Archaeology at St Andrews is a wide-ranging, interdisciplinary subject which is integrated into modules delivered by the Schools of Classics and History as well as other related disciplines. Undergraduate and taught postgraduate courses in archaeology have a particular focus on the classical world, mediaeval Europe and Scotland, and provide an education in the wider use of archaeological material for understanding ancient societies.

At taught postgraduate level, courses in museum-related fields and the anthropology of material culture are also available, and research and supervisory expertise in a wide range of archaeological and related fields can be found across the University.



St Andrews does not offer a single Honours degree in Archaeology. Students may take Archaeology as an integrated part of the degree programmes below.

Ancient History & Archaeology MA (Hons)
Ancient History & Archaeology and Social Anthropology MA (Hons)
Mediaeval History & Archaeology MA (Hons)
Classical Studies - Ancient History and Archaeology pathway BA (International Hons)


Find out more about MA degrees in Archaeology.



Art History MLitt
Museum and Gallery Studies MLitt
Classics MLitt
Classics MPhil
Anthropology, Art and Perception MRes
Mediaeval History MLitt
Mediaeval Studies MLitt
Scottish Historical Studies MLitt


Please contact a supervisor in your research area to inquire about PhD opportunities.

Student life

The University hosts two archaeology societies, the University archaeological society, which is a forum for staff, students and townspeople with a general interest in archaeology, and a student archaeology society. Between them, the two societies organise a wide range of talks by expert lecturers, excavators and museum professionals, as well as social events and site visits. The syllabus of lectures delivered by visiting archaeologists provides an opportunity to hear the latest research being conducted in many fields and the results of recent excavations.

In addition to the events and lectures taking place in St Andrews, Archaeology students have many opportunities to go on fieldwork experiences in the UK or abroad. Work experience is invaluable when it comes to securing graduate-level employment and is a great way to expand in your discipline while meeting new people. St Andrews also offers some opportunities for archaeology-related work experience, such as:

Visit St Andrews

If you are interested in studying at St Andrews, join us at a visiting day to explore the town, find out about our courses and meet current students.


Spring visiting days

Our spring visiting days will be announced shortly.

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Upcoming visiting days:

  • Wednesday 14 March 2018

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Latest in Archaeology at St Andrews

The remains of a major new prehistoric stone monument have been discovered less than 3 kilometres from Stonehenge.


St Andrews hosted the 19th Roman Military Equipment Conference RoMEC XVIIII: Cavalry in the Roman World.


Archaeology research areas

Archaeological research at St Andrews is distributed through several Schools and departments, but most are interested with the culture and society of historical periods. The strength of archaeological-related research at St Andrews is in the areas of:

  • museum studies
  • Greece
  • early mediaeval Scotland
  • the Viking world
  • the Roman army
  • the city of Rome
  • Roman Gaul
  • ancient economy.

Research staff:

  • Dr Richard Bates is interested in the application of geophysics to both terrestrial and marine archaeology, and has recently worked on prehistoric sites in Orkney, Jersey, Wales, south-east England, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Qatar.
  • Dr Karen Brown is the Director of the Museums, Galleries and Collections Institute. Her interests include university museums and collections, the history and ethics of museums, museums and communities, and relations between writers and museums.
  • Dr Stephanie Bunn is an anthropologist specializing in material culture. She worked as a sculptor and curator before she came into anthropology and, as well as material culture, is interested in pastoral nomadism, human-environment relationships, learning and skill, childhood, space and perception, vernacular architecture.
  • Dr Jon Coulston is interested in archaeology of the Roman army; Roman military equipment; ancient warfare; Roman architecture; Trajan's Column.
  • Dr Althea Davies is a palaeoecologist and environmental archaeologist with a focus on land-use dynamics in UK mountain and upland areas during the historic period, and the contribution of Holocene palaeoecology to current environmental management. She is also interested in human dimensions of conflicts over natural resource use.
  • Dr Tom Dawson is the Director of the Centre for Archaeology, Technology and Cultural Heritage. He is an archaeologist working coastal archaeology and in particular approaches to managing sites threatened by coastal processes and climate change. He is particularly interested in the role that communities can play in managing their local heritage.
  • Dr Tim Greenwood: mediaeval Byzantium and the Near East (6th to 11th centuries) with particular interest in the Caucasus and Sasanian Persia.
  • Dr Carlos Machado works on the social and cultural history of the Roman Empire, particularly ancient urbanism and civic life, including the history and archaeology of the city of Rome and the epigraphic and material cultures of Italy, and religious and social change in Late Antiquity.
  • Dr Angus Stewart: diplomatic, military and cultural interaction in the eastern Mediterranean world in the age of the Crusades.
  • Dr Ulrike Weiss teaches Museum & Gallery Studies, so heritage and material culture are at the core of her work. Her art historical research focuses on the 18th century, ranging from sculpture to numismatics to court culture.
  • Professor Rebecca Sweetman: archaeology of Roman and Late Antique Greece; fieldwork at Phylakopi, Melos and Sparta.
  • Dr Alex Woolf: development of centralised kingdoms from Iron Age societies; Scottish history to 1050 AD.

Archaeology research centres and institutes

There are three research centres and institutes related to archaeology:

The Centre for Archaeology, Technology and Cultural Heritage is a multi-disciplinary centre that brings together researchers from across the University of St Andrews.

The Centre promotes research into all aspects of past human activity from across the globe, with the aim of making research accessible to the widest audience as possible. The Centre brings together arts and sciences in order to investigate how humans have been influenced by, and changed, their environment.

The Centre for Landscape Studies is an interdisciplinary research centre that brings together researchers from across the University and beyond with interests in real and imagined landscapes. Research themes include memory and landscape, landscapes of myth, the aesthetics of landscape and landscape-viewing, the recording of the landscape and the reconstruction of lost historical landscapes.

Current projects include work on mountains in ancient literature and culture and their modern reception, ancient conflict landscapes, and the landscapes of prehistoric Britain.

The CLAS brings together researchers and students interested in different aspects of the period extending from 250 to 800 CE – from archaeology to religion, from political history to literature – based at different Schools across the University. 

SAIMS focuses on research and teaching in history, mediaeval languages and literatures, art history and theology.

Careers for graduates in Archaeology

Students at St Andrews are encouraged to study a wide range of subjects as part of their degree, and many students working towards degrees in Classics or History will study archaeology.

Archaeology courses at St Andrews do not provide the full training in British archaeology appropriate for someone set on working in professional or commercial archaeology in the UK. Nevertheless, recent graduates have gone on to work as professional archaeologists while others have taken professional qualifications in museum studies.

Postgraduate candidates interested in archaeological research involving prehistory, archaeological science or the archaeology of regions outside Europe and the Near East are advised to apply to other institutions such as the University of Edinburgh or the University of Glasgow.

Work experience

Work experience is invaluable when it comes to securing graduate-level employment. There are a number of archaeology-related opportunities at St Andrews for students to gain work experience:

Funding opportunities

There is a range of funding opportunities available to prospective undergraduates, postgraduates and PhD students.


The University of St Andrews offers a range of scholarships for maintenance and fees. Accommodation awards of up to £3000 per year are available and determined on financial need.

The School of Classics offer bursaries for travel and attendance at language summer schools.

Undergraduate scholarships

Taught postgraduates

The University of St Andrews offers a range of postgraduate funding opportunities. Accommodation awards of up to £3000 per year are available and determined on financial need.

All postgraduate students in the School have access to a travel fund for attending conferences.

Postgraduate taught scholarships

PhD students

The School of Classics sets aside funding each year for PhD scholarships to support applications from both the UK and overseas. These scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic merit and research promise, to cover both fees and stipend.

The School supports suitable eligible applicants for AHRC funding disbursed through the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities.

The School supports suitable applicants for a variety of University administered scholarships, such as the Ewan and Christine Brown scholarship, which is worth £7,500 per year.

Accommodation awards of up to £3000 per year are available and determined on financial need.

All postgraduate students in the School have access to a travel fund for attending conferences.

Funding for PhD students



‌The School of Classics was ranked second in the UK for research excellence in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014. It was also rated third in the UK by the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017 and fourth in the UK by the Complete University Guide 2017 and the Guardian University 2017.


The School of History was top in Scotland in the UK REF 2014 with 80% of overall research activity rated world-leading and internationally excellent.


School of Classics
University of St Andrews
Butts Wynd
St Andrews
KY16 9AL

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2600

Classics website Classics research portal

School of History
University of St Andrews
St Katharine's Lodge
The Scores
St Andrews
KY16 9BA

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 3332

History website History research portal