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BA (Hons) Archaeology

Evidence shows there’s been a huge surge in demand for archaeologists in the UK following a sharp rise in infrastructure projects, so there’s never been a better time to study this degree at BU.

  • UCAS Code:
    C786
  • Institution:
    B50
  • Delivery:
    Full time according to Funding Council definitions

Why study BA (Hons) Archaeology at BU?

  • Take the degree as a BA or BSc according to whether you prefer an arts-based or scientific route. Everyone studies the same first year so it’s easy to transfer from one to the other 
  • Become a highly skilled practitioner experienced in all forms of landscape survey, remote sensing, excavation and recording 
  • Learn through expert-led lectures, seminars and an exciting range of relevant fieldwork opportunities all over the UK
  • Undertake a five-week or optional 30-week work placement, you may get to take part in excavations organised by our active team of archaeologists 
  • Attend BU’s Field School, a large-scale real site excavation where students have discovered significant finds that have changed the way we view the past
  • This course received an impressive 100% satisfaction rating from our final year students.

Find out more about the content of this course.

For September 2022 entry: In order to take advantage of new approaches to learning and teaching, as well as developments in industry to benefit our students we regularly review all of our courses. This course is currently going through this process and we will update this page in June 2022 to give you full information about what we will be offering once the review process has concluded.

Course accreditation

This course is among the first to receive joint accreditation from the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA), the leading professional body representing archaeologists working in the UK and overseas, and the University Archaeology UK group (UAUK). Choosing an accredited degree is widely recognised as the first step on a career path leading to professional status.  

Key information

Next start date:

September 2022, September 2023

Location:

Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus

Duration:

3 years full-time with a 5-week placement, or 4 years full-time with a minimum 30-week placement

Accreditations:

Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA), working in partnership with University Archaeology UK

Required subjects:

All subjects considered

Entry requirements:

For September 2022 entry: 104-120 UCAS tariff points including a minimum of 2 A-levels or equivalent. BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM. For more information check out our full entry requirements.

International entry requirements:

For September 2022 entry: If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS (Academic) 6.0 with minimum of 6.0 in either reading or writing and 5.5 in all other components or equivalent. For more information check out our international entry requirements.

Course details

On this course you will be taught by a range of staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This will include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners, demonstrators, technicians and research students. You will also benefit from regular guest lectures from industry.

Contact hours and assessment

Details of the assessment methods and contact hours for each unit of the course can be found in the programme specification. 

Download the programme specification (pdf 3mb)

Placements

At BU, we recognise that placements are extremely valuable and can give you a head start when it comes to your future career, therefore we now offer every new student the opportunity to undertake a work placement as part of their course.

A placement year is a vital part in developing well-rounded and industry-ready graduates.

Find out about BU students’ experiences on placementsAll you need to know about placements

Entry requirements

This course requires 104–120 UCAS tariff points including a minimum of 2 A-levels or equivalent. We are happy to consider a combination of qualifications and grades to meet the overall tariff, for example A-levels A*CC, ABC, BBB or BCC, BTECs DDM or DMM. You can use the UCAS calculator to see how your qualifications equate to UCAS tariff points.

Calculate your UCAS tariff points

2022 entry

Numeracy and literacy requirements (e.g. GCSEs)

GCSE English Language or English Literature and Mathematics grade 4 (or grade C in the old grading system). We also accept iGCSEs, Key Skills and Functional Skills and other qualifications at Level 2 of the National Qualifications Framework. See all of the equivalencies.

A-level and AS levels 104–120 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of two A-levels.
Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate – Skills Challenge Certificate

We accept this qualification, but it must be accompanied by an A-level sized qualification to meet the overall UCAS tariff.

Access to HE Diploma 102–118 UCAS tariff points with any combination of Distinction, Merit, Pass grades.
BTEC National
  • Extended Diploma: Distinction, Merit, Merit (112 UCAS tariff points)
  • Diploma: Distinction*, Distinction (104 UCAS tariff points)
  • Foundation Diploma/90-credit Diploma: We accept this qualification, but it must be accompanied by an A-level sized qualification to meet the overall UCAS tariff
  • Extended Certificate/Subsidiary Diploma: We accept this qualification, but it must be accompanied by an A-level sized qualification to meet the overall UCAS tariff
Cambridge International Pre-U Diploma 104–120 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of two principal subjects.
Cambridge Technical
  • Extended Diploma: Distinction, Merit, Merit (112 UCAS tariff points)
  • Diploma: Distinction*, Distinction (104 UCAS tariff points)
  • Subsidiary Diploma: We accept this qualification, but it must be accompanied by an A-level sized qualification to meet the overall UCAS tariff
  • Introductory Diploma: We accept this qualification, but it must be accompanied by an A-level sized qualification to meet the overall UCAS tariff.
Extended Project Qualification We accept this qualification, but it must be accompanied by two A-level sized qualifications to meet the overall UCAS tariff.
International Baccalaureate Certificates 104–120 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of two Higher Level certificates.
International Baccalaureate (Diploma) An overall score of 28–31 points.
Scottish Highers 104–120 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of four Scottish Highers.
Scottish Advanced Highers 104–120 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of two Scottish Advanced Highers.
T Levels We will recognise T Level qualifications at a suitable level (and in a suitable subject, if applicable).

International entry requirements

You can find details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our entry requirements for non-UK students' page.

Please see below some examples of the qualifications for entry onto Year 1 for September 2022 entry:

  • Chinese Senior High School Graduation Certificate (Huikao) average 80%, or Gaokao 61-71%. Grade depends on the course
  • Hong Kong HKDSE Diploma (4,4,3 to 4,4,4 from three subjects). Grade depends on the course
  • All India Senior School Certificate Examination (Standard XII) 60-70%
  • Italian Esame di Stato with 60-70%. Grade depends on the course
  • Titulo de Bachillerato with 6 or 7. Grade depends on the course

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally:

For September 2022 entry: IELTS (Academic) 6.0 with a minimum of 6.0 in either reading or writing and 5.5 in all other components, or equivalent.

View further information about our English language requirements.

If you do not meet the English language requirement for your degree then why not join our Pre-Sessional English course? Successful completion of our Pre-Sessional English course will meet your English language requirement.

Your application

This course will suit students with:

  • An understanding of what archaeology is
  • Enthusiasm for the study of the human past
  • An interest in the application of science
  • Good written and oral communication skills
  • Volunteer work or experience in archaeology (whilst not essential, this is a desirable attribute).

How to apply

Careers

Our Archaeology degrees teach you the skills you need to work in the field, as well as a host of transferable skills that you can apply to a variety of roles in other sectors. Many of our graduates go on to work for organisations related to archaeology and historical preservation. 85% of our Archaeology students are in employment 15 months after graduating.

There is an increased demand for archaeologists and the profession has been placed on the government list of skilled occupation shortages.

PAST Passport scheme

The Professional Archaeological Skills and Training (PAST) Passport scheme has been designed by our in-house commercial archaeology unit, BUARC, to train students in the necessary excavation, survey and recording skills required by employers in professional field archaeology.

Your fieldwork training will start at the end of your first year on the Big Dig. You will gain new skills throughout your degree. At the end of your third year you will be offered the opportunity to work alongside our in-house consultancy and undertake a bespoke fieldwork training programme. 

Costs and fees

All fees are quoted in pounds sterling and are per year. Your tuition fees will be the same for each year of your course. You can find full information about funding your studies and paying your fees in our undergraduate fees and funding section. That’s also where you’ll find information about the scholarships and bursaries on offer.

Fees quoted are for tuition only unless stated otherwise, and we’re committed to ensuring there are no hidden extra costs while you’re at university – that’s why we’re clear about what you can expect us to cover, and what your cost of living will be. You’ll also find you could benefit from a range of discounts as a student.

Find out more about budgeting and living expenses

Our staff

On this course you will be taught by staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This could include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners and research students, many of whom are actively engaged in research and/or professional practice which is integrated into the teaching of this course. Please note that teaching staff can change.

Course changes

What our graduates think

Rachael Holmes

The Archaeology & Anthropology department at Bournemouth University were incredibly supportive of my interest to gain practical experience as well as develop a theoretical understanding during my undergraduate degree.

Sadie Watson

The level of practical tuition at BU combined with the academic teaching really helped me when I began my field career and has certainly played a large part in my belief that both aspects of archaeology should be combined more effectively.

Statistics shown throughout this page are taken from Unistats and BU institutional data unless otherwise stated.