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VQ48 Archaeology and Ancient Civilisations BA Undergraduate 2012


UCAS code VQ48
Degree BA
Mode of study Part Time + Full Time
Duration 3 years
Location Durham City
Typical offers A Level
International Baccalaureate (IB)
Related qualifications

Department(s) Website
Telephone +44 (0)191 334 1100

Course Content


Level 1 Compulsory Modules

  • Introduction to Archaeology
  • Archaeology Practicals
  • Applied Archaeological Methods
  • Ancient Civilisations of the East.

Level 1 Elective Modules

  • Discovering World Prehistory
  • Roman Empire to Nation State
  •  One or two modules in Classics or another department.

Joint Honours choose one Archaeology module from the BA Archaeology list, alongside three modules in their other department.

 Level 2 Compulsory Modules

  • Professional Training (double module, includes three weeks' excavation)
  • Archaeological Method and Theory
  • Ancient Mediterranean Civilisations: East and West.

Level 2 Elective Modules

  • Mediterranean Expansion: Rome and native societies
  • Ancient Empires of the East
  • Options in Classics or another department.

Level 3 Compulsory Modules

  • Current Issues in Archaeology
  • Dissertation (double module).

Fieldwork: all Single Honours students undertake six weeks' compulsory fieldwork; three weeks at our international field school at Binchester Roman Fort in the first year, and three weeks at an excavation of your choice in the second year. We are also able to facilitate field opportunities for Joint Honours students.

Teaching and assessment details

We believe in blending a variety of teaching and learning styles, including lectures, tutorials and seminars in which you present and discuss short papers. You will learn practical skills through modules and training excavations (Single Honours) and will develop your research skills through the final year dissertation. You will have a departmental tutor to advise you and to monitor your academic progress.

Your final year dissertation is your chance to carry out original research in Archaeology or Archaeological Science, where you can take advantage of the opportunity to conduct your chosen project in one of the research laboratories, in the library, in museums or in the field.

 Assessment in Level 1 is based on a final exam in May or June (except for the Single Honours practical module which has continuous assessment). Students do a variety of essays and tests through their first year as preparation for the final exams. The proportion of continually assessed work increases through years two and three.

Study Abroad

We are part of the SOCRATES/ERASMUS programme which encourages students to study for part of their course in a university of another EU country. We currently have links with the universities of Gothenburg (Sweden), Mainz (Germany), Bordeaux (France), and the Free University of Berlin (Germany). Students will also have the opportunity to participate in excavations run by members of staff and colleagues of other universities at various places round the world.

Admissions Process

Subjects required, level and grade

In addition to satisfying the University's general entry requirements and the programme specific entry requirements above, please note: We welcome applications from those with other qualifications equivalent to our standard entry requirements and from mature students with non-standard qualifications or who may have had a break in their study.

We do not include General Studies as part of our offer for Programmes VF14, F400, VQ48 and F402. Two A-levels or equivalent in Science subjects are required for BSc (Hons) Archaeology (F402). Mathematics and Geography are accepted as Science subjects.

If you do not satisfy our general entry requirements, the Foundation Centre offers multi-disciplinary programmes to prepare you for a range of specified degree programmes.

English Language requirements

IELTS 6.5 (no component under 6.0); TOEFL iBT 92 (no component under 23); Cambridge Proficiency (CPE) Grade C; or Cambridge Advanced (CAE) Grade A

Requirements and Admissions

Information relevant to your country

Fees and Funding

Fees have not been set for this academic year.

Scholarships and funding

Career Opportunities

Department of Archaeology

Open days and visits

Pre-application open day

Pre-application open days are the very best way to discover all you need to know about Durham University. With representatives from all relevant academic and support service departments and opportunities to explore college options they will provide a full experience of Durham University for any prospective undergraduates.

Pre-application open days in Durham City will take place on:

  • Monday 25 June 2012
  • Saturday 30 June 2012
  • Saturday 22 September 2012

Further details, and information on how to book.  

Campus tours

Overseas Visit Schedule

Department Information

Department of Archaeology


One of the most exciting subjects to study. One of the very best places to study it.

Archaeology at Durham covers everything from the Palaeolithic to the Post-Medieval, from Iceland to India, from architecture to ancient DNA. We offer two BAs and a BSc, as well as Joint Honours with Anthropology, and with Ancient History. Teaching is research led. Archaeology at Durham was rated the top research department in Britain in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise; came equal 1st in the National Student Survey in 2009; is the undergraduate department with the best employability rate in Britain in 2009; and came 2nd in the Times Good University Guide in 2010.


RAE results


Durham has one of the largest Archaeology departments in Britain, with over 25 full-time members of teaching staff. The Department is close to the first class University Library, which has some of the best archaeological holdings in northern Britain. We are one of the most comprehensively equipped Archaeology departments in the UK, offering project rooms, teaching laboratories and internationally renowned scientific research laboratories in DNA, conservation, isotopes, environmental archaeology, luminescence dating, palaeopathology and soil and bone chemistry, which have recently undergone a £3.2m refurbishment. Other facilities include a computer room, drawing office, photographic studio, and common room. The Department also houses a commercial archaeological unit, Archaeological Services (Durham University), which works with the Department to provide training in excavation and fieldwork skills.

You will have access to two University museums. The Old Fulling Mill Museum, situated on the banks of the river below the Cathedral, was the second university museum in England to be opened to the public. The Museum presents excellent Roman and medieval material from Durham in an international context. You will also have access to the Durham University Oriental Museum, which is the only museum of its kind in the United Kingdom entirely devoted to the art and archaeology of cultures from Asia and Egypt.


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