BA single honours or in combination with another subject Archaeology 2016/17

Why Archaeology?

Kent is rich in history and archaeology, 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 the ruins of St Augustine’s Abbey, and the programme is located immediately adjacent to St Martin's, which is the oldest parish church in England. So what better place to study archaeology?

Archaeology encompasses a broad spectrum of practical and academic skills which involve both science and the arts. Archaeology is a fascinating subject in itself, but it also introduces students to a diverse set of skills that are relevant to a wide range of career paths.

This programme allows students to combine modules in archaeology in combination with a related discipline. Our modules cover the human past from early prehistory through to the Renaissance, and offer students not just a grounding in theoretical approaches to archaeology but also practical experience through fully funded excavation placements.

If you choose to study Archaeology and History (VV41) you are also eligible to apply to study in for a year in North America as part of your degree.

What will I study?

In each year of the degree students have the opportunity to take modules that offer both theoretical and practical approaches to archaeology. Our modules cover a broad range of themes including: prehistory, the Roman and Medieval worlds, fieldwork and dating techniques, life and death, ritual and religion, theory and method, scientific analysis, landscape studies, computer applications and GIS.  All students have the option of undertaking two fully funded fieldwork placements, and can also choose a 10,000 word Individual Study that they design, research and write.

What can I do next?

The Archaeology combined honours degree introduces students to skills which are relevant to a wide range of career paths in both the commercial and public sectors, particularly in areas of heritage, conservation of the built environment, museums and education. The programme also provides an ideal basis for students wishing to study Archaeology or a related subject at postgraduate level, as well as professional qualifications relating to the heritage, conservation and museum sectors.

Transferable skills gained on your course:

  • Critical reasoning and analytical skills, including the capacity for solving problems and thinking creatively
  • Intellectual rigour and independence, including the ability to conduct detailed research
  • Ability to construct an argument and communicate findings in a clear and persuasive manner, both orally and in writing
  • Ability to work without direct supervision and manage time and priorities effectively
  • Ability to discuss ideas in groups, and to negotiate, question and summarise
  • Capacity to think objectively and approach problems and new situations with an open mind

Download a fact sheet with more information about your career options with Archaeology.


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 osteoarchaeology and Geographic Information Systems.

Introduction to the Ancient World

This module introduces students 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). Explored 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 students 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 examined, 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 and archaeological computing. 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 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

No core modules

In year three, you can choose to undertake a second fieldwork placement in addition to research-focused modules on heritage studies and on the prehistoric, Roman and medieval periods. You also have the opportunity to develop your own archaeological research by taking an Individual Study.

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 use 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

In this module you are introduced to the anatomy of the human skeleton and its study in archaeology. You will gain hands-on practical experience of working with human skeletal remains, and training in how to look for indicators of sex, disease, and age at death. Basic non-human mammalian skeletal anatomy is also covered.

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 a 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

Individual Study in Archaeology (dissertation)

In this module you design and undertake your own a research project. You define the topic in consultation with a supervisor, and guidance is provided along the way as you produce the final 10,000 word dissertation. The dissertation is an excellent exercise in project management, research, and communication.

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 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.

Fees and additional costs


The 2015/16 and 2016/17 annual tuition fees for this course are:

 UK/EUOverseas *






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

UK/EU full-time tuition fees for this course are set in line with the current maximum regulated tuition fee levels permitted by the UK Government.

UK/EU part-time and Overseas full-time tuition fees for this course may be subject to an annual inflationary increase in every year where the course lasts more than one year. 

*Overseas fee scholarships may be available for eligible students. For further information please contact or the International Office: .

**Full-time courses which have a Foundation Year 0 will have a 2015/16 and 2016/17 UK/EU tuition fee of £6,000 in Year 0.

Further information

  • Read further advice about funding your degree
  • See information about the financial support available for undergraduate studies
  • If you would like information about paying your fees, please contact
  • For specific fee queries, please contact

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 on courses are expected to meet. 


Included in the Tuition Fee

Additional Cost to Student

Further information if additional cost to student – what the costs cover, when payable and how much

Field Trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc)

Yes, if the trip contributes to the course (whether it is part of an optional or compulsory module), but not including food and drink.

Yes, if the trip is not an essential part of the course but is offered as an enhancement or enrichment activity, or for a student’s personal development.



Travel and Accommodation costs for Placements


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


Travel and accommodation costs for other work 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.


Text books


Own purchase text books.


DBS / Health Checks


Yes, although some checks may be reclaimed for courses funded by the NHS.


Professional Body Registration




Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons)




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 & Safety reasons.

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

Clothing and kit that is essential for Health & 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 & Safety reasons are not provided by the University or fieldwork placement provider.

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





Printing & Photocopying




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.


Read further information about the general additional costs which apply to courses at Canterbury Christ Church University.

Learning and Teaching

Learning and teaching techniques used on the programme include: lectures, seminars and workshops (including student-led seminars and workshops held in classes and conducted on Blackboard (or other VLE)), archaeological placements, tutorials, reviews, reflective logs, document and artefact analyses, independent readings and investigations, bibliographical annotations, and students‘ self-directed learning.


Assessment techniques used on the programme include: essays, extended essays, unseen examinations, book/article reviews, portfolios of practical work, evaluations of web-based resources, reflective logs, individual and group oral and written presentations, group discussion, review and skills workshops via Blackboard (or other VLE), primary source and artefact analyses.

study in north america

We encourage students to spend time abroad because we understand the importance of personal and academic growth during your university career. If you choose to combine Archaeology with History then you can apply to our internal competition to study at one of our exchange partners in the USA or Canada as part of your degree.

For further information visit our Study in North America web page.

Fact file

UCAS code

  • V400 Archaeology
  • VT47 Archaeology and American Studies
  • VQ43 and English Literature
  • G8YA and Forensic Investigation
  • VR41 and French
  • VF48 and Geography
  • VV41 and History
  • V4VP and Religion, Philosophy and Ethics
  • V401 and Spanish
  • V990 and Theology


  • 3 years full-time

Entry requirements



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Last edited: 16/06/2016 10:39:00