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Ranked 1st in The Guardian league table for studying archaeology (2012)
Ranked 2nd in the Complete University subject table for Archaeology (2012)
100% of Institute undergraduate finalists expressed satisfaction with the teaching and support in National Student Surveys 2010 and 2011


“My three years as an undergraduate at the Institute have been fantastic. The fieldwork opportunities, stimulating courses and vibrant atmosphere make it, in my opinion, the best place to study Archaeology.”

     Maryann Kontonicolas
(BA Classical Archaeology and Classical Civilisation, 2009—2012)

Students at the UCL Institute of Archaeology discover the rich diversity of the human past, exploring societies from two million years ago to the present day, and asking questions of relevance to our shared global future. To address these questions students integrate the humanities and the sciences, using a wide range of approaches to collect, evaluate and interpret relevant evidence. At UCL, and during survey and excavation projects, students make life-long friends while developing teamwork, management and leadership skills. Studying archaeology demands energy and enthusiasm; it challenges expectations while developing the problem-solving and transferable skills which all employers are looking for. Graduates from the Institute go on to make wide-ranging contributions to society, including business, academia and archaeology. For the career histories of some former students, see the ‘IoA People and Places’ section towards the back of this issue of Archaeology International (pp. 119—126) – and likewise last year’s ‘Alumni Reflections’ (AI 13/14: 108–111).


“The most enthusiastic and inspiring teachers I have ever had.”

     Harriet Louth
(MA in Cultural Heritage Studies, 2011—2012)

The Institute occupies the eight floors of a building on the northern side of Gordon Square, in Bloomsbury, next to the main UCL campus and within easy reach of the museums, cultural life and resources that lie at the heart of London. This building is home to all our staff, undergraduate, Master’s and PhD students. It houses an outstanding and world-renowned archaeology library and collections, computing and photographic facilities, numerous laboratories and seminar rooms, allowing students at all levels to engage critically with – and contribute to – current research. Institute students are part of a thriving community, of which a central feature is the Society of Archaeological Students (SAS), our social and academic society.


“Great location, fabulous staff and amazing resources.”

     Lizzie Cooper
(MA Museum Studies, 2011—2012)/td>

All Institute degrees have structured core courses and a dissertation, but students are able to choose from around 70 undergraduate (or a further 70 Master’s) optional courses that develop their personal interests. We offer a wide range of BA, BSc, MA and MSc degrees; for details (including full handbooks for each course), see: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/archaeology/studying.


“Much more than a degree in Archaeology, it has offered me skills I can use for the rest of my life.”

     Victor Mellors
(BA Archaeology, 2009—2012)/td>

The Institute also has the largest and most diverse community of archaeology research students of any UK University. Information on PhD and staff research can be found at: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/archaeology/research.

In spite of being the largest archaeology department in the world, students at the Institute are part of a small community which values and supports all its members. The close co-operation and interaction between staff and students means that everyone benefits from this exciting research-led and teaching-focused institution.

All undergraduate students participate in a minimum of 70 days fieldwork, which includes four days on the ‘Experimental Archaeology Course’ and a 12- day ‘Archaeology Field Training Course’ during their first year. Funding from UCL covers subsistence and travel costs for most fieldwork and study-tours in the UK and abroad: see ‘The Institute of Archaeology Around the World’ feature in this issue (pp. 14–24).

UK students have access to Government loans to cover the £9,000 UCL fees. Students start to pay off these loans after graduation, paying 9% of any income over £21,000 a year. In addition, UCL undergraduates from families with incomes lower than £42,000 a year receive an annual cash bursary of £1,000.

A ‘Semester’ or ‘Junior Year Abroad’ at the UCL Institute of Archaeology provides a unique opportunity for students enrolled at a university outside the UK to study in London. ‘Affiliate students’ on these programmes attend the same classes as the Institute’s regular degree students. For further information, contact Dr José Oliver: j.oliver@ucl.ac.uk.

Our Graduate Diploma provides an academic qualification for students who already hold a first degree in a non-archaeological subject – or can serve as a foundation year in preparation for one of our Master’s degrees.

We welcome high achieving and committed students of all backgrounds, ages and nationalities. If you have any questions about our undergraduate degrees, please contact Charlotte Frearson: ioa-ugadmissions@ucl.ac.uk.

All enquiries about the Graduate Diploma, Master’s programmes and PhD-level research should be addressed to Lisa Daniel: ioa-gradadmissions@ucl.ac.uk.

Students preparing animal skins during the Institute’s World Archaeology Festival.

Fig. 1: Students preparing animal skins during the Institute’s World Archaeology Festival.