Contact: College of Humanities & Social Science Undergraduate Admissions Office
Phone: +44 (0)131 650 3565
Archaeology investigates the human past using artefacts. The University of Edinburgh has a tradition of archaeological research and specialises in European prehistory and the early prehistory and civilisations of the Mediterranean and the Middle East.
You can choose courses that combine archaeology with ancient history and you can also study ancient civilisations such as the Greeks, Romans, Persians and Byzantines.
You will be introduced to basic archaeological techniques and the philosophy and methodologies of archaeology. You can choose to specialise by geographical area or period and to become involved in practical research or applied archaeology, for example through fieldwork.
The first year follows the broad sweep of Old World archaeology from the earliest hominids to the origins of farming and the emergence of the early civilisations in Europe and the Near East.
Over the long vacation at the end of Year 1, you will be required to undertake three weeks of fieldwork.
You will take Archaeology 2A studying the archaeology of Scotland from the earliest settlements to the early historic period. In Archaeology 2B you will study the techniques and methodologies applied by archaeologists to understand past societies, including environmental archaeology, osteology, landscape archaeology and the study of artefacts from the University’s Special Collections.
You will take Theoretical Archaeology and Archaeology in Practice. If you are a single honours student you will choose four additional archaeology courses. Those studying for a combined honours degree will choose a minimum of one archaeology course and three others, chosen from a course list taken from both subjects in your combined honours degree programme.
There will be opportunities, normally in the long vacations after Years 2 and 3, to complete archaeology fieldwork or other practical assignments in the UK or abroad. Such work is optional, but can be assessed as part of your degree profile.
You will continue to take optional archaeology courses and will write your honours dissertation. If you are studying for a combined honours degree you will choose a minimum of one archaeology course and three courses from a list taken from both subjects in your combined honours programme. Your dissertation can also be in either subject.
You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials and in your first year you will complete fieldwork. Fieldwork or other practical work in successive years is optional but it can contribute towards your final degree. In your third and fourth years your fieldwork can also contribute to your dissertation research.
You will be assessed primarily through coursework and exams. Some optional classes may also include assessed oral presentations and/or group work.
Many archaeology graduates find employment as professional archaeologists working for government agencies, universities, museums and heritage organisations or applied archaeological companies/consultancies in the UK or elsewhere. The transferable skills you develop during your degree also prepare you for other careers in business, management, accountancy, teaching, journalism, radio and television, the police and and the Civil Service.
The School of History, Classics and Archaeology, located within the University’s Central Area, has excellent, newly refurbished teaching and study facilities.
You can use the environmental laboratory, the School’s extensive reference collections and the new Student Research Room and subject collections. You will also have access to the University’s libraries and computing facilities.
There are opportunities to spend some of Year 2 or 3 studying abroad. The School has exchange agreements with universities in Italy and Greece.
This article was published on Jun 29, 2012