BA single honours or in combination with another subject Archaeology 2020/21

Year of entry

Archaeology is the study of over 3 million years of the human past through its physical remains. The course integrates wide-ranging practical and academic approaches, drawing on skills from the natural sciences and the humanities. It is a popular choice as a single honours degree or in combination with another subject such as history, forensic investigation or geography.

Our Archaeology course is rated 14th out of 44 institutions in the UK. Guardian league table 2019

You will explore areas themes including:

  • field and laboratory techniques
  • material culture studies including skeletal remains and artefacts
  • archaeology of the prehistoric, Roman Classical, and medieval worlds
  • computing and data analysis
  • debates in heritage studies

This course is also available with a Foundation Year.

You will have several opportunities to study in North America, spending a semester or full year studying at a university in North America, which can make up part of your degree.

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

Archaeology is a fascinating and varied subject that takes us on a journey from the earliest human origins through to the present day. Our degree will help 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.

Kent has a rich and distinct heritage and Canterbury is one of the most significant historical and cultural centres in Britain. Canterbury Christ Church University is itself situated in the heart of the World Heritage Site that stretches from the Cathedral through the ruins of St Augustine’s Abbey, to St Martin’s church. So what better place to study archaeology?

100% of archaeology students said they were satisfied with the quality of the course. National Student Survey 2019

Our programme has been designed with the needs of modern students in mind. Alongside modules focusing on archaeological theories, methods and practice, you can explore the prehistoric, Roman and Classical, and medieval worlds. You will also apply and develop your skills during at least one funded fieldwork summer placement.

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

Mercedes graduated in 2018 and immediately started working in commercial archaeology. She has worked on a range of projects – including abroad - and has already been promoted to supervisor.

Mercedes  (Archaeology) Class of 2018

In the first year of study the course provides broad overviews of the human past from early prehistory through to the Renaissance, along with training in key archaeological methods. Year one modules introduce you to a range of archaeological techniques – such as excavation, survey, skeletal analysis, and artefact study – and to the archaeology of the prehistoric, Roman and Classical, and medieval periods. These introductory modules equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to pursue more specialised training and in-depth study in subsequent years.

You can study French, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish as part of, or alongside, your course.

more info

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

In year three, you can choose to undertake a second fieldwork placement in addition to research-focused modules on heritage studies, death and burial, and the prehistoric and historic periods. You also have the opportunity to develop your own archaeological research by taking an Individual Study, supervised one-to-one with our expert staff.

Work experience

All our single and combined honours students undertake at least four weeks of funded fieldwork placement at an archaeological excavation (or equivalent practical experience).

Other information

We collaborate with external archaeological projects in Kent and Sussex in the delivery of the fieldwork placement component of the degree.

Year 1

Core modules

Introduction to Archaeology (20 credits)

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 (Single Honours Only) (20 credits)

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 (20 credits)

This module introduces you to the cultures and civilisations of the Ancient World through the examination of historical and archaeological evidence will include art, religion, politics, and society.

Archaeology of Prehistoric Britain (20 credits)

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.

Archaeology of Roman Britain (20 credits)

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.

Archaeology of Medieval Britain (20 credits)

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

Fieldwork Placement I (20 credits)

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 (20 credits)

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.

Year 3

Core modules

Individual Study in Archaeology (dissertation) (40 credits)

In this module you design and undertake your own research project. You define the topic in consultation with a supervisor, and one-to-one 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

Bones and Bodies: An Introduction to Osteoarchaeology (20 Credits)

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. The archaeology of animal bones or ‘zooarchaeology’ is also introduced.

Life and Death in Medieval Europe (20 Credits)

In this module you will explore what it was like to live and die 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.

After the Ice: Themes in Holocene Prehistory (20 Credits)

This module explores life in north­west 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.

Global Perspectives: Themes in Historical Archaeology (20 Credits)

This module explores key themes in historical archaeology from the earliest literate societies through to the present day. Themes include power and domination; ritual, belief, and burial; frontiers; conflict and violence; religion; towns and economy.

Castles in Medieval Society (20 Credits)

This module introduces you to the Middle Ages through the use of historical, archaeological and literary sources. We will explore scholarly debates surrounding the development of castles and their place in medieval society, and examine methodologies from different disciplines and how they interact.

Archaeological Computing (20 Credits)

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 practical case studies.

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 climate change, mapping, and geographical information systems in Years 2 and 3.

Year 3

Fieldwork Placement II (20 Credits)

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 4­week 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 (20 Credits)

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.

Roman Frontiers: Life and Interaction at the Edges of Empire (20 Credits)

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 (20 Credits)

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. Topics include the Britons, Picts, Scots, Anglo-Saxons and Vikings.

In Search of the Past: The Meanings of Heritage (20 Credits)

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 (20 Credits)

This module equips you with hands­on 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 remote sensing and advanced GIS 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 teamwork, management, and problem solving skills.

Canterbury Christ Church University archaeology graduates have successfully gained employment in a range of professions, including with Historic England, the National Trust, local government, 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 specialist fields such as osteoarchaeology, heritage studies, and urban planning.

"I graduated with a BA in Archaeology in 2017, and I am now doing a fulltime MA in Archaeology at University College London. Studying at CCCU allowed me to deepen my dedication for the subject, and helped me to confirm what I wanted to do in life. This is all thanks to the support of the staff, the specialised modules, and fieldwork. I could not have had a better undergraduate experience at any other university."

Wiki Class of 2017


Tuition Fees for 2019/20 have not yet been finalised. Course webpages will be updated with Tuition Fee information once these have been agreed.

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 equipment that is essential for Health and Safety are provided by the University and/or fieldwork placement provider at no extra cost to the student. Clothing and equipment 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.


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 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. One­to­one 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 one­to­one supervision. You will typically have around 12-14 contact hours per week, in addition to one-to-one sessions and day field trips.

Dr Andy Seaman has taught at CCCU since 2012 and loves the opportunities that come through working in a World Heritage Site. He specialises in early medieval archaeology and particularly enjoys teaching fieldwork techniques and research methods. He has published widely and currently runs a major research project exploring the end of the Roman Britain.

Independent learning

When not attending lectures, seminars, workshops or other timetabled sessions you will continue learning through self-study. Typically, this involves reading journal articles and books, undertaking research in the library, local museums and heritage sites, working on projects, and preparing for coursework assignments, workshops, and seminars.

Your module tutor will direct you towards specific readings and/or activities to complete before class.

For your Individual Study in year three, you will undertake independent research alongside workshops and one-to-one supervision session. You will work under the supervision of a member of the course team. You will meet with your supervisor regularly.

Overall workload

Your overall workload typically consists of 12-14 contact hours per week during semester time. In addition, you will undertake 13-15 hours of independent learning and assessment activity. In some weeks there will be fieldtrips, and the fieldwork placement typically takes place five full-time days a week over the course of a month during the summer.

Academic input

The team consists of highly qualified academics. They have a range of expertise and experience. The majority of the programme team hold Higher Education Academy professional teaching qualifications and/or membership of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists.

Our team members hold doctoral, teaching, and professional qualifications. They are research-active and have experience in delivering research-informed teaching. You can find out more about the current teaching on our Meet the Team webpage. You should note members of the teaching team might change.

Postgraduate students and invited guest lecturers sometimes assist in teaching and assessing some modules. However, our permanent programme team deliver the vast majority of teaching.

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), with less emphasis on exams. Support and guidance for assessments is provided throughout the course.

Percentage of the course assessed by coursework

The balance of assessment depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. The approximate percentage of the course assessed by coursework is as follows:

Year 1

50% coursework 45% practical assessments 5% exams

Year 2

80% coursework 20% practical assessments

Year 3

80% coursework 20% practical assessments


You will receive detailed feedback on all assessments, which is designed to help you develop as a learner. In addition to written feedback, you may also take advantage of the opportunity to discuss your work with your module tutor. We will normally provide you with feedback within 15 working days of submission for coursework assignments.

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 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 work with archaeological artefacts and skeletal remains, use surveying equipment, including geophysics, and 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 Course Enquiry Team:

Tel:+44 (0)1227 928000 (0)1227 928000


Contact our International Team

Fact file

UCAS course code

  • V400 Archaeology

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • 3 years full-time

    6 years part-time


  • September 2020

Entry requirements



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Last edited: 12/08/2019 12:56:00