History and Archaeology (BA): 3-year, full-time

Year of entry

2018

Start date

October 2018

Location

Central London

Status

Fully Approved

UCAS Code

VV14

Duration

Three years full-time

Attendance

Three to four evenings a week

Our BA History and Archaeology will equip you to study the past through both texts and objects. This course teaches you how to use a range of evidence - from prehistoric pottery to Greek sculpture, and Roman coins to medieval manuscripts - to explore the past. You will gain practical archaeological experience by participating in a field school, and acquire critical and analytical skills by studying and comparing data and methods from the two disciplines of history and archaeology.

This course tackles big historical questions, exploring people’s lives in different times and places and the ways in which the past continues to shape our future. You will learn to combine written sources and archaeological data to gain insight into periods of your choice, ranging from the ancient Mediterranean to early modern Europe. In addition to lectures and seminars, you will receive practical training in archaeological fieldwork and artefact-handling sessions.

This course is ideal if you have a keen interest in understanding human experiences and thoughts in the changing historical contexts of society and culture. We encourage you to draw on texts, images and material sources to question accepted interpretations, engage in fruitful debate, and present your own explanations.

This course is also available for part-time evening study over four years.

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Highlights

  • Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 13th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2016-17 World University Subject Rankings.
  • Our Department of History, Classics and Archaeology is a world-renowned centre of original, influential research. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), History at Birkbeck was ranked sixth in the UK for the percentage of our research deemed world-leading or internationally excellent. 94% of our eligible staff submitted research and we achieved 100% for a research environment supporting world-leading and internationally excellent research.
  • Our academic staff are international authorities in their respective fields, delivering stimulating teaching.
  • Our wide-ranging programmes encompass fascinating periods and areas of study, from human prehistory through to classical civilisation, the medieval and early modern periods, and on to 21st-century history, politics and international relations.
  • The Department is home to thriving student societies and a number of affiliated research centres that actively run seminars, conferences and other events where some of the world's best scholars present their latest research. 
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Course structure

This structured programme of taught modules is designed to develop historical and archaeological understanding and critical skills. The study of history and archaeology develops the ability to understand how people lived, acted and thought in the past. We encourage you to assess written and material evidence and to question accepted histories, so that you will develop the ability to construct and present a convincing argument. The course includes a wide variety of options across a historical span of 25 centuries, from the Ancient Greek world to the history of modern prostitution, and from the court of Louis XIV to 20th-century China.

The programme consists of 11 modules, making a total of 360 credits.

In Year 1, you take three compulsory modules, including a Fieldschool module, and one Level 4 option module.

In Year 2, you take one compulsory module and three Level 5 option modules, one of which may be a Fieldschool module.

In Year 3, you take two Level 6 option modules, and you write a dissertation.

Read more about modules

Year 1 compulsory modules

Year 2 compulsory modules

Year 3 compulsory module

Indicative Level 4 option modules

Indicative Level 5 option modules

Indicative Level 6 option modules

Please note: not all modules are available every year.

  • Entry Requirements We welcome a wide range of qualifications, from the UK and abroad, and we will also consider your non-academic achievements.

    Entry requirements

    We welcome applicants without traditional entry qualifications as we base decisions on our own assessment of qualifications, knowledge and previous work experience. We may waive formal entry requirements based on judgement of academic potential.

    UCAS tariff points

    112

    The UCAS tariff system has changed for courses starting in September 2017 and is now calculated using a new number system. This means applicants applying for courses from October 2016 will see entry requirements and offers expressed using the new tariff.

    The UCAS tariff score is applicable to you if you have recently studied a qualification that has a UCAS tariff equivalence.

    Foundation Year Degrees

    You can progress onto this degree if you successfully complete the foundation year of our BA Arts and Humanities with Foundation Year or BSc Social Sciences with Foundation Year course. This is an ideal route onto an undergraduate degree if you are returning to study after a gap, or if you have not previously studied this subject, or if you didn't achieve the grades you need for a place on this degree.

    Alternative entry routes

    Access to Higher Education Diploma with a minimum of 15 credits achieved at Merit or Distinction in humanities or social science units.

    International entry requirements

    If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

    If you don’t meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

    Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.

    Credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL)

    If you have studied at university previously, you may have accumulated credits through the modules you studied. It may be possible to transfer these credits from your previous study to Birkbeck or another institution. You should discuss this with the Programme Director when you are making your application.

    Find out more about credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL).

  • Fees We are committed to doing everything we can to help you finance your studies.

    Fees (2017/8)

    Full-time home/EU students: £ 9250 pa
    Full-time overseas students: £ 13000 pa

    Additional costs

    As well as fees, you should expect to pay other study-related expenses, for travel to and from College, books, stationery, etc. Birkbeck provides advice and financial support for students who experience hardship in meeting the travel costs of essential fieldwork or study visits.

    On this programme, you will also have to pay for the following additional costs:

    The one-week field trip to Peterborough is a compulsory element of this programme. You will have to pay for your own transport to and from Peterborough and for any accommodation costs, should you choose to stay in Peterborough. You will be transported to the site from Peterborough station daily, at no additional cost, for the duration of the field trip.

  • Teaching and assessment Our innovative, engaging teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments.

    Teaching

    At Birkbeck, almost all of our courses are taught in the evening and our teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments. We actively encourage innovative and engaging ways of teaching, to ensure our students have the best learning experience. In the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), the government’s system for rating university teaching, Birkbeck was allocated a Silver award.

    Teaching may include formal lectures, seminars, and practical classes and tutorials. Formal lectures are used in most degree programmes to give an overview of a particular field of study. They aim to provide the stimulus and the starting point for deeper exploration of the subject during your own personal reading.

    Seminars give you the chance to explore a specific aspect of your subject in depth and to discuss and exchange ideas with fellow students. They typically require preparatory study.

    In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your Personal Tutor.

    Methods of teaching on this course

    Lectures, classes and tutorials. You are required to complete a total of 20 days of practical archaeological work during the degree in addition to scheduled teaching hours.

    Timetables

    Timetables are usually available from September onwards and you can access your personalised timetable via your My Birkbeck Profile online (if you have been invited to enrol).

    Indicative class size

    Class sizes vary, depending on your course, the module you are undertaking, and the method of teaching. For example, lectures are presented to large groups, with 30 to 100+ students in attendance, whereas seminars usually consist of small, interactive groups of 10 to 30 students, led by an academic.

    Academic support

    Birkbeck offers study and learning support to undergraduate and postgraduate students to help them succeed. Our Learning Development Service can help you in the following areas:

    • academic skills (including planning your workload, research, writing, exam preparation and writing a dissertation)
    • written English (including structure, punctuation and grammar)
    • numerical skills (basic mathematics and statistics).

    Our Disability and Dyslexia Service can support you if you have additional learning needs resulting from a disability or from dyslexia.

    Our Counselling Service can support you if you are struggling with emotional or psychological difficulties during your studies.

    Our Mental Health Advisory Service can support you if you are experiencing short– or long-term mental health difficulties during your studies.

    Assessment

    Assessment is an integral part of your university studies and usually consists of a combination of coursework and examinations. You will be given time to complete coursework and prepare for exams.

    Unseen written examinations are usually taken in the Summer term, during May to June, and, in most cases, are held during the day on a weekday – if you have daytime commitments, you will need to make arrangements for daytime attendance. Exam timetables are published online in March each year.

    Find out more about assessment at Birkbeck, including guidance on assessment, feedback and our assessment offences policy.

    Methods of assessment on this course

    Examinations at the end of each academic year, coursework and a dissertation written in the final year.

    Every module you take includes some form of assessment and, in addition, an attendance requirement, so you will need to attend at least 60% of classes in order to pass.

    Feedback

    As well as a mark for your coursework and exams, you will also receive feedback from your marker(s) to help you learn, improve and succeed. We encourage you to discuss feedback with your module tutor.

    Feedback can come in different forms: notes via Moodle (our online learning environment); a paper copy of a completed feedback form; or in-class or face-to-face feedback. The College Policy on Feedback on Assessment sets out what you can expect from your feedback.

    Your department will usually provide you with your marked coursework within four weeks of submission. Your initial mark is provisional until the relevant Board of Examiners has confirmed it.

    Your official coursework and exam results will be made available to you via your My Birkbeck Profile online.

  • Careers and employability To help you get ahead in your career, we offer free advice and training and our recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, can connect you with employers.

    Careers and employability

    Graduates can pursue careers in research, education or archaeology. This degree may also be useful in becoming a journalist, archivist, museum/gallery curator or higher education lecturer.

    Graduates from this degree have gone on to work with Historic England, the National Trust, British Museum, Museum of London, Cambridge Archaeological Unit and a host of schools and universities. Other careers include work in UK government offices, publishing and journalism.

    Find out more about the destinations of graduates in this subject.

    We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.

    Graduate Destinations

    Average salary six months after the course: £26000

    Go on to work and/or study:

    Go on to work and/or study
    Now working: 60%
    Doing further study: 25%
    Studying and working: 5%
    Unemployed: 0%
    Other: 5%

    Read more of the statistics for this course on the Unistats website.

  • How to apply Once you've found the course that's right for you, here's what to do next to get your place at Birkbeck.

    How to apply

    If you are applying for a three-year, full-time undergraduate degree at Birkbeck, you have to apply through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). To apply, go to the UCAS homepage and click on 'Apply and Track'. You will have to register, giving UCAS a few personal details, including your name, address and date of birth, and then you complete an application form.

    We assess each individual application for potential and talent and admission is by a combination of application and interview.

    Birkbeck offers a range of free face-to-face advice and support to help you make a successful application.

    Birkbeck can give you all of the information and help you need to complete your application form, including our online personal statement tool, which will guide you through every step of writing your personal statement.

    UCAS Code

    VV14

    Application deadlines and interviews

    15 January is the first UCAS deadline and the majority of university applications through UCAS are made by then. We welcome applications outside of the UCAS deadlines, so you can still apply through UCAS after 15 January, depending on the availability of places. We also take late applications via the UCAS Clearing system in August.

    Read more about key dates for UCAS applicants.

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