The University of Southampton

VV42 BA Archaeology and History (with a Year Abroad) (4 years)

Introducing your degree

Enrich your archaeology and history learning experience by spending an academic year studying abroad. Students of the BA Archaeology and History combined degree course have the opportunity to study compelling modules; Histories of Empire, Artefacts and the Practice of Archaeological Science, Castles in Medieval Society, The Real Downtown Abbey, Bones, Bodies and Burials and Maritime Archaeology. Find yourself immersed in the lives of our ancestors and be at the forefront of modern day historical understanding.


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

Programme Structure

The Archaeology and History degree course allows you to study both courses in one programme. You can choose related modules, such as the medieval period, from both perspectives, or broaden your interests by selecting modules from entirely different periods, such as the prehistoric era from archaeology and the Second World War from history.
You will have use of the new £3million university archaeology institute, with unparalleled laboratory facilities and a dedicated undergraduate teaching staff faculty.                                                                                                                                                                                                    Perfect for those who seek careers in research, archaeological practice, design, antique evaluation, teaching, the national trust and museum curation. The year abroad programme also enables students to boost their employability by combining the learning experience with practical experience at one of our partner institutions abroad.  Designed to provide students with optimum chances of employability by tailoring the degree to include transferable skills that can be applied to a plethora of careers.

View the programme specification document for this document

Key Facts

  • Rated in the top six in the UK in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise
  • £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

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 Baccalaureate 34 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* or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University.

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

Year 1

The following is an indicative list of available optional modules, which are subject to change each academic year. Please note in some instances modules have limited spaces available.

You will also be registered for a module to represent your fieldwork project (ARCH2037 Archaeological Method) – but this module is not credit bearing. This fieldwork is normally taken at the end of your first year.

Semester Two
Archaeological Methods for Fieldwork and Analysis
Landscapes and Seascapes of Britain’s Past
Debates and Issues in Archaeological Science
Wonderful things: World history in 40 objects
A Tudor Revolution in Government?
The First World War
Who is Anne Frank?
Masada: History and Myth
The First Crusade: Sources and Distortions
Childhood and Youth in Early Modern Society
The Battle of Agincourt
God’s Own Land: Exploring Pakistan’s Origins and History
Cities of the Dead: Death, Mourning and Remembrance in Victorian Britain
German Jews in Great Britain
Papal power in medieval Europe: crusades, heresy and clashes with kings
Histories of Empire
The End of the World: Apocalyptic Visions of History
The Collapse of Austria-Hungary
The Crimean War
The Long Summer? Edwardian Britain 1901-1914
When an empire falls: Culture and the British Empire, 1914-1960
Siena to Southampton: Medieval Towns and Cities
From Shah to Ayatollah: The Establishment of the Clerical Power in Iran (1979 to Today)
Joan of Arc: History behind the Myth
Castles: Military technology and social change from the middle ages to the modern
Alexander the Great and his legacy
Reagan’s America: Capitalism and Cold War
Eisenhower and the World: U.S. Foreign Policy in the 1950s
Twentieth-Century China

Year 2

The following is an indicative list of available optional modules, which are subject to change each academic year. Please note in some instances modules have limited spaces available.

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.

Semester One
Approaching the past: trends in Archaeological Theory
Maritime Archaeology
Digging Data: quantitative data analysis in Archaeology
Pots and People: Ceramic Analysis in Archaeology
Critical Chronologies: Issues and debates in archaeological dating
The Life and Afterlife of the Vikings
Power, Patronage and Politics in Early Modern England 1509-1660
The Struggle of the Czechs: From Serfdom to Stalinism
Imperialism and Nationalism in British India
Sin and Society, 1100-1500
The British Atlantic World
Ancient Rome: the First Metropolis
The Space Age
Knights and Chivalry
Celebrity, Media and Mass Culture, Britain 1888-1952
Jews in Germany before the Holocaust
Nelson Mandela: A South African life
Rebels with a Cause: The Historical Origins of Christianity
Wellington and the war against Napoleon
Napoleon and his legend
Retail Therapy: A journey through the cultural history of shopping
Discipline and Punish: Prisons and Prisoners in England 1775 - 1898
Self-inflicted - Extreme Violence, Politics and Power
In Hitler's Shadow: Eastern Europe 1918-1939
The Fall of imperial Russia
The Global Cold War
The Age of Discovery? c.1350-c.1650
Oil Burns The Hands: Power, Politics and Petroleum in Iraq, 1900-1958
From the mafia to the ultras: Conflict, violence and the Italian Republic from 1945 to the 1990s
Sex, Death and Money: the United Kingdom in the 1960s
Ritual Murder: The Antisemitic Blood Libel from Twelfth-Century England to twentieth-century Russia
Modern Germany, 1870-1945

Year 3

Your third year will be spent at one our partner institutions. More details can be found on the Exchange partners page.


Year 4

The following is an indicative list of available optional modules, which are subject to change each academic year. Please note in some instances modules have limited spaces available.

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

Semester One
History Dissertation
Stonehenge to Skara Brae: the Neolithic of Britain
Living with the Romans: Urbanism in the Roman Empire
Archaeology of Seafaring
Ecology of human evolution: biological, social and cultural approaches to hominin adaptations.
GIS for Archaeology
The Archaeology and Anthropology of Adornment
From Tyranny to Revolution: England 1625-49: Part 1
The Third Reich 1
The Holocaust 1
The Late Russian Empire, Society, Ethnicity and Culture l
Slavery and Freedom in the British Caribbean- part 1
Fashioning the Tudor Court 1
Medieval Love, Sex and Marriage: Part 1
Heresy and Inquisition in the Early Modern Iberian World (Part 1)
Passions and Profits: Wealth, Freedom and Virtue in the Age of Adam Smith (Pt. 1: Texts)
The Long life of the Indian Mutiny 1 (1857-58): Event, Metaphor, Memory
The Crisis of Austria-Hungary Part 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
Islam, Conquests and Caliphates, Part 1

HIST3197 America from Revolution to Republic 1

The American Empire Part 1
The Long Sexual Revolution Family Life in Twentieth Century Europe, Part 1
Racism in the United States 1785-1915 Part 1
Nuclear War and Peace, Part I
The Great Exhibition of 1851 Part one: Art, Industry and the making of a Nation
Emperor Julian and the Last Pagans of Rome Part 1, Julian: hero and apostate
Between Private Memory and public history
Music and History
Conflict, Transformation and Resurgence in Asia: 1800 to the Present
Travellers’ Tales
Alternative Conquests: Comparisons and Contrasts
The Bible and History
Alternative histories: Fascism and the far right
The Ethics of War
Sweet Charity?

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

NameYear of entryMode of studyUK/EUInternationalChannel Islands
BA Archaeology and History (with Year Abroad)2018Full-time£9,250£16,536£9,250
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.
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.

Breakdown of study time and assessment

Proportion of time spent in scheduled learning, teaching and independent study
Learning, teaching and assessment stage1234
Scheduled learning & teaching study21%18%0%9%
Independent study79%82%100%91%
Placement study0%0%0%0%
Proportion of assessment by method
Learning, teaching and assessment stage1234
Written exam assessment23%50%0%13%
Practical exam assessment11%0%0%12%
Coursework assessment66%50%100%75%

Study Locations

Student life

Avenue campus

Only a few minutes walk from Highfield Campus, Avenue provides a purpo...Find out more

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