Archaeology brings together history and science to shine a light on the past.
Join a University that is in the top 100 in the world for Archaeology (QS World University 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). The University of Reading scored 2nd best for teaching quality in Archaeology (The Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024). 100% of students in the Department of Archaeology said that our teaching staff were good or very good at explaining things (National Student Survey, 2023).
Archaeology's uniquely long perspective spans from our earliest origins to recent developments that have shaped the modern world: agriculture, urbanisation, capitalism and religion. At Reading's Department of Archaeology, we are especially focused on those issues from the past that are critical to our shared global future – human diets and health, climate change, inequality and resilience, migration and identity.
You will use material remains to explore, interpret and reconstruct the rich diversity of past cultures. Sometimes what seem like tiny details can be the start of an exciting journey of discovery, and you never know what you might find.
Topics span thousands of years and focus on people from various societies around the world. You will cover British, European and Near Eastern archaeology, from the Palaeolithic to the Medieval period.
In addition to taking part in excavations, our courses provide you with the skills to analyse human and animal bones, objects and plant remains in order to understand past societies. There will be fieldwork opportunities and chances to work with experts on live research projects. As part of our friendly, supportive Department you will benefit from our dedicated archaeology building, specialist equipment and purpose-built laboratories and have access to our three on-campus museums.
As well as being fun, challenging and immensely rewarding, our archaeology degrees enable you to develop an impressive range of skills, preparing you for many career opportunities.
Our flexible courses are designed to provide a balance of theory and practice; providing you with the opportunity to tailor your degree to your interests and apply what you learn in the real world.