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Anthropology and Archaeology

Entry year
Academic Year 2025/26
Entry requirements
6 years (Part-time)
3 years (Full-time)
UCAS code

This mutually enriching Joint Honours programme equips students in identifying historical and contemporary patterns of social organisation, human-environment relationships, ethnic and cultural divisions, varieties of inequality, and patterns of change over time across diverse societies.

Anthropology is the study of human diversity around the world and studying Anthropology together with Archaeology allows you to develop an understanding of how this diversity has changed over long periods. In studying Anthropology and Archaeology, you will learn how different societies live and have lived together, and think about such topics as family, sex, religion, art, politics and economics, as well as gaining skills increasingly in demand in a globalised and automated world.

The BA in Anthropology and Archaeology at Queen’s will allow you to examine some of the deepest and most pressing questions about human beings. Issues addressed in our modules include:
• What are the roots of social inequality?
• Does globalisation mean the end of cultural difference?
• Can a post-conflict society heal?
• How do societies and their environment shape each other?
• How do ritual traditions, musical performances, and art shape cultural identities?
• How do some people become willing to die for a group?

Studying Anthropology and Archaeology at Queen’s progressively develops general and specific knowledge and skills, through fieldwork, classroom modules, optional placements, overseas fieldtrips, performance ensembles, laboratory and practical work. A wide range of career options are available to our graduates, drawing on the valuable skills they develop in this course, including critical thinking, cross-cultural understanding, researching, interviewing, writing, and presenting.

In the Guardian University Guide 2021, Anthropology at Queen’s was ranked 2nd in the UK overall. In the Complete University Guide 2022, Archaeology at Queen’s was ranked 1st in the UK for Student Satisfaction.

Anthropology and Archaeology highlights

Student Experience

Studying both Anthropology and Archaeology brings together the study of human diversity with the study of human change over time. Studying these at Queen’s means you benefit from the commitment to fieldwork in each discipline.

Queen's currently has over 3,000 international students from 85 different countries.

Global Opportunities

Undergraduate Anthropology students, as part of their training, have carried out ethnographic field research around the world. Projects have focused on orphanages in Kenya; AIDS in southern Africa, education in Ghana; dance in India, NGOs in Guatemala, music in China, marriage in Japan, backpacking in Europe, and whale-watching in Hawaii.

Undergraduate Archaeology students benefit from a broad range of study-abroad and international placement opportunities, e.g. in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain.

Students on this course are also eligible to apply to the University’s Study USA and Study China programmes.

World Class Facilities

The purpose-built Archaeology & Palaeoecology Centre boasts the internationally renowned 14CHRONO Centre for Radiocarbon Dating, the Centre for Archaeological Fieldwork, departmental collections and laboratories for study of artefacts, human, animal and plant remains and other scientific materials and instruments, access to GIS, laser scanning and specialist teaching laboratories. A major upgrade of these facilities in 2021–2 included £5m investment from the Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland, and UKRI-AHRC Capability for Col-lections Fund.

The McClay Library brings together library, computing, and media services in one excellent, modern building. It can accommodate more than 2000 readers at a time and boasts a collection of more than 1,200,000 volumes: books, manuscripts and periodicals collected over 160 years. It is a superb study-space for anthropologists and archaeologists.

Career Development

In Anthropology, through the different stages of the dissertation module (preparation and research design, fieldwork itself, and post-fieldwork writing-up), students develop a range of skills (organizational skills, interpersonal skills, in-formation-handling skills, and project management skills) that prepare them for later employment. Many of our students work with NGOs and other organisations (e.g. Operation Wallacea; Belfast Migration Centre) as part of their fieldwork.

In Archaeology, we regularly consult and develop links with a large number of employers including, for example, the Historic Environment Division at the NI Department for Communities, National Trust, Ulster Wildlife Trust, who provide snapshot advice on their work that helps us keeping our teaching relevant for the job market. We also run a careers seminar programme with guest-speaker employers and further-study coordinators (teacher training, Masters and PhD degrees).

Further Study Opportunities

Further study is also an option (eg MA Anthropology, MA Conflict Transformation and Social Justice, MRes Arts and Humanities); see the School website for details.

Internationally Renowned Experts

Anthropology at Queen’s has international renown in the following areas: Ethnomusicology and performance; Conflict and borders; Religion; Cognition and culture; Migration and diasporas; Irish studies; Material culture and art; Human-animal relations; The cross-cultural study of emotions.

Industry Links

This degree programme offers a module pathway that is fully accredited by the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA) and University Archaeology UK (UAUK).

Student Experience

Archaeology at Queen’s stands out for its sustained excellent teaching record, having scored 95% overall student satisfaction in the UK National Student Surveys 2019 and 2021, and 100% overall student satisfaction in the UK National Student Surveys 2017, 2018, 2020 and 2023.

In the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021, Anthropology at Queen’s was ranked 2nd in the UK, including:

• 2nd in the UK for: Teaching Quality
• 5th in the UK for: Student Experience
• 3rd in the UK for: Graduate Prospects

Internationally Renowned Experts

In Archaeology at Queen’s you will be taught by academics who are internationally renowned experts at the top of their respective fields, covering many different sectors of global archaeology, from the last Ice Age to the modern period.

Student Experience

A number of Prizes and Awards are available during the programme of study.

Anne Maguire Memorial Prize
The prize is awarded to an Anthropology student who, in the judgement of the Board of Examiners for Social Anthropology, produces the best dissertation for this module in any year.

Improved Performance Undergraduate Prize
The Improved Performance Undergraduate prize is awarded by the Board of Examiners of
the School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics to the student registered on any HAPP UG programme with the most improved performance between Level 2 and Level 3.

The Joint Honours Undergraduate Prize
The Joint Honours Undergraduate Prize is awarded to the student with the highest final
degree mark in a School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics owning
Joint Degree programme, excluding any combination with History or Politics.

Student Testimonials

Course Structure

Course Content

This programme is designed to provide students with training in Anthropology and Archaeology. The programme allows students to delve into each discipline's unique body of knowledge, subject matter, and research skills.

Social Anthropology is the analysis of culture and society, using comparative methods and ethnography, which entails engagement and participation in the field. This promotes an understanding of diversity across a range of cross-cultural fields, including kinship, economy, ecology, religion, gender, art, music and morality.

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 over time.

The exceptional strength of this joint programme lies in the promotion of mutually-enforcing skills, which transcend discipline-specific paradigms. The two disciplines enable students to think critically outside the confines of their own culture and to learn about the human experience across time and space. Through the two disciplines, students acquire knowledge and develop skills that enable them to evaluate a wide range of sources. The programme is also designed to equip students with a range of skills which promote self-motivated, independent learning. In addition to written outputs, emphasis is placed on creative tasks including digital and print media, and research projects in collaboration with academic and non-academic collectives and institutions.

Stage 1

Themes covered in Stage 1 include what it is that makes us human, looking at evolution, culture and society, and also provide students with a general introduction to world archaeology .

Stage 1 Optional Courses

Optional courses at Stage 1 explore, amongst other themes, historical and anthropological approaches to globalization, the relationship between in-groups and out-groups, the impact of environmental change, European prehistory, archaeological fieldwork techniques and the historic archaeology of Europe.

Stage 2

At Stage 2, students explore in more detail the themes introduced at Stage 1 and develop both their theoretical background knowledge and their practical skills, with some scope for specialisation. In particular, Stage 2 courses provide competencies and concepts necessary for the dissertation that is normally taken at Stage 3, and for future employment in Anthropology, Archaeology and a wide range of other fields.

Stage 2 Optional Courses

Optional courses at Stage 2 are generally survey modules seeking to convey an understanding of the role of anthropological and archaeological approaches in our own society. Other optional modules at Stage 2 focus on anthropological, archaeological, palaeoenvironmental and geospatial field techniques.

Stage 3

At Stage 3, students dedicate a substantial part of their time to their chosen dissertation project, building on the knowledge and skills they have acquired through Stages 1 and 2.

Stage 3 Optional Courses

Students at Stage 3 have the opportunity to choose from a wide range of optional courses, covering fields as diverse as the role of ritual and religion in past and present societies, identity, human-animal relations, prehistoric monuments and population studies.

People teaching you

Programme Convenor - Anthropology

Email: Telephone: +44(0)28 9097 5028

Programme Convenor - Archaeology

Dr Patrick Gleeson is an archaeologist interested in the later prehistoric and medieval archaeology of Europe. His current research focus is the archaeology of cult, rulership, kingdoms and governance in the first millennium AD of northern Europe. He currently has ongoing field projects examining later prehistoric and early medieval power centres, cult and royal landscapes in Ireland and Scotland, including Kedrah Fort, Lagore Crannog, Navan Fort, the Rock of Cashel and Knockainy. Email: Telephone:+44 (0)28 9097 3238

Contact Teaching Hours

Medium Group Teaching

33 (hours maximum)
In addition to the direct teaching hours per module, each student will normally be expected to spend approximately 80 hours on individual study time per 20 CATs module.

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 each student to achieve their full academic potential.

The teaching and learning methods in this course vary with the module being taught, the overall aims of the module and the balance between theory and practice. These methods may include lectures, tutorials, seminars, workshops, problem-centred techniques such as case studies, computer/software practical demonstrations and applications, non-book media (videos and podcasts), individual research, oral presentations, group projects, field visits and practitioner workshops. This combination allows students to have a high degree of involvement and participation in the learning process.

  • E-Learning technologies

    Information associated with lectures and assignments is often communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). A range of e-learning experiences are also embedded in the degree programme through the use of, for example, interactive support materials, podcasts and web-based learning activities.

  • Fieldwork

    Some anthropology students will have the opportunity to study research methods and carry out anthropological fieldwork for an 8-week period. This crucial period of skill-formation and research forms the basis of a dissertation they write up in the first semester of their third year.

    In Archaeology, students gain practical fieldwork experience through a four-week teaching excavation at Stage 1 and will normally have the opportunity to build further experience through volunteering on staff-led field projects throughout Stages 2 and 3.

  • Lectures

    Lectures introduce foundation information about new topics as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading. Lectures, which are normally delivered in large groups to all year-group peers, also provide opportunities to ask questions and seek clarification on key issues as well as gain feedback and advice on assessments.

  • Self-directed study

    This is an essential part of life as a Queen’s student. It is during self-directed study when a student completes important private reading, engages with e-learning re-sources, reflects on feedback, and completes assignment research and preparation.

  • Seminars/tutorials

    A significant amount of teaching is carried out in small groups (typically 10-12 students). These sessions are designed to explore in more depth the information that has been presented in the lectures. They provide students with the opportunity to engage closely with academic staff, to ask questions of them and to assess their own progress and understanding with the sup-port of their peers. During these classes, students will be expected to present their work to academic staff and their peers.


A variety of assessment methods are used throughout the programme

  • The way in which students are assessed will vary according to the learning objectives of each course. Some courses are assessed solely through project work or written assignments. Others are assessed through a combination of coursework and exams. Details of how each course is assessed are explained in the general course catalogue and in the handbook for each individual course available to students.


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, external examiners and peers. University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work.

  • Feedback provided via formal written comments and marks relating to work that students, as individuals or as part of a group, have submitted.
  • Placement employer comments or references.
  • On-line 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 students should aim for and common pit-falls 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.
  • Face-to-face comment. This may include occasions when students make use of the lecturers' advertised office hours to help address a specific query.




The information below is intended as an example only, featuring module details for the current year of study (2023/24). Modules are reviewed on an annual basis and may be subject to future changes – revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year.

  • Year 1

    Core Modules

    Optional Modules

  • Year 2

    Core Modules

    Optional Modules

    Human Morality (20 credits)
  • Year 3

    Core Modules

    Optional Modules

    Independent Project (20 credits)

Entrance requirements



A maximum of one BTEC/OCR Single Award or AQA Extended Certificate will be accepted as part of an applicant's portfolio of qualifications with a Distinction* being equated to grade A at A-Level and a Distinction being equated to a grade B at A-level.

Irish Leaving Certificate


Access Course

Successful completion of Access Course with an average of 70%.

International Baccalaureate Diploma

33 points overall, including 6,5,5 at Higher Level

BTEC Level 3 Extended/National Extended Diploma

QCF BTEC Extended Diploma (180 credits at Level 3) with overall grades D*DD

RQF BTEC National Extended Diploma (1080 GLH at Level 3) with overall grades D*DD


A minimum of a 2:2 Honours Degree


All applicants must have GCSE English Language grade C/4 or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University.

There are no specific Level 3 subject requirements to study Anthropology and Archaeology.

How we choose our students

Applications are dealt with centrally by the Admissions and Access Service rather than by individual University Schools. Once your on-line form has been processed by UCAS and forwarded to Queen's, an acknowledgement is normally sent within two weeks of its receipt at the University.

Selection is on the basis of the information provided on your UCAS form. Decisions are made on an ongoing basis and will be notified to you via UCAS.

For entry last year, applicants for this degree offering A-Level/ BTEC Level 3 qualifications or equivalent must have had, or been able to achieve, a minimum of 5 GCSE passes at grade C/4 or better (to include English Language). The Selector will check that any specific entry requirements in terms of GCSE and/or A-level subjects can be fulfilled.

Offers are normally made on the basis of 3 A-levels. Two subjects at A-level plus two at AS would also be considered. The offer for repeat applicants is set in terms of 3 A-levels and may be one grade higher than that asked from first time applicants. Grades may be held from the previous year.

Applicants offering two A-levels and one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent qualification), or one A-level and a BTEC Diploma/National Diploma (or equivalent qualification) will also be considered. Offers will be made in terms of the overall BTEC grade(s) awarded. Please note that a maximum of one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent) will be counted as part of an applicant’s portfolio of qualifications. The normal GCSE profile will be expected.

For applicants offering Irish Leaving Certificate, please note that performance at Irish Junior Certificate is taken into account. Applicants must have a minimum of 5 IJC grades C/ Merit. The Selector also checks that any specific entry requirements in terms of Leaving Certificate subjects can be satisfied.

For applicants offering a HNC, the current requirements are successful completion of the HNC with 2 Distinctions and remainder Merits. For those offering a Higher National Diploma, some flexibility may be allowed in terms of GCSE profile but, to be eligible for an offer, the grades obtained in the first year of the HND must allow the overall offer to be achievable. The current entrance requirements are successful completion of the HND with 2 Distinctions, 10 Merits and 4 Passes overall. Any consideration would be for Stage 1 entry only.

The information provided in the personal statement section and the academic reference together with predicted grades are noted but, in the case of BA degrees, these are not the final deciding factors in whether or not a conditional offer can be made. However, they may be reconsidered in a tie break situation in August.

A-level General Studies and A-level Critical Thinking would not normally be considered as part of a three A-level offer and, although they may be excluded where an applicant is taking 4 A-level subjects, the grade achieved could be taken into account if necessary in August/September.

Applicants are not normally asked to attend for interview, though there are some exceptions and specific information is provided with the relevant subject areas.

If you are made an offer then you may be invited to a Faculty/School Open Day, which is usually held in the second semester. This will allow you the opportunity to visit the University and to find out more about the degree programme of your choice and the facilities on offer. It also gives you a flavour of the academic and social life at Queen's.

If you cannot find the information you need here, please contact the University Admissions Service (, giving full details of your qualifications and educational background.

International Students

Our country/region pages include information on entry requirements, tuition fees, scholarships, student profiles, upcoming events and contacts for your country/region. Use the dropdown list below for specific information for your country/region.

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.

  • Academic English: 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.

International Students - Foundation and International Year One Programmes

INTO Queen's offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare international students for undergraduate study at Queen's University. You will learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre on campus, and will have full access to the University's world-class facilities.

These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry.



Career Prospects

Employment after the Course

Studying for an Anthropology and 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. Anthropology and Archaeology graduates have successfully pursued careers in the following areas: consultancy, the civil service, development, NGO work, international policy, the public sector, journalism and the media, community work, creative industries, performance, heritage, museums, tourism, market research, teaching in schools and academic teaching and research.

Employment Links

Typical companies looking for graduates in this field:
• National Trust
• Local Councils
• National Heritage organisations
• Governmental Bodies
• NGOs
• Intergovernmental organisations who may seek expertise about heritage & tourism, human behaviour and responses to major world challenges, such as endemic poverty, climate change and global health.

Degree Plus/Future Ready Award for extra-curricular skills

In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Degree Plus/Future Ready Award. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.

Tuition Fees

Northern Ireland (NI) 1 £4,750
Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2 £4,750
England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1 £9,250
EU Other 3 £20,800
International £20,800

1EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled status, will be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB will be charged the GB fee.

2 EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI are eligible for NI tuition fees.

3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.

The tuition fees quoted above are for the 2024/25 academic year and are a guide only. In addition, all tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase in each year of the course. Fees quoted relate to a single year of study unless explicitly stated otherwise.

Tuition fee rates are calculated based on a student’s tuition fee status and generally increase annually by inflation. How tuition fees are determined is set out in the Student Finance Framework.

Additional course costs

All Students

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.

Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.

Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.

If a programme includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.

Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.

There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

How do I fund my study?

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.

Information on funding options and financial assistance for undergraduate students is available at


Each year, we offer a range of scholarships and prizes for new students. Information on scholarships available.

International Scholarships

Information on scholarships for international students, is available at



How to Apply

Application 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:

When to Apply

UCAS will start processing applications for entry in autumn 2025 from early September 2024.

The advisory closing date for the receipt of applications for entry in 2025 is still to be confirmed by UCAS but is normally in late January (18:00). This is the 'equal consideration' deadline for this course.

Applications from UK and EU (Republic of Ireland) students after this date are, in practice, considered by Queen’s for entry to this course throughout the remainder of the application cycle (30 June 2025) subject to the availability of places. If you apply for 2025 entry after this deadline, you will automatically be entered into Clearing.

Applications from International and EU (Other) students are normally considered by Queen's for entry to this course until 30 June 2025. If you apply for 2025 entry after this deadline, you will automatically be entered into Clearing.

Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.

The Institution code name for Queen's is QBELF and the institution code is Q75.

Further information on applying to study at Queen's is available at:

Apply via UCAS

Terms and Conditions

The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study. Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions.

Additional Information for International (non-EU) Students

  1. Applying through UCAS
    Most students make their applications through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) for full-time undergraduate degree programmes at Queen's. The UCAS application deadline for international students is 30 June 2025.
  2. Applying direct
    The Direct Entry Application form is to be used by international applicants who wish to apply directly, and only, to Queen's or who have been asked to provide information in advance of submitting a formal UCAS application. Find out more.
  3. Applying through agents and partners
    The University’s in-country representatives can assist you to submit a UCAS application or a direct application. Please consult the Agent List to find an agent in your country who will help you with your application to Queen’s University.

Download Undergraduate Prospectus