- Archaeology achieved 100% overall satisfaction as rated by final year undergraduate students in the 2017 National Student Survey
- Ranked 6th for overall student satisfaction in England for Archaeology, and 2nd out of the modern (post-’92) universities in England
- Learn applied scientific approach to archaeology, with fieldwork opportunities throughout the year and research using original laboratory and/or field data
- Use our fully equipped laboratory and the latest range of industry-standard surveying equipment, including a ground penetrating radar and geoscan gradiometers
- Join research projects abroad, such as in Barbados and Georgia
- Become an Affiliate of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (and progress to full membership after graduation)
- Explore the rich archaeological history of Winchester and Wessex
Do you dig it? If you’re excited by the idea of using modern scientific techniques to explore how people lived in the past and solve archaeological puzzles, our science-based Archaeology degree is a great find for you. Learn the latest methods and approaches and how they’re applied, then carry out your own practical scientific research using original data with the biological, physical and earth science techniques you master.
The course covers a broad range of methods and techniques. In our well-equipped lab you can learn how to analyse the chemical composition of human and animal bones and discover what they reveal about diet in the Middle Ages; in the field you can work the mud on live sites with professional archaeologists, and in the library you can study archaeological periods including prehistoric Europe, the Roman Empire and the Greek World.
To make sure you leave no stone unturned during 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.
You dig into the theory and practice of archaeology in Year 1, covering historic and prehistoric periods and the methods, theories and approaches that underpin archaeological science, resources, fieldwork and material culture.
In Year 2, you investigate the scientific skills commonly used in archaeology, such as Geographic Information Systems, explore archaeological theory and discuss what archaeology can tell us about topics such as global environmental change. You put these skills to use in practical projects in your areas of interest, which may include the archaeology of death and burial, geomatics and remote sensing, or geomorphological science (the study of how land is formed, shaped and changed by the natural processes of erosion and deposition).
During Year 3, you write a dissertation and carry out a piece of applied scientific research, normally using original laboratory and/or field data. You can also branch out into examining the archaeology of the Mediterranean, the Americas, Africa and Anatolia/the Near East from a range of perspectives. These include the impact of religion, gender, art and representation, conflict on land and at sea, and the environment.
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.
Many graduates have used the skills and knowledge gained on the course to pursue careers in professional archaeology, such as with an archaeological trust or unit. Others work in applied science, including environmental management, geomatics and remote sensing.
But with highly-prized key skills in areas such as time and project management, problem solving, teamwork, cultural awareness and the ability to express ideas clearly to a wide range of audiences you are able to explore non-vocational careers, too.
Graduates proceed directly into a career in professional archaeology, for example with an archaeological trust or unit. Others enter careers within applied science, for example environmental management, geomatics and remote sensing.
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
Students are required to attend the summer training excavation for four weeks during the first summer vacation and should ensure that they have accommodation available during late May and June. There are UK fieldwork opportunities throughout the year and students can also join fieldwork research projects elsewhere in the world such as Barbados, Corsica, Georgia, Belgium, Greece and Ethiopia.
Our BSc (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: 408 hours
Independent learning: 792 hours
Year 3 (Level 6): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*
Teaching, learning and assessment: 336 hours
Independent learning: 864 hours
*Please note these are indicative hours for the course.
Students who fail to attend at least 25% of a taught module without agreed extenuating circumstances are not normally permitted to submit their work for a substantive grade.
In addition, Fieldwork modules (AC2025; AC2042; AC3007) have the following specific regulations: Students must attend all days of the excavation. 5% will be deducted for each day missed up to a maximum of 3 days. Missing more than three days will result in automatic failure (without sufficient medical evidence). Missing more than 50% of the module will result in automatic failure irrespective of medical evidence because the learning outcomes cannot be met.
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
6% practical exams
Year 3 (Level 6)*:
16% 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.
2018 Entry: 104-120 points
An A level A*-C pass is required in one of the following: Geography, Environmental Science, Geology, Maths, Science or a related subject.
A GCSE A*-C or 9-4 pass in Mathematics and English Language is required.
International Baccalaureate: 26 points including 5 points at Higher Level
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
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 International@winchester.ac.uk or calling +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 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.
|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.
Year 2: Level 5
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/Geographical Science Project||15|
The Archaeological/Geographical Science Project module is an opportunity for students to work on a coherent collection of samples and/or undertake a small-scale field project using archaeological/geographical science approaches/techniques. As such the module is essential preparation for the Level 6 final year project in that it enables students to get a taste of working semi-independently of instruction from teaching staff and communicating a piece of original research. The module is also an opportunity to become familiar with standard laboratory practice and consider how scientific data are conventionally reported. Hence the module commences with a series of seminars in which project design is discussed; the necessity of developing clear and achievable aims and objectives, and testable hypotheses is elaborated; laboratory/field practice is examined and the reporting of scientific data following standard conventions is reviewed. Students then collectively develop a project for a landscape setting/site/series of samples provided by teaching staff and spend the rest of the module time undertaking the necessary laboratory/field work and producing the report. Students meet with staff on at weekly basis to discuss their progress and to talk through any problems they might have encountered, while at the end of the project they each produce a technical report structured as an academic paper in a scientific journal. Alongside and in parallel with the group project, each student develops a dissertation topic that they will pursue at Level 6.
|Global Environmental Change||15|
This module examines long-term environmental change at the global scale. It explores evolving tectonic and orbital configurations, and the resultant climate, environmental and landscape changes since the Late Palaeozoic (c 420my before present), but with a focus on the Quaternary (the last 2my). Throughout the module explores the ways in which environmental change has shaped the landscape and the biosphere. In addition to the story of how the Earth has changed since 420my BP and the mechanisms that have caused the changes, the module also examines the techniques and approaches that have been used to reconstruct past environments at regional, hemispherical and global scales.
|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.
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