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Course summary

Explore humanity from its earliest origins to the cultures and societies of today with our BA Archaeology and Anthropology degree. The University of Reading is in the top 100 in the world for Archaeology (QS World Rankings by Subject, 2023, Archaeology. The University of Reading is ranked 51-100 in the world and is the joint 9th highest placed UK university) and is ranked 1st in the UK for research quality and research outputs in Archaeology (Times Higher Education Institutions Ranked by Subject, based on its analysis of the latest Research Excellence Framework 2021), and we scored 2nd best for teaching quality in Archaeology (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024). This joint honours course combines archaeology’s examination of material evidence from our past and present with anthropology’s focus on human development and contemporary cultures and societies. Studying these two disciplines together allows you insight and understanding of what it means to be human. This understanding will be crucial in addressing issues critical to our shared global future, including:

  • the relationship between humans and environmental change
  • inequality, migration and identity
  • population growth and development
  • human diets and health
  • politics, economics and sustainability.
By examining human development, behaviour and different cultures, you will better understand the roots of these issues, and learn how other societies have tackled comparable problems – and how contemporary societies are addressing them now. Using methodological approaches from the sciences, social sciences and humanities, you will examine the diversity of human experience. You will learn about the biological evolution of our earliest ancestors, the pre-historical and historical development of different cultures, and present-day ways of life and social issues. During your studies you will analyse:
  • material culture
  • biological evidence
  • ethnographic evidence
  • theoretical and empirical perspectives from the past and present.
Your studies in the Department of Archaeology will encompass ethnographic approaches and case studies, and the study of social and scientific archaeology, including:
  • the investigation of artefacts recovered through excavation
  • the study of human bones (including osteology and palaeopathology)
  • the study of plant and animal remains
  • human-environment interaction
  • how climate and environmental change have affected lives past and present
  • religious, social, economic and political diversity around the world.
On this course you will learn through a combination of field classes and fieldwork projects, lectures and seminars, laboratory and other practical work, and placements. Depending on your module choices, methods of assessment can range from fieldwork diaries and laboratory-based practical tests to article critiques and presentations.


The following modules have been approved in principle for delivery in 2024/25. Please note that as part of our current curriculum improvement process, all modules require final University approval and may be subject to change. Core modules for this course: *Revolutions and Transitions: the Human Journey from 6 Million Years Ago to the Present Day *Archaeology Today: Methods and Practice *Global Challenges *Forensic Anthropology and the Archaeology of Death *Contemporary World Cultures: an Introduction to Social Anthropology *Archaeology and Heritage: Past, Present and Future *Archaeology Field School and Professional Practice *Changing the Face of the Earth: Past, Present and Future Sustainability *Living with Each Other: Social and Cultural Geography The University cannot guarantee that all optional modules will be available to all students who may wish to take them. We suggest that you regularly revisit this webpage during this time to ensure you have the most up-to-date information regarding the modules offered on this programme.

How to apply

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Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

Contextual offers for this programme are typically two grades beneath our standard entry requirement, e.g. BCC.

English language requirements

TestGradeAdditional details
IELTS (Academic)6.5We require a minimum score of 6.5 overall with at least 5.5 in each element of the test (Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing).
TOEFL (iBT)88We require a minimum score of 88 overall with no less than 17 in Listening and Writing, 18 in Reading and 20 in Speaking.
Cambridge English AdvancedBWe require a grade B or a score of 176 overall with no element less than 162.
Cambridge English ProficiencyCWe require a grade C or a score of 176 overall with no element less than 162.
PTE Academic69We require a minimum score of 69 overall with at least 59 in each element of the test (Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing).
Institution's Own TestTest of English for Educational Purposes (TEEP). We require a minimum score of 6.5 overall with at least 5.5 in each element of the test (Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing).
Trinity ISEMeritWe require a Merit in each element from ISE II. If you take ISE III or ISE IV, we require a Pass in each element.

Full list of acceptable English Language Tests

Unistats information

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Fees and funding

Tuition fees

England £9250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9250 Year 1
Scotland £9250 Year 1
Wales £9250 Year 1
Channel Islands £9250 Year 1
Republic of Ireland £9250 Year 1
EU £22350 Year 1
International £22350 Year 1

Additional fee information

No additional fees or cost information has been supplied for this course, please contact the provider directly.
Archaeology and Anthropology at University of Reading - UCAS