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A skull.

This is Archaeology

Link the past to the present

Archaeology is the study of people: their societies and their environments

Our approach is multidisciplinary and research-led, bridging the sciences and the humanities. This means you'll graduate as a well-rounded professional equipped for a career directly related to your studies but also able to pursue a whole host of different career paths.

We integrate traditional archaeology with the practical application of scientific methods that are applied to today's archaeology.

Our unique work placement, a one-year professional training scheme, has run successfully for over 25 years and greatly enhances your student experience and employability. You'll also have access to outstanding facilities and collections, and have the opportunity for regular field trips.

This course is accredited by the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA) and University Archaeology UK (UAUK). Students who have completed the placement year can apply for Associate Membership of the Institute for Archaeologists. 

Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA) logo

Bradford archaeology graduates are highly sought after by employers

Archaeology graduates at the University of Bradford are regularly headhunted by commercial firms, according to programme leaders.

Part of that is down to a national shortage of archaeologists but another part is that Bradford has one of the world’s leading schools and a breadth of experience that spans over 40 years.

With a range of courses, students could end up on a placement abroad, using LIDAR (laser scanning) equipment, specialising in forensics, using VR to recreate historical monuments and much more.

See our news article on our archaeology students being head-hunted

University of Bradford honoured with Queen's Anniversary Prize for outstanding archaeology

We have been awarded a 2021 Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for our world-leading work in developing archaeological technology and techniques and its influence on practice, policy and society.

The prestigious accolade, which honours world-class excellence and achievement, is the highest form of national recognition that UK higher education institutions can achieve. The University has been honoured for its leadership and innovation in pioneering the techniques, technology and practices of archaeology both in the UK and worldwide.

logo for the queens anniversary prize 2021

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.

A student writing in a notebook while sitting at a table that has human bones spread out on top of tablecloth

Courses in this subject

All of our archaeology courses can be studied for three years, or for four years with a placement year.

We have 6 courses in this area.

Archaeology BSc (Hons)

Study level:
UCAS code:
3 years
Attendance mode:

Our facilities

Our human remains lab is equipped with plastazote foam tables to lay out skeletons for observation, a photography rig, and an interactive touchscreen for exploring 3D anatomical and skeletal models.

Brand new industry-standard equipment

We have received over £6M in investment from the Arts and Humanities Council to improve our facilities.

You can gain hands-on experience with:

  • X-radiography, cone beam and micro CT to analyse human and artefactual remains
  • Isotope analysis to reconstruct diet, health and disease in the past
  • Ground penetrating radar and electrical resistance tomography for locating buried sites
  • Mobile mapping, photogrammetry and drone capability to record sites
  • Augmented, virtual and mixed reality immersive spaces to present and analyse data
  • A full suite of simulated crime scenes
Student using equipment to visualise an excavation site.

Our all-new lab space will be versatile and equipped to teach a wide variety of topics, including:

  • Principles of geophysical prospection
  • Chemical analysis of archaeological materials
  • Identification of plant and animal remains
  • Conservation
  • Archaeological recording and drawing

We've also invested in a new IT suite.

With a competitive job market, we aim to form partnerships within industry to provide training of people working in the sector.

Research in the archaeological and heritage sectors is constantly developing. As the sector grows, so does the need for digital skills.

Our new IT suite will give you the chance to use cutting-edge software and high-spec computers. You'll learn how to interpret the data gathered about landscapes, buildings and objects.

Meet our students and alumni

This is where I break taboos

"We have one of the largest human skeletal collections. We actually start working with it from day one. Hands-on experience is more important than just theoretical knowledge."

Stefan, BSc (Hons) Forensic Archaeology and Anthropology

Where archaeology can take you

Our Archaeology degrees open up a variety of different career options, including:

  • Field Archaeologist
  • Heritage Consultant
  • Museum Officer 
  • Cultural Resource Manager 
  • University Lecturer

There is a range of other career opportunities available, including computing, management, teaching and other areas.

A group of Archaeology students looking at a bone.

Keep in touch

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This is Bradford

You can become the very best version of yourself at the University of Bradford.
It’s a place where amazing things happen.

This is where you’ll expand your mind and make lifelong friends.
This is where you’ll grow, learn, experience.

This is a place you can belong.

And we’ll support you every step of the way.