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  • Archaeology achieved 100% overall satisfaction as rated by final-year undergraduate students in the 2017 National Student Survey
  • Spend a full year gaining invaluable experience with our industry placement
  • Use our fully equipped laboratory and the latest range of industry-standard surveying equipment, including a ground penetrating radar and geoscan gradiometers
  • Graduate with your own professional portfolio to impress employers
  • Become an Affiliate of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists and then join as a full member on graduation

Have you always wanted to be a professional archaeologist, getting your hands dirty and making exhilarating finds? Make no bones about it, this four-year vocational course is a great pathway into a career in the field, teaching you the necessary skills to gather, analyse and interpret archaeological evidence to truly bring the past to life.

On our hands-on programme, you use cutting-edge scientific techniques to explore history and prehistory. You go out into the field and discover real artefacts of historic importance, studying a wide range of topics from Prehistoric Europe and Roman Britain to Forensic and Maritime Archaeology. Then you make good use of your knowledge in a year-long placement within the industry and come away with a professional portfolio to impress future employers.

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.

In Year 1, you learn all the basics for a solid foundation in Archaeology, from prehistory to the historic period and cover topics like Archaeological Science and Fieldwork. This is topped off with an exciting four weeks at a live excavation site.

You cement your knowledge in Year 2 by learning practical and applied skills such as Geomatics and Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems. Dig deeper into chosen areas of study in areas such as Human Bioarchaeology and the Archaeology of Local Hampshire then wrap up the year with optional field trips and another summer excavation.

Delve into what it’s really like to work in the field in Year 3 with a full year’s professional placement. And earn your Portfolio of Professional Practice to demonstrate your experience to future employers.

In Year 4, you can engage in more vocational learning such as Archaeological Project Management. You write a dissertation, often on a practical topic, such as a site survey. And there’s a final chance to study in-depth topics that really interest you, ranging from Caribbean Peoples and Cultures to Archaeology of Buddhism.

The Department of Archaeology at the University of Winchester is a Registered Organisation with the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA), a quality assurance scheme for professional practice in the field. Students completing the industry placement may qualify for full membership of CIfA immediately on graduation.

With the course’s focus on vocational archaeology, it’s no surprise that many of our graduates proceed directly into a career in professional archaeology, often with commercial archaeological organisations undertaking developer-led excavation or survey work.


Graduates proceed directly into a career in professional archaeology, for example with a commercial archaeological organisation undertaking developer-led excavation or survey work.

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.


100% Student satisfaction

As rated by final year undergraduate students in the 2017 National Student Survey, Archaeology achieved 100% overall satisfaction.

Suitable for applicants from:

UK, EU, World

Work placements

In addition to the mandatory four-week training excavation during the first summer vacation, there are additional fieldwork opportunities throughout the year within the UK and abroad. BSc (Hons) Archaeological Practice with Professional Placement includes a year in industry.

Field trips

Students will have the option to participate in a week-long Archaeology field trip module in their second year of study.

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.

Independent learning

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.

Overall workload

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: 408 hours
Independent learning: 792 hours

Year 3 (Placement)
Year 4 (Level 6): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*

Teaching, learning and assessment: 324 hours
Independent learning: 876 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)*:

56% coursework
31% written exams
13% practical exams

Year 2 (Level 5)*:

81% coursework
0% written exams
19% practical exams

Year 3 (Level 6)*:

68% coursework
19% written exams
13% 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.

Further information

For more information about our regulations for this course, please see our Academic Regulations, Policies and Procedures.


2018 Entry: 96-112 points

A GCSE A*-C or 9-4 pass in English Language is required.

International Baccalaureate: 25 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

If you are living outside of the UK or Europe, you can find out more about how to join this course by emailing our International Recruitment Team at or calling +44 (0)1962 827023

Visit us

Explore our campus and find out more about studying at Winchester by coming to one of our Open Days.

Year 1: Level 4

Modules Credits

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.

World Prehistory 15

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

Modules Credits

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.

Geomatics and Remote Sensing 15

This module examines the range of measured survey and remote sensing techniques available for landscape investigation. Each technique is explained, its strengths and weaknesses evaluated and its potential for use in conjunction with other techniques explained. Furthermore approaches to data manipulation and integration are discussed. The approach throughout is to cover successively complex techniques as the module progresses. Thus the first methods of measured survey covered are compass/paced surveys and the last is the use of GPS. Likewise the remote sensing component begins with aerial photography and ends with multispectral satellite imagery. Throughout the measured survey part of the module students will be trained in the use of key equipment, while a case study is the vehicle by which the remote sensing element is examined. Given that both measured survey and remote sensed data are integrated using GIS, students must previously taken AC 2006 GIS prior to commencing study on AC 2901.

Research Methods 15

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.

Archaeological Theory 15

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.

Optional Credits

Year 2 Optional Modules

Early Prehistoric Europe
Later Prehistoric Europe
Roman Britain
The Early Roman Empire
Representation and Art in Archaeology
The Archaeology of Gender and the Life Cycle
The Archaeology of Conflict
The Archaeology of Religion and Ritual
Late Roman and Early Medieval Europe
The Greek World
Human Bioarchaeology
Forensic Archaeology
Theme Study: Exploiting the Greek and Roman Natural World
Maritime Archaeology
Medieval Archaeology
The Archaeology of Death and Burial
Archaeology Fieldtrip
Archaeology, Heritage and Society
Archaeology of Hampshire
Battlefield Archaeology

Year 3: Level 6

Modules Credits

Placement 30

This is a project-based, double module intended for those students who wish to gain prolonged practical experience of working within an external archaeological organisation. It is available only to students on the BSc Archaeological Practice programme as an alternative to the dissertation (AC 3102). Students identify and organise their own placement with an external host organisation, ideally one with a specific interest to them, e.g. with expertise in excavation; survey; curation; archives; finds; museology. At the start of the module, students are required to produce an Action Plan for their proposed project, outlining contact details of their host, the nature of the work to be carried out, health and safety issues and other practical considerations. ‘Project’ is the key word. Students will devote their time with the host organisation primarily to working on a project jointly negotiated by the student, external organisation and module tutors. The report that is the culmination of the module directly addresses the aims of the Action Plan and reflected on the learning experience, as well as providing the host organisation with a measurable output.

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
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.

2018 Entry Full-time £9,250 p/a

Total Cost: £37,000 (4 years) | £37,700 (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

International Students

2018 Entry Full-time £12,950** p/a
Total Cost: £51,800** (4 years) 

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.



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 on 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.


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
4 years full-time (including placement); 8 years part-time (including placement)
Typical offer
96-112 points
King Alfred Campus or at West Downs, Winchester