Archaeology and Ancient History
We are internationally recognised for our innovative research which feeds directly into your course.
|Course Title||UCAS Code||Duration||Typical Offer|
|BA Archaeology||V400||Three years full-time||BBB|
|BA Ancient History and Archaeology||VV41||Three years full-time||ABB|
|BA History and Archaeology||VV14||Three years full-time||ABB|
|BA Ancient History and History||V110||Three years full-time||ABB|
|Distance Learning Courses|
|BA/Dip/Cert Archaeology||non-UCAS||3yrs F/T; 6yrs P/T||N/A|
|BA/Dip/Cert Ancient History and Classical Archaeology||non-UCAS||3yrs F/T; 6yrs P/T||N/A|
All degrees are available as four years full-time with a year abroad.
- BA Archaeology offers the option of a transfer to a BSc stream in year 2.
- BA Archaeology and BA Ancient History and Archaeology can be taken part-time in 4-8 years. Applications for part-time study should be made directly to the University’s Admissions Office.
- BA Archaeology and BA Ancient History and Classical Archaeology are available part time by the Distance Learning pathway. Applications for Distance Learning should be made directly to the School of Archaeology and Ancient History.
Archaeology and Ancient History at Leicester
In the School of Archaeology and Ancient History, staff and students work together to create a fertile and stimulating environment for learning and furthering our knowledge of the past. Our aim as archaeologists and ancient historians is to enhance our understanding of the diverse societies of the past through the traces they have left in the form of material objects and texts.
Our aim as teachers is to share with you that understanding and our passion for the subject. The recognition the School has received for its teaching and research excellence, nationally and internationally, testifies to our success in achieving these aims. This success is founded on our continuing commitment to students and to innovative, high-quality teaching and research.
Why Study Archaeology and Ancient History at Leicester?
National Student Survey: 96% of students studying Archaeology and Ancient History satisfied overall with their course.
Position in 2013 Subject League Tables: Guardian 9th, Independent 9th.
Example Jobs: Conference Producer; Environment Team Intern; Learning Mentor; Media Planner Buyer; Merchandiser Assistant; Primary Teacher; Research Co-ordinator; Teaching Assistant.
Example Employers: ASOS; City of Wolverhampton College; CognoLink; EDF Energy; IPS; Media Com; Natural History Museum; St James Catholic High School; TA Cook; Wilson Stuart Special School.
Example Postgraduate Courses: Graduate Diploma in Law; MA Archaeology; MA Contemporary History; MA History; MA Museum Studies; MA Political History; MA The Classical Mediterranean; PGCE; Postgraduate Diploma Development Management; TEFL.
Example jobs and employers information comes from the University’s ‘Where Did They Go?’ survey, and shows destinations of 2010/11 graduates six months after graduation.
We are ranked as the best Archaeology department in the Midlands and 9th best nationally in both the 2013 Guardian University League Table and the Complete University Guide 2013 (run by the Independent newspaper).
We pride ourselves on the high quality of our teaching. A recent Academic Review Committee report on teaching quality commended the School for developing a supportive and friendly learning environment for students, noting particularly the openness and accessibility of staff.
In the 2012 National Student Survey 96% of our students were satisfied with the quality of our teaching, resources and facilities, and across all categories we finished first among all Archaeology Departments for total student satisfaction.
We are internationally recognised for our innovative and cutting-edge research. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, 90% of our research activity was world-leading, internationally excellent or internationally significant. This research is fundamental to the vibrant atmosphere at Leicester, and directly contributes to the excitement of learning within the School.
We have particular research excellence in Roman Archaeology, Prehistory, Historical Archaeology and the Archaeological Sciences, as well as all aspects of Classical (Greek and Roman) History.
We offer you many opportunities to take part in field trips and excavations, all of which are provided as part of the annual tuition fee. Our degree programmes offer a huge choice of modules, enabling you to focus on the topics that interest you most. Students on all our degree courses are offered the opportunity to study abroad. We currently have exchanges with ten institutions in Europe, Canada and Australia.
The School benefits from several well-equipped laboratories for practical teaching and research in science-based analytical techniques.
If you choose Archaeology and Ancient History at Leicester, in any of our single or joint honour degree programmes, you are choosing academic quality, flexibility and a commitment to excellent teaching.
Teaching, Learning and Assessment
All of our teaching is based upon a stimulating combination of lectures, small group work and practical ‘hands-on’ experience.
In Archaeology, flexible academic classes are combined with practical instruction in the field; you will have the chance to study a wide range of different societies and will develop the skills to examine them in more detail. It is possible to transfer to a BSc stream in Year Two, which places a particular emphasis on laboratory and science based courses.
In Ancient History, your studies of the classical world will be complemented by tuition in the ancient languages and by immediate engagement with the importance of Greece and Rome to contemporary society. Our joint honours degrees in History and Archaeology and Ancient History and History combine Archaeology or Ancient History with the study of more modern periods, increasing still further the range of choices available.
While diverse in scope, the School’s degrees are unified by their shared concern with the human past and with universal themes such as the environment, elites and power, society and technology, violence and warfare, gender, and identity.
Students are taught and assessed using a wide variety of methods to ensure that a range of abilities and skills are tested over the course of the degree. We use lectures, small group seminars, one-on-one tuition, and laboratory classes for formal teaching, as well as instruction in the field. Forms of assessment that we employ include:
- Seen and unseen examinations
- Laboratory reports
- Practical tests
- Group work
- Oral presentations
- A dissertation (in the final year)
At Leicester we place a particular emphasis upon practical learning, and instruction extends far beyond the lecture theatre. All degrees and joint degrees in Archaeology include practical and scientific modules, with the opportunity for particular specialism in the second and third years. These include courses in the analysis of human bone, animal bone, forensic archaeology and pottery amongst many others.
Fieldwork is an important element of the School’s degrees. All Archaeology students take part in two excavations (totalling six weeks for single honours students; four weeks for joint honours). The focus for this fieldwork is the School’s on-going research and training excavation at the Iron Age hillfort in Burrough Hill, Leicestershire. Here, you will have the opportunity to work closely with both professional archaeologists from the University of Leicester Archaeological Service (ULAS) and School staff and to contribute to an important research project.
Field trips also form an important component of many of our taught courses: Stonehenge, Flag Fen, Verulamium and Kenilworth Castle are examples of the places we have visited in previous years. We even have travel scholarships available within the School to help Ancient History students visit Classical sites in the Mediterranean. All students also have the opportunity to visit Rome on a field trip in the Second Year.
Choosing Archaeology and Ancient History at Leicester gives you the opportunity to spend a year studying abroad. In all of our programmes you can transfer to a four-year degree in which you study for a year at one of our partner universities in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden or Malta. For study in Europe you will receive language training and an Erasmus grant (approx. €370 per month).
As well as the academic opportunities that we provide, we give you many chances to enhance your employability. For more information see the Graduate Opportunities section.
Over the course of the degree, you will acquire a wide range of transferable skills valued by employers. These include: writing clearly in a variety of formats, IT work, data collection, analysis and presentation, problem-solving, critical thinking, oral presentation, languages and team-working.
Our students have an excellent track record of securing graduate-level employment following the completion of their degrees, reflecting the transferable skills that we deliver within our teaching. The Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Survey (DLHES), which records the employment status of graduates six months after the completion of their degrees, has revealed that our graduates gain employment over a wide variety of industries. These include museums, field archaeology units, heritage organisations, universities and local councils.
For those students keen to take their studies beyond the University, we run formal, accredited modules to prepare students for a career in teaching. We recruit student volunteers to take part in the department’s Outreach program. You can work with schools, and the Leicester Young Archaeologists Club to deliver hands on archaeology related activities. We also run a Professional Skills module to prepare you for life beyond Leicester. We have dedicated work experience and outreach tutors who organise placements for you in schools, museums, field archaeology units, archives, laboratories and on external projects, complementing the volunteering provision within the University. Participation in these schemes not only enhances your knowledge of particular subjects, but also provides you with key employability skills that will make you stand out in a competitive job market.
Over 30% of our students each year go on to complete MA courses in Archaeology, Ancient History, and related fields, as well as teacher training. This shows how well our staff pass on their own passion for the study of the past.
Opportunities to Visit and Further Information
Choosing what and where to study are crucial decisions. If there is anything we can do to help, we would be delighted to offer our advice. All students who receive an offer from us will be invited to visit the School before making their final decision. Applicants for our Archaeology degrees will also be invited to a special Forensic Archaeology Masterclass, during the Easter Vacation, where they can test their archaeological skills and crime-fighting prowess.
For details of open days or for more information about the School and our courses please contact: