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Course summary

There are numerous areas of overlap between Anthropology and Archaeology, making them particularly suitable for combination in a joint honours degree. The BA (Hons) Anthropology and Archaeology course combines modules from the BA/BSc (Hons) Anthropology degrees and BA (Hons) Archaeology, providing a comprehensive understanding of humanity both past and present. Students also have the opportunity to study a foreign language by taking a module from the University’s Centre for Foreign Language Study in any year. As a student on the BA (Hons) Anthropology and Archaeology degree, your learning will be supported by formal teaching sessions, such as lectures and smaller-group teaching in seminars and practical classes, as well as fieldwork and excavation opportunities. The Anthropology Department and Archaeology Department have a large range of resources including skeletal collections, a fossil cast collection, and a material culture collection that are used in relevant modules, and you may also be able to use these independently, to supplement your learning or for project work. As you move through your BA (Hons) Anthropology and Archaeology course, you will shift from being a consumer of knowledge in the classroom to a generator of knowledge, ready for professional or postgraduate life. To help develop this independence, you will spend part of your time engaged in self-directed study, which will include reading, project work and preparation for classes. In your third year, you will undertake a dissertation on an anthropological or archaeological topic of your choice, preferably one that overlaps the two subjects, giving you the chance to engage in a major piece of independent work. Assessment on the BA (Hons) Anthropology and Archaeology degree varies by module, but may include written examinations, podcasts, museum displays and outreach activities, coursework in the form of essays or research projects, and presentations. You will be given a Year Tutor when you start your degree, and will normally keep the same Tutor for the duration of your studies. Where possible, you will be given an Year Tutor who has an interest or background in both anthropology and archaeology. Year Tutors are there to support your academic work by providing advice about such things as study skills, module choices, dissertation topics, and applications for further study or employment. As well as discussing your academic work with your nominated tutor, you are encouraged to make use of the drop in hours provided by academic staff during term-time. These drop in hours give you the opportunity to discuss your work with module tutors, for example, to seek clarification on complex ideas, get suggestions for additional readings, and receive further feedback on assessments. As a student in the Anthropology and Archaeology Departments, you will be welcomed into the wider departmental communities, for example being able to attend an extensive programme of research-focused anthropological seminars where academic staff, postgraduate students and visiting scholars present their cutting-edge research, which may provide inspiration for your dissertation topic and even future study or employment.


Year 1 In the first year, students currently take four compulsory modules (two from each department) and select two optional modules (one from each department). One modern foreign language module can also currently be taken in place of an elective module from either Anthropology or Archaeology. Compulsory modules (20 credits each): Being Human: An introduction to the history and practise of anthropology Doing Anthropological Research Discovering World Prehistory Applied Archaeological Methods Examples of optional modules (20 credits each): Anthropology: Peoples and Cultures Human Evolution and Diversity Health, Illness and Society Archaeology (20 credits each): Ancient Civilisations of the East Archaeology in Britain Cities in Antiquity Medieval to Modern: an Introduction to the Archaeology of Medieval to Post Medieval World Scientific Methods in Archaeology 1. Year 2 In the second year, you will develop a deeper understanding of methods and theory in anthropology and archaeology, and pursue your growing interests through optional modules offered by both departments. Currently, students take two compulsory modules and five optional modules (at least two from each department). Compulsory modules (10 credits each): Debating Anthropology and Archaeology Research Project Design. Examples of optional modules in Anthropology (20 credits each): Anthropological Research Methods in Action Kinship and Religion Politics and Economics Global Health and Disease Sex, Reproduction and Love Evolutionary Variation and Adaptation Our Place in Nature. Examples of optional modules in Archaeology (20 credits each): Archaeological Method and Theory Prehistoric Europe: From Foragers to State Formation Becoming Roman: From Iron Age to Empire in Italy and the West Archaeology of Medieval and Post-medieval Britain in its European Context The East Mediterranean World in the Bronze Age Professional Training Developing Archaeological Research Ancient Mediterranean Civilisations: East and West. Scientific Methods in Archaeology 2. Year 3 In the final year, you will design and carry out your own research for a dissertation in Anthropology or Archaeology, or an interdisciplinary dissertation in Anthropology and Archaeology. In addition, you will study advanced topics in Anthropology and Archaeology that are generally based on the research expertise of staff in both departments, and reflect the University’s ideal of research-led education. Both departments offer students opportunities to gain experience of carrying out fieldwork through either the Anthropology Field Course and/or Advanced Professional Training. Compulsory module (40 credits): Dissertation in Anthropology, Archaeology or in Anthropology & Archaeology. Examples of optional modules in Anthropology (10 credits each unless otherwise stated. Students select a total of 40 credits): Anthropology in the Contemporary Middle East Anthropology, Art, and Experience Poison, Pollution and the Chemical Anthropocene Exhibiting Anthropology Capitalism in Ruins Decolonising Anthropology Social Anthropology of Hormones Anthropology of Ethics and Morality Anthropology of Sport Anthropological Skills for Climate Change Survival Power and Governance Violence and Memory Anthropology of Tobacco Anthropology of Health Inequality Anthropology of Physical Activity and Health Evolutionary Medicine: Maternal and Infant Health Human Reproductive Ecology Development, Conflict and Crisis in the Lower Omo Evolution of Cooperation Comparative Cognition and Culture Cultural Evolution of Music Technological Primates Primates in Peril Primates, Predators and the Ecology of Fear Homo narrans: evolutionary anthropology of fiction Examples of optional modules in Archaeology (Students select a total of 40 credits): Specialised Aspects in Archaeology (20 or 40 credits) Advanced Professional Training (20 credits) Current Archaeology (20 credits) Interpreting Heritage (20 credits) Museum Representation (20 credits)

Assessment method

Assessment on the BA (Hons) Anthropology and Archaeology degree varies by module, but may include written examinations, podcasts, museum displays and outreach activities, coursework in the form of essays or research projects, and presentations.

How to apply

Application codes

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Durham City
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Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

Our contextual offer for this programme is A level BBC (or equivalent). To find out if you’re eligible, please visit:

Unistats information

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Fees and funding

Tuition fees

Republic of Ireland £9250 Year 1
Channel Islands £9250 Year 1
EU £23750 Year 1
England £9250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9250 Year 1
Scotland £9250 Year 1
Wales £9250 Year 1
International £23750 Year 1

Additional fee information

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