BA Museum Studies and Archaeology
Combine the study of museology with the excitement of archaeological discovery with our BA Museum Studies and Archaeology degree.
At the University of Reading, you’ll take your first steps towards a rewarding career in heritage, learning the core skills of curatorship, such as researching, analysing, cataloguing, interpreting and displaying museum objects, historic buildings and landscapes. You’ll also gain practical, hands-on experience at the University’s three on-site museums – including the Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology – and special collections. Alongside this, your studies will explore our human past through material remains, spanning as far back as the first hominins millions of years ago.
Our 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.
Additionally, you will benefit from the hands-on expertise of our Museum Studies’ staff. Our lecturers are all practising professionals, including curators, conservators and archivists, and use a combination of problem-solving and enquiry-based learning techniques in their teaching. You will be given the opportunity to conduct your own research throughout the course, and in your final year you will design, create and evaluate your own exhibition.
What you will study
Your studies will span through a variety of topics and modules, including:
- investigating artefacts recovered both through excavation and standing monuments
- handling human remains to learn about burial archaeology
- examining how ideas of gender are reflected and imposed through the material world
- discovering how environmental change has impacted on lives past and present
- critically evaluating the role of museums as a place of learning and engagement
- communicating to an audience through the use of artefacts
- examining the theories behind museums and their role in society.
Additionally, you'll be encouraged to research the environment that artefacts are displayed in, how they are catalogued, and the meanings that they hold for different audiences. You will learn how to design, create and evaluate your own exhibitions, and you will gain practical experience in activities such as digitising collections, cataloguing and archiving.
During your studies, you will have the opportunity to participate in our Archaeology Field School. This is an opportunity to gain direct, hands-on experience in all aspects of an archaeological excavation, contribute to new archaeological knowledge through discovery, and put a variety of skills into practice, such as:
- GIS (Geographic Information Systems) mapping
- finds processing.
You will also be encouraged you to get involved with archaeological excavations in the UK and Europe, such as prehistoric monuments, Roman cities and medieval castles.
Placements and study abroad
You'll be able to enhance your employability by applying for placements. You will gain professional experience through opportunities within the Department’s own research projects or with our three on-site museums, as well as build your network with a summer placement.
Additionally, you’ll have the opportunity to spend one term abroad at one of our partner universities in Europe and the US, such as:
- Aarhus University in Denmark
- the University of Florida
- the University of Malta
- the University of Torun in Poland.