Why Study Archaeology at Chester?

Archaeology is a fascinating, rich and rewarding subject that explores many different aspects of humankind and embraces a wide range of skills and experiences.

The University of Chester has a young archaeology department with deep concentrations towards new and innovative research and is located in an undiscovered bountiful area of archaeology. Experimental learning in second year offers you a chance to wield a trowel and come face to face with the past and a lot of dirt for four weeks!
Lisa Brundle, Single Honours Archaeology, 2008

Archaeology is all about discovering and investigating the human past, from human evolution to the present day. By studying archaeology we can find out about how people spent their lives, where they lived, the clothes they wore and the food they ate. Archaeology can uncover the religions, burial customs and beliefs of past societies. Through artefacts and excavations, extraordinary details of the daily lives of past generations can be investigated. Archaeology offers a perspective on broad topics, such as how different societies identified and organised themselves, how they co-existed and interacted with other communities and how they perceived and used the physical landscape in which they lived.

Archaeology is available as a Single Honours degree programme or as a major, equal or minor subject within the Combined Honours degree programme.

Exploring the archaeology of Chester and Britain

The historic city of Chester is an internationally important archaeological site. Our programmes use Chester and its hinterland as a model for exploring the archaeology of Britain. They give a broad view of British archaeology, focusing on the historic period from the beginning of the Roman era to the present age, although the programmes also offer the chance to study prehistoric Britain and consider and reflect on themes in wider European and world archaeology. The modules embrace a mixture of theory, method and practice. Professional archaeologists from Chester Archaeology (Chester City Council's archaeology service) make a major contribution to the teaching and a significant amount of fieldwork training is offered including participation in full-scale archaeological excavation.

Both the combined and single honours programmes focus on the archaeology of the Roman period onwards, for which there are also documentary sources available, so students have the opportunity to assess different types of evidence, although there is also scope to study aspects of British prehistory. In giving a British-wide perspective, they draw heavily upon Chester, its hinterland and the surrounding region, a very varied area and one enormously rich in the archaeological remains of the periods covered by the programmes.

Our programmes blend theory and practice, with plenty of opportunities to become involved in fieldwork and to participate in archaeological survey or excavation. The links with Chester Archaeology and other local commercial and research groups ensure that there are often opportunities to become involved in archaeological work in and around Chester.