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The University of Southampton
Archaeology Part of Humanities Postgraduate study

Employability facts and figures

Archaeology is a diverse discipline with a lot to offer. New information is continually discovered. As a result, you will learn to constantly challenge and reassess established ideas about the past. You can specialise in archaeology as a science or a humanities course, as whichever you choose you will study aspects of both - archaeology is one of the most varied and stimulating disciplines you can study.

Facts about an Archaeology degree

Most Archaeology degree courses in the UK involve fieldwork as a compulsory part of the programme, meaning Archaeology gives more opportunities than most to leave the classroom.

Fieldwork involves taking part in excavation projects and surveys, giving you an in-depth insight into how to collect, record, and analyse evidence; in turn making the classroom experience that much more informed.

Archaeology at Southampton

Archaeology at Southampton provides a small and intimate environment for learning - you will get to know all your lecturers and classmates well, making for a comfortable and supportive network in which to study. You will take part in a three-week field trip either in the UK or abroad as part of your programme: destinations include Nevis (Caribbean), Andalucía (Spain) and Namibia (Southern Africa).

Southampton is home of Wessex Archaeology , one of the largest archaeological units in the UK. Through their Student Bursary scheme, which they operate exclusively with the University of Southampton, they offer a six-month contract as a Project Assistant to one of our third year students. The post is a means of providing an important first step for recent graduates interested in a field-based career by giving them an opportunity to gain skills and experience and to advance their careers by working in a professional environment.

Of our Archaeology graduates of 2013, 89% were in either employment or further study within six months of graduation. The number of our students going into graduate-level roles is also increasing, up 10% in the last 12 months.

Careers Facts

There are around 6,000 people in Britain practising archaeology as a career.

A graduate job in archaeology is likely to be a fixed-term contract doing archaeological fieldwork. These get you into archaeological employment; from there, it is much easier to get a permanent job. The number of these jobs is directly related to how well the economy is doing.

Although your first job may well be doing fieldwork, it is important to recognize there are many other types of jobs in commercial archaeology. The larger practices, called ‘Units', also do historical studies, building recording and have a wide range of experts in finds, environmental archaeology, graphics and computing. There are also specialist companies dealing with geophysical surveys, marine archaeology and consultancy. Some of the largest units also provide these services, which means that it is now easier to work in a specialist area or move into management. Having all-round skills is a good starting point.

Photo of Rachel Quick
You come away from the course having learnt key skills that really help prepare you for work in the industry.
Rachel Quick , MA Maritime Archaeology (2010)
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Humanities facts and figures

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