Find a Degree Undergraduate Archaeology

Archaeology is a diverse and wide-ranging discipline that spans the humanities and physical sciences and is unique in exploring the human past in its entirety. In seeking to understand how ancient people lived their lives, structured their world, and engaged with their environment, archaelogists ask the big questions that can provide us with the tools to tackle global challenges in the present.

Why Aberdeen?

  • Archaeology at Aberdeen has a northern focus unique in the UK, covering the heritage of Scotland, Scandinavia, northern Europe, the North Atlantic and the northern latitudes of Asia and North America
  • Strong inter-disciplinary approach, drawing on the strengths of related academic subjects across the University of Aberdeen within both humanities and the physical sciences
  • Aberdeen is at the heart of a region that is among the richest in the UK in terms of sites of outstanding archaeological interest and is in close proximity to the World Heritage sites in Orkney  
  • Excellent laboratory facilities and library holdings. Opportunities to participate in outstanding national and international department-led excavations and field research projects, from Aberdeenshire to Alaska. Faculty with interdisciplinary- expertise across the full spectrum of thesubject. Research-active staff among the world leaders in their fields


You may also be interested in

Anthropology, Chemistry, Geography, History, History of Art

Study Abroad

Study Abroad Information

The Aberdeen Difference

The opportunity to take Enhanced Study options as part of your degree and participate in co-curricular activities. See for more information.

First Year

Archaeology in Action: An Introduction; Caves to Kingdoms: An Introduction to Prehistoric Archaeology. Plus six courses chosen from other disciplines.

Second Year

Interpreting the Past; Test Tubes and Trowels; Archaeologies of Social Lives; Archaeologyof the North: Lifeways and Cultural Change. Plus four courses chosen from other disciplines.

Third Year (Junior Honours)

Professional Archaeology 1: Field Methods; Professional Archaeology 2: Post-excavation Analysis and Employment; Archaeological Fieldwork Portfolio; Archaeological Research Project Part 1. Plus course options chosen from a range available including: Scottish Archaeology; North American Archaeology; Archaeologies of Landscape; After the Ice: Hunter-Gatherers in Mesolithic Scotland*, Submerged Archaeology: Discovering and Managing Lost Landscapes*.

Fourth Year (Senior Honours)

Archaeological Research Project Part 2; Current Issues in Archaeology; Bioarchaeology. Plus course options from a range available including: Viking Archaeology; Indigenous, Community-based and Public Archaeologies; Material Culture in Archaeology: Seeing, Using, Understanding*; World Heritage: Legislation and Management*.

 *Courses offered every other year.

Teaching and Assessment

All students attend lectures, seminars, tutorials and laboratory-based practicals, and make a number of excursions to ancient monuments and museums in Scotland. In the Honours years there is an emphasis on field and research skills, with a required fieldwork component. A dissertation provides students with the opportunity to tackle an original piece of research.

Honours students will participate on departmental field projects in Scotland and elsewhere in the northern world, where they will receive practical training in survey, excavation and documentation methods. There are also opportunities for places on our field schools in Iceland and Alaska. Beyond the formal training projects, students are strongly encouraged to improve their practical skills by seeking additional field and placement work. Staff are happy to advise and help with such opportunities, which include projects based overseas.

Assessment is by means of written exams and different types of continuous assessment, depending on the course. In the first year continuous assessment takes the form of essays, but in upper years it also includes critical reviews, posters, laboratory assignments, field notebooks and oral presentations.



The curriculum is designed to equip graduates with the practical and research skills required to work as professional archaeologists. The broad- based nature of the discipline enables graduates to compete strongly in the market place. The analytical and communications skills acquired by Archaeology graduates make them sought- after in a wide variety of fields including commerce, research and a range of professions.

Finding your direction

Whatever stage you are at from first year to final year and beyond, the Careers Service can help you with career planning and offer you guidance on the way. There are many opportunities within the University of Aberdeen to gain experience and build a competitive set of skills. Enhancing your employability during your time with us is essential for your future career success.

Minimum Entrance Requirements

SQA Highers - AABB*
A Levels - BBB*
IB - 32 points, 5 at HL*
ILC - AAABB (B1 or B2 required)*
*including good performance in at least two Mathematics/Science subjects.

Advanced Entry - Advanced Entry is considered on an individual basis depending on prior qualifications and experience. Applicants wishing to be considered for advanced entry should contact the Director of Studies (Admissions) at our Student Recruitment and Admissions Office.

For further details of entrance requirements click here

Please click on the links below to find out more information on funding in your area.

Related Links


Related Information

Further Information

Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen
The Hub
King's College

Tel: +44 (0)1224 272090 / +44 (0)1224 272091
Fax: +44 (0)1224 272576