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Archaeology

Archaeology at St Andrews is a multidisciplinary subject that draws on material culture from a wide chronological and geographical area, from the Bronze Age to the Medieval periods, and from the Mediterranean to Scotland.

In your studies, you will use different methodologies to understand past societies. Topics can include landscape studies, gender, death, islands. You will get to examine material such as pottery from the University’s own collection and learn new techniques.

Modules and degrees involving archaeology at St Andrews lay the foundation for you to take a specialist position anywhere in the world, including in conservations studies, cultural heritage, museums, or teaching.

Archaeology courses

Your studies

The student-staff ratio in archaeology is small, meaning you will have plenty of individual contact with your professors and tutors. They will help you develop a course of studies that is tailored to your individual interests.

Practical experience is a central part of the archaeology programmes, and you may have opportunities to join professors working on site in locations such as Greece and Italy, either as part of a module or through work experience. Other opportunities include:

  • Staff and the Archaeology Society helps students find placements. Students in the past have worked in Spain, Italy, Greece, the US, Ireland, UK, France and many other places on site and in museums.
  • The School of Classics travel bursaries support students undertaking fieldwork, research in museums, language schools, and archaeology internships.  
  • Internships are also available to work with School of Classics’ staff on their own research projects.
  • Students are welcome to undertake their own projects on the University’s archaeology collection.

As well as collaborating with archaeology colleagues across the University, the School of Classics has strong connections with the British School at Athens and the British School at Rome. There is also the opportunity to broaden your archaeology horizons at William & Mary through a joint BA International Honours programme.

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:

  • the archaeology of Greece
  • early medieval Scotland
  • medieval St Andrews
  • coastal archaeology
  • landscape archaeology
  • the Roman army
  • the city of Rome
  • Late Antique Mediterranean
  • museum studies.

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.