BA single honours or in combination with another subject Archaeology 2018/19

Year of entry

Archaeology is the study of over three million years of the human past through its physical remains. It encompasses a diverse range of practical and academic skills that draw on both the natural sciences and the humanities. Kent is rich in heritage and archaeological remains, and Canterbury is one of the most significant historical and cultural centres in Britain. Canterbury Christ Church University is itself situated in a World Heritage Site stretching from the Cathedral to St Martin’s Church beyond the ruins of St Augustine’s Abbey. So what better place to study archaeology?

You will explore areas including:

  • field and laboratory techniques
  • archaeological materials including skeletal remains and artefacts
  • archaeology of the prehistoric, Roman and medieval worlds
  • computing and data analysis
  • heritage studies

Canterbury Christ Church University is located within a UNESCO World Heritage Site, making it an ideal place to study archaeology.

We offer modules on archaeological techniques and those dedicated to prehistoric, Roman and classical, and medieval archaeology. You will also undertake at least one funded fieldwork placement during the summer period. Archaeology is a fascinating and complex subject, and the degree helps you to consolidate a wide range of skills that are attractive to employers in the public and commercial sectors, particularly in areas of heritage, education, conservation, museums, and media.

You will also be eligible to apply to study for a year in North America as part of your degree.

“It is great to have the opportunity to combine two subjects that fit so well together, and that is not offered at many other universities. The departments work well together; they communicate superbly and have created a fun and fulfilling course. Being within Canterbury has also given me options I never thought possible, and having been taught by so many experienced staff has been an incredible experience.”

Georgia (Archaeology/Forensics) Class of 2017

"Applying to study Archaeology at Canterbury Christ Church University is one of the best decisions I have ever made. The Archaeology team is really friendly and welcoming. The lectures and seminars are engaging, and with the support you get from the lecturers you never feel stuck or alone. The Archaeology course is challenging, accessible, interesting, and enjoyable! I have learnt so much and my new knowledge will open up many new doors for me."

Natalie  (History with Archaeology) Class of 2016

Year 1

Core modules

Introduction to Archaeology

In this module we will introduce you to the main theories and methods of archaeology. We will also provide you with the key study skills that you will use throughout your degree.

Archaeological Skills

This module introduces you to the main field and laboratory techniques used in archaeological research. You will gain practical experience of a range of research methods, including Geographic Information Systems, and those related to osteoarchaeology and artefact analysis.

Introduction to the Ancient World

This module introduces you to the cultures and civilisations of the ancient world through an examination of historical and archaeological evidence from Mesopotamia, Egypt, the near east, and the central Mediterranean (including Greece and Rome). Themes will include art, religion, politics, and society, with an emphasis on the long-term influence of ancient civilisations on later societies and the contemporary world.

Archaeology of Prehistoric Britain

This module is about prehistoric Britain, from the arrival of early humans hundreds of thousands of years ago to the arrival of the Romans in the first century AD. ‘Prehistoric’ periods are those without textual evidence, and so for this module we rely solely on archaeological evidence and interpretation. Characteristics of the Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze Age, and Iron Age periods are examined and enable us address the ancient origins of what it means to be ‘human’.

Archaeology of Roman Britain

This module introduces you to the history and archaeology of Britain from Caesar's invasions to the early fifth century. Textual sources and archaeological evidence are compared, contrasted, and combined to formulate a more complete understanding of this pivotal period in Britain's past. The impact of Roman culture on native populations will be explored, and analysis will range from imperial military and civil policies to the daily lives of specific individuals known from archaeological remains.

Archaeology of Medieval Britain

In this module you will explore the archaeology of Medieval Britain from AD 400 to 1500. You will look at themes such as the end of Roman Britain, the creation of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, the Norman Conquest, and the making of the medieval landscape.

Please note that module titles and whether they are core or optional may be subject to change

Year 2

Core modules

In year two, you take part in an archaeological excavation (or equivalent) and also have the option of undertaking further technical training in, for example, artefact analysis, archaeological computing and skeletal studies. Year two modules also examine the social and anthropological aspects of archaeological interpretation in more depth.

Fieldwork Placement I

This module introduces you to the basic techniques and fundamental skills of archaeological fieldwork through hands-on experience over the course of a four-week work-based placement, primarily in field archaeology but in some cases within the wider heritage sector. Placements are coordinated and administered by the Archaeology staff in cooperation with external partner organisations and projects. Standard placements take place during the summer.

Approaches to Archaeological Interpretation

This module introduces you to the range of approaches known as ‘archaeological theory’. It emphasises that theory underpins everything we do as archaeologists, from data collection and analysis to interpretation and dissemination of knowledge about the past. Emphasis is placed upon the connections between archaeology and anthropology, philosophy, sociology, history, human geography, and literary theory.

Please note that module titles and whether they are core or optional may be subject to change

Year 3

Core modules

Individual Study in Archaeology (dissertation)

In this module you design and undertake your own research project. You define the topic in consultation with a supervisor, and guidance is provided along the way as you produce the final 8,000 word dissertation. The dissertation is an excellent exercise in project management, research, and communication.

We continually review and, where appropriate, revise the range of modules on offer to reflect changes in the subject and ensure the best student experience. We will inform applicants of any changes to the course structure before enrolment.

Likely optional modules

Year 2

Archaeological Computing

In this module you will explore some of the main methods of data analysis and communication used in archaeology. You will examine a range of quantitative methods, computer applications (including Geographic Information Systems) and analytical techniques. You will gain first-hand experience by undertaking your own analysis of real archaeological datasets through a series of hands-on case studies.

Life and Death in Medieval Europe

In this module you will explore what it was like to live and die in in Europe during the Central Middle Ages. You will integrate historical and archaeological evidence to explore the daily lives of people from the time of the Vikings through to the Black Death.

Bones and Bodies: An Introduction to Osteoarchaeology

This module introduces you to the key methods and theoretical approaches used to explore the human skeleton in archaeology. You will gain practical experience of recording, analysing and curating human skeletal remains, including how to construct "osteobiographies" through identifying sex, age at death, disease, and trauma. The archaeology of animal bones or "zooarchaeology" is also introduced. 

After the Ice: Themes in Holocene Prehistory

This module explores life in north-west Europe in later prehistory through a series of themes. For example, you will examine aspects such as death and burial, warfare, food, and architecture during the Mesolithic through to the Iron Age.

Extended Essay in Archaeology

This module provides you with an opportunity to investigate in detail a topic that you have chosen. Doing so will enhance your research, writing, and project management skills. You will work with an academic supervisor and use primary archaeological data and specialist secondary sources.

In addition, certain modules from the history and geography degree courses are open to students on the archaeology degree course. For example, archaeology students can undertake geography modules on mapping and geographical information systems in Years 2 and 3.

Year 3

Fieldwork Placement II

This module further develops research and practical skills you acquired in the Fieldwork Placement I module, with an emphasis on skills progression and increasing responsibility. The module consists of a 4-week work-based placement, primarily in field archaeology but in some cases within the wider heritage sector. Placements are coordinated and administered by the Archaeology staff in cooperation with external partner organisations and projects. Standard placements take place during the summer.

Foragers and Farmers in Prehistoric Europe

This module examines the shift from hunting and gathering to farming in prehistoric Europe, with special emphasis on Britain. We explore this shift through topics such as hunter-gatherer theory, the first use of ceramic technology, and social and demographic changes associated with the onset of farming. We also consider the history and political implications of research on this iconic episode in the human past.

Roman Frontiers: Life and Interaction at the Edges of Empire

This module critically examines historical and archaeological materials and perspectives related to the frontiers of the Roman Empire and cultural interactions within and beyond the edges of the Roman world, with a particular emphasis on northern Britain. Rather than focus on the Roman military and its fortifications, this module emphasises emerging themes of frontier life and communities, including across traditional Roman/native and military/civilian divides.

Britain in the Early Medieval World

This module explores the archaeology and history of the British Isles between the fourth and eighth centuries AD. You will explore debates surrounding religion, society, migration, settlement, economy, and state formation.

In Search of the Past: The Meanings of Heritage

In this module you will explore the past through the idea of ‘heritage’ as it appears in history and culture. Topics covered include antiquarianism, heritage tourism, and travel writing; the development of museums and their collections; the formation of national heritage bodies in the twentieth century, popular culture and heritage in the age of global media; and archaeology and its popular appeal. The rich heritage of Kent is drawn on for case studies and field trips.

Artefact Studies

This module equips you with hands-on skills and critical understanding of the study of archaeological artefacts, from recovery in the field through analysis and recording to interpretation and communication of results.

Please note that module titles and whether they are core or optional may be subject to change

In addition, certain modules from the history and geography degree courses are open to students on the archaeology degree course. For example, archaeology students can undertake geography modules on mapping and geographical information systems in Years 2 and 3.

A degree in archaeology provides training in creative and critical thinking, analysis of complex datasets, and research and communication. The study and practice of archaeology also rely on excellent project management and problem-solving skills.

Canterbury Christ Church University archaeology graduates have successfully gained employment in a range of professions, including employment with Historic England, commercial archaeological units, and museums. The degree can also lead onto postgraduate study of archaeology or a related discipline such as history, geography, museum studies, or anthropology. Recent graduates have gone on to pursue postgraduate qualifications in heritage studies and various archaeological specialist fields.

"I graduated with a Degree in History with Archaeology. In August I began working with English Heritage to assist in the preservation of historically significant sites across England. My degree has helped me immensely; from providing the skills and knowledge to succeed whilst promoting independence and self-motivation."

Lucy Class of 2015


The 2018/19 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  UK / EU Overseas
Full-time £9,250 £11,500
Full-time - year abroad £1,385 N/A
Part-time * £4,625 N/A

Tuition fees for all courses are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

* The tuition fee of £9,250 relates to 2018/19 only. Please read the 2018/19 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2018/19 tuition fees and mid-course year on year fee increases.

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any Library Fees and Fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

Course specific costs

Accommodation costs for Placements

Some additional costs to the student are associated with the participation in archaeological fieldwork placements. The cost of the placement itself (training, supervision, equipment, and PPE) is provided by the University. However, travel to and from the placement, accommodation, and food and drink during the placement are generally not provided by the University or fieldwork placement provider.

Clothing / Kit

Some fieldwork placements involve camping, and in these cases camping equipment is not provided by the University or fieldwork placement provider.

Clothing and kit that is essential for Health and Safety reasons are provided by the University and/or fieldwork placement provider at no extra cost to the student. Clothing and kit that is kept by the student and not essential for Health and Safety reasons are not provided by the University or fieldwork placement provider.

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) No, if the trip contributes to the course as an optional module. Yes if the trip is optional.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.

Composition of the course

Our modules are delivered through a combination of learning activities on and off campus. Some modules are centred around lectures, seminars and workshops (usually held weekly and of one to two hour duration), whilst the majority of our practical teaching is undertaken in the laboratory and field, where you can spend up to eight weeks learning archaeological techniques. One-­to-­one contact time with staff is scheduled into all modules. Some modules, such as the optional third year dissertation, are delivered primarily through small group tutorials and one-­to-­one supervision.

Academic input

The majority of modules are delivered by full­time lecturers and senior lecturers who have several years’ worth of experience of working pedagogically with students. Many of our staff are also accredited members of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists. We sometimes recruit additional staff to help us teach some of our more popular or specialised modules, and involve our postgraduate students in teaching where appropriate.

Our modules are assessed through a combination of written coursework assignments (such as essays and reports), practical exercises (such as laboratory reports and assessed work in the field), and occasionally exams. Support and guidance for assessments is provided throughout the course.

An up­-to-­date tetanus vaccination is required to undertake archaeological fieldwork. We will advise and remind you of this well in advance of fieldwork. 

Some of our modules are partially taught in computer labs where we have access to a range of specialist software and digital services, including ArcGIS and Digimap. You also have the opportunity to handle archaeological artefacts and skeletal remains, use surveying equipment, and to undertake some experimental archaeology.


Full-time study

Apply via UCAS

Part-time study

Apply directly to us


Full-time study

Need some help?


For advice on completing your application please contact the Admissions Enquiry Team:

Tel:+44 (0)1227 782900


Contact our International Team

Fact file

UCAS code

  • V400 Archaeology

Institutional code

  • C10


  • 3 years full-time

    6 years part-time


  • September 2018

Entry requirements



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Last edited: 05/01/2018 12:14:00