The University of Southampton

VV41 BA Archaeology and History (3 years)

A degree in archaeology will open up new worlds. Whether in the laboratory or the library, you will explore a range of questions about people in the past.

Introducing your degree

Dig up the past and discover fascinating insights into the future. Students on the BA History and Archaeology degree course study the past from both textual sources and archaeological remains, focusing on the time periods of their choosing. The degree course strives to solve larger historical questions, from the prehistoric era to the second world war.


What is this?(More Information)This information is based on historical data and may have been aggregated. Find out more.

Programme Structure

Archaeology and History are not just vocational subjects. Our graduates go on to a wide range of careers and find that their knowledge can be applied in a range of organisations from local government planning and National Trust bodies to museums and consultancies.

This joint honours degree will help you to acquire key skills sought by employers, such as time management, problem solving, team-work, project management and cultural awareness. Above all, you will learn to communicate ideas to a wide range of audiences in a way that is relevant and understandable.

View the programme specification document for this course

Key Facts

  • £3m purpose-built archaeology building, with excellent laboratory facilities and dedicated undergraduate teaching lab
  • Placement schemes with archaeological units and national heritage bodies
  • Research-based fieldwork project, either in the UK or abroad, in locations such as Crete, Hungary, Sweden and the Caribbean
  • 100% of BA Archaeology and History students at Southampton were overall satisfied with their course, and rated the teaching quality at 100% (National Student Survey 2014)

Did you know?

You can take this programme with a year abroad at one of our 173 partner institutions in over 24 countries – use code VV42 when you apply through UCAS.

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

A Levels:
GCE A-level

AAB to ABB including History or a related subject*

Applicants taking the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) will also be made an alternative offer one grade below the standard offer, conditional on an A grade in the EPQ.

We accept all A levels except General Studies.

International Baccalaureate34 to 32 points, 17 to 16 at higher level, including 6 in higher level History or a related subject*

*Related subject includes subjects such as English, Philosophy, Religious Studies or Classical Civilisation or other humanities based essay writing subjects. Students applying without History will need to make a case in their personal statement.

International applications

We welcome applications from international students. Helpful information on applying, meeting a University representative in your country, or improving your English language levels can be found on the International Office website. If English is not your first language you will be required to pass an approved English test. We normally ask for an overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.5 in Writing and Reading and 6.0 in Listening and Speaking.

Alternative qualifications

We welcome applications from candidates offering qualifications other than A and AS levels (including BTEC, European Baccalaureate, International Baccalaureate, Irish Leaving Certificate and Scottish Highers). You will be expected to attain an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University to an A level applicant. Contact us for further information on equivalencies for these qualifications and others not listed here.

Contextual Offers

The University of Southampton is committed to widening participation and ensuring that all students with the potential to succeed, regardless of their background, are encouraged to apply to study with us. The additional information gained through contextual data supports our admissions teams to recognise a student’s potential to succeed in the context of their background and experience. Students who flagged in this way will be made an offer which is lower than the typical offer for that programme.

A typical contextual offer is ABB from three A levels including History or a related subject*.

Please see our contextual admission pages for more information


Selection process:

Selection is normally based on actual or predicted grades plus the reference and personal statement on your UCAS application. Applicants will be interviewed before an offer is made.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.


Typical course content

Excavation, field survey and geophysics
Underwater archaeology
Comparative osteology
Artefacts analysis
Human origins
Medieval archaeology
Archaeology of the Roman Empire
Prehistoric archaeology
Anthropology and ethno-archaeology
Heritage and public archaeology

Innovation modules outside of your subject area

Our Curriculum Innovation Programme offers you the chance to take optional modules outside of your chosen subject area. This allows you to personalise your education, to develop new skills and knowledge for your future. Modules range from "Living and working on the web" to "Business skills for employability".  

View the Curriculum Innovation modules for this course

Learn a language

Some of our courses also give you the option of taking a language module, which can count towards your degree. These modules cover ten languages and range from absolute beginner to near-native speaker level.

View the language modules on offer for this course

Year 1

You have to take ARCH2037 Archaeological Fieldwork for the full academic year, but this module is not credit bearing.

Year 2

Students must choose options totalling 120 credits across both disciplines, which must include two ARCH modules and two HIST modules. Students are strongly recommended to take either ARCH2013 or ARCH2012 and ARCH2028 (Archaeological Analysis and Research Skills).

Students wishing to complete an Archaeology dissertation in their final year must take ARCH2028 in year two.


Year 3

A dissertation will be undertaken for either archaeoloy or history, ARCH3025 or HIST3021.  The Archaeology dissertation takes place across Semesters 1 and 2.

Semester One
Presenting the past: Museums and Heritage
Living with the Romans and exploring their towns and cities
Archaeology of Seafaring
Pottery under the Microscope: Ceramic and Lithic Petrology
France under the Nazis, 1940-1944 (Part 1)
The Third Reich. Part 1
The Holocaust: Policy, Responses and Aftermath. Part 1
The Vietnam War in American History and Memory. Part 1.
Society and Culture in the Late Russian Empire, 1881-1917. Part 1
Crime and Punishment in England c. 1688-1840
Refugees in the Twentieth Century. Part 1.
Alternative Histories: Between Private Memory and Public History.
Alternative Histories: Music and History
Alternative Sexualities
Fashioning the Tudor Court. Part 1.
Conflict, Transformation and Resurgence in Asia: 1800 to the present
Alternative Histories: Cultures of Migration
Alternative Histories: Travellers' Tales
The Wars of the Roses - Part I
Forging the Raj: The East India Company and Britain's Asian World, 1
When the Lights Went Out: Britain in the 1970s, Part 1: 1970-1974
The rise and fall of the British Empire in Africa: Conquest, colony, and rebellion, 1900-60, part 1
Alternative Conquests: Comparisons and Contrasts
The Bible and History
World War 2: The Home Front - Part 1
World War II: The Global Perspective - Part I
Love and sexuality in Twentieth Century Europe, Part 1
Racism in the United States Part 1
Nuclear War and Peace, Part I
Alternative histories: Homes and houses: challenging the domestic
Humanities Undergraduate Ambassador Scheme Yr3

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

Course fees for 2017/18 full-time UK and EU undergraduate students are typically £9,250 per year. Tuition fees for international students differ between each course. Most part-time courses cost 50% of the full-time fee.

View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationary items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc.).
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
EquipmentLaboratory Equipment and Materials: All laboratory equipment and materials are provided. IT Computer Discs or USB drives: Students are expected to provide their own portable data storage device. Software Licenses: All software is provided. Hardware: It is advisable that students provide their own laptop or personal computer, although shared facilities are available across the University campus.
FieldworkDuring your degree you are likely to go on a number of fieldtrips, and to take part in fieldwork. The exact number and nature of these trips will depend on your module and fieldwork choices. However, wherever and whatever you do you are likely to need access to; waterproofs, sturdy shoes or boots, sun hat and a small rucksack. For some sites you may be asked to have steel toed boots. For those qualified to do so, you may become involved in diving projects. In these circumstances you would normally be required to bring/hire your own mask, fins, snorkel, knife, exposure suit and dive watch (and if possible, dive computer).
ClothingLab Coats and Safety Spectacles: One laboratory coat and a pair of safety spectacles are provided at the start of the programme to each student.
Printing and copyingWhere possible, coursework such as essays; projects; dissertations is likely to be submitted on line. However, there are some items where it is not possible to submit on line and students will be asked to provide a printed copy. The University printing costs are currently: A4 - 5p per side (black and white) or 25p per side (colour) A3 - 10p per side (black and white) or 50p per side (colour) Please Note: Paper sizes not recognised by the printing devices will prompt you to select the size and then charge a minimum of 50p per black and white copy and a maximum of £1 per colour copy. You can pay for your printing by using the money loaders or by using print copy payment service by going to The University Print Centre also offers a printing and copying service as well as a dissertation/binding service.
PlacementsStudents on placement programmes can expect to cover costs for health and travel insurance, accommodation and living expenses; travel costs; visa costs. This will vary depending on which country you are travelling to. Specific details on what additional costs there will be are detailed in the individual module profiles which can be found under the modules tab of the programmes details of your programme.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Career Opportunities

Archaeology and history are not just vocational subjects. Our graduates go on to a wide range of careers and find that their knowledge can be applied in a range of organisations from local government planning and National Trust bodies to museums and consultancies.

This joint honours degree will help you to acquire key skills sought by employers, such as time management, problem solving, team-work, project management and cultural awareness. Above all, you will learn to communicate ideas to a wide range of audiences in a way that is relevant and understandable.

Work placements and fieldwork opportunities reflect the dedication we have to embedding employability in our students through the degree experience. A balanced mix of practical and theoretical learning means our graduates are equipped with a comprehensive skill-set upon completing the degree.

Learning & Assessment

A humanities degree at Southampton offers you the wide and varied learning experience you should expect from a leading research university. We are committed to providing a relevant, modern and above all enjoyable experience which will ensure you graduate with the skills and understanding you need to start a career in any number of industries.

Led by academic staff, your teaching will allow you to engage with and contribute to the world-leading research carried out at Southampton as it happens. Our staff value your opinion and views: lectures are typically followed by a small group seminar which gives you the opportunity to explore ideas and themes that you feel are particularly relevant. You will find yourself challenged intellectually and exposed to new ideas, approaches and perspectives. Visiting speakers from international universities and successful professionals are a frequent part of our lecture series.

Your course will be incredibly flexible to suit your personal aims and objectives. Within your degree there will be a wide and fascinating range of modules related to our specialisms led by academics passionate about their research who want to engage you in their experience. You can choose subjects from beyond your degree to fashion the knowledge and experiences that you think will best help you in the career in front of you. Each module has a home on our virtual learning environment which serves as a starting point to find out more about each subject and undertake independent research to develop your understanding to a greater depth.

You will be assessed by more than simply essays and exams. Depending on the modules you choose, you will work in groups and teams; make presentations; submit group projects; undertake fieldwork; create portfolios and manage larger research projects such as dissertations. Your academic advisor will be available to provide regular and supportive advice, guidance and feedback on your progress.

You will find the key skills employers seek, such as time management, problem solving, team work, deadline and project management, cultural awareness, working on initiative and independently, relationship building and analysis, embedded in your learning. Above all, you will learn to communicate ideas and enthusiasm to a wide range of audiences in a way that is relevant and that they can understand.

Our courses have many unique and exciting opportunities such as visiting Chawton House Library – the former home of Jane Austen, the Broadlands Archive containing the papers of Palmerston and Mountbatten, research active fieldwork placements, placements in schools and colleges as part of your degree such as international writing in schools, the student associates scheme and our extended project mentoring module. All our students have the opportunity to spend a semester, a year or a summer at one of our international partner universities to experience a new culture.

Study Locations

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