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Durham University

Department of Archaeology

Which is the right degree for you?

Each degree takes a different approach and is designed for students with different aims, priorities and preferences. It is important to give careful consideration to choosing the right degree course before applying. Your choice of degree will determine how much archaeological theory you will study, how much practical archaeology you will undertake, and who you study with.

Some questions you should ask yourself are:

  • Do I want the focus of a single honours degree or the variety of joint honours?
  • Do I want access to practical teaching and to participate in fieldwork?
  • Does this course provide the range of modules and learning styles that I require?

We have provided you with more information below, which should help you to answer these questions.


Then you should consider the Single Honours degrees: BA or BSc in Archaeology (F400/ F402) or "Archaeology and Ancient Civilizations" (VQ48) rather than a Joint Honours degree.

If this is not you, you might consider a joint honours degree with Anthropology (LF64) or Ancient History (VF14), in order to study archaeology with another subject.

Then you should look at Single Honours "Archaeology and Ancient Civilizations" (VQ48), which allows you to take a number of modules in the Department of Classics and Ancient History and also includes the practical and fieldwork elements of an archaeology degree, or Joint Honours with Ancient History (VF14). VF14 does not include the practical teaching and fieldwork requirement of a Single Honours archaeology degree but allows you to take half of your modules from the Department of Classics and Ancient History each year.

The advantages of a Joint Honours degree are:

  • the chance to study two subjects together in order to combine elements of both subjects;
  • the opportunity to cover a wider subject matter.

The disadvantages are:

  • the wider subject matter has a trade-off in terms of depth of study in each subject;
  • you will have less choice when it comes to selecting your optional modules;
  • you will not have access to the practical aspects of archaeology teaching.


The BSc in Archaeology (F402) is probably the best degree for you.

The advantages of studying a BA Combined Honours in Social Sciences (Archaeology) [LMV0] degree are:

  • you will have a great deal of flexibility to build a degree course tailor-made to your interests and ambitions, including options from a wide range of departments across the University.

The disadvantages are:

  • due to your unique module choices, you may miss out on the camaraderie and support of a group of students studying the same course;
  • as you will be studying in different department you may find that you do not get to know the staff and students in each department as well as you would if you were to study for a Single Honours degree.

Contact us for more information about specific programmes, or find out about student life here at Durham.