3 years full-time (plus optional placement year)
ABB-BBB (full entry requirements)
September 2019 (term dates)
£9,250 per year (2019/20)
£17,120 per year (2019/20)
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 once cooked in prehistoric pottery - I get to interpret how some of the world’s earliest pots were used by people, whilst also developing advanced Biology and Chemistry laboratory skills.David, BSc Bioarchaeology
Archaeology at York is 12th in the World for Archaeology (QS World Rankings 2018) and 10th in the UK (Times Good University Guide 2019).
Our lecturers love to teach in their own fields of research, which means you gain current and cutting edge knowledge. They'll help you get the most out of your archaeology degree.
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.
You can opt to study abroad during your degree.
Gaining a place on our European Exchange allows you to study for a year at the University of Lund, Sweden.
Alternatively, the University offers worldwide exchange programmes to North America, Latin America, Asia, Australia and South Africa.
If you don't fancy spending a whole year abroad, you can apply for one of the University's study centres or summer schools and spend your summer abroad.
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:
During your second year, you can begin to choose modules that interest you.
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 (20 credits). 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 (20 credits). You'll choose from roughly seven options. Some Practical Skills modules offered recently have included:
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.
In your final year, there are no core modules. You'll complete a second World Archaeology module, a Special Topic, an Assessed Seminar and your dissertation.
You'll be able to choose your World Archaeology II module (10 credits) from around five options. Please note that the options may not be the same as in your second year. Examples include:
The Special Topics (30 credits) 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 from you to choose from. Recent examples include:
The Assessed Seminars (40 credits) are a unique opportunity to focus your studies on exactly what interests you. 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:
Finally, you'll complete a Dissertation and Assessed Lecture (40 credits). The dissertation is around 10,000 words and on a topic you choose. 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:
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.
The thing I enjoyed most about first year were the seminars. I was really nervous to begin with but over the course of the year your confidence builds and the chance to discuss history, theory and practice with your peers and an experienced seminar leader becomes invaluable.Matt, BA Archaeology, 2nd Year. See more student profiles
The fees and funding figures below are for 2019 entry. If you take a year abroad or year in industry you'll pay a reduced rate of fees for that year.
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.
We offer a number of scholarships to help cover tuition fees and 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.
We are based in the historic King's Manor, located in the city centre right next door to York Minster, and once used by Henry VIII. We also have excellent facilities on the main campus in our Bioarchaeology labs. A dedicated experimental archaeology centre is located nearby.
We provide hands-on skills in fieldwork throughout the first year, culminating with the first year excavation in the summer term. Even if you're not interesting in becoming a field archaeologist, this is a way to make friends and make lasting friendships with others in your year.
“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.
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.
As a guide, students on this course typically spend their time as follows:
|Year 1||Year 2||Year 3|
|Lectures and seminars||300 hours||156 hours||72 hours|
The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.
The rest of your time on the course will be spent on independent study. This may include preparation for lectures and seminars, follow-up work, wider reading, practice completion of assessment tasks, or revision.
Everyone learns at a different rate, so the number of hours will vary from person to person. In UK higher education the expectation is that full-time students will spend 1,200 hours a year learning.
At York, you'll have access to a huge range of unique facilities.
In the King's Manor, we have:
On Campus West, near the Environment Department, we also have our own purpose-built Bioarchaeology labs. Facilities include:
A dedicated experimental archaeology centre is located nearby. You'll also have full access to the main campus library and other University resources, including the Borthwick Institute for Archives.
Finally, you'll be able to use 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 and a variety of photo and imaging technology.
The Department of Archaeology is located in the 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 the 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.
I really enjoyed the science workshops and my heritage field school where I was working as part of team building an audio guide. Never in a million years did I think I would have used some digital work in my archaeology degree (and it was so cool!).Emmeline, BA Archaeology and Heritage, 2nd Year. See more student profiles
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.
Studying Archaeology doesn't mean you have to become an archaeologist, however! 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 - a combination not often found in graduates today.
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 option to create links with museums and heritage organisations through optional volunteering, internships and placements.
We provide careers support throughout your degree. From information sessions to CV support, we're passionate about helping you find your way after you graduate. Our lecturers can give advice and feedback, and may even help you get a foothold in industry.
Our graduates have gone on to work in:
Some early career examples include:
The wide range of assessment types in our degrees, from chairing seminars, managing projects and giving public lectures, ensures you'll graduate with a huge range of transferable skills.
ABB-BBB (A level General Studies and Critical Thinking are accepted). You need a science A level (Maths, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Geology).
|Access to Higher Education Diploma||Obtain Access to HE Diploma with 36 credits at Distinction and 9 credits at Merit or higher|
|BTEC||BTEC National Extended Diploma with DDM|
|Cambridge Pre-U||D3, M2, M2 - M2, M2, M2|
|European Baccalaureate||Overall average grade of 75% or higher|
|Irish leaving Certificate||H2,H2,H3,H3,H3,H3 / H3,H3,H3,H3,H3,H3|
|Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers||AAABB-AABBB|
If you achieve a C or higher at EPQ, you will be eligible for a reduced offer, one grade below our typical offer.
To apply to York, you will need to complete an online application via UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).
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.
Get in touch if you have any questions
We offer a range of campus accommodation to suit you and your budget, from economy to premium.
Explore campus and city life and hear what our current students have to say about living here.
Lively, full of culture and beautiful, York is regularly voted one of the best places to live and visit in the UK.