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Archaeology of Ancient Civilisations

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The deadline for international students is 30 June 2024.

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Bachelor of Arts

A Bachelor of Arts (BA Hons) is a bachelor’s degree awarded for an undergraduate programme in the arts.

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Course overview

If you are fascinated by the ancient civilisations of Egypt, the Mediterranean and the Near East, this programme allows you to study these civilisations with a unique range and depth. You will be introduced to the archaeology, culture, society and history of the key civilisations of Ancient Greece, Egypt, Rome and the Near East, combined with training in the latest archaeological techniques and methods.

Introduction

A rich variety of archaeological remains and literary sources reveals a world of poets, historians, artists, politicians, emperors, priests, administrators, slaves, soldiers, aristocrats and ordinary men and women. Understanding the ambitions, beliefs and lives of this world enriches our understanding of what it is to be human and the rise of our societies. Year one provides a broad introduction to archaeological methods and the archaeology and history of Egypt, Greece, Rome and the ancient Near East. In years two and three you study subjects central to our understanding of ancient civilisations, social and political organisation, art, religion and texts, combined with a detailed study of at least two civilisations (the Near East, Egypt, or Greece and Rome). This programme requires four weeks of archaeological experience spread over years one and two. Year one fieldwork consists of participation in the department field school. In year two, many students work on overseas research excavations, currently these are based in Greece, Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Zambia as well as the UK.

What you'll learn

  • Detailed knowledge of the practice and theory of archaeology as an approach to understanding past societies
  • Knowledge of the history and culture of three Ancient Civilisations (Egypt, Greece and Rome, the Near East)
  • An in-depth knowledge of the nature and development of the culture, society, history and religion of at least two interrelated Ancient Civilisations
  • A practical knowledge of the techniques of archaeological excavation and recording
  • Practical experience of the recovery of primary archaeological data
  • Analysis and critical reflection on a range of archaeological data
  • Theoretical concepts within Archaeology

Teaching Excellence Framework 2023

We’re proud to announce we’ve been awarded a Gold rating for educational excellence.

Course content

Discover what you'll learn, what you'll study, and how you'll be taught and assessed.

Year one

Year one provides a broad introduction to archaeological methods and the archaeology and history of Egypt, Greece, Rome and the ancient Near East.

Compulsory modules

PRINCIPLES OF ARCHAEOLOGY (ALGY101)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

ALGY101 introduces students to the concepts, methods and evidence that archaeologists use to study and interpret the past. Students gain core skills essential to building and evaluating knowledge about human material remains of the past.

Bronze Age Civilizations: Mesopotamia and the Mediterranean (ALGY106)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module provides an introduction to the history and archaeology of the Near East and Aegean from ca. 4,000 to 800 BC, specifically the ancient cultures of the Near East, Levant and Greece. The module includes artefact handling sessions.

INTRODUCTION TO ANCIENT EGYPT I (ALGY109)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

ALGY109 is designed as an introductory, level one module aiming to provide students with an overview of Ancient Egyptian history from prehistory to AD 395 both in its chronological development and in its environmental and geographical setting, including the fundamentals of the chronology of Ancient Egypt (including the limitations of available evidence), and a good awareness of how major archaeological sites and other forms of primary evidence fit within this framework.

THE PRACTICE OF ARCHAEOLOGY (ALGY102)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module introduces students to the design and implementation of archaeological projects (and thereby research design more generally). It is concerned with how archaeological questions are addressed through projects, the practices involved in the various stages of archaeological projects, including desk-based assessment, mapping, data collection and analysis, field recording, excavation strategy, interpretation and site/heritage management planning. There is a strong practical element to the module which focusses on the planning and execution of a project relating to a cemetery in Liverpool.

INTRODUCTION TO ANCIENT EGYPT II (ALGY116)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

ALGY116 is designed as a year one module which aims to provide students with an overview of Ancient Egyptian culture. In particular it has as its core aim the development of students’ understanding of the broader thematic aspects of Egyptian society, such as writing, religion, art and social structure. The emphasis will be on the use of primary data (written and material culture), and on awareness of how major archaeological sites fit within this framework.

EMPIRES AND CITIZENS: THE CLASSICAL MEDITERRANEAN AND THE NEAR EAST (ALGY131)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module introduces students to the archaeology of Classical Greece and the Roman Empire by comparing these two Mediterranean civilisations across common themes relating to the life experiences of people in the ancient world.

Optional modules

FROM VILLAGE TO CITY: THE ORIGINS OF CHINESE CIVILISATION (ALGY112)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module will introduce students to the development of early Chinese civilisations. We will investigate the transition from hunter-gatherers to the first sedentary village farming communities and the emergence of the earliest cities and states from these early village societies. We will thus also investigate some formative features of Chinese societies that persisted for millennia. The module will also place developments in China in a broader comparative context and allow discussion of the emergence of social and political hierarchies, complex economies and the appearance and nature of the state. The module will also introduce students to some of the conceptual tools and methodologies needed to investigate these issues in the archaeological record.

WARFARE, POLITICS, AND SOCIETY IN THE GREEK WORLD, 510-323 B.C. (CLAH104)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module introduces the history and society of the ancient Greek world, from the liberation of Athens from tyranny in the late sixth century BC through to the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC. The module offers students a foundation of knowledge in the history of events, as well as exploring a range of aspects of Greek society and culture, including the Greek ‘way of war’, sexuality and religion. It also introduces a range of sources for the study of ancient history, especially the two great Greek historywriters, Herodotus and Thucydides.

GREEK MYTH AND SOCIETY (CLAH115)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module explores ancient Greek myth in its social, political, and religious contexts, focusing primarily on the Archaic and Classical periods (7th – 4th C BC). It thereby investigates the nature of myth and its role within Greek society, whilst providing insights into that society too. In the course of the module, students are introduced to a broad range of literary, artistic, and archaeological sources including epic poetry, tragedy, philosophy, sculpture, vase painting, coins and sanctuaries, and learn to use them as evidence for social history. The module closes with an examination of the importance of Greek myths other societies, including our own.

FROM HANNIBAL TO SEVERUS: AN INTRODUCTION TO ROMAN HISTORY (CLAH105)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module deals with the history and society of Rome and the Roman world from the foundation of Rome to the end of the second century AD, i.e. the periods of the ‘Roman Republic’ and the ‘Principate’ (named after the princeps, a title of the Roman emperor). The aims are to provide (1) an introductory survey of the political and military history of Rome and the Roman empire; (2) to build a sound
chronological, geographical and conceptual framework for understanding the ancient Roman world; (3) to introduce students to reading primary sources in translation and evaluating their historical significance; (4) to introduce students to a limited range of scholarly views on ancient Roman history; and (5) to teach fundamental research skills.

VISUAL CULTURE (CLAH114)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

In this module you will explore the visual modes and media by which the ancient Greeks and Romans expressed themselves individually and societally. We will explore contexts across the ancient Mediterranean learning not only about the Greeks and Romans but also how they were influenced by other contemporary cultures. You will learn about a wide variety of visual culture from temples and monuments to statues and painted pottery. You will learn how to ‘read’ these different media to reconstruct ancient culture and to appreciate the tastes, desires and ideas from the ancient Mediterranean. As you learn about the ancient world you will develop your academic skills (methodological and critical).

Programme details and modules listed are illustrative only and subject to change.

Our curriculum

The Liverpool Curriculum framework sets out our distinctive approach to education. Our teaching staff support our students to develop academic knowledge, skills, and understanding alongside our graduate attributes:

  • Digital fluency
  • Confidence
  • Global citizenship

Our curriculum is characterised by the three Liverpool Hallmarks:

  • Research-connected teaching
  • Active learning
  • Authentic assessment

All this is underpinned by our core value of inclusivity and commitment to providing a curriculum that is accessible to all students.

Course options

Studying with us means you can tailor your degree to suit you. Here's what is available on this course.

Global Opportunities

University of Liverpool students can choose from an exciting range of study placements at partner universities worldwide. Choose to spend a year at XJTLU in China or a year or semester at an institution of your choice.

What's available on this course?

Year in China

Immerse yourself in Chinese culture on an optional additional year at Xi'an Jiaotong Liverpool University in stunning Suzhou.

  • Learn Chinese
  • Study in a bustling world heritage city
  • Improve employment prospects
  • Study Chinese culture
  • 30 minutes from Shanghai
  • Learn new skills

Read more about Year at XJTLU, China

Language study

Every student at The University of Liverpool can study a language as part of, or alongside their degree. You can choose:

  • A dedicated languages degree
  • A language as a joint or major/ minor degree
  • Language modules (selected degrees)
  • Language classes alongside your studies

Read more about studying a language

Your experience

The Department of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology is part of the School of Histories, Languages and Cultures. Teaching takes place across campus, including in specialist facilities in the Central Teaching Hub.

Virtual tour

Supporting your learning

From arrival to alumni, we’re with you all the way:

What students say...

Archaeology of Ancient Civilisations BA Graduate Aisling Serrat

My degree was key in helping me secure my first role in the sector. Once in the sector, it gave me the background knowledge to be able to deliver educational activities within the museum with confidence.

, BA (Hons) Archaeology of Ancient Civilisations 2013

Careers and employability

An Archaeology degree from Liverpool provides you with a rigorous training experience that produces graduates with an exceptional breadth of knowledge.

Our graduates are well-equipped for a wide variety of private or public sector careers, including in finance, journalism, teaching, law, the police or Civil Service, tourism, and heritage management where knowledge of archaeology is a specific advantage.

Past students have successfully gained employment in universities and major museums, locally, nationally, and internationally.

Recent employers include:

  • The National Trust
  • English Heritage
  • Civil Service
  • Archaeology South East

88% of students go on to work or further study within 15 months of graduation.

Graduate Outcomes, 2018-19.

Fees and funding

Your tuition fees, funding your studies, and other costs to consider.

Tuition fees

UK fees (applies to Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland)
Full-time place, per year £9,250
Year in industry fee £1,850
Year abroad fee £1,385
International fees
Full-time place, per year £22,400
Year abroad fee £11,200
Fees are correct for the academic year 2024/25. Please note that the Year Abroad fee also applies to the Year in China.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching and assessment, operating facilities such as libraries, IT equipment, and access to academic and personal support. Learn more about paying for your studies..

Additional costs

We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This includes specialist equipment and fieldwork costs.

Find out more about the additional study costs that may apply to this course.

Additional study costs

We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This includes specialist equipment and fieldwork costs.

Students will be required to cover the costs listed below for year one compulsory fieldwork- two weeks in Penycloddiau, North Wales:

  • Approved 4-inch WHS Spear and Jackson wood-handled trowel, such as this one. Students can buy a trowel for around £10-14. Please note that gardening trowels are not appropriate.
  • Students will pay a sustenance contribution for food during the trip. This was £100 in 2017.

In year two, those who must complete a further two weeks of fieldwork have several options with varying costs. Some options are based in the UK and have no additional costs, others are based abroad. For those choosing to join a site abroad, students will be expected to pay for their own flights, accommodation, and sustenance. The costs for this vary from site to site.

Find out more about additional study costs.

Scholarships and bursaries

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to provide tuition fee discounts and help with living expenses while at university.

Check out our Liverpool Bursary, worth up to £2,000 per year for eligible UK students. Or for international students, our Undergraduate Global Advancement Scholarship offers a tuition fee discount of up to £5,000 for eligible international students starting an undergraduate degree from September 2024.

Discover our full range of undergraduate scholarships and bursaries

Entry requirements

The qualifications and exam results you'll need to apply for this course.

We've set the country or region your qualifications are from as United Kingdom. Change it here

Your qualification Requirements

About our typical entry requirements

A levels

BBB

Applicants with the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) are eligible for a reduction in grade requirements. For this course, the offer is BBC with B in the EPQ.

You may automatically qualify for reduced entry requirements through our contextual offers scheme.

T levels

T levels considered in a relevant subject.

Applicants should contact us by completing the enquiry form on our website to discuss specific requirements in the core components and the occupational specialism.

GCSE 4/C in English and 4/C in Mathematics
BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma

BTEC applications are encouraged. We evaluate each BTEC application on its merits.

International Baccalaureate

30, with no score less than 4

Irish Leaving Certificate H2, H2, H2, H3, H3, H3
Scottish Higher/Advanced Higher

BBB in Advanced Highers, combinations of Advanced Highers and Scottish Highers are welcome

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Accepted including BB at A level.
Access 30 Level 3 credits at Distinction and 15 Level 3 credits at Merit in a Humanities/Social Science based Access Diploma
International qualifications

Many countries have a different education system to that of the UK, meaning your qualifications may not meet our entry requirements. Completing your Foundation Certificate, such as that offered by the University of Liverpool International College, means you're guaranteed a place on your chosen course.

Contextual offers: reduced grade requirements

Based on your personal circumstances, you may automatically qualify for up to a two-grade reduction in the entry requirements needed for this course. When you apply, we consider a range of factors – such as where you live – to assess if you’re eligible for a grade reduction. You don’t have to make an application for a grade reduction – we’ll do all the work.

Find out more about how we make reduced grade offers.

About our entry requirements

Our entry requirements may change from time to time both according to national application trends and the availability of places at Liverpool for particular courses. We review our requirements before the start of the new UCAS cycle each year and publish any changes on our website so that applicants are aware of our typical entry requirements before they submit their application.

Recent changes to government policy which determine the number of students individual institutions may admit under the student number control also have a bearing on our entry requirements and acceptance levels, as this policy may result in us having fewer places than in previous years.

We believe in treating applicants as individuals, and in making offers that are appropriate to their personal circumstances and background. For this reason, we consider a range of factors in addition to predicted grades, widening participation factors amongst other evidence provided. Therefore the offer any individual applicant receives may differ slightly from the typical offer quoted in the prospectus and on the website.

Alternative entry requirements

  • If your qualification isn't listed here, or you're taking a combination of qualifications, contact us for advice
  • If you are returning to learning, have had a disrupted education or are switching career pathways, the one-year Go Higher diploma qualifies you to apply for University of Liverpool arts, humanities and social sciences programmes
  • Applications from mature students are welcome.

Changes to Archaeology of Ancient Civilisations BA (Hons)

See what updates we've made to this course since it was published. We document changes to information such as course content, entry requirements and how you'll be taught.

7 June 2022: New course pages

New course pages launched.