VQ48 Archaeology and Ancient Civilisations 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?|
Using archaeological techniques and approaches, this course puts the heritage of Greece and Rome under the lens. Drawing on the latest research, it also provides a chance to explore Egypt and North Africa, as well as the lesser-known civilisations of the Near East and South Asia.
- Archaeology Practicals
- Ancient Civilisations: Methods, Approaches, Sources
- Cities in Antiquity.
Examples of optional modules:
Choose one or two modules from the following lists of modules which have been available in previous years:
- Archaeology in Britain
- Discovering World Prehistory
- Ancient Civilisations of the East
- Medieval to Modern: An Introduction to the Archaeology of the Medieval to Post-Medieval World
Or ONE or TWO modules in another department including Classics and language modules.
- Greek Art and Architecture
- Living in a Classical World
- Remembering Athens
- Monuments and Memory in the Age of Augustus.
- Professional Training (requires three weeks of fieldwork in the summer preceding Level 2)
- Ancient Mediterranean Civilisations: East and West
- Developing Archaeological Research (required to take a dissertation in Archaeology at Level 3).
Examples of optional modules:
Choose three modules from the following list of modules which have been available in previous years:
- Becoming Roman: from Iron Age to Empire in Italy and the West
- Archaeology of Medieval and Post-medieval Britain in its European Context
- East Mediterranean in the Bronze Age
- Advanced Skills (Single or Double)
- A module in any department including Classics or language modules.
- Roman Religion
- Roman Buildings and Decoration
- Crisis of the Roman Republic
- History of the Hellenistic Age
- Archaic Greece
- A module in another department (including a language module).
Year 3 (Year 4 if undertaking a Year Abroad)
- Dissertation (double module)
- Current Archaeology
- Specialised Aspects in Archaeology.
Examples of optional modules:
TWO modules from:
- Advanced Professional Training (requires three weeks of fieldwork in the summer preceding Level 2)
- Specialised Aspects in Archaeology (single or double)
- Interpreting Heritage
- Museum Representation
- A module in any department.
You will undertake six weeks’ compulsory fieldwork; three weeks at our field school in the first year, and three weeks at an excavation of your choice in the second year.
For Single Honours students, only one module in any department may be taken over Levels 2 and 3.
We review course structures and core content (in light of e.g. external and student feedback) every year, and will publish finalised core requirements for 2021 entry from September 2020.
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 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.
You may be able to take a work placement. Find out more.
Course Learning and Teaching
On this course you will learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical classes, fieldwork, excavation, informal but scheduled one-to-one support, and self-directed learning, such as research, reading, and writing.
All of these are supported by a virtual learning environment, Durham University Online (duo). Seminars, tutorials, and practical classes are much smaller groups than lectures, with tutorials often involving no more than eight students working with a professor or lecturer; seminars and practicals can be larger but are still small enough to allow one-to-one interaction with tutors.
Practicals allow hands-on experience of the work professional archaeologists perform. The same is true of fieldwork, which at Durham is fully funded, and consists of engaging in archaeological work in the field with members of academic staff. This emphasis on small-group and practical teaching reflects the quality of the learning experience rather than the number of formal sessions.
The degree is designed to feature fewer formal sessions and more independent research as you move from your first to your final year. Small-group teaching and one-to-one attention from a personal academic advisor (provided to all students when they start) are part of the learning experience throughout, but by the final year classroom time gives way, to independent research, including a dissertation – supported by one-to-one supervision – that makes up a third of your final year credits. The degree transforms you from a consumer of knowledge in the classroom to a generator of knowledge, ready for professional or postgraduate life.
These formal teaching arrangements are supported by “drop-in” surgeries with teaching staff and induction sessions that begin the week before you start and continue at key times throughout each year of the course.
Students can also attend an extensive programme of research-focused seminars where staff and visiting scholars present their cutting-edge research.
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. Please contact our Admissions Selectors.
- 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||£21,800.00 per year|
|Home Student||£9,250.00 per year|
|Island Student||£9,250.00 per year|
|International non-EU Student||£21,800.00 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.