Frequently asked questions

What A levels do I need?

We welcome applications from students taking a wide range of A-Level subjects, in both the humanities and sciences. Most of the students who apply for an Archaeology degree do not have a previous qualification in archaeology. However, we do look for evidence of motivation and interest in the subject.

I have never studied any archaeology before. Does this matter?

Many of our applicants have not had the opportunity to formally study or participate in archaeology during their schooling, so we do not assume that you have any previous knowledge of the subject. In our experience, applicants' backgrounds do not significantly affect their overall performance on our courses.What matters most is your overall academic quality, motivation, and interest.

I do not have a science background. Can I still apply for a BSc?

We do not have any formal pre-requisites to apply for the Historical Archaeology, Archaeology and Heritage, or the Archaeology BA or BSc degrees. We do require at least one A-level in science for entry onto the BSc in Bioarchaeology. Generally, students applying for the BSc degrees may find it useful to have GCSE passes in the sciences, and one A-level or equivalent in a science subject.

What is the difference between the courses offered in the Archaeology Department?

We offer five different courses in Archaeology:

Please see the course descriptions for more information on each course, and details of the focus of each degree.

When should I apply?

All applications for Home, EU, and International students must be received through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), so you must adhere to their deadlines.  Please see the University's How to Apply web pages and the UCAS site for relevant information.

If you are an overseas student, remember to be sure to allow sufficient time for your visa application to be processed, if a visa is required.

How are decisions about places made?

Whether or not you are offered a place on one of our courses depends upon a number of criteria. These include: your academic record, your personal statement, and your referees' comments on your abilities, experience, and motivation.

What are the entrance criteria for the courses?

Our typical offer is ABB at A-level for all our courses, with the possibility of a BBB offer for students who show particular dedication to the discipline. We accept General Studies and Critical Thinking, and encourage students to pursue Extended Projects. We also accept a variety of equivalent qualifications, such as BTEC, IB, Cambridge Pre-U, and other national-level qualifications. Please see our degree pages for the most up-to-date information. If you are a mature student or have any questions about non-standard or overseas qualifications, please get in touch with the department.

Are there any other entry requirements?

Applicants for whom English is not a first language must also demonstrate an appropriate English language proficiency. This is usually done by means of an IELTS (International English Language Testing Service) test. For the scores you will need to achieve, please see the English Language Requirements page.

Please provide the results of a recent IELTS test with your application forms if at all possible.  In the absence of an IELTS Score, any offer of a place will be conditional upon you demonstrating an appropriate standard of English prior to the start of the course.

Can I visit the University and the Department?

Of course. If you are thinking of applying to York, we encourage you to visit the University on one of the Open Days. Each department will have an information stand at these events, and you will be able to take home literature about our degrees, and speak to a few current staff and students. You will also be able to tour campus and the King's Manor.

If we make you an offer for an archaeology degree, you will be invited to a post-application visit to the department. This will be a more in-depth opportunity to see the environment of the department, hear presentations about our degree programs, and speak to a wider range of current staff and students.

We prefer you to visit on the organised Open Days, as you will then be able to experience the full planned program. However, if you are unable to make it to a set open day, there will be a few opportunities per term for individual visits. Please contact our admissions officer for further information.

I'm a mature student - am I likely to be considered for a place?

Yes, certainly. Mature students typically make up 10-20% of our student population, and are often amongst our top performers. We encourage applications from mature students (i.e. aged over 21), who should apply through the normal UCAS system. Mature students bring a range of backgrounds and experience to the course, and mature applicants should be reassured that they typically will not be alone on the course. 

Entrance requirements for mature students take account of the range of backgrounds from which applicants come.  Some have A-levels taken many years previously, while others may have technical qualifications. Many are taking Access courses, which can be an excellent route back into education. We consider each case individually, and take account of relevant work experience. As a mature applicant, you are likely to be asked to come to an interview at the department, so we can discuss your individual situation.

What should I do if I want to take a year off before starting the course?

If you want to take a gap year before beginning a course, by all means apply whilst you are still in your final year at school. We can make you an offer of a place, deferred for one year, so that you can go away knowing that you will start the course on your return.

How many new students start each year?

We take approximately 75-80 undergraduates each year, spread between our five courses. We do not have student number quotas for the indvidual courses, so there is no advantage or disadvantage to applying to any of the degrees.

What are the current overseas fee rates?

Go here for the current Home/EU and Overseas fee rates.

Does the University or Department offer any financial support for students?

The Department does not offer any undergraduate funding, but the University offers several bursaries for low-income home students. Please see the further information about loans/grants.

Overseas students are not eligible for the above awards and grants, but competitive scholarships for partial funding are offered through the International Office. See their website for details on how to apply.

What other sources of funding are available?

Home/EU students, please see the website of the Student Loans Company for details. Overseas students should enquire with their own country's student loan programs.

Are there any additional course-related costs not covered by the academic fees?

There are no required additional costs, although you may choose to purchase some course books or your own archaeological clothing/equipment.

Is University accommodation available for undergraduate students?

All new, single full-time undergraduates are guaranteed university-administered accommodation for their first year of study, provided they have accepted York as their firm choice by the appropriate deadline, and returned their accommodation application on time. Students who come to York through clearing or adjustment are not always guaranteed accommodation, but the Accommodation Office will provide advice on finding accommodation in the private sector. Please see the Accommodation Office and undergraduate accommodation advice pages for more details.

What is non-University accommodation like?

With two universities, and several colleges, York has a large student population. Many students choose to move off campus after their first year. Fortunately, there is plenty of non-University accommodation available, and rents are reasonable.

The most popular areas of the city are Fulford, Heslington, South Bank, Bootham/Clifton, and Acomb. There is advice about Private Sector Housing at the Accommodation Office and Student Support Office Housing pages.