Archaeology of Ancient Civilisations BA (Hons) Add to your prospectus

  • Offers study abroad opportunities Offers study abroad opportunities
  • Opportunity to study for a year in China Offers a Year in China

Key information


  • Course length: 3 years
  • UCAS code: V401
  • Year of entry: 2018
  • Typical offer: A-level : ABB / IB : 33, with no score less than 4 / BTEC : Applications considered
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If you are fascinated by the ancient civilisations of Egypt, the Mediterranean and the Near East, this programme covers these with a unique range and depth.

You will study 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. 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.

Teaching is hands-on: you might read texts directly from carved inscriptions or papyri, or handle artefacts in our Garstang Museum, or help stage a theatrical production of a Greek tragedy. You will be required to complete four weeks of fieldwork for this programme including two weeks on our department field school at the end of Year One. In Year Two, many students work on overseas staff research excavations, currently these are based in Sicily, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Southern Africa and Ireland as well as the UK.

Programme in detail

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 (fieldwork and/or museum-based work) usually spread over Years One and Two. Year One fieldwork usually consists of participation in the department field school. In Year Two, many students work on overseas research excavations, currently these are based in Sicily, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Southern Africa and Ireland 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). At Liverpool, our Support Team is committed to supporting students and considering barriers to participation. On student request, we discuss reasonable adjustments to enable participation for disabled students, and can provide alternative (non-field/non-residential) options as appropriate. Please contact our Director of Fieldwork for further information: rachel.pope@liverpool.ac.uk.

Department Key Facts

Number of first year students

84 Year One undergraduates in 2016

UK league tables

• Ranked 11th for Archaeology in the Sunday Times/Times University Guide 2017
• Ranked 5th for Archaeology in The Guardian University Guide 2018

National Student Survey

96% of students are happy with the teaching on their programme (National Student Survey 2016)

Research performance

Ranked 5th for Archaeology and Egyptology for world-leading 4* and 3* research in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 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 award-winning Central Teaching Laboratories where you’ll find equipment and material for scientific analysis and a dedicated space for flint-knapping and cave-painting, all of which are part of our core teaching activities.

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 well-established 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 (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.