Archaeological Science BSc (Hons)

Course code F420

What is special about this course?

Are you interested in archaeology but wish to focus on the scientific elements of this field of study? If so, the BSc (Hons) Archaeological Science could be perfect for you.

This exciting new degree complements our existing archaeology programmes by exploring the range of science-based methods that form an integral part of archaeological research, from archaeobotany to zooarchaeology.

On this course, you will receive high-quality, research-led teaching from staff engaged in world-class research on projects from various locations. Through this, you will develop scientific skills and knowledge through a range of science-orientate modules. You will participate in a range of activities during your degree studies including: taking part in world-renowned archaeological excavations, laboratory-based study, field schools, and actively engaging in research.

You will have the opportunity to gain invaluable workplace experience through participation in our archaeological placement module, which will aid you in developing key real-world skills for life after your degree, whether in postgraduate research, archaeology or another chosen profession.

In choosing to study at UHI, you will experience a vibrant and active learning environment and have the flexibility to study at one or more campuses throughout the region as you progress through your degree.

Special features

  • Develop practical environmental archaeology skills
  • Take part in a work placement to gain real-world experience of archaeological sciences
  • Take part and gain skills in excavation at one of our research excavations
  • You can study full-time or part-time to suit your personal circumstances
  • Flexible study through learning at one or more of our campuses
  • You can study individual modules for personal or professional development


We offer modern student accommodation at a number of our locations.

Entry requirements

  • 3 Scottish Highers at grade BBC or above OR
  • 2 A levels at grade BC or above
  • These must include a science subject at grade C or above
  • Applicants with other qualifications or experience will be considered on an individual basis

Access routes

SWAP Access courses
If you are eligible to undertake Scottish Wider Access Programmes (SWAP), please visit our SWAP access list for further information on grade profiles and available subjects.

Year 1 - CertHE

Core modules are:

  • Archaeology theory and method
  • Science and archaeology

You will also choose two option modules which may include:

  • World archaeology
  • Historic landscapes
  • European pre-histories

You will also choose a further two option modules from other humanities or social science degrees.

Year 2 - DipHE

Core modules are:

  • Excavation skills (residential): should be taken in semester 2 of year 2, as well as a compulsory field school in the summer, at a site location off-campus
  • Digital heritage
  • Wetland archaeology

You will also choose one option module which may include:

  • Managing archaeology for contemporary society
  • Scottish archaeology

You will also choose a further two option modules from other humanities or social science degrees.

Year 3 - BSc

Core modules are:

  • Archaeological science
  • Archaeology project
  • Archaeology and interpretation
  • Practical environmental archaeology (should be taken in the summer between years two and three)

You will also choose two option modules which may include:

  • Pre-history of the Highlands and Islands
  • Historical archaeology of the Highlands and Islands
  • Archaeology placements

Year 4 - BSc (Hons)

Core modules are:

  • Archaeological science dissertation (double-credit)
  • Sustainability, past and present
  • Biomolecular archaeology
  • People, plants and animals.

You will also choose one option module which may include:

  • Funerary and burial archaeology
  • Neolithic Scotland
  • Landscape archaeology

How will I study my course?

  • Full-time
  • Part-time (structured)
  • Part -time (unstructured)
  • You will learn through a combination of face-to-face and/or video conference lectures and tutorials, and online study via the university's virtual learning environment (VLE), with support from your tutors
  • You will be required to attend 2 x two-week summer residential modules as part of this course. For the excavation skills module you will be expected to join a summer field-school in Orkney between the first and second year of your studies. For the practical environmental archaeology module you will also be expected to travel to Orkney between your second and third year to undertake practical laboratory based work in our labs at UHI Orkney. Travel, accommodation and subsistence costs will be self-funded.

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 4 years @ 40 hours per week
  • Part-time: 8 years @ 20 hours per week

Where can I study my course?

  • Argyll
  • HTC
  • Inverness
  • Moray
  • North, West and Hebrides
  • Orkney
  • Perth
  • Shetland

Start date

  • September


Find out more about fees, fee waivers and funding options.


UHI has a number of scholarships, bursaries, awards, and discretionary fund opportunities available to new and current students. Please use the A-Z of funds or use the filter to see which ones may be relevant to you. All students are welcome to apply.

Further information on funding your studies is also available, please see the attached link or contact the relevant UHI partner.

Additional costs

 You will be responsible for covering the costs of any travel and accommodation associated in your participation in the field schools.

What can I do on completion of my course?

Once you have successfully completed your degree, you may consider careers in:

  • Archaeological contract units
  • Consultancy
  • Archives and museums
  • Government agencies and local authorities
  • Media and politics
  • Teaching
  • Research

Can I progress into further study?

You may progress from the BSc (Hons) Archaeological Science to a range of postgraduate courses offered by the university or to postgraduate research:

Is there more information available online?

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Apply for Archaeological Science BSc (Hons)

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2023

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.