Archaeology MSci

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 four weeks 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.  

Key Information

  • Duration:

    Full-time: four years, Part-time: usually eight years.

  • Level:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time and Part-time

  • Award Type:


  • Institution Code:

    CLANC C30

  • UCAS Code:


  • Campus:

    Preston (Campus code: U)

  • Start Date:


  • You will gain a sector-leading 10 weeks’ fieldwork experience, helping develop archaeological and transposable skills and knowledge.
  • Students take part in real research excavations across the UK making extremely significant finds.
  • Our state-of-the-art facilities include an archaeological science laboratory with areas for processing finds, a soil flotation unit, dedicated human bone labs, an imaging suite with 3D scanners and a suite of cutting-edge geographical and excavation equipment.
  • This degree is jointly accredited by the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA) and the University Archaeology UK group (UAUK).

Course Overview

Year 1 and 2

  • Study Skills
  • Archaeological Project
  • Key Themes in Archaeology
  • Introduction to Forensic Science

Plus ONE of

  • Introduction to History
  • Introduction to Geography and Environmental Management
  • The Archaeology of Britain
  • Field Archaeology 1
  • History of Archaeological Thought

Plus TWO of the following options

  • Introduction to Osteology and Anthropology
  • Bones, Bodies and Burials
  • Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

Year 3 and 4

  • Field Archaeology 2
  • Archaeological Materials
  • Thinking about the Past
  • Themes in British Archaeology I

Plus TWO of the following: The modules available will depend on the year of delivery and availability

  • Archaeology and Anthropology of Animals
  • Hunter-Gatherers: Past and Present
  • Geomatics
  • The Archaeology of Death and the Dead Body
  • World Archaeology of Art
  • Introduction to Professional Practice
  • Forensic Anthropology
  • Approaches to Archaeology
  • Field Archaeology 4
  • Research Project
  • Research Methods (Archaeology)

More information about programme specifications and module information is available in the course handbook.

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Fees 2020/21

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

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 

International Students

View our entry requirements for your country

Scholarships and Bursaries

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

Discover More

Personal Statement Advice

It's never too early to start working on your personal statement. We've got some useful hints and tips to help you make a great first impression.

Advice & Guidance

Check your points

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

Points calculator

Further Information

Why study this course?

This course is designed to prepare you for future research and employment in archaeology. 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 you to gain vital experience and build contacts with working archaeologists.

You will spend at least twelve weeks on placement – working on real excavations, 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.

The practical emphasis starts at the beginning of the degree; you spend your 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. 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.

The degree is designed to give you an in-depth knowledge of archaeology, focusing in particular on the archaeology of Britain. It also adheres to UK professional standards, allowing students to develop a competitive skill-set. UCLan Archaeologists have experience both in professional and academic archaeology, and Archaeologists from a wide range of external organisations are involved in the delivery of this MSci. All our staff are actively researching in the UK and we have several on-going international projects. Lecturers will supervise you in their own substantial research project. This allows you to develop your own particular interests and skills.

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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.

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.

At UCLan, we have extensive teaching collections of human and animal remains and a dedicated lab for the study of artefacts and skeletal remains. This allows you to wash, sort and analyse finds from the excavations as part of their research projects. In the same building we also have facilities for analysis and processing of environmental and soil samples plus advance cutting-edge scientific analytical equipment that students can use in their Master's project.

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.


The strength of this degree has been recognised by employer’s organisation The Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA), and awarded accredited degree status. Nationally we are one of just seven universities to receive the new accreditation, that recognises degrees providing skills relevant to a career in the historic environment. In their report, the accreditation assessors commented that: ‘The focus on excavation and field archaeology is clearly a unique selling point of the department, and it is clear that students leave with an unparalleled level and range of experience.’

Accreditation logo

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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.

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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.

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Great 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.

Analytical Suite

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What Opportunities will I have?

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 robust Internationalisation profile, with students recently participating on archaeological projects on Roman Spain, a colonial cemetery in Mauritius, plus an ongoing long term project in California and a new project on the 100 year anniversary of WW1 on the Somme, in France. We also have a full range of up-to-date equipment for materials analysis plus geophysical and topographic survey.

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 as part your course, 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 students have participated include California, Spain, Albania, Israel, and Mauritius. Current projects include Prehistoric and Historical Archaeology of California; the archaeology of the Great War, with fieldwork on the Somme, in France; and the archaeology of prehistoric Ireland.

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.

Course Enquiries

Telephone us: +44(0)1772 892400
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Important Information

This course is based in the School of Forensic and Applied Sciences

Course Handbook

For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry: 2019 Entry | 2020 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 2019/20 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.