Course details

A Levels ABB Other entry requirements
UCAS code F410
Duration 3 years
Fees and additional costs Home/EU students International students
Related subjects Archaeology

Any questions?

Undergraduate Admissions Secretary
Department of Archaeology
Telephone +44 (0)114 222 2900

Department of Archaeology

Top 50 in the world for archaeology
Guardian University League Tables 2020

Course description

Our BSc integrates scientific methods with social interpretation. You'll investigate all aspects of the human past, drawing on the principles of biology, chemistry and physics. Modules cover a variety of time periods, from prehistory to the late medieval period, so you can build on your interests by focusing on a particular era.

Your degree combines hands-on learning with small-group teaching and lectures. You'll work in both the field and the laboratory, developing critical skills in diverse archaeological methods. You'll also have the chance to work alongside world-class researchers on a range of archaeological materials, from human bones to material culture.

Right from the start, you'll get in-depth archaeological experience. You'll do a minimum of six weeks either in the field, the laboratory or the workplace. We have a dedicated field school for excavation training and you'll have the chance to get involved in staff research projects, lab work and excavations.

You'll use your laboratory skills to analyse organic and inorganic materials. You'll learn how a range of scientific principles and methods can be used to explore topics such as environmental change, species evolution, adaptation and population resilience.

We have cutting-edge laboratory facilities and extensive archaeological research collections,
including human, animal and plant remains. We also have modern experimental equipment, including a 3D portable structured light scanner.

How your degree is structured
In the first year, you'll develop a global perspective on human origins and world civilisations. Our field school will give you a solid foundation in the methods of archaeological excavation.

In the second year, you'll take specialist modules on topics such as the natural sciences. You'll investigate how scientific approaches are applied to the investigation of global human development and the human past, drawing on the principles of biology, chemistry and physics.

The third year includes a wide range of optional modules, ranging from Zooarchaeology to Experimental Archaeology. An optional workplace learning module gives you the chance to gain valuable practical experience in a professional working environment. Your placement will be in the archaeology or heritage sector. For example, you might work for a commercial unit, in a laboratory or for a museum.

To complete your degree, you'll carry out a piece of original scientific research in the form of a dissertation. Your academic supervisor will work closely with you from the second year to develop your project. Your research will contribute to our understanding of the past and you'll share your findings in our student research conference.

Modules: what you study and when

Financial help from the University - bursaries

If you're a UK student, you could be entitled to a University bursary. A bursary is the same as a grant - you don't have to pay it back.

How our bursary scheme works

Entry requirements

Qualification Grades
A Levels ABB
A Levels + additional qualifications BBB + B in a relevant EPQ
International Baccalaureate 33
Cambridge Pre-U D3 M2 M2
Scottish Highers AAABB
Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels B + AB
Access to HE Entry requirements for mature students
Other qualifications Other UK qualifications
Other EU/international qualifications
Other requirements
  • You must demonstrate that your English is good enough for you to successfully complete your course. For this course we require: GCSE English Language at grade C/4; IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component; or an alternative acceptable English language qualification
  • Equivalent English language qualifications
  • Access Sheffield - find out if you're eligible for additional consideration or an alternative offer
If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department

Modules - what you study and when

The modules listed below are examples from the last academic year. There may be some changes before you start your course. For the very latest module information, check with the department direct.

Course information on Department of Archaeology website

First year

Core modules:

Archaeology of Britain: from Prehistory to the Industrial Revolution
Human origins, migrations and identities
Revealing the Past
Towards modernity: anthropology, archaeology & colonialism
Professional Experience and Development

Optional modules:

Classical World and Its Legacy
World Civilisations

Second year

Core modules:

Science in Archaeology
Thinking through Archaeology
Professional Experience and Development

Optional modules:

Archaeology Matters
Archaeology and Text
Minoans: Crete in the Bronze Age
Primate and Human Evolution
The Ancient Greek Economy
The Archaeology of Anglo-Saxon England
The Celtic West: from the fall of Rome to the Viking Age

Third year

Core modules:

Dissertation in Archaeology
Professional Experience and Development

Optional modules:

Athens and the Black Sea
Catastrophes and Climate Change: prehistory to Modernity
Decoding the Landscape: integrated methods in landscape archaeology
Egypt in the age of empire
Experimental Archaeology
Later Neolithic and Bronze Age Britain & Ireland
Rome: Capital, Hinterland and Periphery
Work Place Learning

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers.

In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

Department of Archaeology

The Department of Archaeology at Sheffield has a reputation for world-leading research and teaching in archaeology. We're among the top 50 archaeology departments in the world (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020).

You'll be taught by experts in their field who are at the forefront of their research. Our research-led teaching draws directly on the work of our inspirational academics who are experts in the specialist fields of bioarchaeology, medieval archaeology, cultural materials, funerary archaeology, Mediterranean archaeology and landscape archaeology.

Our cutting-edge laboratory facilities, purpose-built in 2017, house extensive bioarchaeological research collections and modern experimental equipment.

We take an interdisciplinary approach to teaching, bringing science, the humanities and other related areas to your studies. Our multidisciplinary teaching helps you develop a strong set of skills. Our graduates are articulate, analytical and creative. They are also adaptable, curious and culturally aware. We have alumni working all over the world in a diverse range of fields, including archiving, archaeology, teaching, museums, charities, publishing, and national and local government.

Our staff and students play an important role in the life of the city through projects and partnerships with heritage groups, commercial archaeologists and heritage providers. You'll share your understanding with others, and by doing this you'll help local communities make sense of their origins, and get a sense of their place in the wider world.

Department of Archaeology website

What our graduates do

The archaeology workforce in the UK needs to grow by 25 per cent over the next five years and by 64 per cent by 2033 to meet the demands of infrastructure projects. Sheffield graduates are highly skilled and equipped to join this growing industry.

We talk to employers to make sure you develop the qualities they're looking for. Our close links with community heritage groups, commercial archaeologists and heritage providers give you direct access to research opportunities, work placement experience and valuable careers advice.

Your analytical, creative, communication and teamwork skills will open doors to a range of careers within and beyond archaeology.

Approximately 40 per cent of our graduates go on to work in archaeology or the heritage sector. Many graduates work in commercial units, national and local government, the charitable sector and university departments. Some choose to study for a postgraduate degree.

Others have gone into areas such as journalism, teaching, healthcare, law, accountancy and the media.

Student profile

Taylor Ogle

"I love this course because of the flexibility. I can take lab-based modules, but I am not limited or restricted to the humanities-based modules. I've been very fortunate with the opportunities that have become available to me through the department. For example I was lucky enough to receive the chance to travel to Washington DC to work as a recruitment assistant at the Society for American Archaeology Conference. The department went above and beyond to make me feel welcomed, supported and like I could go into my desired field after graduation."

Taylor Ogle ,

Practical experience, including fieldwork, is an integral part of this course. We'll train you in the techniques you need, such as archaeological survey and excavation, and laboratory analysis. You'll be engaged in the archaeological research process from the start, gaining new knowledge and making discoveries about the human past.

On your BSc Archaeology degree you’ll learn:
- excavation techniques
- how to carry out geophysical surveying
- how a field project is organised
- how to analyse and interpret material evidence and see how different specialists work together.

You’ll do a minimum of six weeks either in the field, the laboratory or the workplace. We also have an optional workplace learning module, which gives you the chance to gain valuable practical experience in a professional working environment. Or you can spend a year working in the profession as part of the University’s Degree with Employment Experience.

All the practical experience you gain is recorded in your Archaeology Skills Passport, which is endorsed by the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists.

There are many other ways to enhance your learning and experience. For example, you could get involved in staff research projects, lab work and excavations. Many of our students also coordinate local volunteering projects in schools or heritage and community groups.

Inclusive fees
If an item or activity is classed as a compulsory element for your course, it will be included in your tuition fee. This means that we will pay for your compulsory field trips, lab equipment and excavation kit.

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Contact us

Undergraduate Admissions Secretary
Department of Archaeology
Telephone +44 (0)114 222 2900

Department website >

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