Course structure

Archaeology and Anthropology at Oxford is a three year Honours degree course. You will spend the first year encountering a full range of subjects covered in four course papers on the Introduction to World Archaeology, Introduction to Anthropological Theory, Perspectives on Human Evolution and The Nature of Archaeological Enquiry. In studying these things you will gain a deeper appreciation of how the ideas and practices in Archaeology and Anthropology intersect and provide intergrated ways to study peoples past and present. All students, regardless of college, do the same core lecture and practical courses, and exams at the end of their first year. And as well as that, you’ll take part in an archaeological excavation, have the opportunity of participating in other archaeological or anthropological projects anywhere in the world and undertake your own original research. There are also a limited number of internships offered by the Oxford University Museums that will give students experience in working with professional curators.

In the second year the depth of material covered increases in the core courses and you will be able to select to do an option from a wide menu of choices in both Archaeology and Anthropology. You will also undertake an extended piece of individual research which will written up as dissertation. The subject may be entirely of your own choice (so long as it is in within the wider remit of Archaeology or Anthropology). The writing and research will be helped by a supervisor, and as an assessed piece of work it forms an eighth of your marks towards the degree. In the third year, you will be able to take two further options, which may build on the option choice made in the second year or be something completely different.

The subject is taught by a combination of lectures, practicals and tutorials. Your college tutors will give you tutorials in their specialist area but, because of the breadth of the course, some tutorials will be taught by colleagues in other subjects. We can draw from a very large pool of teachers spread across the University and colleges - and indeed they also teach many students from other colleges. Your tutors guide you in study and essay technique, in exam preparation, and are your general academic mentors. College tutors are able to provide you with detailed references on your progress to help when you apply for jobs, further research or study.

There are examinations in first and final years of the course. At the end of the first hear, are ‘Mods’ which comprise an examination paper in each of the first year core papers and which must be passed to continue the degree, though these do not contribute to the final degree classification. The finals exams (‘Final Honours’) consist of written papers on each of the four core courses taught in the second and third years plus the three option papers. The dissertation constitutes an assessed piece of work and the final element in the examined degree.

More information on this course are to be found at