BA Archaeology

General

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Program Description

Make a meaningful contribution to our knowledge of humankind by studying the activities and behaviour of people from the past. With learnings from history, you will gain new insights into our present-day world. You will look at contemporary issues like migration, globalisation, and climate change through an archaeological lense. With this unique angle, you may contribute to the public debate.

Depending on your preferences, you may also immerse yourself in the role of heritage in society. You will think about the future and the preservation of heritage, and you will gain experience with heritage policy. Furthermore, you will explore current issues, for example the role of cultural heritage within migrant communities.

Archaeology: shine new light on the big issues of today

As an archaeologist you collect an enormous amount of valuable information that can shine new light on the big issues society faces today. The tree-year bachelor's programme in Archaeology is a many-sided programme in which you study societies, cultures, and human behaviour from the past, aiming to reconstruct and revive them. You will gain a better understanding of the world and contribute to the solution of societal issues.

In your first year you may choose between a Dutch or English language programme. The language of instruction for the second and third years is English.

7 reasons why you should study Archaeology at Leiden University

  • Familiarise yourself with all aspects of archaeology: from the newest technological innovations to related disciplines, like ecology, geology, statistics, and anthropology. After graduation you will be widely employable.
  • Benefit from the wide choice of regional specialisations, from the Near East to Central America. Or dive into heritage issues with the new specialisation in Heritage and Society.
  • Profit from our personal and challenging education programme by inspiring lecturers and experienced researchers. Get the best out of yourself in our small-scale classes and under intensive supervision.
  • Gain knowledge as well as practical experience in our many-sided programme. After graduation you are widely employable in a variety of international positions in government, business, research or museums.
  • Bring your learnings into practice right away by joining on-going research projects.
  • Join our lively and social study association Terra.
  • Study at a Faculty that has quite rightly earned a place in the top ten of archaeology research and teaching institutes in the world.

Programme

The three-year bachelor's programme in Archaeology is a many-sided programme in which you study societies, cultures, and human behaviour from the past, aiming to reconstruct and revive them. You will gain a better understanding of the world and contribute to the solution of societal issues. In your first year you may choose between a Dutch or English language programme. The language of instruction for the second and third years is English.

In your first year you will have a lot of introductory subjects and lectures on the basic knowledge and general skills that every archaeologist needs. The bachelor's programme in Archaeology offers two specialisations: World Archaeology and Heritage and Society. In the first year, you will choose one of those.

In the second year you will follow some fixed courses regardless of your chosen specialisation. You will focus, for example, on humanity's deep history, urban societies, and the phenomenon of globalisation in the past. In the second half of the year you will choose your tutorials; these are where you will look at the themes in greater depth. At the end of this year you will conduct fieldwork in one of the faculty's research projects.

No classes are scheduled for the first half of the third year, giving you time to follow a minor (a fixed package of courses) to broaden or deepen your programme. Or you may opt to study abroad. You can thus choose the direction that you want to take, creating a path that matches your interests. In the second half of the third year, you will write your bachelor's thesis.

Career

With a lot of theoretical knowledge, practical experience, and your bachelor's degree in the pocket, you are ready for the next step: either entering the archaeological job market or continuing your studies.

The combination of practical knowledge and academic skills makes you valuable to many employers. You will be ready to take on various positions in commercial companies, the government, research institutes, heritage agencies, laboratories, or museums.

Graduated archaeologists may find work as municipal or provincial archaeologists. Apart from taking part in excavations, such a function includes dissemination of information to the public, and policy preparation and implementation.

Many archaeologists work as employees of commercial archaeology agencies, performing surveys and excavations, or as consultants. It is also possible to work in museums, analysing collections or setting up exhibitions. If you have focused on aspects of heritage management, a position at a national or international heritage authority is a good option.

Also, some graduates prefer to seek out jobs in less Archaeology-related fields, such as teaching, technical translating, managing art collections, copywriting, or public relations.

If you prefer to continue your academic career, consider entering our Master's or Research Master programme.

Last updated Sep 2020

About the School

Are you curious, critical and involved in the world around you? At Leiden University, the oldest university in the Netherlands, you can make a valuable contribution to tackling the various national an ... Read More

Are you curious, critical and involved in the world around you? At Leiden University, the oldest university in the Netherlands, you can make a valuable contribution to tackling the various national and international challenges facing modern society. Together with academics and fellow students from all over the world, you will actively address these challenges. We keep an open mind, do not shy away from difficult discussions and allow one another the space to disagree. We expect the same active, open-minded and critical attitude from you. We challenge you to look beyond your own boundaries. Leiden University welcomes anyone who wants to achieve their full potential. Our modest community size in the historical cities of Leiden and The Hague creates a highly personal and committed atmosphere. Together, we map out a learning path that suits you and your ambitions. You will also be encouraged to conduct research in cooperation with eminent and enthusiastic scholars. The knowledge and skills you develop here will benefit you for the rest of your life, regardless of the career path you choose! Read less
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