Key Course Information
A-Level Requirements *
Engineering and Physical Sciences
Professional Year Out
Natural and Built Environment
*Indicative Only. Please see the Course Entry Requirements section for details on subject specific or GCSE requirements.
Archaeology explores a wide range of evidence that documents the human past - from artefacts, monuments and settlements to entire landscapes - and from these interprets how societies have adapted and developed. Modules focus on different periods of World, European and Irish/British archaeology from human origins to modern times and heritage.
Palaeoecology studies environmental evidence to assess the impact of natural events and human activities on landscapes, climate and changing environments. Modules examine themes such as ancient environments, evolution, economic and climate change.
The combined disciplines progressively develop general and specific knowledge and skills, through excavation, fieldwork, overseas fieldtrips, laboratory and practical work.
As well as the Single Honours BA in Archaeology and BSc in Archaeology-Palaeoecology, Queen's offers several degrees which combine Archaeology (the study of past human activities) and Palaeoecology (the study of past environments) with other subjects (Languages, Geography and History). We have also introduced the MSci in Archaeology, which is an integrated four-year degree, whereby students can progress directly to Masters-level study in Level 4.
Top ranking: the School has an outstanding reputation for teaching and research with Geography ranked in the world top 100 (QS rankings 2013) and Archaeology ranked 8th in the UK (Guardian University Guide 2014).
Facilities: the School boasts the internationally-renowned 14Chrono Centre for Radiocarbon Dating, the Centre for Archaeological Fieldwork, departmental collections and laboratories for study of artefacts, bones and other scientific materials and instruments, access to GIS, laser scanning and specialist teaching laboratories. The Centre for Archaeological Fieldwork is a self-funded unit which obtains commercial work from, eg the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), law enforcement agencies and civil engineering companies. This link with the School not only exposes our students to employers, but also provides nformation on what the modern market requires from Archaeology - information that is fed into our modules, especially those on field techniques.
Placements: we have links with many employers including the NIEA, the National Trust and the Ulster Wildlife Trust, who provide our students with advice on their work, and also run more in-depth advice sessions (often at Taught Masters level). Past students have gained work placements with these and other organisations.
In addition to the entrance requirements below, it is essential that you read the How We Choose Our Students pdf prior to submitting your UCAS application.
A-level: BBB + GCSE Mathematics grade C
Irish Leaving Certificate: H3H3H3H3H4H4/H3H3H3H3H3 + if not offered at Higher Level then Ordinary Level grade O4 in Mathematics
Note: students intending to study Archaeology with another subject should also refer to the subject requirements for the other course.
All students: there are no specific subject requirements to study Archaeology and Palaeoecology, although subjects as diverse as Art, Physics, Biology, Geography, Geology, Classical Civilisation, History, Chemistry, Mathematics or Languages have all been helpful in the past.
If you are an international student and you do not meet the entrance requirements, you should consider a preparation course at INTO Queen's University Belfast, which will prepare you for successful study on these degree courses. INTO at Queen's is based on the University campus and offers a range of courses including the International Foundation in Engineering and Science.
For students whose first language is not English
An IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent acceptable qualification, details of which are available at: http://go.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability to entry to this degree. Please click the links below for more information:
- English for University Study - an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
- Pre-sessional English - a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English
How To Apply
How to Apply
Applications for admission to full-time undergraduate and sandwich courses at the University should normally be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Full information can be obtained from the UCAS website at: www.ucas.com/apply.
When to Apply
UCAS will start processing applications for entry in Autumn 2017 from 1 September 2016.
The normal closing date for the receipt of applications is 15 January 2017.
For candidates applying to Oxford or Cambridge and for those whose choices include Medicine, Dentistry or Veterinary Medicine/Science the closing date is 15 October 2015.
Currently there are two intakes to Adult Nursing (one in September and the other in February).Those applying for entry in February 2016 should apply prior to 15 January 2015.
Applicants are advised to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.
Earlier applicants normally receive decisions more quickly, however, UCAS accepts that some applicants, especially those from outside the UK, may find this difficult. Late applications are, in practice, accepted by UCAS throughout the remainder of the application cycle, but you should understand that they are considered by institutions at their discretion, and there can be no guarantee that they will be given the same full level of consideration as applications received by the advisory closing date.
Take care to enter the details of the institutions and courses clearly and correctly on the application. For Queen's, the institution code name is QBELF and the institution code is Q75. These should be entered in the Choices section of your UCAS application. Please note a Campus Code is not required. For further information on applying to study at Queen’s, please click here.
Course Content (including module information)
All students normally take six Level 1 modules. Single Honours students normally take five Archaeology/Palaeoecology modules. Students on Joint Honours degree programmes normally take three Archaeology/Palaeoecology modules, in addition to three modules from their second subject.
Level 1 covers both disciplines, and the modules are introductory courses which assume no previous knowledge. (They may also interest students who are taking another subject as their main degree, but who wish to enhance their knowledge of their human and environmental past and heritage.)
Level 1 modules
- Ancient Humans and Landscapes
- Barbarians, Vikings and Traders: The Archaeology of Historic Europe
- Environmental Change: Past, Present and Future
- Europe in Prehistory
- Introduction to World Archaeology
- Plus choices from Geography and other Schools
Levels 2 and 3
Students explore in detail the themes introduced in Year 1, and Level 2 and 3 modules allow for specialisation and the development of practical skills. Level 2 modules provide skills and concepts necessary for the dissertation that is normally taken at Level 3 for Single Honours students, and for future employment in Archaeology.
Level 2 modules
- Archaeological Excavation
- Archaeology and Heritage of Rome (including week-long fieldtrip to Rome)
- Flints, Farmers and Forts: Ireland in Prehistory
- From St Patrick to the Plantation: The Archaeology of Historic Ireland
- Landscapes and Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
- Maps and Mappings: From the Stone Age to the Digital Age
- Palaeoenvironmental Techniques
- Thinking Through Things: Theorising Global Archaeology
- Plus choices from Geography and other Schools
Level 3 modules
- Colonialism, Capitalism and Conflict: Exploring the Archaeology of the Modern World
- Climate Change: Science and Society
- Dating the Past
- Medieval Settlement
- Merchants, Metals and Miners: From Stone to Steel
- Monuments and Ritual in European Prehistory
- Quaternary Palaeoecology
- Society, Death and Disease
- The Archaeology of Human Evolution
- Dissertation (double module)
- Plus choices from Geography and other Schools
In the MSci, Level 4 modules enable students to gain practical experience in digital heritage and field techniques.
Note: some modules may be subject to change
Fees & Scholarships
There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union. Higher education funding arrangements mean that students can study now and pay later.
Further details can be found on our fees and funding section.
Queen's works to ensure that all those who can benefit from a university education have the chance to do so, and a generous system of financial support is in place to help them. Each year Queen’s offer a range of scholarships and prize for new students. The most up to date listings are available here.
Learning and Teaching
At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable student to achieve their full academic potential.
Within Geography and Archaeology we do this by providing a range of learning experiences which enable our students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies and a world class library that enhances their development as independent, lifelong learners. Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:
- Lectures: introduce basic information about new topics as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading. Lectures also provide opportunities to ask questions, gain some feedback and advice on assessments (normally delivered in large groups to all year group peers).
- Practicals: where students will have opportunities to develop technical skills and apply theoretical principles to real-life or practical contexts. Many Archaeology, Geographic Information Systems and Physical Geography modules have associated practical classes, ranging from 3 to 9 hours study per week, depending on the module content.
- E-Learning technologies:Information associated with lectures and assignments is often communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called Queen’s Online. A range of e-learning experiences are also embedded in the degree through, for example: interactive group workshops in a flexible learning space; IT and statistics modules; podcasts and interactive web-based learning activities; opportunities to use IT programmes associated with design in practicals and project- based work.
- Seminars/tutorials: Significant amounts of teaching are carried out in small groups (typically 10-20 students). These provide an opportunity for students to engage with academic staff who have specialist knowledge of the topic, to ask questions and to assess their own progress and understanding with the support of peers. Students should also expect to make presentations and other contributions to these groups.
- Self-directed study: This is an essential part of life as a Queen’s student when important private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date and assignment research and preparation work is carried out.
- Work placements and Field Classes: Students taking ‘Geography at Work’ undertake a work-placement during Level 3 and undertake internal work with the Centre for Archaeological Fieldwork (CAF) as part of ‘Archaeological Excavation’ in Year 2. These modules provide significant learning and employability enhancement opportunities.
- Supervised projects: In final year, students will be expected to carry out a significant piece of research on a topic or practical methodology that they have chosen. They will receive support from a supervisor who will guide them in terms of how to carry out research and who will provide feedback on a number of occasions during the write up stage.
- Personal Tutor: Undergraduates are allocated a Personal Tutor during levels 1 and 2 who meets with them on several occasions during the year to support their academic development.
Studying for an Archaeology degree at Queen’s will assist students in developing the core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by employers, professional organisations and academic institutions. Graduates from this degree at Queen’s are well regarded by many employers (local, national and international) and over half of all graduate jobs are now open to graduates of any discipline, including Archaeology.
Although the majority of our graduates are interested in pursuing careers in archaeology-related areas (town and country planning, environmental impact, Land and Property Services [formerly Ordnance Survey]) significant numbers develop careers in a wide range of other sectors. The following is a list of the major career sectors that have attracted our graduates in recent years:
Employer Links – Consultations:We regularly consult and develop links with a large number of employers including, for example, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), National Trust, Ulster Wildlife Trust, who provide both snapshot advice on their work, as well as run more in-depth advice sessions, the latter often at taught Masters level. We also run a careers seminar programme with guest speaker employers and further study coordinators (teacher training, Masters and PhD degrees).
Placement Employers: Our past students have also gained work placement with organisations such as:
Other Employer Links:We benefit greatly from housing the Centre for Archaeological Fieldwork in the school. This self-funded private unit obtains commercial work from NIEA, the police and civil engineering companies, thus exposing students to employers, but also providing the unit with information on what the modern market requires from Archaeology. This information is then fed into the archaeology modules, especially those on excavation techniques.
Pease take a look at www.prospects.ac.uk for further information concerning the types of jobs that attract Archaeology graduates.
Further study is also an option open to Archaeology graduates. Students can choose from a wide range of Masters programmes as well as a comprehensive list of research topics, see: http://www.qub.ac.uk/gap
Other Career-related information: Queen’s is a member of the Russell Group and, therefore, one of the 20 universities most-targeted by leading graduate employers. Queen’s students will be advised and guided about career choice and, through the Degree Plus initiative, will have an opportunity to seek accreditation for skills development and experience gained through the wide range of extra-curricular activities on offer. See Queen’s University Belfast fullEmployability Statementfor further information.
Degree Plus and other related initiatives: Recognising student diversity, as well as promoting employability enhancements and other interests, is part of the developmental experience at Queen’s. Students are encouraged to plan and build their own personal skill and experiential profile through a range of activities including; recognised Queen’s Certificates, placements and other work experiences (at home or overseas), Erasmus study options elsewhere in Europe, learning development opportunities and involvement in wider university life through activities, such as clubs, societies, and sports.
Queen’s actively encourages this type of activity by offering students an additional qualification, the Degree Plus Award (and the related Researcher Plus Award for PhD and MPhil students). Degree Plus accredits wider experiential and skill development gained through extra-curricular activities that promote the enhancement of academic, career management, personal and employability skills in a variety of contexts. As part of the Award, students are also trained on how to reflect on the experience(s) and make the link between academic achievement, extracurricular activities, transferable skills and graduate employment. Participating students will also be trained in how to reflect on their skills and experiences and can gain an understanding of how to articulate the significance of these to others, e.g. employers.
Overall, these initiatives, and Degree Plusin particular, reward the energy, drive, determination and enthusiasm shown by students engaging in activities over-and-above the requirements of their academic studies. These qualities are amongst those valued highly by graduate employers.
Assessment & Feedback
Assessment (general): The way in which students are assessed will vary according to the Learning objectives of each module. Some modules are assessed solely through project work or written assignments. Others are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations. Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction.
Feedback (general): As students progress through their course at Queen’s they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and your peers. University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including:
- Feedback provided via formal written comments and marks relating to work that students, as individuals or as part of a group, have submitted.
- Face to face comment. This may include occasions when students make use of the lecturers’ advertised “office hours” to help address a specific query.
- Placement employer comments or references.
- Online or emailed comment.
- General comments or question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.
- Pre-submission advice regarding the standards you should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid. In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which students can review in their own time.
- Feedback and outcomes from practical classes.
- Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as, Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service.
Once students have reviewed their feedback, they are encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of their work.
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Latest Research Publications
The links below will take you to the latest Queen's Research publications in the PURE portal.