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Archaeology and Geography with Professional Practice

BA (Hons)

School - School of Environment & Life Sciences

Subject area - Archaeology

UCAS Code: VF41

Start Date(s): September


Three Years Full Time with Placement


UK - £9,250 per year

International - £14,820 per year

In Brief:

  • Explore the relationship between the wider landscape and environment, and the human societies that inhabited them
  • Two-semester integrated work placement in the second year
  • Many field trip opportunities
  • Work/industrial placement opportunity
  • International students can apply

Course Summary

This course will enable you to explore the relationship between the wider landscape and environment, and the human societies that inhabited them. You will gain real-world employment experience and knowledge of current professional practice from a two-semester-long placement in your second year. Modules  on  current professional practice, British archaeology, the environment, GIS and heritage management will provide you with a broad archaeological and geographical foundation.

Field work is a key element of this course, and you may have the opportunity to go on day trips to the Peak District, the Yorkshire Dales, Sheffield and Liverpool, as well as on residential field courses across the UK. You will only pay a modest non-refundable deposit for such visits, which are otherwise 100% subsidised by the university.

This course includes a two-semester-long work placement module that allows you to work with real-world external heritage companies and agencies. You will arrange the placement with our support. Specific modules where you will work directly with external professionals are ‘Heritage Protection and  Management’ in the second year and the ‘GIS’ and ‘Archaeology and the Public’ modules in the third year.

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Course Details

Small group teaching is a feature of Archaeology and Geography at Salford and there are strong links between the content of this course, current professional practice and staff research interests. Study and IT skills are embedded in this course, as is the use of computing facilities for data handling and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) for environmental mapping and modelling.

Human geography themes covered include:  the effects of climate change, food security, mobility, sustainability, demography, economic geography, planning and environmental impact assessment (EIA), urban living and quality of life. Archaeological themes covered include heritage management and the planning process, current archaeological professional practice, UK heritage legislation, the archaeology of Britain, industrial archaeology, public archaeology and World Heritage Sites.

YEAR 1        

This module is designed as an introduction to the discipline, with a focus on the key principles and practices. Students will be taken through the process of archaeological fieldwork from locating unknown sites, to the exploration of sites through geophysical and other methods, excavation and the post-excavation  processing and archiving of finds and ultimate analysis. Students will develop some familiarity with essential methodology, fieldwork techniques, and the processing and interpretation of data and finds in archaeology.            
This module is designed as an introduction to the main archaeological periods and data within the British Isles. There is a focus on the key principles and practices. After an introduction to the history of the archaeology in Britain key periods will be reviewed from the Palaeolithic to the 20th century. In each case key issues, type sites, material culture and debates will be discussed and studied.            
You take a weekly one hour tutorial with a member of academic staff in a group of 6-8 students. The module develops your academic skills and helps you develop your personal and professional skills for study and for work. You will work on a range of geographical/environmental management problems linked to the core first year modules The tutorials involve discussion, debate, and problem-solving, and provide you with a regular forum for monitoring your progress.            
Environmental resources include food, energy and water, and spatial and temporal variation in the availability of these resources is arguably the most important issue for society in the twenty first century. This module introduces energy and water resources as fundamental concepts and examines current problems related to climate change, food security and pollution.            
The first part of this module provides you with the applied skills to manage and analyse data using descriptive statistics, inference, graphs, hypothesis testing, and correlation and regression.  It also introduces information searching and retrieving skills, data presentation and report writing. The second part of the module involves a residential field course in the UK where you will collect, analyse and present data to put into practice what you have learned.            
This module examines the role of people in shaping the human environment and focuses on key concepts such as place, power, scale and networks. You will learn about how the shape and form of cities is influenced by social and political issues, and how new technologies are changing the nature of human interactions in cities, states and across the world.            

YEAR 2        

This module will give an overview of current professional practice in managing the historic environment. Set within the current legislative and planning framework of the UK the role of planning and archaeology will be studied, along with the needs and requirements of industrial and archaeologists.            
This module introduces the theory and practice of using remote sensing and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) for investigation our environment. You will learn how to acquiring environmental data using satellite remote sensing. This module develops practical skills in the use of GIS for geographical problem solving. This module places an emphasis on hand-on learning using state-of-the-art mapping software and mapping technologies. There are also opportunities to work on real world GIS projects with commercial organisations.            
This module examines the key concepts and theories in human geography and how they help explain contemporary relationships between people and place. This is done by considering current affairs and social practices and how they interact with governance systems in the 21st Century and impact on environmental and social issues in the UK. This module will also examine how demography is use to characterise and classify the urban landscape. Formal and informal ways of using green spaces in cities will also be examined.            

YEAR 3        

The Dissertation is a key feature of the course providing you with an opportunity to undertake a challenging independent research project with guidance of a member of academic staff. Your research topic is defined in second year and in third year you focus on data analysis, data interpretation and report writing. The module fine-tunes your research skills and provides you with a wide range of skills that may deployed in further study or the workplace.            
This module examines the role of decision-making in the management of natural resources and ecosystem services. You will investigate the role of environmental modelling in supporting environmental decision-making and assess the effectiveness of decision-making tools including Environmental Impact Assessment, hazard and risk analysis, and life-cycle analysis.            
The aim of this module is to develop your knowledge and understanding of the factors controlling the design, and implementation of GIS solutions to map, monitor and model terrestrial environments. You will also examine the major issues and impacts of GIS evolution and diffusion on society.            
This course is designed to foster an understanding of the major problems encountered in conducting public archaeology in Britain in a comparative international context. Professional practitioners will lead some of the session discussion the problems and benefits of engagement.            
This course will explore the landscape archaeology of industrialisation in Britain during the period 1600-1900. This period covers the transition from a rural, agriculturally-based, society to an urban, manufacturing-based, society and the consequent landscape changes as reflected in the archaeological record. The course is structured around a series of major research questions with which archaeologists of the Industrial period are currently engaged.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

Entry Requirements

Qualification Entry requirements
European Baccalaureate Pass in Diploma of at least 60% including at least 1 Science subject
You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.
English Language and Maths at grade C or above
UCAS tariff points 96-112 points History, Archaeology or Geography preferred but not essential
GCE A level 96-112 points History, Archaeology or Geography preferred but not essential
BTEC National Diploma MMM
BTEC Higher National Diploma Possible entry to year 3
Foundation Degree Possible entry to year 3
Scottish Highers 96-112 points
Irish Leaving Certificate 96-112 points from Higher Level
International Baccalaureate 29 points
Access to HE Pass QAA approved access programme in Science or Health & Social Care

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We positively welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to successfully pursue a programme of study in higher education. Students who do not have the traditional entry requirements may be able to apply through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme. Support in preparing for the written assessment is available from the University.

English Language Requirements

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.5 (with no element below 5.5) is proof of this. If you need to improve your written and spoken English, you might be interested in our English language courses.

Applicant profile

We welcome those coming from school or college, with, or without, an A level in Archaeology or Geography with interests in geography and a passion for fieldwork. We also welcome those returning to education, either with Access qualifications or by taking the foundation year. International students are also welcome.

Fees and Funding


Fees 2019-20

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £9,250 per year
Full-time International £14,820 per year

Fees 2018-19

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £9,250 per year
Part-time Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Full-time International £14,400 per year

Additional costs

  • Field courses - a non refundable deposit of £25 is charged for all residential field courses
  • Field trips - students will not be charged for field (day) trips but are expected to provide their own refreshments.

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.


Teaching is through a combination of

  • Lectures
  • Fieldwork
  • Practical classes
  • Tutorials
  • Computer-based learning and
  • Guided independent learning in the form of assignments and project work


Assessments will be based on a combination of examination and continuous assessment. This will include field reports, reflective diaries, essays, problem-solving exercises, data analysis, seminars, and research projects, and will involve a mixture of group and individual work.


Career Prospects

Archaeology graduates often go on to explore career paths in professional archaeology units, environmental consultancies, museums, conservation and construction. By studying this course, you will develop a range of personal and professional skills, as well as gaining professional work experience- all of which are attributes that employers highly value in graduates. These include work-place experience, field experience (including excavation and surveying), report writing and presentation skills, the ability to interpret data and the application of IT, and the development of team working and project management skills.

Many Salford geography graduates have gone on to work in environmental consultancies, utility companies, transport logistics, housing organisations, and have pursued careers in primary and secondary teaching. Others have gone on to take Masters or PhD degrees in a variety of disciplines.

Links with Industry

You will work with professionals involved in archaeology and heritage protection and public engagement and with a company involved in providing digital mapping. Experiences such as these will allow you to develop many of the key skills sought by employers and experience practical real-world placement experience that will give you an insight into the world of work.

Placement Opportunities

This course includes a two-semester-long work placement module that allows you to work with real-world external heritage companies and agencies. You will arrange the placement with our support. Specific modules where you will work directly with external professionals are ‘Heritage Protection and Management’ in the second year and the ‘GIS’ and ‘Archaeology and the Public’ modules in the third year.


Centre for Applied Archaeology

The Centre for Applied Archaeology has unrivalled access to a wide range of skills from planning and surveying, to conservation and 3D visualisation.

Our professional seminars and postgraduate archaeology courses have an emphasis on industrial archaeology and the built environment to maximise this access to specialist expertise and resource.

The Centre undertakes work in three areas:

  • teaching and research, especially within industrial archaeology and the built environment
  • promoting and providing research access to heritage and community archaeology
  • archaeological consultancy work and professional development courses

We have a number of community archaeology projects engaging the local and wider community in their heritage and an established project undertaking research on landscape in the Trent Valley spanning multiple years. Follow our work with the University of Salford archaeology blog.

Dig Greater Manchester

Our "Dig Greater Manchester project" gives local communities the opportunity to get involved in their own history and heritage, with residents getting 'hands on' experience of an archaeological excavation. Over 6,000 local people across Greater Manchester will get involved, ranging from absolute beginners and school children, to experienced archaeology volunteers.

Find out more about the locations and the project and follow the excavations on the Dig Greater Manchester blog.

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