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.


Undergraduate - 2020 entry

Students may take Archaeology as an integrated part of the degree programmes below.

Ancient History & Archaeology MA (Hons)
Medieval History & Archaeology MA (Hons)
Classical Studies - Ancient History and Archaeology pathway  BA (International Hons)
Gateway to Arts Pathway to MA (Hons)
FE-HE Pathway to Arts Pathway to MA (Hons)

International Foundation programmes - 2020 entry

International Foundation programmes prepare international students for undergraduate study in the UK and at the University of St Andrews in particular.

Social Sciences and Humanities September Foundation
Social Sciences and Humanities January Foundation 

Postgraduate - 2020 entry


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


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

Student life

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.

Visit St Andrews


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

Upcoming visiting days:

  • Wednesday 1 April 2020
  • Wednesday 8 April 2020
  • Wednesday 15 April 2020

Visit us


Upcoming visiting days:

  • Wednesday 11 March 2020

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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.

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.

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 £1,500 per year are available and determined on financial need.

The School of Classics offers 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 £1,500 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.

Accommodation awards of up to £1,500 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 first in the UK by the Guardian University Guide 2020 and first in Scotland by the Complete University Guide 2020 for overall student satisfaction and quality of teaching and research.‌

It was also ranked second in the UK for research excellence in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014.



The School of History was ranked first in Scotland by the Guardian University Guide 2020 and fourth in the UK by the Complete University Guide 2020 for overall student satisfaction and quality of teaching and research.

It was also ranked top in Scotland in the Research Excellence Framework (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