based tasks. On the University of Winchester excavation, students are taught essential archaeological fieldwork skills including; heavy and light excavation, finds and environmental processing, archaeological recording (written and drawn records) and basic surveying. Students will also learn how excavations are organised in the field and the procedure by which they take place.
|Year 2 Optional Modules|
Early Prehistoric Europe
Year 3: Level 6
This double module is an 8-10,000 word dissertation in archaeology for students studying on any of the Archaeology programmes (BA Archaeology, BSc Archaeology, BSc Archaeological Practice, BA Archaeology combined honours). It enables students to apply their knowledge of archaeological theory and practice, in order to produce a piece of independent research which shows clarity of expression, logical argument and creative thought. The dissertation content/subject matter must reflect their chosen Archaeology pathway (e.g. BA Archaeology, BSc Archaeology, BSc Archaeological Practice; BA Combined Honours Archaeology and History).
|Year 3 Optional Modules|
Please note the modules listed are correct at the time of publishing, for full-time students entering the programme in Year 1. Optional modules are listed where applicable. Please note the University cannot guarantee the availability of all modules listed and modules may be subject to change. For further information please refer to the terms and conditions at www.winchester.ac.uk/termsandconditions.
The University will notify applicants of any changes made to the core modules listed above.
Course Tuition Fees
UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man
If you are a UK or EU student starting your degree in September 2018, the first year will cost you £9,250. Based on this fee level, the indicative fees for a three-year degree would be £27,750 for UK and EU students. Remember, you don't have to pay any of this upfront if you are able to get a tuition fee loan from the UK Government to cover the full cost of your fees each year. If finance is a worry for you, we are here to help. Take a look at the range of support we have on offer. This is a great investment you are making in your future, so make sure you know what is on offer to support you.
Full-time £9,250 p/a
Total Cost: £27,750 (3 years) | £28,450 (sandwich option)
UK/EU Part-Time fees are calculated on a pro rata basis of the full-time fee for a 120 credit course. The fee for a single credit is £77.08 and a 15 credit module is £1,156. Part-time students can take up to a maximum 90 credits per year, so the maximum fee in a given year will be the government permitted maximum fee of £6,938
Full-time £12,950** p/a
Total Cost: £38,850** (3 years) | £39,550** (sandwich option)
International part-time fees are calculated on a pro rata basis of the full-time fee for a 120 credit course. The fee for a single credit is £107.92 and a 15 credit module is £1,620. Fees for students from Vestfold University College in Norway (who receive a 10% reduction) and NLA are £11,655.
As one of our students all of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of student support and IT services.
There might be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying. The following highlights the mandatory and optional costs for this course:
Field trips: Students will have the option to participate in a week-long Archaeology field trip module in their second year of study. Cost £150.
Excavation: Students are required to undertake four weeks compulsory fieldwork which takes place over the summer after Year 1, with a further four weeks' compulsory fieldwork in the summer after Year 2 (or the summer following completion of the professional placement in Year 3). Students opt to do the fieldwork at one of the Department's research/ training projects. Local projects have no direct costs for student participants, but students may need to pay for their travel. Students who opt to join non-local projects may have to cover project-specific costs. At the highest end of this spectrum are the projects in Barbados (£1200 for two weeks); and Georgia (£1500 for four weeks) where the costs include flights, food and accommodation for the duration of the project.
SCHOLARSHIPS, BURSARIES AND AWARDS
We have a variety of scholarship and bursaries available to support you financially with the cost of your course. To see if you’re eligible, please see our Scholarships and Awards section.
Key course details
- UCAS code
- 3 years full-time; 6 years part-time
- Typical offer
- 104-120 points
- King Alfred Campus or at West Downs, Winchester