Frequently Asked Questions - Archaeology
Your most common questions answered.
Why should I study Archaeology at the University of Chester?
- Small, friendly department in a great location
- Strong focus on experiential learning in archaeology and heritage
- A good range of period and thematic modules on offer, with a particular focus on British Archaeology in its wider context
- Taught by lecturers who are specialists in their fields and actively researching and publishing exciting new work
- Opportunity to study archaeology combined with a wide selection of other subjects
I am thinking about doing archaeology with another subject.
Can I do any subject I want and are some combinations better than others?
Many students want to study archaeology because they are fascinated by the past or the process of digging and interpreting ancient remains, but they may not wish to make archaeology their only subject of study. At Chester, archaeology studies can be combined with a number of other courses. For the full range of combinations on offer please visit the the Archaeology prospectus page.
Probably the most popular combination is with History. Depending on your interests you might consider combining with other subjects with clear links to archaeology including Geography or Forensic Biology. Equally though it is possible to combine archaeology with very different subjects from Photography to Psychology - the choice is yours! The important thing is to pick subjects you are interested in and will enjoy.
Will I get to do fieldwork? Will I get to do fieldwork even if I am a Combined Honours student?
At Chester, we feel it is important for students to get experience of the full range of academic and practical skills involved in archaeology. Fieldwork is embedded within the course in first year for both Single and Combined Honours students.
In second year, Single Honours students are required to gain 3-4 weeks field experience in the form of our Chester-based field school and this is an option for Combined Honours students. In addition, you will have opportunities for further practical experience in archaeology including landscape analysis, excavation, survey and artefact analysis.
I am really interested in archaeology and think I would enjoy it at university, but I am not sure I want to get a job as an archaeologist. Is it still worth me doing the course?
There are a wide range of careers in archaeology, but not all students intend to follow that career path. Many people study archaeology because they are genuinely interested in the subject and know they will enjoy it. Students can use a first degree in archaeology to obtain graduate employment in a range of other careers. In addition, studying archaeology will give you skills that all employers want - no matter what field you decide to go into. You will learn how to work with a team and develop your leadership skills, develop problem-solving, communication and written skills, develop ways of organising and working through data and information of different types and in certain courses develop desirable IT skills (such as working with databases). Archaeologists have the ability to be both creative and methodical in the way they think about problems and the task at hand, which will make you stand out from the crowd.
I'm really into archaeology and want to get a job as an archaeologist. Do I need to do a course? Are there jobs out there?
An archaeology degree will train you in subject-specific skills you need. It is pretty much the case now that every archaeologist will have at least an undergraduate degree in archaeology (single or combined). For specific information on the range of jobs an archaeology degree will prepare you for you should visit the ‘Jobs' factsheet produced by the Council for British Archaeology, which you can find online at http://www.britarch.ac.uk/cba/factsht5.shtml. In other words, if you want to be Indiana Jones, you'll need a degree in archaeology first!
I want to get a job in a museum or with a heritage organisation. Is this the right course for me?
Absolutely! One of the strengths of the Chester degree is its vocational elements. A whole range of optional heritage courses are available, which give our students the skills to take out into the heritage job market. Not only do our tutors have experience of working in museums and for heritage organisations themselves but museum and heritage professionals also contribute to the programme. This provides good networking opportunities on top of gaining first hand experience and knowledge of the museum and heritage world. Many of our graduates have gone on to work for the likes of English Heritage, CADW, the National Trust and numerous museum services around the UK. Others have gained places on highly competitive museum and heritage postgraduate courses across the country.
I'd really love to study archaeology, but I'm a non-traditional student and I'm worried about coming back to studying. Will I feel out of place?
Not at all! Archaeology attracts students of all ages and backgrounds. Small group work and discussion sessions will help you integrate so you don't feel lost in the crowd. One of the characteristics of archaeology at Chester is the great sense of community and camaraderie that develops not just in lectures, but also during field trips and fieldwork experiences. There is also a very active student History, Archaeology & Heritage Society that provides one method (amongst many) for students to get together outside of the classroom. The University of Chester provides additional guidance and support through a range of services to help you get used to being a student.