Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
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200 place StudyQA ranking:3160 Duration:36 months


Palaeoecology studies environmental evidence to assess the impact of natural events and human activities on landscapes, climate and the changing environments. Palaeoecological approaches contribute importantly to environmental science and archaeology, relevant to the past, present and the future. Studies focus on plants, animals, diet, microscopic pollens, insects, sediments, soils and chronology.

Archaeology modules focus on different periods of World, European and Irish/British archaeology from human origins to modern times and heritage. Palaeocology modules examine themes such as dating, ancient environments, evolution, and economic change. The combined disciplines progressively develop general and specific knowledge and skills, including excavation, fieldwork, overseas fieldtrips, lab and practical work. These interesting and relevant subjects suit students from most academic backgrounds.

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 student to achieve their full academic potential.

Within Geography and Archaeology 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:

  • Lectures: introduce 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).
  • Practicals: where students will have opportunities to develop technical skills and apply theoretical principles to real-life or practical contexts. Many Archaeology, Geographic Information Systems and Physical Geography modules have associated practical classes, ranging from 3 to 9 hours study per week, depending on the module content.
  • E-Learning technologies:Information associated with lectures and assignments is often communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called Queen’s Online. 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 design in practicals and project- based work.
  • Seminars/tutorials: Significant 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.
  • Self-directed study: This 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.
  • Work placements and Field Classes: Students taking ‘Geography at Work’ undertake a work-placement during Level 3 and undertake internal work with the Centre for Archaeological Fieldwork (CAF) as part of ‘Archaeological Excavation’ in Year 2. These modules provide significant learning and employability enhancement opportunities.
  • Supervised projects: In 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.
  • Personal Tutor: Undergraduates are allocated a Personal Tutor during levels 1 and 2 who meets with them on several occasions during the year to support their academic development.



Studying for an Archaeology 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.

Although the majority of our graduates are interested in pursuing careers in archaeology-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. The following is a list of the major career sectors that have attracted our graduates in recent years:

  • Teaching
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Civil Service
  • Publishing
  • Professional archaeology
  • Surveying, especially civil engineering
  • Varied graduate programmes

Employer Links – Consultations:We regularly consult and develop links with a large number of employers including, for example, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), 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).

Placement Employers: Our past students have also gained work placement with organisations such as:

  • NIEA
  • Geological Survey of N.Ireland
  • Ulster Wildlife Trust
  • Land and Property Services
  • National Trust
  • Forensic Laboratory (NI)

Other Employer Links:We benefit greatly from housing the Centre for Archaeological Fieldwork in the school. This self-funded private unit obtains commercial work from NIEA, the police and civil engineering companies, thus exposing students to employers, but also providing the unit with information on what the modern market requires from Archaeology. This information is then fed into the archaeology modules, especially those on excavation techniques.

Degree Plus and other related initiatives: Recognising student diversity, as well as promoting employability enhancements and other interests, is part of the developmental experience at Queen’s. Students are encouraged to plan and build their own personal skill and experiential profile through a range of activities including; recognised Queen’s Certificates, placements and other work experiences (at home or overseas), Erasmus study options elsewhere in Europe, learning development opportunities and involvement in wider university life through activities, such as clubs, societies, and sports.

Queen’s actively encourages this type of activity by offering students an additional qualification, the Degree Plus Award (and the related Researcher Plus Award for PhD and MPhil students). Degree Plus accredits wider experiential and skill development gained through extra-curricular activities that promote the enhancement of academic, career management, personal and employability skills in a variety of contexts. As part of the Award, students are also trained on how to reflect on the experience(s) and make the link between academic achievement, extracurricular activities, transferable skills and graduate employment. Participating students will also be trained in how to reflect on their skills and experiences and can gain an understanding of how to articulate the significance of these to others, e.g. employers.

Detailed Course Facts

Application deadline January 15 Tuition fee
  • EUR 4160 Year (EEA)
  • EUR 13380 Year (Non-EEA)

England, Scotland and Wales £9,000; EU £3,575; International: £11,500

Start date September 2015 Duration full-time 36 months Languages Take an IELTS test
  • English
Delivery mode On Campus Educational variant Full-time

Course Content

BA/BSc students normally enter at Level 1 and take six Level 1 modules. Single Honours students normally take four Archaeology/Palaeoecology Level 1 modules. Students on programmes other than Single Honours normally take four (Major Honours), three (Joint Honours) or two (Minor Honours) Archaeology/Palaeoecology Level 1 modules, as appropriate for their intended pathway.

Level 1 modules covering the two disciplines are designed to serve as broad introductory courses and assume no previous knowledge. They may be of general interest to students intending to take another subject as their main degree, but who wish to enhance their knowledge of their human and environmental past and of heritage issues. These wide-ranging modules are a preparation for those taken in the second and third levels.

Modules in Levels 2 and 3 explore in detail the themes introduced in Level 1 and allow for specialisation and the development of practical skills. Level 2 modules provide skills and concepts necessary for the dissertation that may be taken at Level 3 for Single Honours students, and for future employment in Archaeology.

A new MSci in Archaeology offers a four-year programme, progressing directly to Masters-level study in Level 4.

Level 1

Barbarians, Vikings and Traders: The Archaeology of Historic Europe
Environmental Change: Past, Present and Future
Evolution: Humans and Ideas
From Cave Art to Celts: Europe in Prehistory
plus module choices from Geography and other Schools

Level 2

Ancient Economies and Landscapes
Archaeological Excavation
Flints, Farmers and Forts: Ireland in Prehistory
From St Patrick to the Plantation: The Archaeology of Historic Ireland
Rome: City and Heritage: Fieldtrip
Thinking through Things: Theorising Global Archaeology
plus module choices from Geography and other Schools

Level 3

Typical modules include:
Colonialism, Capitalism and Conflict: Exploring the Archaeology of the Modern World
Dating the Past
Medieval Settlement
Mediterranean Landscapes and Culture
Merchants, Metals and Mines: From Stone to Steel
Monuments and Ritual in European Prehistory
Quaternary Palaeocology
Society, Death and Disease
Dissertation (double module)
plus module choices from Geography and other Schools

English Language Requirements

IELTS band : 6.5

To study at this university, you have to speak English. We advice you to

take an IELTS test. More About IELTS



  • A-level AAB + GCSE Mathematics
  • Irish Leaving Certificate AB2B2B2B2B2 + if not offered at Higher Level then Ordinary Level grade C in Mathematics

BA and BSc Joint

For BA and BSc Joint Honours the requirements are stated separately under each programme.

All studentsThere are no specific subject requirements to study Archaeology and Palaeoecology, although subjects as diverse as Art, Physics, Biology, Geography, Geology, Classical Civilisation, History, Chemistry, Mathematics or Languages have all been helpful in the past.

Work Experience

No work experience is required.

Related Scholarships*

  • Academic Excellence Scholarship

    "The Academic Excellence Scholarship can provide up to a 50 % reduction in tuition per semester. These scholarships will be renewed if the student maintains superior academic performance during each semester of their 3-year Bachelor programme. The scholarship will be directly applied to the student’s tuition fees."

  • Access Bursary

    Bursary for UK students all subjects where the variable tuition fee rate is payable.

  • Alumni Bursary

    Alumni Bursary for UK Undergraduate students

* The scholarships shown on this page are suggestions first and foremost. They could be offered by other organisations than Queen's University Belfast.

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