Our BSc Archaeological Science with Professional Placement is one of the top scientific archaeology courses in the UK. You'll benefit from outstanding teaching collections and laboratory facilities – with dedicated spaces for the analysis of human remains, artefacts, plant pollen, and archaeological soils and sediments.
Join a University that's ranked in the top 10 UK universities for Archaeology according to the QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2021.
We have an outstanding track record for student satisfaction, with satisfaction scores of 90-100% for the quality of our courses in the National Student Survey, 2010-2020.
BSc Archaeological Science differs from our BA Archaeology course as it concentrates much more on the scientific and forensic aspects of archaeology. On this course, you will gain a wide range of skills to assist you in the study of human bones (including osteology and palaeopathology), enabling you to learn more about past societies, diets and diseases.
You will have the opportunity to participate in a dedicated Field School during your course, providing you with direct hands-on experience in all aspects of an archaeological excavation. Put your skills into practice, including excavation, surveying, GIS (geographical information systems) mapping, planning, and finds processing, and contribute to archaeological knowledge through our discoveries.
The course also has a strong focus on environmental archaeology and geoarchaeology, through which you will make fascinating discoveries about ancient human societies, as well as the evolution of landscapes and climate change.
This diverse approach presents you with many areas to explore and specialise in, providing you with plenty of options for your final-year dissertation.
If you are interested in studying abroad, you have the opportunity to spend a term at Aarhus University in Denmark or the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, Poland in your second year, getting to know a new academic and cultural environment.
This four-year degree course includes a placement, giving you the opportunity to develop valuable professional and international experience.
We provide opportunities for you to undertake placements in a variety of contexts. Placements are an excellent way to enhance your work-related skills and develop a network of contacts, as well as strengthen your employability prospects.
Opportunities are available working across the Archaeological, Heritage, Planning and Museum sectors including: research institutions, government organisations, local planning authorities, archaeological consultancies, field units, specialists and archivists. 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 Archaeology degree.
Recent examples include:
- Traineeship with Oxford Archaeology
- Traineeship at the Field School
- Archaeological science placement at QUEST, the University of Reading’s scientific consultancy company
- Volunteering at the Ure Museum, Cole Museum of Zoology and the Museum of English Rural Life
- Human remains placement
- Mediterranean Palaeoclimate Project placement
- Hominin Skeletal Morphology placement
- Archaeological Graphics placement
- Lithics Reference Collection placement
- “Developing Experimental Archaeology for Research and Training” placement
- “The Ecology of Crusading: Isotope Analysis and Faunal Remains” placement
- Summer Enterprise Experience and Discovery internship scheme
Our department has a dedicated member of staff in charge of placements, who can provide you with advice and support.
For more information about securing and completing a placement for your placement year, please visit our Important Information page.
Students opting to undertake a standard three-year degree course will also have the opportunity to take a fully-credited placement or to spend a single term at one of our partner Universities abroad. Current options include the Universities of Malta, Aarhus (Denmark), Torún (Poland) and the University of Florida in Gainesville (U.S.A.).
Our BA Archaeology and BSc Archaeological Science courses are accredited by the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA) and are among the first recognised for providing key skills relevant to careers in the historic environment. Student membership of CIfA is offered to all students enrolled on these courses, who then have access to CIfA's e-learning modules and specialist professional networks, which also provides details of available jobs in the profession. CIfA membership is a desirable asset for many jobs in the heritage sector.