How To Apply
UCP BA (Hons) History and Archaeology

BA (Hons) History and Archaeology

The Open University

course overview

Are you interested in the past and how it shapes the future? Are you fascinated by the history of your environment – of the buildings and landscapes that comprise it and the laws and institutions that animate it?

Do you view the present as continuous with the past or do you see the past as a series of more or less violent ruptures leading up to the present? Are you passionate about the historical world and its importance for understanding the present? Are you interested in a career in the Heritage Industries – in a fast developing sector that contributes more to the UK economy than the Agricultural and Aerospace industries combined?

If so our BA (Hons) History and Archaeology course may be for you. The course is a unique combination of history and archaeology modules designed to create an integral course that supports students that want to pursue careers in either discipline.

We aimed to create a course that at one and the same time satisfies the intellectual curiosity of history/archaeology students while providing the best possible opportunity for progression into the graduate jobs market in education and teaching or the heritage sector.

The course was developed in consultation with academics and industry professionals to ensure that the skills with which our students graduate align as closely as possible with the skills required by industry.

During your studies you will have the opportunity to undertake a work placement with one of a range of heritage organisations in the city and wider region. These include Vivacity, Headland Archaeology, Oxford East Archaeology and Historic England.

The greater Peterborough area is steeped in history which includes Bronze Age sites at Flag Fen and Must Farm as well as the Peterborough Cathedral which is over 900 years old.

The courses at University Centre Peterborough are studied in smaller class sizes compared with other universities, a typical class size is under 30 students.

Download Course Specification

5 GCSE grades C/4 or above, including English, Maths and Science and 88 UCAS points, which should be from a related subject in one of the following:

  • A Levels (CDD or BB)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Diploma (MMP)
  • IB Diploma
  • Access to HE (45 credits)
  • Related work experience
  • Overseas qualifications are judged to be equivalent to the above

Students who do not qualify by any o these qualifications may be offered an interview to discuss equivelant qualifications and previous experience.
We accept A Level General Studies and AS levels when combined with other full qualifications.
If English is not your first language, you will require an IELTS score of 6.0 or above or an equivalent English Language qualification.

Mature students or students who do not have the above qualifications can contact our admissions team on 01733 214466 or to discuss equivalent qualifications or relevant work experience.


We can accept a wide range of overseas qualifications and use UK NARIC to compare qualifications. For advice about overseas qualification conversion call the Admissions Office on 01733 214466 or email


To find out more about UCAS tariff points and how they work, visit

We accept a wide range of qualifications such as A-levels (you must have grades for at least two A-levels), BTEC, Cambridge Technicals, International Baccalaureate (IB), NVQ Level 3, Access to Higher Education and Scottish Advanced Highers.

The tariff points for qualifications can be added and combined together (e.g. A-levels plus BTECs).

The UCAS points for A-level General Studies, AS-levels and the EQP (Extended Project Qualification) are accepted when combined with other full qualifications.


APCL relates to learning completed through an earlier course of study. If you have previously completed a course which is relevant to your proposed course you should make this clear when you apply. For this to be eligible for consideration you must be able to provide certification, which shows your success in a final assessment for that course. Learning must be completed in the last five years or further evidence of updating will be required. Simple participation in a course or an attendance certificate is not sufficient.


We offer students flexibility in their studies, by recognising learning they may have completed elsewhere before they apply. The Accreditation of Prior Learning process ensures that we can take this into account when determining the modules you must study. It is important that you identify any relevant prior learning when you apply. If your previous study specifically relates to modules on the course you wish to undertake we may approve a reduced programme of study, thus shortening the time it takes to obtain your award. Where this relates to learning completed through an earlier course of study, this is called Prior Certificated Learning, and where learning has been achieved through relevant work or experience, this is referred to as Prior Experiential Learning. Claims must be approved before you commence a course.


It is important to understand that the APEL process does not award academic credit for experience alone, but for learning which can be shown to have been achieved through that experience. Students are required to prepare an individual case for the credit arising from their learning experiences. This normally means that a student receives support in the preparation of a portfolio, which evidences their claimed exemptions for entry. This portfolio of evidence is then submitted for assessment and the possible award of academic credit. Alternative methods of assessment of evidence may be available but needs to be discussed with the Admissions team or Course Leader.

You must take modules worth 120 credits at each level of the course. Each module is worth a specified number of credits.

Year one for full-time students (Level 4)

  • The Birth and Development of Modern Europe (30 credits)
  • Practical Aspects of Archaeology (30 credits)
  • Themes in Archaeology (15 credits)
  • Heritage Management (15 credits)
  • Prehistory: A European Perspective (30 credits)

Year two for full-time students (Level 5)

  • Rome and the Roman World (15 credits)
  • The Role of Science in Archaeology (15 credits)
  • Ritualised Landscapes (15 credits)
  • Historiography and the Historian (15 credits)
  • Working in the Heritage Industries: Work Placement and Reflective Portfolio (30 credits)
  • Imperialism and Empire (15 credits)
  • Desk-based Assessment (15 credits)

Final year for full-time students (Level 6)

  • Undergraduate Major Project (30 credits)
  • Urban Experience and Identity in Early Modern Europe (30 credits)
  • Pre-industrial Technology (15 credits)
  • The Social Role of Buildings (15 credits)
  • The Archaeology of the Human Bone (15 credits)


  • Conflict and Society in European History (15 credits)
  • Surveying the Historic Environment (15 credits)

If it is unviable to run an optional module due to student demand, an alternative module will be offered.

A typical 15 credit module is 150 hours which includes 36 hours of tutor led delivery and 114 hours of recommended independent study.  A typical 30 credit module is 300 hours which includes 72 hours of tutor led delivery and 228 hours of recommended independent study.  A full-time student should expect to undertake 30 additional hours per week during term-time.

When studying this course at University Centre Peterborough, we will timetable your lectures as two full days a week over two semesters per year (part-time will be one to two full days a week over two semesters per year).

We are able to offer this convenient timetabling to our students as we are a smaller institution so we can timetable our staff and resources more efficiently.

Over the duration of your course, teaching will be delivered by the following methods:

Year one for full-time students (Level 4)

  • 40%     Lectures
  • 30%     Seminars
  • 30%     Workshops

Year two for full-time students (Level 5)

  • 40%     Lectures
  • 30%     Seminars
  • 30%     Workshops

Final year for full-time students (Level 6)

  • 40%     Lectures
  • 30%     Seminars
  • 30%     Workshops

There are two semesters per year and each semester is up to 15 weeks which includes up to 12 teaching weeks and 3 assessment weeks.

If studying full-time you will be in classes, seminars and tutorials for approximately 15 hours per week and will spend the rest of your time in independent study and extra-curricular activities including work placement if not embedded in your course. We recommend that full-time students allow an additional 30 hours per week for additional study.

The campus is open Monday to Friday throughout the year and you will also have 24/7 access to a virtual learning environment (VLE) with e-books, journals and abstracts plus teaching resources and interactive tools.

Timetables are available at least 6 weeks before registration and you can refer to the academic calendar for examination weeks and resit periods.

The days of the week you study may change each year and in some circumstances one of the full days might have to be split into two half days, but we aim to keep these as full days where possible.

Throughout the duration of your course you will be assessed by the following methods:

Year one for full-time students (Level 4)

  • 90%     Coursework
  • 10%     Practical Exams

Year two for full-time students (Level 5)

  • 70%     Coursework
  • 5%       Written Exams
  • 15%     Practical Exams
  • 10%     Placement

Final year for full-time students (Level 6)

  • 70%     Coursework
  • 15%     Written Exams
  • 15%     Practical Exams

We will provide, by the beginning of the first week of each semester, a current module guide with all the information you need for each module, including details of assessment tasks, the deadlines for these tasks, the required format and any relevant guidance.

Formative assessment opportunities are written into all module plans to provide students with on-going feedback.  End of semester assessments will have formative opportunities in weeks 9 or 10 of the semester.  In addition revision sessions will be held in week 12.

Your final degree classification is calculated as an average of your highest 60 credits at Level 5 and all credits at Level 6.

  • 70%+         First
  • 60-69%     2:1
  • 50-59%     2:2
  • 40-49%     Third

Visit our published documents and policies page for The Open University regulations.

During your studies you will have the opportunity to undertake a work placement with one of a range of heritage organisations in the city and wider region. These include Vivacity, Headland Archaeology, Oxford East Archaeology, Historic England and local secondary schools.

As the course is timetabled as full days during the week when studied full-time, this also gives you the flexibility to find a work placement, internship or volunteering opportunity which will improve your employability after you graduate. All students are encouraged to identify work experience in addition to their work placement to aid their career development.

Some trips and visits may take place in addition to the timetabled teaching days due to site availability.

Andrew Hatton is the Course Leader for the BA (Hons) History and Archaeology degree at University Centre Peterborough.  He first started teaching in 2002 on part-time archaeology course at a local college before progressing to lecturing full-time at undergraduate level.

He graduated from Sheffield University in 1994 having completed a degree in Archaeology and Prehistory.  Before studying at university, he worked for three years as a field archaeologist for ‘Fenland Archaeological Trust’ in order to gain practical experience before embarking on academic studies.  During these early years he gained invaluable field experience of dry land sites such as Etton causewayed enclosure in Cambridgeshire and Barnhouse in Orkney, which dated back to the British Neolithic, as well as wetland sites, including a Neolithic lakeside settlement in southern Germany and a Late Bronze Age wetland site of national importance at Flag Fen in Cambridgeshire.

Since graduating, he continued to gain a wealth of experience in field archaeology working on a number of archaeological excavations throughout the British Isles. Many of the sites excavated he has subsequently written-up being published as grey literature by Cambridgeshire County Council Archaeological Field Unit. The major sites include Prehistoric Landscape at Stowe Farm, West Deeping, Lincolnshire and Prehistoric and Roman Settlement Remains at Mayor’s Walk.

 He has recently completed research into Bronze Age field systems located along the Welland Valley. The aim of the research is to place the site at Stowe Farm, Lincolnshire, in a local and regional context.


  • Mphil Archaeology and Landscape History, Sheffield University
  • BA (Hons) Archaeology and Prehistory, Sheffield University
  • Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), Northampton University

Just some of the future careers for graduates after completing the course include:

  • Archaeologist
  • History TeacherArchivist
  • Conservation Officer
  • Curator
  • Heritage Manager
  • Educational Officer
  • Events / Project Organiser


Full-time: 3 years (2 full days a week over two semesters per year)
Part-time: 4 years (1-2 full days a week over two semesters per year)

The tuition fees for full-time undergraduate students will be £8,250 per year, which is lower compared with many other universities.

Fees for part-time study are pro-rata depending on the number of credits you are studying (i.e. 90 credits per year will be 75% of the tuition fee).

There may be additional costs for this course which are not covered by the tuition fee.

In this prospectus we will give you clear and accurate information so you can make the best choice for a successful future

Download Prospectus
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