• UCAS Code: V400 BA/A
  • Campus Code: 4
  • Duration: 3 years
  • Places per year: 1-2

Humans have lived on this planet for over 3 million years – yet our written records span at most a few thousand years. Archaeology is the only way that we can gain access most of our species’ past, addressing such questions as: What brought about social inequality? What led to the development of the first cities? When and how did we start shaping our environment?

Over the course of your degree you could:

  • study the behaviour of chimpanzees
  • learn about our oldest human ancestors
  • translate Egyptian hieroglyphs
  • learn about how climate change affected past societies
  • examine imagery in a Babylonian poem


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Course Overview

There are 4 main subjects you can study:

  • Archaeology – use material evidence, from molecules to monumental structures, to explore the human past and understand past societies
  • Assyriology – study languages, cultures, history and archaeology of ancient Mesopotamia (Sumer, Babylonia and Assyria)
  • Biological Anthropology – investigate human evolution and diversity, biology and behaviour, and the interaction between biology and culture
  • Egyptology – study history, languages, society, archaeology and religion of ancient Egypt

For further information about this course and the papers you can take see the Department of Archaeology website.

How You Learn

You will usually have 6 to 8 lectures and one or two small-group supervisions each week. You may also have language classes, seminars and/or practicals.

You’ll be assessed each year through written exams and coursework.

Some papers include assessed practicals or fieldwork.

Most students write a 10,000 word dissertation in their third year.

Entry Requirements

Minimum Offer Level

A-Level: A*AA

IB Diploma: 41-42 points, with 776 at Higher Level

Other: See the University’s Entry Requirements page

Subject Requirements

We don’t ask for any specific subjects to apply to Archaeology.

We’d recommend certain subjects for a strong application, ideally any combination of arts, humanities, sciences or social sciences.

Admissions Process

Written Work

You will need to submit one piece of written work before your interview. This should be in essay format (not science coursework or a timed exam) with a word limit of up to 1500 words. The work can be taken from an EPQ. You do not have to send this work before applying, we will write to you after you have applied and let you know exactly what you need to send and when.

Admissions Assessment

If shortlisted for interview, you will be asked to take an admissions assessment. The assessment will be on Wednesday 20 November, and you can take it either at school or at home. The College will register you for this – you do not need to register yourself. See also the University website’s page on College Admission Assessments.


Two interviews of about 25 minutes each.

Last updated: April 2024 for 2025 entry