Archaeological Science BSc (Hons)

UCAS code F420

What is special about this course?

Are you interested in archaeology but wish to focus on the scientific elements of this field of study? If so, the BSc (Hons) Archaeological Science could be perfect for you.

This exciting new degree complements our existing archaeology programmes by exploring the range of science-based methods that form an integral part of archaeological research, from archaeobotany to zooarchaeology.

On this course, you will develop scientific skills and knowledge through a range of science-orientated modules such as: science and archaeology; practical environmental archaeology; biomolecular archaeology and archaeological science dissertation. You will participate in a range of activities during your degree studies including: taking part in world-renowned archaeological excavations; laboratory-based study; fieldschools; and actively engaging in research.

You will have the opportunity to gain invaluable workplace experience through participation in our archaeological placement module, which will aid you in developing key real-world skills for life after your degree, whether in postgraduate research, archaeology or another chosen profession.

In choosing to study at the University of the Highland and Islands, you will experience a vibrant and active learning environment and have the flexibility to study at one or more campuses throughout the region as you progress through your degree.

Special features

  • Develop practical environmental archaeology skills
  • Take part in a work placement to gain real-world experience of archaeological sciences
  • Take part and gain skills in excavation at one of our research excavations
  • You can study full-time or part-time to suit your personal circumstances
  • Flexible study through learning at one or more of our campuses
  • You can study individual modules for personal or professional development


We offer modern student accommodation at a number of our locations.

Entry requirements

  • 3 Scottish Highers at grade BBC or above OR
  • 2 A levels at grade BC or above
  • These must include a science subject at least to grade C
  • Applicants with other qualifications or experience will be considered on an individual basis

Year 1 - CertHE

Core modules may include:

  • Archaeology theory and method
  • Science and archaeology

You will also choose two archaeology option modules which may include:

  • World archaeology
  • Historic landscapes
  • European pre-histories

with a further two option modules from other humanities or science degrees.

Year 2 - DipHE

Core modules may include:

  • Excavation skills (should be taken in the summer between the first and second year)
  • Digital heritage
  • Wetland archaeology

You will also choose one archaeology option module which may include:

  • Managing archaeology for contemporary society
  • Scottish archaeology

along with two further option modules from other humanities or science degrees.

Year 3 - BSc

Core modules may include:

  • Archaeological science
  • Archaeology project
  • Archaeology and interpretation
  • Practical environmental archaeology (should be taken in the summer between years two and three)

You will also choose one of the following modules:

  • Pre-history of the Highlands and Islands
  • Historical archaeology of the Highlands and Islands

You will choose one further option module in archaeology or other humanities degrees.

Year 4 - BSc (Hons)

Core modules may include:

  • Archaeological science dissertation
  • Sustainability, past and present
  • Biomolecular archaeology
  • People, plants and animals.

You will also choose one option module which may include:

  • Funerary and burial archaeology
  • Neolithic Scotland
  • Landscape archaeology

How will I study my course?

  • Full-time
  • Part-time (structured)
  • Part -time (unstructured)
  • You will learn through a combination of face-to-face and/or video conference lectures and tutorials, and online study via the university's virtual learning environment (VLE), with support from your tutors
  • There are two 2-week residentials in Orkney for the excavation skills module and practical environmental archaeology module where you will take part in a summer field school and laboratory-based work. Students are required to self-fund their travel to Orkney and cover accommodation and subsistence costs


How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 4 years @ 40 hours per week
  • Part-time: 8 years @ 20 hours per week


For students normally domiciled in Scotland or the European Union/EEA (outside of the UK) and with a term time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Full-time (120 credit modules) per year £1,820 £1,820
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year £645 £645
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module) £215 £215

Rest of UK students

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland) and with a term time address in Scotland studying this course full time, the following fees apply:

    Full-time Full-time
Year 1 CertHE £9,000 £9,000
Year 2 DipHE £9,000 £9,000
Year 3 Degree £9,000 £9,000
Year 4 Honours free* free*

**4th year free only for students studying full-time who have paid for the previous 3 years at the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Part-time (per 20 credit module) -  £1,500 (2017-18 and 2018-19).

Fees are payable in advance each academic year unless otherwise agreed.

There are a number of funding options available to UK and EU students to help you pay for your studies and your cost of living whilst studying.

International students

For students who do not normally reside in the UK or European Union and with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Full-time per year (120 credit modules) per year £11,550 £12,200
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year** £5,775 £6,100
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module)** £1,925 £2,034

**There is no part-time study option for Tier 4 sponsored international. students.

Further information on international course fees.

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


External scholarships and financial support may be available. Contact the relevant UHI partner college for more information.

What can I do on completion of my course?

Once you have successfully completed your degree, you may consider careers in:

  • Archaeological contract units
  • Consultancy
  • Archives and museums
  • Government agencies and local authorities
  • Media and politics
  • Teaching
  • Research

Can I progress into further study?

You may progress from the BSc (Hons) Archaeological Science to a range of postgraduate courses offered by the university or to postgraduate research:

MSc Archaeological Practice
MLitt Archaeological Studies
MLitt Highlands and Islands Culture
MLitt History of the Highlands and Islands
MLitt History and Archaeology of the Highlands and Islands
MLitt Orkney and Shetland Studies
MLitt Viking Studies

Is there more information available online?

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Apply for Archaeological Science BSc (Hons)

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI). UHI operates 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.

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