LF64 Anthropology and Archaeology BA Undergraduate 2021
Please note: 2020-21 courses may be affected by Covid-19 and are therefore subject to change due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19. Summaries of course-specific changes resulting from the impact of Covid-19 will be provided to applicants during August 2020.
For the latest information on our plans for teaching in academic year 2020/21 in light of Covid-19, please see www.durham.ac.uk/coronavirus
|Mode of study||Full Time|
|Typical Offers||A Level|
|Please also check Requirements and Admissions.|
|Contextual Offers||You may be eligible for an offer which is one or two grades lower than our standard entry requirements. Find out more.|
|More information||Still have questions?|
There are several areas of overlap between Anthropology and Archaeology, making them particularly suitable for combination in a joint honours degree. The BA (Hons) Anthropology and Archaeology course combines modules from the BA/BSc (Hons) Anthropology degrees and BA (Hons) Archaeology, providing a comprehensive understanding of humanity both past and present.
In the first year, students currently take four compulsory modules (two from each department) and select two optional 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 (20 credits each):
- Being Human
- Discovering World Prehistory.
Examples of optional modules (20 credits each):
- Peoples and Cultures
- Human Evolution and Diversity
- Health, Illness and Society
- Doing Anthropological Research.
Archaeology (20 credits each):
- Applied Archaeological Methods
- Ancient Civilisations of the East
- Archaeology in Britain
- Cities in Antiquity
- Medieval to Modern: an Introduction to the Archaeology of Medieval to Post Medieval World
- Scientific Methods in Archaeology 1.
In the second year, you will develop a deeper understanding of methods and theory in anthropology and archaeology, and pursue your growing interests through optional modules offered by both departments. Currently, students take two compulsory modules and four optional modules (two from each department).
Compulsory modules (20 credits each):
- Debating Anthropology and Archaeology
- Research Project Design.
Examples of optional modules in Anthropology (20 credits each):
- Anthropology Fieldwork
- Kinship and Religion
- Politics and Economics
- Global Health and Disease
- Sex, Reproduction and Love
- Evolutionary Variation and Adaptation
- Our Place in Nature.
Examples of optional modules in Archaeology (20 credits each):
- 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
- Professional Training
- Developing Archaeological Research
- Ancient Mediterranean Civilisations: East and West.
- Scientific Methods in Archaeology 2.
In the final year, you will design and carry out your own research for a dissertation in Anthropology or Archaeology, or an interdisciplinary dissertation in Anthropology and Archaeology. In addition, you will study advanced topics in Anthropology and Archaeology that are generally based on the research expertise of staff in both departments, and reflect the University’s ideal of research-led education. You will choose eight topics from the 'Specialised Aspects' modules offered by each department (four topics from each).
Compulsory module: (40 credits):
- Dissertation in Anthropology, Archaeology or in Anthropology & Archaeology.
Examples of optional modules in Anthropology (40 credits):
Specialised Aspects in Social Anthropology / Evolutionary Anthropology / Health.
Examples of optional modules in Archaeology (40 credits):
- Specialised Aspects in Archaeology / Advanced Professional Training / Current Archaeology / Interpreting Heritage / Museum Representation.
We are part of the 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 course 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 around 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 courses, 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.
You may be able to take a work placement. Find out more.
Course Learning and Teaching
As a student on the BA (Hons) 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 Department 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 (Hons) Anthropology and Archaeology course, you will shift from being a 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 (Hons) 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.
Subject requirements, level and grade
A level offer – AAB.
BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma/OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma – DDD.
IB Diploma score – 36 with 665 in higher level subjects.
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
- If you do not satisfy our general entry requirements, the Foundation Programme offers multidisciplinary degrees to prepare you for a range of specified degree courses
- We are pleased to consider applications for deferred entry.
Science A levels
Applicants taking Science A levels that include a practical component will be required to take and pass this as a condition of entry. This applies only to applicants sitting A levels with an English examination board.
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||£21,500.00 per year|
|Home Student||£9,250.00 per year|
|Island Student||£9,250.00 per year|
|International non-EU Student||£21,500.00 per year|
The tuition fees shown for home students are for one complete academic year of full time study and are set according to the academic year of entry. Fees for subsequent years of your course may rise in line with an inflationary uplift as determined by the government.
The tuition fees shown for overseas and EU students are for one complete academic year of full time study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).
Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.
Scholarships and funding
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 2017:
• 90% are in paid employment or further study 6 months after graduation
Of those in employment:
• 89% are in graduate level employment
• Median salary £18,250
(Source: Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey of 2016/17 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:www.hesa.ac.uk/support/definitions/destinations)
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.
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.
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.
In your first year you will spend three weeks working on our internationally significant Bishop Auckland Castle 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.
- 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
- In depth knowledge of world history, culture and religion
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: www.durham.ac.uk/opendays
Discover Durham Tours
Discover Durham tours offer a brief introduction to the University. The tour begins at one of our undergraduate colleges, where you will receive an introductory talk from a member of college staff, followed by a tour of the college by current students.
Overseas Visit Schedule
From the Palaeolithic to the post-medieval, from Iceland to India, from architecture to ancient DNA – broad and dynamic, archaeology changes constantly with new discoveries and innovative research. Combine hands-on work with traditional academic study. Learn from expert staff; take part in fieldwork, real excavations and finds; study historic buildings, scientific methods, archaeological theory and computer techniques; and learn how they all help us to understand the past.
- 4th in the QS World University Subject Rankings for Archaeology 2019.
- 3rd in The Complete University Guide 2020.
- 5th in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020.
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 want to learn more, then anthropology could be for you.
Anthropology is the study of all aspects of humanity, from our evolutionary origins to our extraordinary social and cultural diversity. At Durham, we pride ourselves on the breadth of our research, learning and teaching, encompassing all aspects of anthropology, and influencing the wider world through research that has global significance.
- Top 50 in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2020
- Top 10 in The Complete University Guide 2020.
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.