Archaeology with a Year of Study Abroad (BSc)

Entry year

2017 2018

Our Archaeology degree schemes are noted for their geographical and chronological breadth and the range of student choice they offer.

This four-year BSc in Archaeology with a Year of Study Abroad gives you the opportunity to combine the study of archaeology at Cardiff University with the cross-cultural experience of a year studying in a partner institution abroad.

Archaeology provides a unique perspective as the only subject which deals with all the temporal and spatial dimensions of the human past.  Defined as the study of the human past through its material remains, it studies a very broad range of evidence including landscapes, buildings and monuments; buried material such as artefacts, biological remains, and structures; and written sources.  Archaeology ranges chronologically from the earliest hominids circa five million years ago to the present day, and geographically across the entire inhabited world. 

The BSc Archaeology honours degree with a Year of Study Abroad trains you in the science of investigation. It addresses the 'big questions' about the human past over the huge periods of time for which there are no written records, so that the forensic skills of the archaeologist are to the fore.

The aims of the BSc Archaeology With a Year of Study Abroad degree at Cardiff University are to:

  • Familiarise you with the disciplined and critical study of the past through the work of archaeologists.
  • Provide you with the expertise to assemble and critically analyse archaeological evidence.
  • Provide an understanding of how to assemble the varied types of archaeological evidence and, where appropriate, written source material available for the study of these fields.
  • Promote critical understanding of the political, social and cultural structures and achievements of past societies.
  • Cultivate archaeological skills and transferable skills, including, the ability to recover, record and assess evidence of widely differing kinds, to make honest and informed judgements, and to express them cogently in speech and writing.

Distinctive features

  • You will gain invaluable cross-cultural experience by spending a year studying abroad in a partner institution in Europe, the USA, Canada or Hong Kong. 
  • The year of study abroad introduces novel academic study opportunities and will also provide you with the life skills to compete in an increasingly global workforce, such as cultural adaptability, resilience and independence.
  • Our Archaeology degree schemes are noted for their geographical and chronological breadth and the range of choice they offer. 
  • As a student at one of the highly respected Russell group universities, you will learn with staff who undertake exciting research in archaeology and history as well as developing innovative techniques in forensics, dating, and osteology.

Key facts

UCAS Code3B98
Next intakeSeptember 2017
Duration4 years
ModeFull time with year abroad
Typical places availableThe School of History, Archaeology and Religion typically has 380 places available.
Typical applications receivedThe School of History, Archaeology and Religion typically receives 1800 applications.
Admissions tutor(s)

Entry requirements

Typical A level offerABB-BBC, preferably including a science.  Note: Normally no offers are made on a point basis. We do not include General Studies or Critical Thinking in our offers.
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerGrades ABB-BBC from the Welsh Bacc and two A levels.
Typical International Baccalaureate offer34-31 points.
Alternative qualificationsAlternative qualifications may be accepted. For further information on entry requirements, see the School of History, Archaeology & Religion admissions criteria pages.
English Language requirementsIf you are an overseas applicant and your first language is not English, please visit our English Language requirements page for more information on our accepted qualifications.
Other requirements

This is a four-year degree programme with the year of study abroad normally taken in the second year.  You will take 120 credits in each year. 

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2017/18 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2017.

Year one

In the first year of the BA Archaeology degree you will study 80 credits of modules in Archaeology and 40 credits from another subject of your choice from either within the School or from other participating Academic Schools. 

The Archaeology modules aim to introduce the techniques and approaches that archaeologists employ, as well as the archaeology of specific societies. 

The Year Three fieldwork project is taken in the summer at the end of the first year, although it is credited to the Autumn Semester of Year Three.  This project is taught through four-weeks of student participation on archaeological excavations, field-surveys, museum curatorial projects or other post-excavation, laboratory-based activities.

Year two: Sandwich year

Year two comprises a choice of modules at the partner institution in Europe, the USA, Canada or Hong Kong. You will select your location in consultation with the partner institution and your personal tutor. Your choice will need to be approved by our History Board of Studies.

You will receive guidance on the choice of partner institutions to apply to and which modules to study while abroad, and will continue to be associated with a specific personal tutor in Cardiff University during that year. 

The marks obtained in this year of study abroad will be converted into their equivalent marks on the Cardiff University mark scale, and the aggregate mark for the year will count as 10% in the calculation of the final degree classification. The marks obtained in Cardiff in Year three will then count 30% in that calculation and the marks obtained in Cardiff in Year Four 60%.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Year of Study AbroadHS5000120 credits

Year three

Years three and four are taught together as ‘Part Two’ and modules are offered on alternate years.  Over the two years, you must complete 240 credits of modules of which 70 credits consist of core requirements, at least 70 more must consist of archaeological science modules, and 60-100 credits come from a wide range of period, topic, or technique specific modules within Archaeology and Ancient History, allowing you a great deal of flexibility to follow the subjects you are most interested in. 

You may take up to 40 credits from another Academic School, subject to approval by the Board of Studies.  In Year Three, you will take the Archaeological Independent Study module allowing you to develop your own special interests to a high level. 

The Year Four fieldwork project is taken in the summer at the end of the third year, although it is credited to the Autumn Semester of Year Four.  This project is taught through four-weeks of student participation on archaeological excavations, field-surveys, museum curatorial projects or other post-excavation, laboratory-based activities.

Year four

Years three and four are taught together as ‘Part Two’ and modules are offered on alternate years.  Over the two years, you must complete 240 credits of modules of which 70 credits consist of core requirements, at least 70 more must consist of archaeological science modules, and 60-100 credits come from a wide range of period, topic, or technique specific modules within Archaeology and Ancient History, allowing you a great deal of flexibility to follow the subjects  you are most interested in. 

You may take up to 40 credits from another Academic School, subject to approval by the Board of Studies. 

In Year four you have the option of taking the Archaeology Dissertation module and developing your own special interests to a high level.  The Year four fieldwork project is taken in the summer at the end of the fourth year, although it is credited to the Autumn Semester of Year four.  This project is taught through four-weeks of student participation on archaeological excavations, field-surveys, museum curatorial projects or other post-excavation, laboratory-based activities.

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

How will I be taught?

The School of History, Archaeology and Religion enables you to develop in a high-quality learning environment, supported by a student-orientated approach to the acquisition of knowledge and skills.

Teaching methods include lectures, seminars, practicals, field trips, and one-to-one tutorials. You will also undertake independent study and research, with guidance from tutors.

Lectures provide an overview of the key concepts and frameworks for a topic, equipping you to carry out independent research for the seminars and to develop your own ideas.  Seminars provide an opportunity for you to explore the ideas outlined in the lecture in a small group environment.

Seminars usually consist of about 15 students and the seminar leader (a member of the teaching team). Seminars may take various formats, including plenary group discussion, small group work and student-led presentations. They offer a rewarding opportunity to engage critically with the key ideas and reading of a topic, and to explore areas of particular interest with an expert in the field.

How will I be supported?

All modules make extensive use of Cardiff University’s Virtual Learning Environment, Learning Central, where you can access course materials and links to related reading and online resources. In addition to the main University libraries, you will have access to the Sheila White Library, which contains additional copies of books on Greek and Roman history and culture.

You will be assigned a Personal Tutor, who is able to advise you on academic and pastoral matters in a confidential and informal manner. Personal Tutors meet with you regularly to discuss progress and provide advice and guidance, and are available for consultation at other times as needed. Opportunities for you to reflect on your abilities and performance are made available through a structured programme of Personal Development Planning and through scheduled meetings with Personal Tutors.

Feedback

You will receive written feedback on all your coursework assessments, and oral feedback on assessed presentations and seminar work. You will also receive oral and written feedback from your supervisor on preparatory work and drafts for the Independent Study and Dissertation. Individual written feedback is provided for exams.

How will I be assessed?

Modules are assessed by various methods, including coursework essays, written reports, source criticisms, critical reviews, examinations, class tests and oral presentations.

Coursework and examinations are used not only for assessment purposes but also as a means of developing your capacities to gather, organise, evaluate and deploy relevant information and ideas from a variety of sources in reasoned arguments.  Assessment, including coursework, exams, and oral presentations, will test the different skills you have learned. 

Progression is built into assessment, in that you will do smaller guided tasks in Year One, as well as formative essays in Years Two and Three.  Progression is also evident in the growing emphasis on lengthier, independent work culminating in an optional 10,000-word dissertation in Year Three.  Final Year modules also demand deeper engagement with independent methods of working, together with greater demands on handling critically a larger number of bibliographical tasks and items.

What skills will I practise and develop?

You will acquire and develop a range of essential transferable and discipline-specific skills, including:

  • Intellectual skills, such as critical thinking, reasoning, assimilating and summarising complex information and ideas, analysing and evaluating evidence, critiquing interpretations or arguments, coping with uncertainty or incomplete data, constructing arguments based on evidence, and presenting them effectively in writing and in debate;
  • Employability skills, such as effective communication through written reports and oral presentations, contributing to group discussions, working independently and in teams, using IT resources effectively, and time management;
  • Enterprise skills, such as creativity, problem-solving, initiative, and independent thinking;
  • Research skills such as defining a project, formulating research questions, locating relevant information, and presenting the results in an oral presentation and an extended written report;
  • Discipline-specific skills such as analysing historical problems, locating and using appropriate evidence and bibliographic resources, handling literary and archaeological material, analysing images, reading inscriptions, papyri and coins, and understanding the scholarly conventions used in relation to these types of evidence;
  • Practical archaeological skills, such as fieldwork skills, illustration, photography, surveying, geophysics, GIS, dating, scientific analysis of artefacts, bones, soils and plant remains, museum practice and public outreach.

In 2013/14, 92% of the School's graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation.

The School of History, Archaeology and Religion believes in giving its graduates the best opportunities to find employment. We organise interactive workshops with the Careers Service to help students identify their skills and attributes and have our own, in-School Workplace Placements and employability officer.

An archaeology degree represents a challenging, interesting and exciting way to prepare for the future. In your archaeology course you will work as part of a team in the field and in the laboratory; you will research ideas, form opinions and present them in your own terms; you will develop your writing to address a range of audiences; you will use a range of software programmes and develop a wide range of practical skills. These transferable skills will be of benefit in your future career, no matter what path you decide to take.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2017/18)

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£9,000None

Visit our tuition fee pages for the latest information.

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

Students from outside the EU (2017/18)

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£15,080None

Tuition fees for international students are fixed for the majority of three year undergraduate courses. This means the price you pay in year one will be the same in years two and three. Some courses are exempt, including four and five year programmes. Visit our tuition fee pages for the latest information.

Costs for sandwich years

During a sandwich year (e.g. year in industry, placement year or year abroad) a lower fee will apply. Full details can be found on our fees pages.

Will I need any specific equipment to study this course/programme?

You will need suitable clothing (e.g. waterproofs and suitable footwear) and sometimes accommodation (e.g. tent and sleeping bag) for field trips and fieldwork.  The University has funds available for students experiencing financial difficulties in purchasing this equipment.

Access to appropriate facilities and resources overseas is guaranteed by the Cardiff University process of selecting and approving partner institutions.  You will continue to have full access to the electronic resources of Cardiff University during your year of study abroad.

As per Cardiff University’s admissions policy.

We offer workplace experience to our students through our four-week, funded excavation, museum and heritage work placements at the end of the first and second year. You will also be encouraged and financially supported to attend fieldwork placements abroad.

Archaeology students are encouraged to take advantage of the Cardiff Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (CUROP) which provides summer placements for undergraduates in the University research environment. CUROP offers a stipend to support a student on a placement of up to eight weeks duration, working with supervision on staff-defined research projects.

There are also opportunities to work with heritage industry professionals (e.g. Cadw) as part of fieldwork placements or the Heritage Communication module and to gain further experience in working with the public of all ages via a range of initiatives (e.g. the Guerilla Archaeology outreach group, the CAER heritage project and the Share With Schools scheme).

The Years three and four fieldwork projects are taken in the summer following years one and three.  The Fieldwork projects are taught through four weeks of student participation on archaeological excavations, field-surveys, museum curatorial projects or other post-excavation, laboratory-based activities.

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