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BA (Hons) Archaeology and Heritage

Study heritage in a city full of history

Year of entry: 2023/24
Show year of entry: 2022

UCAS code

V404

Institution code

Y50

Length

3 years full-time

Typical offer

ABB (full entry requirements)

Start date

September 2023(term dates)

UK (home) fees

£9,250 per year
2022/23 entry

International and EU fees

£19,600 per year
2022/23 entry

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in the UK

Guardian University Guide 2022,
Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022

in the UK

QS World Rankings by subject 2022

in the UK for overall satisfaction in forensic and archaeological sciences

according to the latest National Student Survey (2022).

Why does the past matter? To whom is it important?

Heritage is the legacies of past human activity. From buildings to cultural traditions, studying heritage allows us to understand how we have defined ourselves throughout history. 

BA Archaeology and Heritage brings together a depth of knowledge about the human past with a practical understanding of why that knowledge is important for society today. You'll explore different interpretations of heritage and gain practical skills in communicating our past to the public. You'll delve into questions tackling the conflict around heritage and explore how we can protect it for the future.

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. 

Accreditation

This course is accredited by the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA), the leading professional body representing archaeologists working in the UK and overseas. Accreditation recognises the value of real knowledge of working practices across the sector and provides you with the opportunity to join CIfA as a means of supporting your professional development.

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
See more student profiles

University of the Year shortlisted

We're proud to announce that we've been shortlisted for two prestigious University of the Year awards.

  • Times Higher Education Awards 2021
  • The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022

Find out more about our nominations

Course content

Our five undergraduate courses all have a common first year, so it's easy to change between them.

We emphasise flexibility - there's very little restriction on the modules you can choose to study. 

Study abroad

There are opportunities for you to spend time abroad during your course:

CIfA accreditation is not applicable to credit-replacing exchanges abroad where only two years are spent at York. Additional year abroad programmes, where three years are spent at York, are still accredited.

Archaeology also offers plenty of opportunities during vacation breaks to get involved with research abroad.

Year 1

Core modules

In your first year, your modules will cover:

You'll also take part in an excavation.

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!

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module.

Year 2

Core modules

  • Post-excavation
  • Practical Skills
  • Interpreting Prehistory/Interpreting Historical Archaeology
  • Practical Skills

Option modules

You will also study two option modules. In previous years, options have covered topics such as:

  • World Archaeology
  • Issues in Archaeology and Heritage

The options available to you will be confirmed later in the year. For further information, please get in touch.

Year 3

Core modules

  • Dissertation
  • Assessed Seminar
  • Special Topic

Option modules

You will also study two option modules. In previous years, options have covered topics such as:

  • Approaching Global Challenges: Archaeology and Heritage
  • Presenting Archaeology and Heritage

The options available to you will be confirmed later in the year. For further information, please get in touch.

Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
Our course structures are changing in September 2023. Find out more about how this course may be affected.

Learning by design

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.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Engage critically in debates around scholarship that inform current archaeological and heritage issues applicable to multiple periods of human society, using evidence from the UK and elsewhere in the world.
  • Design, execute and evaluate archaeological and heritage research projects to a standard informed by key theoretical, scientific, legal and professional principles and methodologies in an international context.
  • Generate, document and manage primary archaeological and heritage data from diverse sources of evidence and contexts and conduct analysis using a range of digitial technology.
  • Operate effectively as constructive and inclusive leaders and confident participants in teamwork in challenging environments and using data from multi-disciplinary field projects.
  • Apply critical and creative approaches to problem-solving in complex situations with diverse, fragmentary datasets that reflect biases in their generation, survival, identification and documentation.
  • Resolve challenges in interpretation and presentation from an interdisciplinary perspective with agility and awareness of ethical issues.
  • Confidently explain, communicate and debate ideas through written, visual, and oral forms of presentation to a wide range of public and professional audiences using print and digital media.
  • Contribute as independent scholars in the field of archaeological heritage practice through rigorous and imaginative inquiry in multi-disciplinary contexts .

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees

UK (home) International and EU
£9,250 £19,600

The fees information here is for students joining in the 2022/23 academic year. Fees for 2023/24 entry will be confirmed in September.

UK (home) or international fees?

The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status.

Fees for subsequent years

  • UK (home): further increases within the government fee cap will apply in subsequent academic years. We will notify you of any increase as soon as we can.
  • International: fees for international and EU students are subject to annual increases. Increases are currently capped at two per cent each year.

More information

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.

Funding

We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2023/24 throughout the year.

Living costs

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.

Teaching and assessment

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.

Teaching format

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.

Find out more about our teaching.

Timetabled activities

In your first year, you can expect:

Lectures3-5 hours per week
Seminars2-4 hours per week
Workshops2-4 hours per week
Practicals2-4 hours per week
Excavation3 weeks
Field trips4-6 days
Feedback sessions1-2 hours

These figures are representative of a typical 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, practice 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.

Facilities

At York, you'll have access to a huge range of unique facilities.

In King's Manor, we have:

  • our own teaching rooms and a state-of-the-art lecture theatre
  • a specialist library with dedicated study spaces
  • a large lab space for working with artefacts, soil and environmental samples, and skeletal remains
  • computer labs with printers, scanners and specialised photo software, digital drawing and mapping software
  • a student common room for working and socialising
  • our own cafe

On Campus West, we also have our own purpose-built Bioarchaeology labs and our dedicated York Experimental Archaeology Research (YEAR) Centre. 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:

  • drones
  • fieldwork tools
  • Total Station theodolites
  • geophysical survey equipment (resistivity, magnetometry, ground penetrating radar)
  • handheld GPS systems
  • a laser scanner
  • a variety of photo and imaging technology

Teaching location

The Department of Archaeology is located in King's Manor, in the city centre. Most of your teaching will take place here. Our BioArCh and Palaeo facilities are located in or near the Environment Building on Campus West, around 30 minutes walk from King's Manor.

About our campus

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.

Assessment and feedback

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.

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
See more student profiles

Careers and skills

There has never been a better time to study archaeology. With major new infrastructure projects such as HS2 and Crossrail under way, 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.

You'll have lifetime access to subject-specific careers support at York, and students will be able to prepare for their future throughout their university journey through the innovative York Futures development plan.

Career opportunities

  • Heritage organisations (eg English Heritage, National Trust, Yorkshire Museum)
  • Local councils
  • NHS
  • Police
  • Accountancy
  • Media
  • Marketing agencies
  • Law

Transferable skills

  • Critical thinking
  • Data analysis and interpretation
  • Structuring arguments
  • Communication and presentation skills
  • Team working
  • Leadership skills
  • Management skills
  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Creativity and innovation

Entry requirements

Typical offer
A levels

ABB

Access to Higher Education Diploma 30 credits at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher
BTEC National Extended Diploma DDM
Cambridge Pre-U D3, M2, M2
European Baccalaureate 75% or higher
International Baccalaureate 34 points
International foundation programme Foundation Certificate from our International Pathway College or an appropriate alternative.
Other international qualifications Equivalent qualifications from your country

Alternative offers

Meeting the following additional criteria may qualify you for an alternative offer.

Criteria Adjustment
Widening participation If you successfully complete one of the following programmes, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to two A level grades (or equivalent) below our typical offer: Black Access Programme, Next Step York, Realising Opportunities, YESS. 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 one A level grade (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.

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Minimum requirement
IELTS (Academic and Indicator) 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component
C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency 176, with a minimum of 169 in each component
Duolingo 110 overall, with a minimum of 100 in each component
GCSE/IGCSE/O level English Language (as a first or second language) Grade C
LanguageCert International ESOL SELT B2 Communicator High Pass with a minimum score of 33/50 in each component
PTE Academic 61, with a minimum of 55 in each component
TOEFL 87 overall, with a minimum of 21 in each component
Trinity ISE III Merit in all components

For more information see our undergraduate English language requirements.

If you've not met our 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 English language test 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.

Applying

To apply to York, you will need to complete an online application via UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

Mature students

We welcome applications from mature students - Archaeology is a popular degree for people coming back to education. If you're interested in studying with us, we encourage you to get in touch to talk about your experience and qualifications. 

Next steps

Contact us

Get in touch if you have any questions

Learn more

Department of Archaeology

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