Advanced Diploma in British Archaeology

Key facts

Level: Third-year undergraduate level (FHEQ Level 6) 

Mode: Part-time

Duration: One year

Application Deadline: 9 March 2017

Advanced Diploma in British Archaeology

The Advanced Diploma in British Archaeology is an undergraduate part-time course especially designed to suit adult students with busy lives and other commitments, but who would like to further their interest in archaeology through an academic course.

The one-year part-time modular course aims to provide you with an academic grounding in British Archaeology, and to increase your understanding of the skills and techniques needed to recover, process and evaluate archaeological evidence, together with research and writing a 10,000 word dissertation in a subject of your choice in British Archaeology. The dissertation may refer to one or more of the modules taken as part of the Diploma and Advanced Diploma in British Archaeology.


There are three possible modules, with one module offered each year. The Advanced Diploma is based on the third module not yet taken for the Diploma.

The modules are:

  • Later Prehistoric and Roman Britain October 2017
  • Anglo-Saxon, Viking and Medieval Britain October 2018
  • Early Prehistoric Britain October 2019

Programme details


Module 2: Later Prehistoric and Roman Britain

This course explores the late Bronze Age, Iron Age and Roman period in Britain - covering the first millenium BC through to the early fifth century AD. This was a time of great technological, economic and social change, which we will study through landscape, settlement and material culture evidence. What were the differing social implications of living in hillforts and roundhouses, and towns and villas? How can we trace the impact of the continent on Britain's cultural and political relationships? This course will explore these and other questions.

Teaching programme
Classes will be held on Thursday evenings 7.00 - 9.00pm at Rewley House, 1 Wellington Square, Oxford OX1 2JA

Michaelmas term 2017

Term dates to be determined shortly

Hilary term 2018

Term dates to be determined shortly

Trinity term 2018

Term dates to be determined shortly


The syllabus and teaching of the course are aimed at third-year undergraduate level and students are eligible for the award of 60 transferable credit (CATS) points at FHEQ Level 6 on successful completion of the one-year module.

Award and credit transfer

An Undergraduate Advanced Diploma will be awarded to each student on completion of the course. Credit points may be transferred to the Open University, modular universities such as Oxford Brookes University, and other institutions of Higher Education. For further information about transfer of credit, contact the Student Adviser on 01865 280355 or

Successful students will be awarded an Oxford University Undergraduate Advanced Diploma in Archaeology. Outstanding performance will qualify for a Distinction. You will be invited to receive your diploma at the annual Awards Ceremony of the Department for Continuing Education, held at Oxford’s Sheldonian Theatre.

IT requirements

This course uses the Department’s online assignment submission system. In order to prepare and submit your course assignments you will need access to the Internet and a computer meeting our recommended minimum computer specification. Students of this course may use the student computing facilities provided in Departmental buildings.

Contact information

If you would like an informal discussion on academic matters before making your application you may contact the following:

Dr Alison MacDonald 01865 270370

Award Programme Office 01865 280154 / 270369
For queries on applications and admissions

Student Advice 01865 280355
For general guidance and advice, credit transfer, special needs provision, residential category and sources of funding:

Study Skills 01865 280892
For information about Study Skills courses:

Day & Weekend School Office 01865 270368 / 270380
For information on day schools and weekend courses:

OUDCE Reception 01865 270360
For general enquiries about OUDCE or to leave messages if other staff are not available.

Teaching outcomes

It is anticipated that by the end of the module you will have achieved the following:

  • Knowledge of the nature, extent and limitations of the archaeological evidence for the Early Prehistoric period in Britain;
  • An understand of the chronological and social developments which are recognisable in Early Prehistoric archaeology;
  • An understanding of, and ability to evaluate, the range of current archaeological methods and techniques used for recovering and analysing evidence for the Early Prehistoric period;
  • An appreciation of the complementary relationship of archaeology to other disciplines and their importance in increasing our understanding of Early Prehistoric archaeology.

Study commitment

There are evening teaching sessions during term time, plus tutorials, weekend field visits and either a practical course held over two weekends or one week (or equivalent) practical fieldwork. You are given a programme of reading for the teaching sessions and the written work. Assessment is based on three assignments, a practical logbook and a 10,000 word dissertation.

You are expected to undertake the necessary background reading and research for the course work using the facilities of the Continuing Education Library at Rewley House and other libraries. It is estimated that time spent in reading, preparing course work, visiting museums, libraries and sites will average 12 hours per week in term-time in addition to the teaching sessions.

Teaching staff

Course Director: Dr Alison MacDonald, OUDCE
A range of tutors will teach specifc topics.

Student support

Academic advice and support will be provided by the Course Director, Dr Alison MacDonald, and by the course tutors. In addition, the Department runs a programme of Study Skills workshops designed to enable you to develop and improve the skills needed for effective study. You can view full details of this programme, or contact the Study Skills office at or 01865 280892. For advice and information on educational opportunities, credit transfer, special needs provision and sources of funding please contact the OUDCE Student Adviser on 01865 280355 or

Course requirements


The course requires attendance at:

  • A minimum of 80% of the teaching sessions;
  • Either two practical weekends or one week (or equivalent) practical fieldwork.


Students are required to complete:

  • 3 assignments of up to 2,500 words;
  • A practical logbook of up to 4,000 words, to include a choice of learning tasks based on the practical training, visits to archaeological sites and/or museums and comparative site/artefact accounts, and a reflective discussion.
  • A 10,000 word dissertation on a topic agreed with the course director. 4 (max 6) individual tutorials on your dissertation topic with your supervisor. Full regulations and conventions will be included in the Course Handbook which is given to students at the beginning of the academic year.

Apply for this course

Continuing students

OUDCE Diploma students who wish to progress to the Advanced Diploma should return a completed application form with a statement of reasons for wanting to apply to the course. No reference is necessary.

Together with the application form, others should submit a reference and additional materials: (i) a statement (preferably typewritten) of 200-300 words explaining why you wish to enrol on this course, and (ii) details of any previous experience in the subject and membership of relevant societies or groups.

If possible, your referee should be a person who can comment on your academic ability and background, but where this is not appropriate, you should name a referee who can vouch for your motivation, commitment and potential. A reference from a family member is not acceptable.

Please read carefully the instructions on the reference form. When you have received your reference, return the unopened envelope with your application form and your statement to:

Award Programme Administrator
Rewley House
1 Wellington Square
Oxford OX1 2JA

Successful applicants should normally provide evidence of the following:

  • Motivation and an awareness of the time commitment
  • Previous interest or experience in archaeology or related subjects
  • Potential academic ability
  • Appropriate previous study

Late applications will be considered if there are still places on the course, but applications cannot be considered after the course has begun. Please contact the Award Programme Administrator on 01865 270369 to check availability. The final decision on course entry rests with OUDCE.


The fee for 2016-2017 is £2,305 (EU students) or £4,335 (non-EU students). A non-refundable deposit of £200 is required on acceptance of a place and the balance of the fee is payable in instalments. The fee includes tuition for the practical fieldwork or the two practical weekends. Accommodation during these periods may be available at Rewley House at an additional charge.

Additional expenses

Students are not required to buy books, but there may be a few recommended key texts which you may like to buy. Transport for field trips and the practical field work is normally arranged on a car sharing basis by the students themselves. Costs of any additional hire of transport would be paid for by the students. Entry fees to museums or sites are paid individually by the students.

Non-EU students

This course is not suitable for non-EU students who do not already live in the UK before the course begins. For information, refer to

Funding and financial assistance

For information on student funding, please visit our fees and funding pages
For more detailed information on all of the above, contact the Registry on 01865 280355 or

Terms and conditions

Terms and conditions for applicants and students on this course

Sources of funding

Information on financial support