Geography and Archaeology BA (Hons)

Course code L72A

What is special about this course?

Geography is the study of the Earth and the link between physical and human landscapes. It explores the inter-relationships between people, place and the environment and how these vary across and between places. Archaeology is the study of our past and the remains that humanity has left behind. Our BA (Hons) Geography and Archaeology considers both the present and the past from a humanities and social science perspective, focusing on issues including patterns of land use, planning and development, sustainability and globalisation, and heritage and tourism, in order to examine human relationships with the environment both today and in the past. 

A degree in geography and archaeology provides you with the knowledge and skills to understand many aspects of our rapidly changing world, equipping you to tackle real-world problems in a range of organisations and sectors, with the wide curriculum developing both specialist and transferable skills. 

Geography and archaeology graduates are among the most employable, with skills developed in presenting ideas in reports and oral presentations, in data collection and analysis, and in the use of specialist mapping and statistical software.  

The knowledge and skills taught in this course are of relevance to many areas of employment, including: renewable energy; energy efficiency; cultural heritage management; travel and tourism; rural and community development; agriculture; local government; planning; logistics; and environmental agencies. A significant number of graduates also move on to careers in finance, marketing and law, or to further postgraduate study, teaching and research.

Please see our FAQ sheet for further information on this course.

Special features

  • This degree is delivered by tutors with years of experience of teaching at a distance, and can be studied from home, full- or part-time to suit your circumstances
  • According to the UK's Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), Geography graduates are among the most likely to find employment. More than 90 per cent are in work or further study within six months of graduating (Times Higher Education 2017)
  • Optional archaeological fieldwork, work placement and residential weekend are available. These usually take place in the Highlands and Islands and, although they have cost implications for students attending, they are an ideal opportunity to meet fellow students and staff in a relaxed and natural environment

Entry requirements

  • 3 Scottish Highers at grades BBC or above or
  • 2 A levels at grades BC or above
  • At least 2 should be from the list of required subjects
  • Additional qualifications and experiences will be considered on an individual basis

Advanced entry

  • HNC Social Science (12 SCQF credits) with 3 additional SCQF credits at level 7, which is equivalent to 120 degree credit points, and at least grade C in the Graded Unit, will be considered for direct entry to year two

Year 1 - CertHE

You will study the following modules: 

  • Archaeological theory and method (S1)
  • Introduction to human geography (S2) 
  • Overview of energy use (S1) 

You will choose at least one of the following archaeology modules: 

  • European prehistories (S1)
  • Historic landscapes (S2)
  • Science and archaeology (S2)
  • World archaeology (S2)

You will also choose two further option modules from archaeology, geography or our range of humanities subjects.



Year 2 - DipHE

You will study the following modules: 

  • Atmosphere, weather and climate (S2) 
  • Excavation skills (2 week residential field school)
  • Introduction to geographical information systems (S2) 

You will choose at least one of the following archaeology modules: 

  • Digital heritage (S2)
  • Managing archaeology for contemporary society (S1)
  • Scottish archaeology (S1)
  • Wetland archaeology (S2)

You will also choose two further option modules from archaeology, geography or our range of humanities subjects. 



Year 3 - BA

You will usually study the following modules: 

  • Assessment of the environmental impacts of development (S1) 
  • Climate change (S2) PLUS
  • Either Advanced social research methods (S1) OR Sustainable tourism and the environment (S2)

You will also choose three of the following archaeology modules: 

  • Archaeological project (S2)
  • Archaeological science (S1)
  • Archaeology and interpretation (S2)
  • Archaeology work placement
  • Practical environmental archaeology (2 week residential)
  • Prehistory of the Highlands and Islands (S1)

Year 4 - BA (Hons)

You will complete a double credit dissertation in either Geography or Archaeology (S1 and S2).  

You will also study at least one module from your chosen dissertation subject, and at least two modules from the other subject, for a total of 6 modules.

Archaeology modules may include:

  • Biomolecular archaeology (S1)
  • Iron Age Scotland (S1)
  • Landscape archaeology (S2)
  • Neolithic Scotland (S2)
  • People, plants and animals (S2)
  • Sustainability past and present (S1)
  • Viking and Norse in the North Atlantic (S2)

Geography modules may include:

  • Geopolitical development issues
  • Sustainable agriculture systems (S2)
  • Sustainable energy and waste minimisation (S1)

How will I study my course?

  • Full-time
  • Part-time (structured)
  • Part-time (unstructured)
  • You will learn through a combination of video-conference lectures and tutorials, and online study via the university's virtual learning environment (VLE), with support from your tutors
  • You will also undertake practical archaeology fieldwork, and have the option to participate in other practical, residential modules

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 4 years @ 40 hours per week
  • Part-time (structured): 8 years @ up to 20 hours per week
  • Part-time (unstructured): variable

Number of hours per week indicates the total number of hours you should dedicate to the course, which includes time spent in lectures and your own time spent on individual study and research.

Where can I study my course?

  • Argyll
  • North, West and Hebrides
  • This fully online course can be studied from anywhere in the world
  • Students based near to one of the listed campuses should apply to, and be enrolled and supported by, their local campus
  • All other students should apply to, and will be enrolled and supported by, UHI North, West and Hebrides

Start date

  • September


For students normally domiciled in Scotland, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

This includes

  • EU nationals with settled or pre-settled status in the UK,
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with settled status in the UK
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.
  2023-24 2024-25
Full-time (120 credit modules) per year £1,820 £1,820
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year £915 £915
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module) £305 £305

Rest of the UK students

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland) or assessed as rest of the UK for fee status the following fees apply:

  2023-24 2024-25
Full-time online per year (120 credit modules) £6,120 £6,120
Part-time online (per 20 credit module) £1,020 £1,020

International students

For students who do not normally reside in the UK studying online from their home country, or living in the UK but assessed as international for fee status, the following fees apply:

This includes EU/EEA and Swiss nationals without settled status in the UK and EEA and Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are not self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.

  2023-24 2024-25
Full-time online per year (120 credit modules) £6,540 £6,960
Part-time online (per 20 credit module) £1,090 £1,160

A no fee increase guarantee is available for self-funding full-time and structured part-time rest of the UK and international undergraduate students for continuous study for the same award, up to the permitted standard time limit for the relevant award.


UHI has a number of scholarships, bursaries, awards, and discretionary fund opportunities available to new and current students. Please use the A-Z of funds or use the filter to see which ones may be relevant to you. All students are welcome to apply.

Further information on funding your studies is also available, please see the attached link or contact the relevant UHI partner.

Additional costs

Excavation skills is a compulsory, 2-week, residential field school, normally taken during summer at a site location off-campus. You will be responsible for covering the costs of your travel and subsistence.  There is considerable flexibility with dates and locations.

If you wish to attend practical or placement modules, optional residential weekends, or other field trips, student contributions will be required towards the overall costs incurred. The cost will vary depending on the event, your location and the amount of other funding available towards the event (eg HISA contributions to the Student Society Residential weekend may reduce costs for individual students). Attendance at such face to face events is optional and not essential for completion of the course.  

What can I do on completion of my course?

Once you have successfully completed this course, you might like to consider careers in: 

  • Government departments and development agencies 
  • Economic development and planning departments of local authorities 
  • Renewable energy, energy efficiency and waste management roles 
  • Cultural heritage management
  • Commercial archaeology
  • Natural and rural heritage organisations 
  • Tourism 
  • Agriculture 
  • Further postgraduate study or research 
  • Teaching 
  • Government departments and development agencies 
  • Economic development departments of local authorities 
  • Community enterprises and community energy groups 
  • Community land initiatives 
  • Natural and rural heritage organisations 
  • Voluntary sector development posts
  • International non-governmental organisations

Apply for Geography and Archaeology BA (Hons)

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2024

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.