Undergraduate Certificate in Archaeology
Does the idea of learning to become an archaeologist attract you?
Do you visit museums or monuments and wish you knew more? Do excavations, ancient artefacts or historic landscapes inspire you? Are you intrigued by new discoveries about our shared human past?
If you are fascinated by archaeology and want to learn more about the subject, and to acquire some practical skills, then taking the Certificate in Archaeology is an excellent way to begin.
The Certificate is an introductory, part-time undergraduate course designed for adult students with little or no previous experience of academic archaeology. You may wish to build on some practical experience, or a previous online or evening class, or have a personal interest in the subject inspired by museum visits and TV documentaries. All are welcome to apply.
The Tuesday evening classes and Saturday field trips, fieldwork and workshops are taken by University teaching staff and professional archaeologists. The Certificate is awarded by Oxford University once the two years have been successfully completed.
Who is it for?
Enthusiasm, commitment and a high degree of motivation are important if you are to enjoy and complete the course. No formal academic qualifications are required for entry. Potential students will be invited by the Course Director to come and to discuss the appropriateness of the course for their needs, following submission of the application form. Offers of places will be based on evidence of motivation, an awareness of the time commitment and the suitability of the level of study.
This two-year part-time course aims to demonstrate the development of archaeology as a subject and will introduce how archaeologists work today. People and societies from the past will be explored using evidence from Britain and other parts of Europe.
In the first-year module the ideas and discoveries of early archaeologists will be examined, followed by a consideration of recent research and the current methods and techniques used to recover, analyse and interpret archaeological evidence. The second-year module aims to expand your understanding of archaeological theory and practice through the study of themes from a wider European context.
This is a two-year course beginning in October 2018. Each year has three terms, each of those with Tuesday evening classes and Saturday field trips, fieldwork and workshops. At the end of the first year there is a one-week programme of practical fieldwork.
Year 1 covers the development of the discipline of archaeology as well as the basis of archaeological theory and practice. Classroom sessions provide the foundation for practical workshops studying archaeological evidence and fieldwork elements teaching essential survey and excavation skills. Weekday evening sessions are based at Rewley House, 1 Wellington Square, Oxford on Tuesdays 7.00 - 9.00pm; Saturday sessions are from 10.30am - 3.00pm unless otherwise stated and are held at Rewley House, the Ashmolean Museum and various fieldwork sites close to Oxford.
Provisional teaching programme
Term 1 (October-December 2018)
- What is archaeology? Current organisation and purpose of the modern discipline
- The birth of the discipline: Key archaeologists
- (Sat) Field visit to White Horse Hill (afternoon only)
- Archaeological evidence
- Archaeological theory
- (Sat) Tutorials day at Rewley house, 10am-3pm
- Key site: Troy
- Visit to Oxford Archaeology, 4.00-5.00pm; The work of Oxford Archaeology, 7.00-8.00pm (Rewley House)
Term 2 (January-March 2019)
- Finding sites from the air
- The devlopment of urban archaeology
- Landscape archaeology in the field
- (Sat) Workshop: Artefacts
- Feb Artefacts in archaeology
- Key sites: Palmyra and Petra
- (Sat) Museum Visit
Term 3 (April-June 2018)
- Survey in archaeology: topography and geophysics
- (Sat) Workshop/fieldwork
- Excavation in practice
- (Sat) Fieldwork
- Relative dating and stratigraphy in archaeology
- (Sat) Fieldwork
- Key site: Oxford
- (Sat) Field trip
There is a one-week training excavation in July 2019.
Year 2 covers key themes and turning points introduced in Year 1 in more detail: for example science in archaeology and excavation report writing. Practical workshops studying archaeological evidence and fieldwork elements continue building on the foundations laid in Year 1. Students from both years join together for the practical sessions. Weekday evening sessions are based at Rewley House, 1 Wellington Square, Oxford on Tuesday 7.00-9.00pm; Saturday sessions are from 10.30am - 3.00pm unless otherwise stated and are held at Rewley House, the Ashmolean Museum and various fieldwork sites close to Oxford.
Provisional teaching programme
Term 1 (2019)
- Introduction to prehistoric periods: farming in prehistory
- Landscapes of prehistoric monumentality
- Saturday practical workshop: flint and lithics
- Dating in prehistory
- Saturday tutorials day at Rewley House
- Theory in prehistory
- Key site: Çatalhöyük
Term 2 (2020)
- Rural and urban Roman landscapes
- Roman economy and society
- Saturday workshop and Rewley House: plant remains in archaeology
- Roman material culture
- Saturday field trip
- Mapping evidence (case studies): preparation for extended projects
- Saturday fieldwork near Oxford
- Saturday visit: The British Museum
- Key sites: Pompeii and Herculaneum
Term 3 (2020)
- Post-Roman and Medieval agricultural and religious landscape
- Saturday fieldwork near Oxford: geophysical survey
- Environmental archaeology: medieval sites
- Saturday workshop at Rewley House: pottery
- Post excavation and report writing
- Saturday fieldwork near Oxford: test pit excavation
- Saturday field trip
- Student presentations of extended assignments
This two-year part time course will outline the development of archaeology as a discipline and introduce how today's archaeologists find out about past people and their societies. The practice and theory of archaeology will be explored using evidence from Britain and other parts of Europe.
The first year considers the development of the modern discipline and covers the fundamentals of archaeological theory and practice. Workshops will investigate artefacts and environmental evidence; fieldwork sessions will introduce essential practical skills in survey and excavation and field trips will investigate sites and landscapes. The second year studies key themes and turning points in archaeology from prehistory to the medieval period, and deals with certain practical and scientific topics in more detail. Saturday field trips, fieldwork and workshops are woven through both years, while each year focuses broadly on Prehistory in the first term, later Prehistory and the Roman period in the second term, and post-Roman and Medieval archaeology in the third term.
Following the successful completion of the two-year course it is anticipated you will have achieved the following:
- An awareness of current archaeology practice and theory
- A recognition of the range of archaeological evidence, its potential and limits, and the methods of recovering, recording and analysing the evidence
- An ability to ask your own questions of archaeological evidence and present arguments on archaeological topics
- A broad understanding of the scientific and theoretical aspects of archaeology
- A range of fundamental practical skills in survey and excavation
- An appreciation of the chronological and cultural framework of the periods studies
The syllabus and teaching of the course are aimed at first-year undergraduate level and students are eligible for the award of 60 transferable credit (CATS) points at FHEQ Level 4 on successful completeion of a one-year module. An Undergraduate Certificate in Archaeology (120 CATS points) will be awarded to each student on completion of the two modules of the course within a three-year period. Credit points may be transferred to the Open University, moduler universites such as Oxford Brookes University, and other institutions of Higher Education. For further information about transfer of credit, contact the Registry on 01865 280355 or email@example.com
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.
Academic advice and support will be provided by the Course Director Dr David Griffiths and by the tutors. In addition, the Department runs a programme of general and academic study skills workshops designed to enable you to develop and improve the skills needed for effective study. These courses are available to Certificate students at a reduced fee. For full details of the programme please contact 01865 280892. For advice on educational opportunities, credit transfer, special needs facilities and sources of funding, please contact the Registry on 01865 280355 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Course Director, Dr David Griffiths
email@example.com 01865 280764
Applications and admissions
firstname.lastname@example.org 01865 280154 / 270369
The teaching is based on themes with linked teaching sessions and seminars, including the use of case-studies, practical sessions and field visits. Teaching sessions include the use of visual material and handouts for information, and as the basis for informal discussion and directed interactive student learning in the class.
Course Director, Dr David Griffiths, OUDCE, with a range of tutors to teach specific topics.
You are expected to undertake the necessary background reading and research for the coursework using the facilities of the Continuing Education Library at Rewley House and other libraries. It is estimated that time spent in reading, preparing coursework, visiting museums, libraries and sites will average 12 hours each week in term-time in addition to the teaching sessions.
- A minimum of 80% of the teaching sessions (including classroom and practical sessions)
- A minimum of 2 tutorials
- A one-week practical fieldwork programme or equivalent at the end of the first year
- A two-hour examination in the first year
- 5 assignments per year of up to 2,000 words in length (the first assignment in Year 1 is formative and does not count towards the final assessment)
- A practical fieldwork journal at the end of the first yea rof up to 2,000 words
- A two-hour written examination in the first year
- An extended assignment of up to 5,000 words in the second year
Assignments count for 60% of the final assessment, the examination and the extended project each count for 20%. It is not essential to pass in the continuous assessment element and the examination separately in order to pass the module overall.
A review of each student's performance is carried out at the end of the first year: candidates may not be permitted to continue if their performance is not deemed satisfactory.
Time limit for course completion
An Undergraduate Certificate in Archaeology will awarded to each student who successfully completes Year 1 and Year 2 of the course within three years. Full regulations and conventions will be included in the Student Handbook which is given to students at the beginning of the academic year and are also available from the Registry on request (email:email@example.com).
Apply for this course
Please use the apply button to obtain the application and reference form. If you experience any difficulty doing this, then please phone us on 01865 270369 / 280154 to receive these forms by post. You can also email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Together with the application form, you should submit a reference and a short statement (approximately 300 words) explaining why you wish to enrol on the course.
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
OUDCE, Rewley House
1 Wellington Square
Oxford OX1 2JA
There are three application deadlines for this course: 18 January 2018, 8 March 2018 and 10 May 2018. Applicants who submit a complete application by 18 January 2018 will be guaranteed an interview. Later applications will be considered if places remain. Please check our website for details of availability. The final decision on admission to the course rests with OUDCE.
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 www.ukvisas.gov.uk.
The fee for 2018~19 is £2,380 (EU students) or £4,470 (non-EU students). There may be a small fee increase in line with inflation in 2019-2020. A non-refundable deposit of £200 is required when you accept an offer of a place and the remaining fee is payable in instalments. The fee includes tuition for the practical fieldwork.
Students are not required to purchase books, but there may be a few recommended key texts that you may like to buy. Transport for field trips and the practical fieldwork is normally arranged on a car sharing basis by the students themselves. The students would pay for costs of any additional hire of transport. Entry fees to museums or sites are paid individually by the students.
English language requirements
All teaching at Oxford University is carried out in English (with the exception of some language-specific teaching) and tutors must be convinced that you have sufficient fluency in written and spoken English to cope with your course from the start. Therefore, all non-native English-speaking applicants must satisfy one of the following requirements:
- IELTS: overall score of 7.0 (with at least 7.0 in each of the four components) or
- TOEFL (paper based): overall score of 600, with a Test of Written English score of 5.5 or
- TOEFL (internet-based): overall score of 110 with component scores of at least: Listening 22, Reading 24, Speaking 25, and Writing 24, or
- Cambridge English: Advanced, also known as the Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): grade A if taken before January 2015, or a score of at least 185, or
- Cambridge English: Proficiency, also known as the Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): grade B if taken before January 2015, or a score of at least 185, oror
- English Language GCSE, grade B or grade 6 (for IGCSE, please see * below), or
- English Language O-level: grade B, or
- International Baccalaureate Standard level (SL): score of 5 in English (as Language A or B) or
- European Baccalaureate: score of 70% in English.
* (We do not accept IGCSE in either First Language English or English as a Second Language as proof of English proficiency.)
Exemptions from this requirement will be considered for applicants who have
- studied the International Baccalaureate programme, if it is taught in English
- studied the Singapore Integrated Programme (SIPCAL)
- been educated full-time in the medium of the English language throughout the two most recent years before the application deadline, and who remain in full-time education conducted in the English language until the end of the school year in their home country.
Terms and conditions
Terms and conditions for applicants and students on this course
Sources of funding
Information on financial support