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VF14 Ancient History and Archaeology BA Undergraduate 2016


UCAS code VF14
Degree BA
Mode of study Full Time
Duration 3 years
Location Durham City
Typical offers A Level
International Baccalaureate (IB)
Alternative qualifications

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

Course Content


Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Archaeology in Action
  • Cities in Antiquity.


Choose one module from:

  • Applied Archaeological Methods
  • Discovering World Prehistory
  • Medieval to Modern: An Introduction to the Archaeology of the Medieval to Post- Medieval World
  • Ancient Civilisations of the East
  • OR: a language module
  • And, Ancient History: Three modules in Ancient History OR: two modules in Ancient History and a language module.

Year 2

Three modules in Ancient History OR: two modules in Ancient History and a language module.

Three modules in Archaeology from:

  • Professional Training (includes three weeks of excavation in the summer preceding Level 2)
  • Archaeological Method and Theory
  • Field Archaeology of Britain 
  • Developing Archaeological Research (this module is compulsory if you intend to take a Dissertation in Archaeology at Level 3) 
  • Prehistoric Europe: from foragers to state formation 
  • Becoming Roman: from Iron Age to Empire in Italy and the West 
  • Ancient Mediterranean Civilisations: East and West 
  • Archaeology of Medieval and Post-Medieval Britain in its European Context 
  • East Mediterranean in the Bronze Age
  • Field Archaeology of Britain
  • Or a language module.

Year 3

Compulsory modules

  • Dissertation (double module) registered in either Classics or Archaeology.

Optional modules

Choose two modules from Archaeology:

  • Specialised Aspects in Archaeology (double module)
  • Specialised Aspects in Archaeology (single module) 
  • Advanced Skills in Archaeology 
  • Bones and Human Societies 
  • Current Issues in Archaeology (half module) + Advanced Professional Training (half module) 
  • Interpreting Heritage (half module – includes a field trip in the period after the Level 2 exam) or a language module.
  • Two modules in Ancient History or one module from Ancient History and a language module.


Fieldwork is not compulsory for Joint Honours students but all Joint Honours students are encouraged to attend three weeks at our international field school at Binchester Roman Fort in the first year, and three weeks at an excavation of their choice in the second year.

Joint Honours students may only take one language module in a year.

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), Vienna (Austria) and the Free University of Berlin (Germany), as well as Bergen (Norway) and Koc (Turkey). Studying abroad through one of these exchanges, like the Year Abroad, will involve inserting an extra year into your programme of study between your second and final years. If, in your second year, your application for a place is successful, you will be transferred from the three-year version of your degree to a four-year version. 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.

Classics and Ancient History

Single Honours courses include an optional European Studies element as part of the ERASMUS scheme, whereby students may spend the third year of a four-year course studying at a European university. We currently have ERASMUS exchange links with universities in Belgium (Liege), France (Bordeaux), Germany (Tubingen, Munich), Greece (Athens), Italy (Bologna, Rome, Milan, Vercelli), the Netherlands (Free University, Amsterdam, Groningen), Spain (Seville) and Switzerland (Fribourg), with further to come. Students interested in studying abroad should apply to transfer to the European Studies course after their first year of study.

Admissions Process

Subjects required, level and grade

In addition to satisfying the University’s general entry requirements, 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 will be reviewing our entry requirements for 2016 entry in the summer of 2015 and will publish finalised entry requirements for 2016 entry on the University’s website and at UCAS before 1 September 2015
  • If you do not satisfy our general entry requirements, the Foundation Centre offers multidisciplinary degrees to prepare you for a range of specified degree courses.
  • We are pleased to consider applications for deferred entry.

English Language requirements

IELTS of 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

The University accepts the following alternative English language tests and scores.

Information relevant to your country

Fees and Funding


Fees have not been set for this academic year.

Scholarships and funding 

Career Opportunities



Classics and Ancient History


Open days and visits

Pre-application open day

Pre-application open days are the 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, the open days provide our prospective undergraduates with the full experience of Durham University.

Please see the following page for further details and information on how to book a place:

Campus tours

Overseas Visit Schedule

Department Information



One of the most exciting and varied subjects to study. One of the very best places at which to study it.

Archaeology at Durham University covers everything from the Palaeolithic to the Post-Medieval, from Iceland to India, from architecture to ancient DNA, helping us to address some of the most fundamental questions about who we are. A broad and dynamic subject, archaeology changes constantly with new discoveries and the development of innovative research.

This fascinating degree allows you to combine practical hands-on work with traditional academic study. You will take part in fieldwork, on real excavations and finds and learn about historic buildings, scientific methods, archaeological theories, computer techniques and how they all help us to understand the past. Our staff are leaders in their fields, we have professional links with many notable historic organisations and our graduates are highly employable in the archaeology sector and elsewhere.

  • 97% of our Archaeology students said they were satisfied with the quality of their course in the National Student Survey 2014 (sector-wide average 92%).
  • Ranked 1st in The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2015.
  • 3rd in The Complete University Guide 2015.
  • 4th in The Guardian University Guide 2015.

Durham has one of the largest Archaeology departments in Britain, with 28 full-time members of teaching staff. The Department is close to the University’s first-class Bill Bryson 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 £3.2 million refurbishment. Other facilities include a computer room, photographic studio, and common room. A commercial archaeological unit, Archaeological Services (Durham University), is also part of the Department and works with the Department to provide training in excavation and fieldwork skills.

You will have access to two University Museums; the Museum of Archaeology on Palace Green houses excellent Roman and medieval material from Durham in an international context and the Durham University Oriental Museum on Elvet Hill, is the only museum of its kind in the UK entirely devoted to the art and archaeology of cultures from Asia and Egypt.


Classics and Ancient History


Study the Greek and Roman world at one of the largest and most vibrant Classics departments in the UK.

Our academic staff work in a truly interdisciplinary way and specialise in a wide range of artistic, historical, literary, linguistic, cultural and philosophical aspects of the Graeco-Roman world. We are consistently ranked amongst the top Classics departments in the UK. We offer a wide variety of modules: ancient Greek and Latin for every level of ability, surveys of the main periods and themes of Greek and Roman history, and teaching in all aspects of Classical culture, including philosophy, art, and literature in translation.

We have three Single Honours courses, with a common first year intended to emphasise the unity of the subject. Each of these degrees has a different emphasis, depending on which area you prefer to put at the centre of your degree: ancient languages, ancient history, or ancient culture.

  • Ranked joint 1st in the UK for Internationally Excellent and World-leading research impact (REF 2014).
  • 94% of our Classics and Ancient History students were satisfied with the quality of their course in the National Student Survey 2014 (sector-wide average 91%).
  • 4th in The Complete University Guide 2015
  • 5th in The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2015.

There is a well-stocked departmental library with a reading room and study space, plus a computer room. In addition, extracurricular activities are provided by the lively and friendly Students’ Classical Society, which often puts on a Greek or Roman play in English translation.


NB: Information contained on the website or in the literature with respect to the fee is correct at the time of publication but the University reserves the right to change the course information or fee at a later date.

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