|Program start date||Application deadline|
This course offers a Joint Honours degree programme examining the human past and the diverse environments human societies inhabit, from a scientific perspective, including the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in working with archaeological material and undertaking fieldwork.
Archaeology explores a wide range of evidence that documents the human past – from artefacts, monuments and settlements to entire landscapes – and from these interprets how societies have adapted and developed. Modules focus on different periods of World, European and Irish/British archaeology, from human origins to modern times and heritage. Queen's University Belfast is one of the best places to study Archaeology in the UK, scoring third place for student experience in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022 and, once again, first place for student satisfaction in the Complete University Guide 2022.
Palaeoecology studies environmental evidence to assess the impact of natural events and human activities on landscapes, climate and changing environments. Modules examine themes such as ancient environments, evolution, economic and climate change.
Geography embraces the study of human societies and their environment in the present and in the more recent past and, like Archaeology and Palaeoecology, is one of the few subjects in which human and physical aspects of the environment are integrated.
The combined disciplines progressively develop general and specific knowledge and skills, through excavation, fieldwork, overseas fieldtrips, laboratory and practical work. A wide range of career options are available to our graduates including careers in commercial archaeology, survey, heritage management and many more, both within and beyond the heritage sector.
As well as the Joint Honours BSc in Archaeology-Palaeoecology and Geography, Queen's offers Single Honours degrees in Archaeology (BA) and Archaeology-Palaeoecology (BSc) along with other degree programmes which combine Archaeology (the study of past human activities) with other subjects (Languages and History). All of those Single Honours and Joint Honours degrees offer a module pathway that is fully accredited by the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA) and University Archaeology UK (UAUK).
Archaeology-Palaeoecology and Geography Degree highlights
World Class Facilities
Internationally Renowned Experts
|Introduction||All students normally take six courses per stage (a stage equals one academic year of full-time study), each covering a distinct theme. Single Honours students normally take at least five Archaeology/Palaeoecology courses. Students on Joint Honours degree programmes normally take three Archaeology/Palaeoecology courses, in addition to three courses from their second subject. Students enrolled on this programme have the opportunity to undertake an optional additional year of study, either between Stages 2 and 3 or after completing Stage 3, spent studying abroad or on a workplace placement. At the end of Stage 3, students with very good performance also have the opportunity to switch to our undergraduate Masters programme (MSci). In the MSci, Stage 4 courses enable students to deepen their theoretical knowledge, to gain additional practical experience and further to broaden their skills base. Note: some modules may be subject to change|
|Stage 1||Themes covered in Stage 1 include an introduction to world archaeology, environmental change as well as principles and processes of physical geography.|
|Stage 1 Optional Courses||Optional courses at Stage 1 explore, amongst other themes, European prehistory, human geography, the relationship between past human societies and their natural environments as well as the historic archaeology of Europe.|
|Stage 2||At Stage 2, students explore in more detail the themes introduced at Stage 1 and develop both their theoretical background knowledge and their practical skills. In particular, Stage 2 courses provide competencies and concepts necessary for the dissertation that is normally taken at Stage 3, and for future employment in Archaeology, Palaeoecology and Geography, as well as in a wide range of other fields.|
|Stage 2 Optional Courses||Optional courses at Stage 2 focus on the archaeology of Ireland and other specific geographical areas, on contemporary approaches to geographical enquiry, archaeological, palaeoenvironmental and other earth-science techniques, cultural and political geography, and the use of Geographical Information Systems.|
|Stage 3||At Stage 3, students dedicate a substantial part of their time to their chosen dissertation project, drawn from any of the disciplines underpinning this degree programme, and building on the knowledge and skills they have acquired through Stages 1 and 2.|
|Stage 3 Optional Courses||Students at Stage 3 have the opportunity to choose from a wide range of optional courses focusing on specialist themes, ranging in time from the evolution of early humans to the Middle Ages, and covering fields as diverse as geoforensics, population studies, urbanisation, ritual and religion, prehistoric monuments, climate change and advanced GIS skills.|
|Supplement – Optional Additional Year||Students enrolled on this programme have the opportunity to undertake an optional additional year of study, either between Stages 2 and 3 or after completing Stage 3. The additional year can be spent studying abroad at one of our international partner universities or on a UK or international workplace placement. Depending on the chosen option, the degree title awarded will then be ‘BSc Archaeology-Palaeoecology and Geography with International Study’, ‘BSc Archaeology-Palaeoecology and Geography with Placement’, or ‘BSc Archaeology-Palaeoecology and Geography with International Placement’.|
People teaching you
Dr Patrick GleesonProgramme Director for Archaeology and Archaeology-Palaeoecology
Natural and Built EnvironmentDr Patrick Gleeson is a archaeologist interested in the later prehistoric and medieval archaeology of Europe. His current research focus is the archaeology of cult, rulership, kingdoms and governance in the first millennium AD of northern Europe. He currently has ongoing field projects examing later prehistoric and early medieval power centres, cult and royal landscapes in Ireland and Scotland, including Kedrah Fort, Lagore Crannog, Navan Fort, the Rock of Cashel and Knockainy.
Contact Teaching Times
|Personal Study||24 (hours maximum) 22-24 hours studying and revising in your own time each week, including some guided study using handouts, online activities etc|
|Large Group Teaching||6 (hours maximum) 6 hours of lectures|
|Medium Group Teaching||6 (hours maximum) 6 hours of practical classes, workshops or seminars each week, some weeks will have additional field classes|
|Small Group Teaching/Personal Tutorial||2 (hours maximum) 2 hours of tutorials (or individual project supervision) each week|
Learning and Teaching
At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable each student to achieve their full academic potential.Within Archaeology-Palaeoecology and Geography we do this by providing a range of learning experiences which enable our students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies and a world class library that enhances their development as independent, lifelong learners. Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:
E-Learning technologiesInformation associated with lectures and assignments is often communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called Canvas. A range of e-learning experiences are also embedded in the degree through, for example: interactive group workshops in a flexible learning space; IT and statistics modules; podcasts and interactive web-based learning activities; opportunities to use IT programmes associated with web design in practicals and project- based work.
LecturesIntroduce basic information about new topics as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading. Lectures also provide opportunities to ask questions, gain some feedback and advice on assessments (normally delivered in large groups to all year group peers).
Personal TutorUndergraduates are allocated a Personal Tutor during Stages 1 and 2 who meets with them on several occasions during the year to support their academic development.
PracticalsWhere students will have opportunities to develop technical skills and apply theoretical principles to real-life or practical contexts. Many Archaeology-Palaeoecology and Geography modules have associated practical classes, ranging from 3 to 9 hours study per week, depending on the module content.
Self-directed studyThis is an essential part of life as a Queen’s student when important private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date and assignment research and preparation work is carried out.
Seminars/tutorialsSignificant amounts of teaching are carried out in small groups (typically 10-20 students). These provide an opportunity for students to engage with academic staff who have specialist knowledge of the topic, to ask questions and to assess their own progress and understanding with the support of peers. Students should also expect to make presentations and other contributions to these groups.
Supervised projectsIn final year, students will be expected to carry out a significant piece of research on a topic or practical methodology that they have chosen. They will receive support from a supervisor who will guide them in terms of how to carry out research and who will provide feedback on a number of occasions during the write up stage.
Work placements and Field ClassesStudents gain practical fieldwork experience through the teaching excavation at Stage 1 and will normally have the opportunity to build further experience though volunteering on staff-led field projects throughout Stages 2 and 3. Depending on module choice, Stage 3 provides further opportunity for work placements. Students enrolled on the MSci are offered the opportunity of gaining fieldwork experience at an advanced level at Stage 4.
Details of assessments associated with this course are outlined below:
As students progress through their degree course at Queen's they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and their peers. University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including:
The information below is intended as an example only, featuring module details for the current year of study (2022/23). Modules are reviewed on an annual basis and may be subject to future changes – revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year.
Introduction To World Archaeology(20 credits)
Physical Geography: Earth, Wind and Water(20 credits)
Physical Geography: Earth, Fire and Ice(20 credits)
Environmental Change: past, present and future(20 credits)
Human Geography: Society, Power and Culture(20 credits)
Human Geography: Society, Economy and Population(20 credits)
Europe in Prehistory(20 credits)
Archaeological Excavation(20 credits)
Themes in Historical Archaeology(20 credits)
Ancient Humans and Landscapes(20 credits)
Geographical Research Skills(20 credits)
Thinking through Things Theorizing Global Archaeology(20 credits)
Palaeoenvironmental Techniques(20 credits)
Global Environmental Change(20 credits)
The Archaeology of Islands (Residential Fieldtrip Module)(20 credits)
Geography and Employability(0 credits)
Urban Landscapes (Netherlands)(20 credits)
Archaeology in Practice(20 credits)
Remaking Cities: Comparative Research Project(20 credits)
Exploring Dynamic Environments (Mallorca)(20 credits)
Geographies of Economic Restructuring and Social Change(20 credits)
From St Patrick to the Plantation: The Archaeology of Historic Ireland(20 credits)
Ireland in Prehistory(20 credits)
Landscapes and Geographical Information (GIS)(20 credits)
Contemporary Approaches to Geographical Enquiry(20 credits)
Archaeological Excavation(20 credits)
Cultural and Political Geography(20 credits)
Geography At Work(40 credits)
Geographical Independent Research Essay(20 credits)
Independent Project(20 credits)
Geography Dissertation(40 credits)
Archaeology/Palaeoecology Dissertation(40 credits)
Maps and Mappings(20 credits)
Critical Thinking and the Past(20 credits)
Sustaining the Biosphere(20 credits)
Environmental Catastrophes(20 credits)
Geographies of Outer Space(20 credits)
Ice Cold Environments(20 credits)
The Archaeology of Ancient Greece (Residential Fieldtrip Module)(20 credits)
Kingship and Religion in the First Millennium AD(20 credits)
Volcanoes: environmental and societal impacts(20 credits)
Society, Death and Disease(20 credits)
Spaces of Urbanisation in Emerging Economies and Sustainable Development(20 credits)
Geographies of contested territories(20 credits)
Advanced Geographical Information Systems(20 credits)
IntroductionStudying for an Archaeology-Palaeoecology and Geography degree at Queen's will assist students in developing the core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by employers, professional organisations and academic institutions. Graduates from this degree at Queen's are well regarded by many employers (local, national and international) and over half of all graduate jobs are now open to graduates of any discipline, including Archaeology-Palaeoecology and Geography. Although the majority of our graduates are interested in pursuing careers in archaeology and geography-related areas (town and country planning, environmental impact, Land and Property Services [formerly Ordnance Survey]) significant numbers develop careers in a wide range of other sectors.
Employment LinksWe regularly consult and develop links with a large number of employers including, for example, the Historic Environment Division at the Department for Communities, National Trust, Ulster Wildlife Trust, who provide both snapshot advice on their work, as well as run more in-depth advice sessions, the latter often at taught Masters level. We also run a careers seminar programme with guest speaker employers and further-study coordinators (teacher training, Masters and PhD degrees). We benefit greatly from housing the Centre for Archaeological Fieldwork in the School. This self-funded private unit obtains commercial work from the Department for Communities, the police and civil engineering companies, thus exposing students to employers, but also providing the teaching with information on what the current employment market requires from Archaeology-Palaeoecology and Geography graduates.
Additional Awards Gained(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Prizes and Awards
In addition to the prizes and awards available to all QUB students, a number of prizes and scholarships are available specifically to undergraduate students in Archaeology and Palaeoecology; normally these are awarded on an annual basis:
The Basil Wilson Prizes
The Kerr Fieldwork/Visit Award
The Kerr Final Year Dissertation Prize
The Kerr MSci Prize
The Kerr Meritorious Performance Prize
The Kerr Prize (one each at Stages 1, 2, and 3)
The Kerr Undergraduate Scholarship
Degree plus award for extra-curricular skills
In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Degree Plus. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.
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