Degrees in Archaeology
2017 entry

St Andrews offers three MA (Honours) degrees with an integrated archaeological component, as well as a BA International Honours pathway. Archaeology at St Andrews is predominantly concerned with the culture and society of historical periods, especially the Classical world and mediaeval Europe, rather than with archaeological science, and its Archaeology degrees are hosted by the Schools of Classics and History. It is also possible to take a degree that incorporates joint Honours with Social Anthropology.

What can I study with Archaeology?

You can take Archaeology as part of the following single and joint Honours degrees:

Applications for 2017 entry for this course have now closed, see which courses are available for the upcoming academic year.

Course type

Master of Arts

Course duration

Four years full time

Entry requirements

Ancient History & Archaeology (single Honours) and Ancient History & Archaeology and Social Anthropology (joint Honours) have the following entry requirements. 

SQA Highers AABB
GCE A-Levels AAB
IB points 36

Mediaeval History & Archaeology (single Honours) has the following entry requirements. Preference may be given to candidates offering strong History qualifications over and above the stated minimum requirements.

SQA Highers AAAB, normally including History
GCE A-Levels AAA, normally including History
IB points 36, including HL6 in History

For degrees combining more than one subject, the subject with the higher entry requirements determines the grades you need. You will also need to meet any further subject specific entrance requirements as outlined on their pages.

Find out more about international entry requirements.

Applications for 2017 entry for this course have now closed, see which courses are available for the upcoming academic year.

Do I need to have studied this subject before?

You do not need previous knowledge of Archaeology to apply.

Faculty entry requirements

You must also meet the Faculty of Arts minimum qualifications. These vary depending on which qualifications you hold.  

Other qualifications

Passes in other examinations at equivalent levels and subjects may be accepted by the Dean of the Faculty.

Find out more about Faculty of Arts entry requirements.

Course information

The degrees that incorporate Archaeology are run by several Schools and Departments in the University, though training in archaeological principles and analysis is primarily given by archaeologists working in the School of Classics. The courses focus on the broad applications of archaeology to history and culture, and the physical remains of past societies, rather than formal or professional training in archaeological science.

During your first two years of study, archaeology is integrated into modules on Ancient History and Mediaeval History. The emphasis during this time is in learning to use archaeological and historical sources together. Some modules include specific archaeological segments and topics and offer the choice to conduct assessed work on archaeological themes.

At Honours level, you undertake advanced training in archaeological principles and analysis and choose from a wide range of modules that are largely or entirely archaeological in content.

Find out more about studying Archaeology at St Andrews.


Staff within the University occasionally conduct active fieldwork programmes. When these programmes are running, students are encouraged to apply for placement. If they are not running, every effort is made to help students find a place on an archaeological project.

Find out more about fieldwork experience.


In the first two years of your degree (known as sub-honours), the modules you take depend on which degree programme you have chosen. There are no separate modules in Archaeology at this level, and Archaeology is taught as an integral part of approaches to understanding ancient and mediaeval societies. Find out more about the modular Scottish degree system.

Students taking Ancient History & Archaeology take the following compulsory first-year modules:

  • Greek History to Alexander the Great: provides a broad survey of ancient Greek History from the Archaic period (c. 800 BC) to the reign of Alexander the Great, including the archaeology of Athens and Sparta.
  • Roman History from Foundation to Empire: focuses on the rise of Rome to world power from humble beginnings, examining the political, cultural and economic consequences of imperialism, including its impact on the archaeology of the city of Rome.

Students taking Ancient History & Archaeology and Social Anthropology will also take the first-year modules in Social Anthropology.

Students taking Mediaeval History & Archaeology take:

Students taking Ancient History & Archaeology typically take the following second-year modules:

  • The Roman Empire: explores the Roman empire with particular reference both to social, religious and economic changes as well as to political and military history.
  • Mediterranean Communities: examines the human settlement and material culture of the entire Mediterranean world throughout classical antiquity.

Students taking Ancient History & Archaeology and Social Anthropology will also take the second-year modules in Social Anthropology.

 Students taking Mediaeval History & Archaeology take the following compulsory second-year module:

  • Mediaeval Europe (1000 – 1400): examines key themes that helped to shape Western Europe from the 11th to 14th centuries, a period known as the ‘High Middle Ages’.

and choose at least one from the following:

  • Mediterranean Communities: deals with the human settlement and material culture of the entire Mediterranean World throughout classical antiquity.
  • History as a Discipline: Development and Key Concepts: provides an introduction to key theoretical and methodological approaches which have characterised the emergence of History as a discipline since mediaeval times.
  • Introduction to Middle Eastern History: provides an introduction to Middle Eastern history from the dramatic reconfiguration of the Middle East in late Antiquity to its contested and contentious recent past.
  • Scotland, Britain and Empire (c. 1500-2000): provides an introduction to how and why the British nation state evolved from the separate kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland and how and why it has survived over the last three centuries.

If you take any of these degrees in your third and fourth years, you will take the following compulsory third-year module:

  • Principles and Techniques in Archaeology: provides an induction to the practical conduct of archaeology and how it affects the results of excavations and surveys, and an in-depth introduction to key archaeological topics and theories.

You will then choose from a variety of advanced options which incorporate archaeology into the study of ancient and mediaeval civilisations and cultures, focusing on topics such as castles, cities and urbanisation, networks, ancient art and sculpture, and the Bronze Age civilisations of the Aegean.

Here is a sample of Honours modules which have been offered in previous years:

  • From Pompeii to Aquileia: the Archaeology of Roman Italy (50 BCE – 300 CE)
  • The Archaeology of Minoan Crete
  • In the Footsteps of the Ancients: Exploring the Archaeology and Topography of Greece
  • The City of Rome
  • Art of the Roman Empire
  • Living with Material Culture
  • The Roman Army.

In fourth year, students have the option of undertaking a dissertation of about 10,000 words on an approved topic in Archaeology. This independent project enables you to develop key research skills which are desired by both prospective employers and by graduate schools offering postgraduate degrees.

The modules listed here are the compulsory modules that students must take in order to graduate in this subject. However, most students at St Andrews take additional modules, either in their primary subject or from other subjects they are interested in. A full list of all modules currently available can be found in the module catalogue.

Visit St Andrews

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


Booking for our autumn visiting days will open in early September 2017.

  • Wednesday 27 September 2017
  • Wednesday 4 October 2017
  • Wednesday 18 October 2017
  • Wednesday 25 October 2017
  • Wednesday 1 November 2017


Tuition fees for 2017 entry

Scotland and EU £1,820
Rest of the UK £9,250
Overseas £20,570

For overseas students, tuition fees will be fixed at this level for the duration of your programme.

More information on tuition fees can be found on the undergraduate fees and funding page.

Accommodation fees

Find out about accommodation fees for University accommodation in 2017.

Funding and scholarships

The University of St Andrews offers a number of scholarships and support packages to undergraduate students each year.

Faculty of Arts scholarships

The Dr Lawrence M Wodehouse Scholarship provides financial assistance for students studying in the Faculty of Arts who are academically gifted but would otherwise struggle with the cost of studying at St Andrews.

The School of Classics offers bursaries for travel (including internships) to archaeological sites, summer schools, museums, and other institutions like the British Schools in Athens and Rome, or to attend approved Latin or Greek summer schools.

Find out more about undergraduate scholarships.

Archaeology degrees

You can take Archaeology alongside one of the following subjects:

  • Ancient History & Archaeology
  • Ancient History & Archaeology and Social Anthropology
  • Mediaeval History & Archaeology

Your future


Although Archaeology at St Andrews does not provide full training necessary for professional archaeology in the UK, some graduates have gone on to work as professional archaeologists nevertheless.

Many students choose to take a professional qualification in Museum and Gallery Studies, while others have done further postgraduate study in Archaeology.

Popular career areas for students who have taken Archaeology alongside Ancient or Mediaeval History include:

  • academia
  • libraries and information
  • publishing
  • museums and galleries
  • journalism.

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students as well as a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.

Study abroad

The University is delighted to offer undergraduates a number of exciting opportunities to apply to spend a semester or year abroad as part of a St Andrews degree programme. St Andrews is partnered with large and small institutions, ancient and young, across the globe. What unites all of our programmes is the quality of the academic provision, ensuring that participation in a St Andrews Study abroad programme opens the door to a new and valuable academic experience at another world-class institution. Study Abroad for credit is permitted on existing University-approved programmes only.

Student life

From the outset, the University of St Andrews offers an array of events and opportunities which result in a truly unique student experience. Students participate in a range of traditions, notably, the red academic gown and the academic family, where older students adopt first year students as ‘children’ and help guide them in a system of mentoring. These traditions and the choice of over 150 sports clubs and student societies to choose from ensures a community feel amongst students from first year onwards.

Students of Archaeology may be interested in joining the following societies:

The School of Classics is housed in Swallowgate, an attractive building which overlooks the sea and is close to the University Library and main quadrangle. Students will typically attend tutorials, seminars and meetings with tutors in this building, while larger lectures are held nearby in St Salvator’s.

The Swallowgate building also houses the School of Classics’ Class Library. The Class Library contains books that supplement the extensive holdings in the main Library and closely support the School’s undergraduate programmes.

The town of St Andrews itself has lots to offer. As the campus is located around town, walking around you encounter ancient and modern buildings and areas of greenery and seaside which provide a rich, beautiful backdrop to learning. If you want a change of scenery, St Andrews' position near surrounding towns and cities such as Anstruther, Dundee and Edinburgh make it ideal for getting to know more about Scotland. Find out more about student life at the University of St Andrews.


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

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2600

Classics website