BA Ancient History and Archaeology with Study Abroad

Duration4 Years
Typical offerAAB-ABB; IB: 34-32
  • Archaeology
  • Classics and Ancient History
Location Streatham (Exeter)


No previous knowledge of Latin or Greek is required.

The Ancient History and Archaeology programme combines two distinct but overlapping disciplines which use a range of different techniques and sources to examine the past. You will consider the main issues of Greek and Roman history, society and political life; and explore the ways in which Greeks and Romans thought about their own past. Your Ancient History modules will complement the Archaeological aspects of your studies, as you learn archaeological techniques, the chronology of archaeological periods and the main themes from early prehistory to the Middle Ages.

If you choose to study Ancient History and Archaeology, you will study 60 credits per year from the Ancient History programme (including the core modules Greek and Roman History) and 60 credits from Archaeology. For Ancient History, all texts are usually taught in translation, so you don’t have to study Latin or Greek language modules unless you choose to.

Programme structure

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

The Ancient History and Archaeology degree programme is made up of compulsory (core) and optional modules, which are worth 15 or 30 credits each. Full-time undergraduate students need to complete modules worth a total of 120 credits each year.

Depending on your programme you can take up to 30 credits each year in another subject, for instance a language or business module, to develop career-related skills or just widen your intellectual horizons.

Year 1

The first year gives you a foundational knowledge of archaeological and ancient history theory and concepts. You will also gain important analytical techniques that will be useful across a range of subjects and research tasks.

Compulsory modules

Year 2

In the second year you will advance your grasp of archaeological and ancient history knowledge and methods through a set of compulsory modules, including fieldwork. Optional modules enable you to develop specialist knowledge on a range of topics.

Year 3

Students will spend the third year of their studies in a partner university on an Erasmus/Socrates exchange or other approved programme of study. The year abroad comprises 120 credits and assessment is based on the credits gained at the partner institution.

Year 4

The centre-point of the final year is the dissertation. This provides you with the opportunity to explore an area of interest and to demonstrate what you have learned over the previous years of your degree. You will also take up to three other specialist modules to create a programme of work fully reflecting your interests.

Entry requirements 2017

Typical offer

AAB-ABB; IB: 34-32

Programmes with Study Abroad

Entry for programmes ‘with Study Abroad’ is offered on the basis that you will spend your time abroad at an institution where the teaching and examining is delivered in English. However, we also have partners that teach in French, Spanish and German. Should you wish to study at one of these institutions you will need to take modules through the Foreign Language Centre up to ‘Advanced’ standard in the appropriate language. In order to reach this standard before the year abroad, students usually need to have entered the University with the equivalent of a good GCSE or AS level (or higher) in that language.

International students

International students should check details of our English language requirements and may be interested in our Foundation programmes.

Further information

Please read the important information about our Typical offer.

For full and up-to-date information on applying to Exeter and entry requirements, including requirements for other types of qualification, please see the Applying section.

Learning and teaching

Our department has a relaxed and friendly atmosphere and you’ll benefit from small group teaching and plenty of contact with staff.  You’ll learn through lectures, seminars, tutorials, field trips and computer-led learning. Seminars complement lectures by encouraging you to explore issues in small group discussion meetings and our first year tutorial system concentrates on study methods and core skills. You’ll have 1-3 teaching hours per module per week (for an average of 10 hours per week across all modules) and will need to allow for additional hours of private study. You should expect your total workload to average about 40 hours per week during term time.

We aim to develop your skills of analysis and interpretation as well as providing you with a wide range of transferable skills, both practical and intellectual.

You will carry out a large amount of practical work as you complete assignments and put into practice different archaeological and scientific techniques. We frequently employ experiments in our teaching about ancient technologies (eg, flint knapping, pot making, bronze smelting and casting). Everyone completes at least four weeks’ practical work, usually during the first summer vacation, and we have excellent provision of technical equipment for field study, including GPS, total station theodolite and geophysical equipment.

We’re actively engaged in introducing new methods of learning and teaching, including increasing use of interactive computer-based approaches to learning through our virtual learning environment, where the details of all modules are stored in an easily navigable website. You can access detailed information about modules and learning outcomes and interact through activities such as the discussion forums.

Research-inspired teaching

Teaching inspired by research ensures lectures are up-to-date and relevant and you will benefit from access to the latest thinking, equipment and resources. All staff teach third year options which are linked to their own interests which include the study of topics as diverse as maritime archaeology and Egyptology. You’ll also be encouraged to participate in research projects and be able to choose dissertation topics that contribute original research to a project.

Academic Support

All students have a Personal Tutor who is available for advice and support throughout your studies.  There are also a number of services on campus where you can get advice and information, including the Students' Guild Advice Unit.


We have outstanding facilities that include: experimental archaeology laboratories; clean lab with fume cupboards for chemical work; a landscape archaeology project office, complete with giant scanner for maps and plans; microscope room equipped with high-spec microscopes and image processing facilities; a kiln room for ceramics and other experimental purposes; wet labs for artefact and environmental sample processing; sets of high- and low-power teaching microscopes and state-of-the-art surveying equipment (including resistivity equipment, magnetometer, differential and hand-held GPS and total station theodolite and geophysical equipment). We also have extensive reference collections of artefacts, animal bones and plant remains.


You must pass your first year assessment in order to progress to the second year, but the results do not count towards your degree classification. For three-year programmes, the assessments in the second and third years contribute to your final degree classification. For four-year programmes the assessments in the second, third and fourth years all contribute to your final degree classification.

Assessment includes formal exams and assessed coursework, including essays and projects as well as practical assignments and field work notebooks. Formal exams contribute about 40 per cent of your overall assessment.

Study abroad

A four year ‘with Study Abroad’ degree programme is available. A full year abroad, at one of our renowned partner institutions, is generally taken in the third year of a four year degree programme. You can apply directly for the four year 'with Study Abroad' programme, or transfer from another programme once you are at Exeter.


No Archaeology degree is complete without a field trip.  Field trips are made to local museums, archives and archaeological sites. You will also undertake at least four weeks of excavation, field work or related practical work usually during your first summer vacation.

Excavation may take you far from home, or just around the corner; over recent years Exeter students have experienced fieldwork in as diverse locations as Argentina, Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan, South Dakota, Texas, and here in Devon. In some cases, fieldwork may consist of archaeological work in a museum rather than excavation.

The majority of students carry out fieldwork in relation to research being carried out by academic staff and details of fieldwork locations vary each year. Find out more about our research.

Here are a few examples of recent fieldwork:

  • Excavation in prehistoric ‘Plains Indian’ village in Mitchell, South Dakota
  • Experimental archaeology project involving the smelting of metals in wind-powered furnaces in Sri Lanka
  • Geophysical survey of ceremonial site of Taquara/Itarare people near El Dorado, Argentina
  • Survey of antique buildings at World Heritage Site in Butrint, Albania
  • Expedition to Gault, Texas, to examine one of the oldest sites of habitation in North America
  • Survey and excavation at medieval manorial complex at Stokenham in Devon
  • Exploration of early iron working on Exmoor
  • Excavation and survey work in Kazakhstan to explore early domestication of horses


A degree in Classics and Ancient History will provide you with skills which are highly valuable to employers across many sectors.  You will develop an advanced knowledge of other cultures, learning how to think logically and independently, to interpret and critique sources, to assess evaluate information and to communicate in a sophisticated way.

Six months after graduating, 91.9%* of our Classics and Ancient History students are employed or in further study. As a Classics and Ancient History graduate, you will have an array of different industries open to you, such as museum and heritage work, education, journalism, business, and law. Our recent graduates have since secured a variety of positions, such as:

  • Editorial Assistant (Publishing)
  • Educator
  • Marketing Executive
  • PR Assistant
  • Trainee Chartered Accountant
  • Officer Cadet

Further Study

A degree in Classics and Ancient History will put you in an excellent position to pursue postgraduate study after you have graduated. Our recent graduates have since enrolled on courses such as:

  • MA History
  • MA International Relations
  • MSc Bioarchaeology
  • MSc International Management
  • Graduate Diploma in Law
  • Msc Library and Information Studies

Career Zone

The services offered by the Humanities careers and employability team are complementary to the services offered by our central Career Zone, where you can participate in practical sessions to develop your skills; access paid internships and volunteering opportunities; explore postgraduate study options; meet prospective employers; get one-to-one advice and learn how to secure the right job for you. 

*First–degree University of Exeter graduates of Classics and Ancient History. HESA Performance Indicator sourced from the DLHE survey 2013/14.

‌Find out more about careers in Classics and Ancient History and Archaeology

Contact us

Streatham Campus, Exeter

Phone: +44 (0)1392 724202

Website: Visit the Classics and Ancient History website