BA Ancient History and Archaeology with Professional Placement
Discover the ancient Greco-Roman world, spend a year in another country, and take the opportunity to join an archaeological dig and study abroad, with our BA Ancient History and Archaeology with Professional Placement degree.
At the University of Reading, our BA Ancient History and Archaeology with Professional Placement joint degree combines the study of ancient history – and its political, military, social and cultural contexts – with invaluable archaeological training.
Through your study of ancient history, you’ll immerse yourself in the rich culture of Greece and Rome from around 2000BC to 600AD and discover how these ancient civilisations have influenced the modern world. Your archaeological studies will take you further back in time, broaden the geographical focus, and enable you to experience the excitement of genuine discovery.
A key feature of this four-year programme is the opportunity to undertake a professional placement between your second and third year of study and gain valuable experience and insight into the workplace. Placements are an excellent way to enhance your work-related skills and develop a network of contacts, as well as strengthen your employability prospects.
We provide opportunities for you to undertake placements in a variety of contexts across the archaeological, heritage, planning and museum sectors, including:
- research institutions
- government organisations
- local planning authorities
- archaeological consultancies
- field units
The University's museums, including the Department's own Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology, also provide a number of voluntary work placements, ranging from helping with school visits to preparing displays and exhibitions. Alternatively you can choose a placement in a non-related business or industry, exploring different career options and enhancing your employability by drawing on the many non-vocational, transferable skills you obtain from an Ancient History and Archaeology degree.
Our Department has a dedicated member of staff in charge of placements, who can provide you with advice and support.
Your learning environment
In the Department of Classics, our academics are at the forefront of their disciplines. Their research feeds directly into your studies, exposing you to the latest developments in the field.
The Department of Archaeology has an outstanding track record for student satisfaction, with scores consistently between 90-100% for overall student satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2010-2022, with Archaeology achieving the highest score for overall student satisfaction in the UK in 2022. Core modules will provide you with a solid historical and archaeological grounding, and optional modules will allow you to explore the different periods, cultures and countries that interest you. Popular modules taken by students on this degree include: History and Culture of New Kingdom Egypt and Rome's Mediterranean Empire.
- Read about our Head of Department of Archaeology Professor Hella Eckardt’s research.
Enhance your knowledge through varied learning opportunities
Through your studies, you will address important questions relevant to our global future – human diets and health, environmental change, and inequality, migration and identity – and trace them back to their roots, exploring different periods of ancient history through both literary and material sources.
You can also enhance your knowledge and understanding of the ancient world through varied learning opportunities, such as:
- optional Latin and Greek language modules
- hands-on experience with artefacts from the University’s Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology, which features one of the largest collections of Greek and Egyptian antiquities in Britain
- archaeological excavations in the UK and Europe, including prehistoric monuments, Roman cities and medieval castles.
Read about Marcie Weeks’s experience as an alumnus of our BA Archaeology and History degree.
Archaeology field school
During your studies, you will have the opportunity to participate in our Archaeology field school. The field school enables you to gain direct, hands-on experience in all aspects of an archaeological excavation, including:
- GIS (Geographical Information Systems) mapping
- finds processing.
You will be able to put your skills into practice and contribute to new archaeological knowledge through our discoveries. Many recent students have opted to conduct their field school placement at the Roman town of Silchester, helping to uncover the details of this unusually well-preserved site.
Explore a new location with Study Abroad
If you’re interested in studying abroad – and getting to experience a new academic and cultural environment – you can apply to spend a term at one of our partner universities in your second year. The Department enjoys active links with approved partner universities in Europe, Canada and the US, including:
- Aarhus University, Denmark
- University of Florida
- University of Malta
- University of Sydney.
All classes are conducted in English and bursaries are available to help with travel and accommodation costs.
BA Ancient History and Archaeology students sometimes choose to apply to visit Malta and study Phoenician and Punic archaeology. The Department of Classics also has strong links to the British School in Athens and the British School in Rome.