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BSc Archaeology (F402)

Left: Isotope lab, centre: Laboratory sign, right: DNA lab

This course allows students to develop an overview of world archaeology, but also to focus on the range of scientific techniques used to explore the past. With access to state-of the-art laboratory facilities and outstanding training by some of the world’s leading archaeological scientists, you will have the opportunity to learn techniques such as DNA and isotopic analysis, Geographical Information Systems, geoarchaeology, archaeobotany, and the analysis of human and animal skeletal remains. By the end of the degree you will be equipped with cutting-edge science and social science research skills, and a wide range of transferable skills relevant to many career paths, including data management and analysis, critical thinking and writing, and written and oral presentation.

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Develop your knowledge and skills

A person preparing samples in the DNA lab

As a BSc Archaeology student, you will have the opportunity to develop your knowledge and skills through a series of Scientific Methods in Archaeology modules, as well as second-year Advanced Skills options, and third-year Specialised Aspects of Archaeology options. Classroom teaching is complemented by small-group tutorials and lab-based practicals that will guide you in developing expertise in ancient landscapes and environments, past climate change, diet, migrations, mobility, health, animal-human interactions, scientific dating, materials science, and techniques for conservation relevant to archaeological objects and collections.

All BSc Archaeology students have the opportunity to take part in archaeological fieldwork in the UK and abroad, engaging directly with current departmental research projects, and learning a host of archaeological and transferable skills. The capstone of the degree is your own research project, or dissertation, which you will develop under the direct guidance of a member of staff who is an expert in the field.

Our graduates from this programme work in a range of employment sectors, from commercial archaeology and heritage science to forensic archaeology and anthropology, and in broader fields including law, teaching, environmental work, the military, and work with local and national authorities. Many continue to further postgraduate studies in archaeological science at Durham or other top-ranked Universities and institutions worldwide.

Students studying this course can follow a route accredited by CIfA, the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists. Choosing an accredited undergraduate degree is widely recognised as the first step on a career pathway leading to professional status. To obtain a CIfA accredited degree, students study modules that equip them with the requisite theoretical and practical knowledge needed for a career in professional archaeology. A degree with a year abroad or a placement year is also available, allowing students to benefit from professional work experience in any desired employment sector, including placements offered by our own commercial Archaeological Services.

Entry requirements for international students