3 years full-time (plus optional placement year)
ABB (full entry requirements)
September 2020 (term dates)
£9,250 per year (2020/21)
£17,890 per year (2020/21)
QS World Rankings by subject 2020
QS World Rankings by subject 2020
National Student Survey 2020
Bioarchaeology enables us to paint a more vivid picture of the human past.
Through isotopic analysis of remains from archaeological sites, we can discover what past diets were like, where people came from and whether they travelled long distances in their lifetimes. We can analyse the proteins in fragments of Viking-Age hair combs to find out which animal they were made from, or examine ancient DNA to better understand our human timeline.
Our BSc Bioarchaeology is perfect for students studying a science subject who are interested in history and ancient populations. York is home to BioArCh, a collaborative research facility formed by the Archaeology, Biology and Chemistry Departments. The centre is internationally recognised, with a unique concentration of expertise in human palaeoecology and environmental archaeology.
Our department is renowned for being friendly and welcoming, meaning you'll get to know your lecturers, and they'll get to know you. You'll have endless opportunities to get involved, from joining the Archaeology Society to working abroad on a research project. We're based in the King's Manor in the city centre, a beautiful and truly unique Medieval building, with additional state-of-the-art facilities on the main campus.
York is the UK’s archaeological capital, with historic buildings and significant remains from the Roman, Viking and Medieval periods. You'll find it a great place to call home.
My dissertation involves analysing residues of foods in prehistoric pottery - I get to interpret how some of the world’s earliest pots were used, whilst also developing advanced Biology and Chemistry laboratory skills.David, BSc Bioarchaeology
Our five undergraduate courses all have a common first year, so it's easy to change between them. If you choose to transfer onto the BA Archaeology and Heritage, you'll need to complete the heritage project rather than the excavation during the Summer Term.
We emphasise flexibility - there's very little restriction on the modules you can choose to study. You'll get experience in the lab from your second year onwards.
You'll take 120 credits each year - usually two to three modules each term.
There are opportunities for you to spend time abroad during your course:
Archaeology also offers plenty of opportunities during vacation breaks to get involved with research abroad.
During the Summer Term of your first year, you will take part in an excavation (20 credits).
This will give you hands-on experience in all aspects of assessing, collecting and analysing primary excavation data, as well as post-excavation techniques. It is a unique opportunity to be part of a really exciting phase of a research project.
It is taught during the academic year, so you won't be required to find an excavation placement during the summer vacation. If you are interested in taking part in further excavations during the vacation, we can help you find volunteering and paid opportunities to do further excavations - sometimes abroad!
In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module.
This module covers some of the essential skills and knowledge which will help you to study independently and produce work of a high academic standard which is vital for success at York.
This module will:
You'll choose whether you want to study Prehistory or Historical Archaeology:
You'll also prepare for your dissertation with the following modules:
You'll study one World Archaeology I module. These options are updated each year, but you'll usually be able to choose from around five options. Examples include:
You'll also study one Practical Skills module. You'll choose from roughly seven options. Recent examples include:
During the Summer Term, you'll complete a team project (20 credits) which follows on from your Practical Skills module. Using the subject-specific knowledge you have gained, you will work as a group to analyse and interpret data, and produce a report to a professional standard.
The dissertation is an extended piece of writing, around 10,000 words, on a topic of your choice. You'll be assigned a supervisor who'll support you through the process. After writing your dissertation, you will present your work in the form of an assessed lecture.
Recent titles have included:
You'll choose one World Archaeology II module from around five options, which may not be the same as in your second year. Examples include:
You'll also choose one Special Topic. These modules are linked directly to staff research interests, so you will be engaging with the most up-to-date research and debates in each subject. Each year we offer around six or seven options. Recent examples include:
Assessed Seminars are a unique opportunity to focus your studies on exactly what interests you, and you'll choose one to prepare in the Spring or Summer Term. You'll have some introductory lectures from a specialist in the area, then you'll spend some time designing and chairing your own seminar for your classmates. We offer roughly eight modules per year for you to choose from. Recent examples include:
Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
Every course at York has been designed to provide clear and ambitious learning outcomes. These learning outcomes give you an understanding of what you will be able to do at the end of the course. We develop each course by designing modules that grow your abilities towards the learning outcomes and help you to explain what you can offer to employers. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.
I love the variety. I can go from studying complex theories of agency one day to GIS another and ancient DNA the next. The Department clearly prides itself on the quality of its teaching, and responds to feedback from students. The lecturers and seminar leaders are all very knowledgeable and enthusiastic.Dan, BA Archaeology
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UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK, EU or international student.
For more information about tuition fees, any reduced fees for study abroad and work placement years, scholarships, tuition fee loans, maintenance loans and living costs see undergraduate fees and funding.
You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.
“Students from all backgrounds achieve consistently outstanding outcomes”
The TEF Panel, Office for Students, June 2018
Our Gold Teaching Excellence Framework award demonstrates our commitment to the delivery of consistently outstanding teaching and learning for our students.
You’ll study and learn with academics who are active researchers, experts in their field and have a passion for their subjects. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses
We're making changes to comply with rules on social distancing. We aim to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can, supported by high quality online alternatives where we must.
Find details of the measures we're planning to protect our community.
You'll be taught through a range of lectures, seminars, workshops, practicals, and independent learning projects. All our teaching is research-led, meaning our lecturers are teaching the subjects they're fascinated about, and ensuring you get the most current and cutting-edge knowledge.
We have always been passionate about small group teaching - we feel it is the best way to learn. You'll start off with a variety of teaching formats and as the course progresses you'll spend more time on intensive small group teaching and individual study.
We provide training in presentation skills throughout your course, helping you to prepare for your Assessed Seminar and Assessed Lecture.
In your first year, you can expect:
|Lectures||3-5 hours per week|
|Seminars||2 hours per week|
|Field trips||6 days|
|Feedback sessions||1-2 hours|
These figures are based on an average student in an average week. Your contact hours will vary throughout the year due to your module choices, non-compulsory classes, exam periods and changes to scheduled activities.
Outside your timetabled hours, you'll study independently. This may include preparation for classes, follow-up work, wider reading, practise completion of assessment tasks, or revision.
In the UK, full-time students are expected to spend 1,200 hours a year learning. That's about 40 hours of classes and independent study each week during term time. Everyone learns at a different rate, so the number of hours you spend on independent study will be different to other students on your course.
At York, you'll have access to a huge range of unique facilities.
In King's Manor, we have:
On Campus West, we also have our own purpose-built Bioarchaeology labs and our dedicated York Experimental Archaeology Research (YEAR) Centre. Bioarchaeology facilities include:
You'll have full access to the main campus library and other University resources, including the Borthwick Institute for Archives. You'll also have access to an extremely wide range of archaeological equipment, including:
The Department of Archaeology is located in King's Manor, in the city centre. Our BioArCh and Palaeo facilities are located in or near the Environment Building on Campus West, around 30 minutes walk from King's Manor.
Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.
You'll be assessed using a variety of methods, including essays, exams, assessed presentations and team projects.
During your degree, we'll help you to develop the skills you'll need to approach your assessments, from presentation skills to designing a research study. We'll take the time to provide detailed and personalised feedback on your work, allowing you to improve and refine your work.
Your course will culminate with the exciting challenge of leading and chairing a seminar, organising and presenting a lecture, and researching and writing a dissertation. You'll graduate confident in your ability to cope with challenges and able to apply your skills to many areas of work.
|Year 1||Year 2||Year 3|
The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.
The excavation has been the highlight of my year at York. As a heritage student, I spend a lot of time working with the public. Everyone who came to the site agreed that it was amazing and it’s so fulfilling to be able to share this history with the people closest to it.Amy, BA Archaeology and Heritage
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There has never been a better time to study archaeology. With major new infrastructure projects such as HS2 and Crossrail underway, there is a national shortage of archaeologists in the country.
However, studying Archaeology doesn't mean you have to become an archaeologist. Our degrees prepare you for a vast range of careers; the unique combination of humanities and sciences at York means you'll be competent in dealing with data as well as able to produce high-quality essays and reports.
If you're interested in going into the heritage sector, you'll be able to choose modules which provide you with a solid grounding in heritage studies alongside the practical skills needed to kick-start your career. York is a real centre for the heritage industry, and you'll have the opportunity to forge links with museums and heritage organisations through optional volunteering, internships and placements.
Our graduates have gone on to work in:
ABB including a science subject (Maths, Physics, Biology, Chemistry or Geology)
|Access to Higher Education Diploma||30 credits at Distinction including science-related credits and 15 credits at Merit or higher.|
|BTEC National Extended Diploma||DDM including some science-related modules.|
|Cambridge Pre-U||D3, M2, M2 including at least one science subject|
|European Baccalaureate||75% or higher including a science.|
|International Baccalaureate||34 points including a science or mathematics at Higher Level|
|Other international qualifications||Equivalent qualifications from your country|
Meeting the following additional criteria may qualify you for an alternative offer.
|Widening participation||If you successfully complete one of the following programmes, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer: Next Step York, Realising Opportunities. More about widening participation.|
|Contextual offers||If you have experience of local authority care or live in an area with low progression to university, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to two A level grades (or equivalent) below our typical offer. More about contextual offers.|
|EPQ||If you achieve C or higher at EPQ, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer.|
|Core Maths||If you achieve B or higher in Core Maths, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer.|
If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:
|IELTS||6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component|
|PTE Academic||61, with a minimum of 55 in each component|
|GCSE/IGCSE/O level English Language (as a first or second language)||Grade C|
|C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency||176, with a minimum of 169 in each component|
|TOEFL||87 overall, with a minimum of 21 in each component|
|Trinity ISE III||Merit in all components|
|Duolingo||Minimum overall score of 110|
For more information see our undergraduate English language requirements.
You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.
The length of course you need to take depends on your current IELTS scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.
After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.
Get in touch if you have any questions
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