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Archaeology A-Level at Priestley College

Course description

Archaeology is the study of human activity in the past: the buildings people built, the food they ate, the clothes they wore and even the gods they worshipped. The subject covers huge spans of time, from the earliest hunter-gatherer groups to the great states of Rome and Greece. Archaeological evidence comes in many different forms, such as stone tools, animal and human bones and pottery. Archaeology offers us a fascinating glimpse into the day-to-day lives of our predecessors and helps inform our own future.

Course content

Archaeology is a non-linear A-Level. The AS course begins with a study of Religion and Ritual in Ancient Rome where you will examine the religion and beliefs of the Romans through evidence found in Britain and Europe. You will explore five key religious sites and learn about religious change in the Roman Empire from 753BC to AD410. The second unit is Archaeological Skills and Methods, examining how archaeologists identify sites, excavate, and interpret evidence. This is done through study of important sites such as Stonehenge and discoveries such as the Austrian ‘Iceman’. In your second year you will study World Archaeology, a broad module in which you will consider a range of themes and controversies in archaeology and also complete a Personal Study, a coursework module that requires students to produce a 4,000-word archaeological investigation.

Entry requirements

You should have good written and communication skills. In addition, there are some scientific aspects of the course, so it would help if you are comfortable in this area.


In the AS course, Unit 1 is assessed through an examination in May/June

(40% of your AS year). Unit 2 is assessed through an examination in June

(60% of your AS year). In the A2 year, Unit 3 is assessed through examination in June (60% of your A2 year). Unit 4 is a coursework option worth 40% of your A2 year.

Future opportunities

Students who have studied Archaeology at A-Level have progressed to a wide range of university courses and careers. Possible careers include working in heritage management, journalism, police, as a museum curator and as an archaeologist. Archaeology is a subject that develops your skills of analysis, using source evidence, interpretation, and extended writing ability. These are highly valued by employers and universities.

Further information

There are lots of opportunities to become involved in additional activities – Archaeology students visit Chester to view the Roman remains and each year we run a popular residential trip to Hadrian’s Wall. Students have also visited Rome and Pompeii on overseas visits run in conjunction with History and Classical Civilisation students.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Priestley College directly.

Last updated date: 07 October 2016
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