Archaeology BA (Hons)

Key information


Develop an understanding of archaeological methods and theory to unlock some of the most fundamental questions about human life, from the emergence of our species until the 20th century.

Studying human, animal and plant remains, artefacts and art, you will learn how to reconstruct the past from its material remains. You will investigate the major social, economic, religious and technological developments in long-term human history, from Britain to South Africa and Spain to China, and learn how to carry out archaeological excavation and survey.

Programme in detail

Year One modules provide students with a broad introduction to both archaeological methods and the archaeology of particular times and places around the world (including Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome, Africa and Europe).

Years Two and Three build on this foundation, introducing specialist modules that provide training in key concepts and techniques from the inorganic (eg metals, glass, pottery) and organic (eg human bones, plants, DNA) archaeological evidence.

You will also gain knowledge of key issues and discoveries in the archaeology of many parts of Europe, Asia and Africa. This programme has an archaeological fieldwork (and/or museum-based experience) requirement that totals four weeks. Year One fieldwork usually consists of participation in a department organised training project for two weeks. In Year Two, students are placed on an appropriate excavation or relevant professional experience. Currently there are departmental research projects in Greece, Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Zambia as well as the UK.

Fieldwork opportunities

Archaeological fieldwork can be physically demanding, and requires an ability to undertake certain tasks (such as walking, carrying/using tools and equipment). We are committed to supporting students and considering barriers to participation.

On request, we discuss reasonable adjustments to enable participation for disabled students, and can provide alternative options as appropriate.

Study as part of joint-honours at 50:50 Choosing this subject as a combined degree

Archaeology at 50% provides you with a solid understanding of archaeological methods and theory, combined with the study of the archaeology of specific geographical areas and chronological periods. This enables you to build highly transferrable skills (team-working, critical thinking, synthesising information and data, IT and oral skills) into any humanities degree.

Year One modules provide you with a broad introduction to both archaeological methods and the archaeology of particular times and places around the world. Years Two and Three build on this foundation through a range of lecture, laboratory and practical skills-based modules. Students studying Archaeology as a joint degree can participate in additional, overseas research excavations. These are currently in Sicily, Bulgaria, Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Southern Africa and Ireland as well as the UK.

Department Key Facts

Number of first year students

80 Year One undergraduates in 2018

UK league tables

Ranked 5th for Archaeology in the Complete University Guide (2020)

Graduate prospects

93% of our students are employed or in further study six months after graduating (DLHE 2016/17)

Research performance

Ranked 5th for Archaeology and Egyptology for world-leading 4* and 3* research in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 (THE 2014)

Why this subject?

Bring theory to life

At Liverpool our teaching is not just paper-based; we have campus facilities that allow you to experience hands-on activities to complement your studies. You’ll be taught in our Garstang Museum of Archaeology, which holds over 40,000 artefacts, including collections from Egypt, the Aegean, Sudan, the Middle East and Great Britain. You’ll use specialised archaeological facilities in our Archaeological Research Laboratories as well as our awardwinning Central Teaching Laboratories where you’ll find equipment and material for scientific analysis and a dedicated space for flint-knapping and cave-painting.

Benefit from the unique breadth of our programmes

You’ll work alongside staff who are experts in their chosen field and have developed degree programmes that fully immerse you in the subject by studying the world from human origins right through to the civilisations of Greece, Rome, the Near East and Egypt.

You can either choose to focus on a particular culture or period, or gain a broader training that combines ancient civilisations. Alongside this, you will also have the opportunity to explore a number of ancient languages: Egyptian Hieroglyphs, Greek, Latin, Coptic, Sumerian and Akkadian

Surround yourself with academic excellence

You’ll be studying in one of the largest and wellestablished departments of its kind in the world, with a community of 35 full-time academic staff all engaged in internationally recognised research. In the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, Archaeology and Egyptology staff were ranked 5th in the UK for world-leading research.

Our staff specialisms include ‘Greek and Roman Literature and Culture’, ‘Ancient History’, ‘Mediterranean Archaeology’, ‘British Prehistoric and Historic Archaeology’, ‘Human Evolution (Evolutionary Anthropology)’, ‘African Archaeology’, ‘Near Eastern Archaeology’ and ‘Egyptology’ (we have the largest grouping of Egyptologists in the UK).

Fulfil your potential in a supportive environment

With our extensive staff expertise, we support you in every aspect of your learning. As you move through your programme of study, we work with you to encourage you to play to your strengths and to specialise in aspects and approaches that interest you most, whether historical, archaeological, literary or linguistic.