Archaeology isn’t just excavations but a variety of lab based courses. I chose this course because it allows students to do a combination of both scientific and non-scientific modules. Students have the flexibility to explore many different areas within archaeology.
The placement year gives you the opportunity to gain real experience and professional training within your degree in order to kick-start your career. It is unique and valued throughout the archaeological world.
We have sent students to every continent over the 40 years the programme has been running.
Learning and assessment
Stage 1 introduces you to a range of archaeological periods, regions and materials, and the development of archaeology as a discipline. Practical modules such as Introduction to Archaeological Methods and Field Recording Skills allow you to handle real archaeological materials and explore methods of field survey and the principles of stratigraphy. Through the Scientific Frameworks module, you are also introduced to the main scientific techniques used in modern archaeology.
Stage 2 develops your critical thinking and offers an element of optionality in your studies. Participation in Archaeological Fieldwork is allocated by a CV and letter of application and allows first-hand experience of excavation and recording, enabling you to make own decisions under supervision. Understanding Artefacts logically follows the excavation stage and demonstrates the processes needed to understand archaeological artefacts and how they inform wider archaeological debates. Heritage Management with GIS follows British Archaeology in examining the legal and financial context of the discipline.
Other optional modules complement the core modules examining ethical and scientific issues (Bioarchaeology: Humans, Plants and Animals) and cultural archaeology from the Palaeolithic to the Viking period (Prehistoric Societies; Celts, Anglo-Saxons and Vikings).
Stage 3 develops your critical thinking further, and allows greater self-learning through the Dissertation. Bones, Bodies and Burials builds on Biological Anthropology: From Human Evolution to Forensic Anthropology (stage 1) and Bioarchaeology: Humans, Plants and Animals and Interpreting Archaeology (stage 2) to permit the detailed study of human remains in their cultural context.
Assessment methods include:
- laboratory reports
- poster (in the placement year)
- oral presentations
- research designs
- reflective journals
The research design and dissertation develops your ability to undertake independent research and plan this research effectively.
We have a range of outstanding analytical facilities including:
- The Biological Anthropology Research Centre, which holds the largest collection of human skeletal remains in any archaeology department in the UK, including specimens from the Neolithic to the 19th century
- Three osteology laboratories; histology and microscopy laboratories
- A newly refurbished radiography suite with both traditional and digital radiography equipment
- We are a leading centre for multi-isotope analysis of archaeological materials including bone, teeth, hair, shell and pottery ‘foodcrusts’ through the analysis of the stable isotopes of hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and sulphur
- Laboratories for archaeological geophysics; lithic microwear analysis; soils / biological processing, and environmental archaeology
- Dedicated Forensic Taphonomy and Conservation laboratories
- Dedicated Crime Scene House and Field Station at Oxenhope Moor
- Project work-rooms including the Iron Age Research Laboratory and the North Atlantic Research Laboratory
- New in-house Visualisation Suite encompasses a wide range of archaeological imaging and analysis capability
Study abroad opportunities
During the summer of 2022, two students spent time at an intensive human osteology workshop in Transylvania (Romania).
Our students have commented on the benefits of learning the practical examples of their careers, such as excavating and washing bones whilst being in a new cultural environment. Whilst studying abroad, students also benefitted from financial support from the Turing Fund and alumni donations.
Hollie Christelow commented that "the juvenile osteology programme led by Dr Bethard is incredibly insightful...the small laboratory group allows for daily hands-on experience with the skeletal remains..."
Students were also able to split their time between practical experiences in Romania and studying in the USA within the same year. The Study Abroad programme provides students with the flexibility to choose from a broad range of practical experiences which ensures they are employable when they graduate.
Our comprehensive support services will help you to achieve your full potential – both academically and personally.
We provide all you need to make the very best of your time with us, and successfully progress through your studies and on into the world of graduate employment.
Our support services include:
- Personal tutors
- Disability services
- Counselling services
- MyBradford student support centres
- The Students’ Union
- Chaplaincy and faith advisers
- An on-campus nursery
- Halls wardens
We have well-stocked libraries and excellent IT facilities across campus. These facilities are open 24 hours a day during term time, meaning you’ll always find a place to get things done on campus.
Our Academic Skills Advice Service will work with you to develop your academic, interpersonal and transferable skills.
Archaeological Sciences at Bradford has a long-established reputation as one of the key centres for archaeological research in the UK. Bringing together staff from both Humanities and Science backgrounds within a single centre, we have created a powerful and distinctive research identity which blends cultural archaeology with cutting edge science.