We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Department of Archaeology

About Us


Archaeology has been taught and studied at Durham University since 1931, which makes our staff and students part of a long tradition of learning. We count ourselves lucky to be based here, surrounded by incredible examples of medieval architecture, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and so close to some of the country’s premier archaeological sites, such as Hadrian’s Wall and the Saxon monastery at Jarrow. Throughout the years, the department has grown to become what it is today: one of the largest departments in the world and the national leader for archaeological research, beating Oxford, Cambridge and University College London in this respect.

Although we spend so much of our time focused on the past we are keenly aware of our future and as a community we share some common goals:

  • To continually improve upon and develop your student experience
  • To build upon our global reputation as one of the best archaeological research departments.

While our reputation as one of the best centres in the country means that we can employ some of the top names in archaeology, like Peter Rowley-Conwy, Charlotte Roberts, and Chris Scarre, it also means that we attract students of the highest calibre from a diverse range of backgrounds.

...When compared to other departments in Britain:

  • we provide the most comprehensive coverage of British archaeology, with an expert in every period
  • we are in the top two for the European Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Roman, Early Medieval and Medieval archaeological research
  • we are the leading centre for Bioarchaeological research with an unparalleled range of specialists
  • we are one of the best departments for Near Eastern-Iran-Indian archaeology
  • we are highly influential in the fields of conservation, cultural heritage, and museum management.

...As well as authoring seminal works such as Archaeology: An Introduction, The Human Past, and The Archaeology of Disease, Durham is home to the editors of some of the most prestigious academic journals, such as Antiquity and The European Journal of Archaeology.

...knowing that for students flexibility and choice are key components of a positive university experience. This is why we offer a varied range of single and joint honours undergraduate degrees and postgraduate programmes that can be tailored to your interests.

...Having recently undergone a £3.2 million refurbishment, we offer access to internationally renowned scientific research laboratories in DNA, conservation, isotopes, environmental archaeology, luminescence dating, palaeopathology and soil and bone chemistry.

...Durham can provide expert training on up-to-date fieldwork techniques from professional archaeologists. In addition, we run one of the only large-scale university research excavations at Auckland Castle

When you join us you will become an integral part of this academic community, not only as an enthusiastic and enquiring mind, but as an equal with ideas of your own to put forward.

Take the time to read our undergraduate and postgraduate course information, explore our research, or browse the Durham University Archaeological Society website - find out if you too could feel at home here. When you know, get in touch.