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LF64 Anthropology and Archaeology BA Undergraduate  2017


UCAS code LF64
Degree BA
Mode of study Full Time
Duration 3 years
Location Durham City
Typical Offers A-Level
International Baccalaureate
Please also check Requirements and Admissions.
Alternative qualifications

Department(s) Website
Telephone +44 (0)191 334 1612 or +44 (0)191 334 1100

Course Content


There are several areas of overlap between Anthropology and Archaeology, making them particularly suitable for combination in a joint honours degree. The BA Anthropology and Archaeology programme combines modules from the BA/BSc Anthropology degrees and BA Archaeology, providing a comprehensive understanding of humanity both past and present.

Year 1

In the first year, students currently take four compulsory modules (two from each Department) and select two elective modules (one from each Department). One modern foreign language module can also currently be taken in place of an elective module from either Anthropology or Archaeology.

Compulsory modules currently available:

  • People and Cultures
  • Human Evolution and Diversity
  • Archaeology in Action
  • Discovering World Prehistory.

Optional modules currently available:


  • Introduction to Anthropological Theories and Methods
  • Health, Illness and Society
  • A module in a modern foreign language.


  • Applied Archaeological Methods
  • Ancient Civilisations of the East
  • Cities in Antiquity
  • Medieval to Modern: an Introduction to the Archaeology of Medieval to Post Medieval World
  • A module in a modern foreign language (if not already selected in place of one of the Anthropology modules).

Year 2

Currently, students select six modules, three from each Department, or five plus a module in a modern foreign language.

Modules currently available:


Two modules from this list:

  • Evolution, Variation and Adaptation
  • Our Place in Nature
  • Ecology, Genomics and Health
  • Political and Economic Organisation
  • Kinship
  • Cultures and Classifications
  • Sex, Reproduction and Love
  • International Health and Development.

And one module from this list:

  • Evolution, Variation and Adaptation
  • Our Place in Nature
  • Ecology, Genomics and Health
  • Political and Economic Organisation
  • Kinship
  • Cultures and Classifications
  • Sex, Reproduction and Love
  • International Health and Development
  • Biology Culture and Society
  • Methods and Analysis
  • A module in a foreign language (a further modern language module cannot be taken in the third year if one is taken in the second year).


Three modules from this list:

  • Archaeological Method and Theory
  • Prehistoric Europe: From Foragers to State Formation
  • Becoming Roman: From Iron Age to Empire in Italy and the West
  • Archaeology of Medieval and Post-medieval Britain in its European Context
  • The East Mediterranean World in the Bronze Age
  • Field Archaeology of Britain
  • Professional Training
  • Developing Archaeological Research
  • Ancient Mediterranean Civilisations: East and West.
  • Scientific Methods in Archaeology 2
  • A module in a foreign language (cannot be taken if selected in place of one of the Anthropology modules; a further modern language module cannot be taken in the third year if one is taken in the second year).

Year 3

Currently, students take a 40-credit Dissertation in Anthropology or a 40-credit Dissertation in Archaeology (provided they have the necessary preparatory modules for their chosen dissertation). Additionally they currently take 40 credits of modules in each Department.

Optional modules currently available include: 


  • Business Anthropology: Global and Local Competencies
  • Palaeoanthropology
  • Hunters and Gatherers Past and Present
  • Material Culture
  • Nutritional and Disease Ecology
  • Change and Development
  • Social Evolution
  • Field Course
  • Violence and Memory
  • Power and Governance
  • Science, Culture and Ethics
  • Anthropology of Conflict and Law
  • Cognitive Anthropology
  • Human Reproductive Ecology
  • Evolutionary Medicine: Life History Theory
  • Anthropology of Care
  • Forensic Anthropology
  • A module in a modern foreign language (if not taken in second year).


  • Bones and Human Societies
  • Current Issues in Archaeology
  • Advanced Professional Training
  • Interpreting Heritage
  • Advanced Skills in Archaeology
  • Specialised Aspects of Archaeology
  • Hunters and Gatherers Past and Present
  • A module in a modern foreign language (if not taken in second year and if not taken as an alternative to an Anthropology option).

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.


Study abroad or placement activities undertaken as part of a degree are not only enjoyable but can give a significant edge when it comes to employability. ERASMUS exchanges are possible on our programmes, and we currently have links with the University of West Bohemia (Czech Republic), the University of Iceland, the University of Ljubljana (Slovenia) and the University of Malta, with new opportunities being added every year. We also run a third-year Field Course module, involving fieldwork at our South African field site.

Course Learning and Teaching

As a student on the BA Anthropology and Archaeology degree, your learning will be supported by formal teaching sessions, such as lectures and smaller-group teaching in seminars and practical classes, as well as fieldwork and excavation opportunities.

The Anthropology Department and Archaeology Departments have a large range of resources including skeletal collections, a fossil cast collection, and a material culture collection that are used in relevant modules, and you may also be able to use these independently, to supplement your learning or for project work.

As you move through your BA Anthropology and Archaeology programme, you will shift from being consumer of knowledge in the classroom to a generator of knowledge, ready for professional or postgraduate life. To help develop this independence, you will spend part of your time engaged in self-directed study, which will include reading, project work and preparation for classes. In your third year, you will undertake a dissertation on an anthropological or archaeological topic of your choice, preferably one that overlaps the two subjects, giving you the chance to engage in a major piece of independent work.

Assessment on the BA Anthropology and Archaeology degree varies by module, but may include written examinations, coursework in the form of essays or research projects, and presentations. 

You will be given an Academic Adviser when you start your degree, and will normally keep the same Adviser for the duration of your studies. Where possible, you will be given an Academic Adviser who has an interest or background in both anthropology and archaeology. Academic Advisers are there to support your academic work by providing advice about such things as study skills, module choices, dissertation topics, and applications for further study or employment. As well as discussing your academic work with your nominated Adviser, you are encouraged to make use of the Feedback and Consultation hours provided by academic staff during term-time. These Feedback and Consultation hours give you the opportunity to discuss your work with module tutors, for example to seek clarification on complex ideas, get suggestions for additional readings, and receive further feedback on assessments.

As a student in the Anthropology and Archaeology Departments, you will be welcomed into the wider Departmental communities, for example being able to attend an extensive programme of research-focused anthropological seminars where academic staff, postgraduate students and visiting scholars present their cutting-edge research, which may provide inspiration for your dissertation topic and even future study or employment. 

Admissions Process

Subject requirements, 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. Please contact the department if you require further information about our standard entry requirements in your qualification, at
  • We will be reviewing our entry requirements for 2017 entry in the summer of 2016 and will publish finalised entry requirements for 2017 entry on the University’s website and at UCAS
  • 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

Please check requirements for your subject and level of study.

How to apply

Information relevant to your country

Fees and Funding

Full Time Fees

EU Student £9,250.00
Home Student £9,250.00
Island Student £9,250.00
International non-EU Student £17,400.00

Note: Fees are subject to review and change in-line with inflation.

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.

Scholarships and funding 

Career Opportunities


A degree in archaeology will provide you with skills in teamwork, practical and intellectual problem solving and critical analysis of evidence, in addition to providing you with enhanced knowledge on specific aspects of the human past and present.

Durham University as a whole was recently ranked top 25 in the world by employers for the quality of its graduates. Our students are always in high demand in the professional sector, with many gaining employment not only in archaeology-related fields, such as conservation, heritage, museums and commercial labs and units, but also in education, business, finance and defence.

Of those students who graduated in 2014:

82% are in paid employment or further study 6 months after graduation

Of those in employment:

78% are in graduate level employment
• Median salary £21,700

(Source: Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey of 2013/14 graduates. The DLHE survey asks leavers from higher education what they are doing six months after graduation)

Specific Archaeology Employment: Commercial field units & consultancies; Museums & Heritage Management; Local Government; Academic sphere; National Heritage bodies (e.g. Inspectors of Ancient Monuments, field workers, Climate Change Managers); The National Trust, Churches Conservation Trust, Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings; National Finds Advisors, Portable Antiquities Scheme; Durham University.

Beyond Archaeology: The City; Business Management & Administration; Education (all levels, many subjects); Marketing and Advertising; Small and Medium Enterprises; Armed Forces; International charities; Conservation; Ecological and Environmental spheres (e.g. environmental impact assessments); Forensics (inc. International War Crime investigation); Publishing and journalism; Media production and research; Law.

Employers have included: Deloitte, Boots, E.ON, PwC, Ernst and Young, KPMG, Citi Group, Accenture, Fortnum & Mason, Smith & Williamson, Kuoni Travel, The UK Government, HM Treasury, the British Army, Survival International and Dig Deep (Africa), English Heritage, Historic Scotland, CADW, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the British Museum and York Archaeological Trust.

The Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre works with closely the department in facilitating student access to job and work experience opportunities, careers and employability events, employer workshops and presentations, skills programmes and tailored individual careers guidance. A dedicated Careers Adviser is available to support Anthropology students individually and collectively.


Development Opportunities

Throughout your programme you will be invited to attend in-department employability talks and evenings, and careers fairs organised by the Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre, as well as one-on-one sessions with your personal academic advisor.

Work Experience

In your first year you will spend three weeks working on our internationally significant Binchester excavation.

In your second, you will organise a three week placement working alongside a fieldwork team or in a museum/laboratory. These placements act as opportunities to experience archaeology in 'real-world' situations.

Among the skills valued by many employers around the world, Archaeology at Durham offers you:
  • Team work
  • Evidence evaluation, advocacy and debate
  • Project Management
  • Planning and Budgeting
  • Use of quantitative and qualitative data
  • Oral, written and visual presentation
  • Public engagement
  • Scientific lab work
  • Health and Safety awareness
  • Geography and landscape analysis
  • Sampling techniques and strategies
  • Interpretation of maps and satellite imagery
  • Indepth knowledge of world history, culture and religion


Durham Anthropology graduates have excellent employment prospects in a wide range of possible careers


Career Opportunities and Employability

Durham Anthropology graduates leave our programmes with excellent employment prospects. In the latest HESA survey [Guardian University Guide 2014] Durham Anthropology was recognised as having a 66% employment rate 6 months after graduation, the 2nd highest amongst anthropology departments in the UK returning such statistics.

With an anthropology degree our students acquire a knowledge base which is both fascinating and useful as well as having an unusual mix of intellectual and practical skills. This combination is much sought after by employers worldwide and particularly so where creativity, curiosity and the ability to understand human culture and society are at a premium - which, in practice, is in most situations.

Our graduates use their anthropology directly in fields such as health, community work, conservation, education, international development, culture and heritage. A significant number progress into careers which at first sight have no direct link to Anthropology but which nonetheless utilise the broad understanding of human society and behaviour and the many important transferable skills that come with the study of Anthropology. Employment fields falling into this category include advertising, publishing, journalism, human resource management, public relations, finance, law, consultancy and marketing.

The quality of teaching on our programmes is further underpinned by a wide range of opportunities for work placements, research internships, study abroad and fieldwork both the UK and abroad.

Of thse students who graduated in 2014:

  • 82% are in paid employment or further study 6 months after graduation

Of those in employment:

  • 76% are in graduate level employment
  • Median salary £19,400 (compared to average UK salary for similar courses of £19,000)

(Source: Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey of 2014/14 graduates. The DLHE survey asks leavers from higher education what they are doing six months after graduation. Full definitions for the DLHE Record can be found here:

A large proportion of our students progress onto higher level study following their degree in Anthropology. Many remain within their academic field of interest and pursue higher level anthropological research, notably at Durham but also other prestigious institutions including Imperial, University College London, London School of Economics, Manchester and York. Others take a different route and pursue professional postgraduate programmes in both related (development studies, international relations, public health, nursing, medicine, youth work, social work, human resource management, education, social policy, museum studies) and non-related fields (law, finance, marketing, management, journalism and publishing).

The Anthropology degree gives you a thorough grounding in anthropology: offering interesting optional modules enabling you to explore people's customs, health care systems and cultures all over the world both past and present. I feel lucky to have found a degree that grabbed my interest from the onset. Since graduating, I’ve qualified as a teacher and as a Careers Advisor working in graduate positions.

Employment Development Opportunities

The Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre works with closely the department in facilitating student access to job and work experience opportunities, careers and employability events, employer workshops and presentations, skills programmes and tailored individual careers guidance. A dedicated Careers Adviser is available to support Anthropology students individually and collectively.

We're interested in talented students applying to us with strong academics, but just as important are your employability skills – including impact, drive, flexibility, curiosity, integrity and commercial awareness. The skills students develop throughout university shape their employability and our aim is to help students to understand how they can transfer these skills in to the workplace. Applicants who stand out are those who've done research and are well prepared. As a leading employer of graduates, we recognise the important role played by the Careers and Employability Centre at the University of Durham by encouraging students to meet local and national employers and producing high-calibre, motivated individuals who are ready to enter the world of professional services. We recruit a number of students every year onto our Insight and graduate programmes from Durham University.

Durham University Anthropology graduates progress into an incredibly diverse range of careers and employment sectors. Some graduates apply their academic study directly within a number of relevant sectors including health, community, conservation, education, international development, culture and heritage. A significant number progress into careers with no direct link to Anthropology but which utilise the transferable skills developed including advertising, publishing, journalism, human resource management, public relations, finance, law, consultancy and marketing. Examples of high profile recent employers of Anthropology graduates include Shell, NHS, Office for National Statistics, CST Advertising as well as interntaionally recognised organisations such as Save teh Children, Survival and Amnesty International.


Work Experience & Study Abroad

Via the Erasmus programme we have agreements with universities in Czech Republic, Iceland, France, Spain, Germany, Slovenia and Malta.

Students are encouraged to undertake fieldwork or appropriate laboratory work as part of research methods and dissertation modules on their degree courses. These activities give them valuable 'real world' experience. We also encourage our students to take advantage of volunteering and other opportunities whenever they can.

Read more about Study Abroad options for our undergraduate students.

As well as medical students on their community placements, Thrive Thornaby has benefited from the involvement of an Anthropology student working with Student Community Action. The arrangement has been beneficial to both parties. For Thrive, we have benefited from highly capable volunteers, 'self-starters' - capable of sourcing, developing and maintaining relationships with households on low-income who were deemed by other agencies as 'hard-to-reach'. From the students' point of view, the work offered them the opportunity to engage with people in poverty on terms they hadn't done so far and might not do in their future careers. They learned first-hand about the complex nature of debt, health and how people get by. This experience will stand them in good stead, whatever they go on to do, I'm sure.

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.

These fascinating degrees allow 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.

  • 99% of our Archaeology students said that staff were good at explaining things in the
    National Student Survey 2015 (sector-wide average 96%).
  • 2nd in The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2016.
  • 2nd in The Complete University Guide 2016.
  • 6th in The Guardian University Guide 2016.

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.





Have you ever really thought about what it means to be human?
If you have and you wanted to learn more, then anthropology is for you. Our degrees are distinctive for their breadth and interdisciplinary approach. They introduce you to the comparative and evolutionary study of humans and draw on a range of social, cultural and biological perspectives. Our teaching is research-led and places a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary perspectives. The value of an anthropology degree is increasingly recognised by employers, and the broad training provided
at Durham University makes our graduates highly sought after.

We will expand your world in four ways: by showing you new intellectual horizons; by teaching you about the wider world and our place in it; by equipping you for a host of opportunities; and by influencing your world through research that has global significance.

In Year 3, you may have the opportunity to take part in our Field Course module, which includes a two-week stay at the Anthropology Field Station in the Soutpansberg Mountains, South Africa. Here you take part in a range of activities, including observations of habituated wild primates and a home stay in a rural community to learn about the interdisciplinary approaches we use in our research.

  • 95% of our Anthropology students said they found their course intellectually stimulating in the National Student Survey 2015 (sector-wide average 90%).
  • Ranked 9th in The Complete University Guide 2016.

The Department offers excellent facilities including superb collections of primate/human skeletal material and fossil hominid casts, an impressive collection of ethnographic art and material culture items, and an expanding collection of online films and video content. You will benefit from modern, purpose-built facilities, including comprehensively equipped teaching laboratories and use of lecture theatres and classrooms with excellent audio-visual equipment. We have a range of research labs (Sleep Lab, Hormone Lab, Physical Activity Lab, Bioinformatics Lab, Paleoanthropology Lab) and other facilities such as the Material Culture Collection that can be used by students for undergraduate and MAnth Dissertation research and training.


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