Archaeology BSc (Hons)

Right from your very first week, you’ll be out working the mud with professional archaeologists, learning how to dig on live sites. This extremely hands-on course is split evenly between practicals, lectures and fieldwork and is designed to give you a wide general knowledge of archaeology, focusing in particular on the archaeology of Britain. You’ll spend time each year on placement in the UK and/or abroad, working on live digs, making real discoveries and helping carry out cutting-edge research - and continuing your studies and progressing on to the MSci will lead to more professional recognition in the industry.


The staff have been phenomenal, always friendly and supportive. They provided help and feedback and had the time to talk privately about anything that I didn't understand.


The study of Archaeology focuses on our understanding of past cultures, patterns of resource use and ways of life through an examination of a variety of evidence including artefacts, human remains, the landscape and documentary records. The systematic recovery and critical interpretation of such evidence is essential to the development of archaeological knowledge.

Archaeology at UCLan is a wide-ranging and practically-based single honours degree; allowing our students to gain vital experience and build contacts with working archaeologists. Undertaking a substantial research project in the final year, leads to the Master of Science award.

The practical emphasis starts at the beginning of the degree; you spend their first week on one of the University’s training excavations learning how to dig. Teaching on the rest of the degree is split evenly between practicals, lectures and fieldwork. You will also spend at least eight weeks on placement – working on real excavations, helping to do cutting-edge research.

Study Archaeology at UCLan

Some of these digs are research projects run by UCLan staff, but we also encourage more experienced students to organise their own placements with external organisations, either here or abroad. Previous students have excavated extremely significant finds while on this course, including the rare Anglo-Saxon find in Oakington, Cambridgeshire, of the skeletal remains of a high ranking woman buried with a valuable cow.

All our staff are actively researching. We have an excellent staff-student ratio, ensuring personal attention for all our students. The degree is designed to give students a wide general knowledge of archaeology; focussing in particular on the archaeology of Britain. We have excellent laboratory facilities as well as an extensive teaching collection; including one of the largest anthropological collections of human remains in the country.

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There’s a good amount of practical fieldwork . . The teachers are very well read on their subjects . . Really interesting modules available . . The facilities are available to everyone. And good advice was always available when needed.

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Key Information

  • Duration:

    Full-time: three years, Part-time: usually six years

  • Level:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time and Part-time

  • Award Type:

    BSc (Hons)

  • UCAS Code:


  • Campus:

    Preston (Campus code: U)

  • Start Date:


  • Fees 2019/20

    Full-time: £9,250* per year (UK/EU)
    Part-time: £1,540* per 20 credits studied (UK/EU)

  • View 2018/19 Fees

Scholarships and Bursaries

The University offers a range of scholarships and bursaries to support you through your studies.

Discover More

Entry Requirements

Our typical offer is 104 UCAS Points.  We operate a flexible admissions policy and treat everyone as an individual. This means that we will take into consideration your educational achievements and predicted grades (where applicable) together with your application as a whole, including work experience and personal statement. General Studies accepted

BTEC Extended Diploma: Distinction, Merit, Merit 
BTEC Diploma: Distinction*, Distinction
Pass Access Course: 104 UCAS Points  
International Baccalaureate:Pass Diploma with 104 UCAS points from Higher Level Subjects
IELTS: 6.0 with no score lower than 5.5
GCSE: 5 at grade C/4 including Maths & English or equivalent 

Not got the grades?

If you do not meet the formal entry requirements specified, Foundation Entry offers an alternative route to study for this degree

Foundation Entry Route

Check your points

Not sure how many points you have? Use our handy calculator and find out.

Points calculator

Course Overview

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • The Archaeology of Britain
  • History of Archaeological Thought
  • Introduction to Archaeology
  • Study Skills & IT for Archaeology
  • Introduction to Osteology and Anthropology

Optional modules (one is selected; not all are available each year)

  • Bones, Bodies and Burials
  • Museums, Heritage and History
  • Other elective are available across the University

Year 2

Compulsory modules

  • Archaeological Research & Study
  • Archaeological Fieldwork I
  • Thinking About the Past: Archaeological Theory

Optional modules (choose three modules from this list; not all modules are available each year)

  • Environmental Change
  • Forensic Anthropology
  • Later Bronze Age and Iron Age Britain
  • Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Britain and Ireland
  • Roman and Post Roman Britain
  • Hunter Gatherers: Past and Present
  • Life and Death in Medieval Britain
  • Archaeology of the Modern World

Year 3

Compulsory modules

  • Archaeological Dissertation (double module)
  • Archaeological Fieldwork II

Optional modules (choose three modules from the list below; not all modules are offered each year)

  • Introduction to Professional Practice
  • Forensic Taphonomy
  • Hunter Gatherers: past and present
  • Neolithic & Early Bronze Age Britain
  • Later Bronze Age & Iron Age Britain
  • Roman and Post-Roman Britain
  • Life & Death in Medieval Britain
  • Archaeology of the Modern World
  • Designing Exhibitions for Museums

Apply through UCAS before 15 January Apply through UCAS before 15 January

Learning Environment and Assessment

A 3 year degree qualification typically comprises 360 credits and each 20 credit (a standard module) equates to 200 hours of study, which comprises of a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical sessions and independent study. Independent study is an important aspect of your degree course. The exact combination of study time will be detailed within your module descriptors, and will depend on your option choices.

The key resource for all our teaching is access to a range of exciting projects. Generous levels of fieldwork support allow us to offer students an exceptional variety of placement opportunities. Recently our archaeology students have been digging at Avebury and Stonehenge in Wiltshire; at various prehistoric sites on the West Coast of Scotland; at cave sites in Wales and Lancashire and a major Anglo-Saxon site in Cambridgeshire. We also have a full range of up-to-date equipment for materials analysis plus geophysical and topographic survey.

The Archaeology degree is assessed by a combination of coursework, examinations and practical work. Individual modules vary but over the whole degree there is a roughly even spread of the different types of assessment.

Excellent Industry Links

We have links with a number of local and national archaeological organisations including Oxford Archaeology, ARUP, Lancashire County Council Environment Directorate, the Portable Antiquities Scheme, Museum of London Archaeology, West Yorkshire Archaeology Service, Council of British Archaeology, and the Institute for Archaeologists.

Our Facilities

Our state-of-the-art facilities include a new archaeological science laboratory with areas for processing finds, a soil flotation unit, a dedicated bone lab for the analysis of skeletal remains and a suite of geophysical and excavation equipment - plus our teaching collection includes one of the largest anthropological collections of human remains in the country.

Great Opportunities

You will spend at least eight weeks on placement – working on real excavations and helping to do cutting-edge research. Some of these digs are research projects run by UCLan staff, but we also encourage more experienced students to organise their own placements with external organisations, either here or abroad.

About 10% of our students do some or all of their placement with an external organisation, usually these are museum-based but we have also had people working for other local archaeological employers.

You’ll have the chance to go on a two-week study field trip to Kenya in your final year, a unique opportunity to live and work among the Maasai people and study the archaeology of their country.

UCLan Archaeology has a selection of international opportunities across the globe. Past projects where student have participated include California, Spain, Albania, Israel, and Mauritius. Current projects include Prehistoric and Historical Archaeology of California; Ribchester Roman Fort; Neolithic Orkney; and the archaeology of prehistoric Wales.

There are more career opportunities available in the UK than you might think - according to the Institute for Archaeologists web site, the archaeological profession provides more than 5,000 jobs and contributes over £100m to the UK economy every year, in both the public and the private sector - indeed, in 2011 there were approximately 6,000 archaeologists in the UK working for over 200 companies.

UCLan Archaeology graduates work for a number of different contracting archaeological organisations. Others are employed in museums or are doing research degrees at a variety of UK universities. Some have used the transferable skills they gained on their degree to enter graduate level employment in other areas of work or to undergo further training to work in careers such as teaching.

Check out what we've been up to ...

UCLan involved in innovative Archaeology project
The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is to explore new ways to engage with ancient prehistory at the internationally important monument of Bryn Celli Ddu tomb in Northern Wales.

UCLan students win parliamentary approval at national research poster event
Students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have been commended for their work at a national undergraduate research event held in the prestigious surroundings of Westminster Palace of Westminster. Mike Woods, who graduated from MSci Archaeology with a First last year, scooped the event’s runner-up prize.

Important Information

Contact Us

This course is based in the School of Forensic and Applied Sciences
Telephone us for further information +44(0)1772 892400
or email us at: | Book a visit

Course Handbook

For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry: 2018 Entry | 2019 Entry
For information on possible changes to course information, see our Essential and Important Course Information.

Tuition Fees & Finance

*Tuition Fees are per year unless otherwise stated.
For 2018/19 fees please refer to our fees page.

Further Information for students

You can find regulations and policies relating to student life at The University of Central Lancashire on our Student Contract page.

Entry Requirements

For changes to 2017 UCAS tariff entry requirements please see our Essential and Important Course Information. UCLan requires all undergraduate applicants to have a minimum attainment of five GCSEs at grade C and above, or equivalent, (including Maths and English). In 2017 and beyond we will view the new Grade 4 as being equivalent to a C grade and will therefore require students to achieve GCSE Grade 4 or above. However, if the subject is relevant to our degree programme and requires a higher GCSE grade (e.g. GCSE B grade), and/or includes a Professional body that governs the entry requirements, Grade 5 or above may be required.