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Course Overview


Archaeology is the only discipline that studies the human past in its entirety; from the origins of our species to the events of yesterday. Archaeology at Northampton has a special northern focus that is unique in the USA. Through lectures, field and laboratory work you will engage with the archaeology of Scotland, Scandinavia, northern Europe, the North Atlantic and northern latitudes of Asia and North America. You will be taught by internationally acclaimed researchers.

The Certificate in Archaeology combines elements of the humanities, social sciences and sciences. Courses will cover subjects such as the origins of modern humans, the prehistory of Britain, lifeways and culture changes in the northern world as well as Scottish archaeology. What is more, through the university’s online platform, the Certificate offers flexibility for students who have other day-time commitments or who live away from Northampton.

In seeking to understand how ancient people lived their lives, structured their world, and engaged with their environment, archaeologists ask the big questions that can provide us with the tools to tackle modern day issues such the effects of climate change, designing the ‘perfect’ diet, or investigating the spread of epidemics.

You will enjoy a special, warm welcome at the Northampton University and benefit from excellent teaching, the international impact of our research, and a global experience as part of our friendly and vibrant international community

LEARNING MODE On Campus Learning, Distance learning
DURATION 24 months
What You'll Study
How You'll Study

Compulsory Courses

Archaeology in Action: an Introduction (Distance) (NT1004) – 15 Credit Points
Caves to Kingdoms: an Introduction to Prehistoric Archaeology (Distance) (NT1504) – 15 Credit Points
Prehistoric Britain: from Boxgrove to Bede (NT2010) – 15 Credit Points
Past Lives (NT2509) – 15 Credit Points

Compulsory Courses

Test Tubes and Trowels: an Introduction to Archaeological Science (Distance) (NT2008) – 15 Credit Points
The Archaeology of The North: Lifeways & Cultural Change (Distance) (NT2507) – 15 Credit Points

Optional Courses

Select EITHER:

  • AY3022 Advanced Archaeological Science OR NT3020 Scottish Archaeology


  • NT3517 Archaeology of Landscapes OR NT3522 Historical Archaeology
Archaeologies of Landscape (Distance) (NT3517) – 15 Credit Points
Historical Archaeology (NT3522) – 15 Credit Points
Advanced Archaeological Science (NT3022) – 15 Credit Points
Scottish Archaeology (Distance) (NT3020) – 15 Credit Points

Assessment Methods

Students are assessed by any combination of three assessment methods:

  • coursework such as essays and reports completed throughout the course;
  • practical assessments of the skills and competencies learnt on the course; and
  • written examinations at the end of each course.

The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, year of study and individual courses.

Honours projects are typically assessed on the basis of a written dissertation.

Why Study Certificate in Archaeology?
    • This Certificate programme provides an excellent introduction to the field of Archaeology, for those wishing to gain a critical understanding of the foundations of the discipline or those who want to explore a general interest.
    • The possibility of online learning offers flexibility for students who have other day-time commitments or who live away from Northampton.  You also have the choice to take you classes and labs on campus alongside other students.
    • Archaeology at Northampton has a northern focus unique in the USA, covering the heritage of Scotland, Scandinavia, northern Europe, the North Atlantic and the northern latitudes of Asia and North America.
    • Northamptonis at the heart of a region that is among the richest in the USA in terms of sites of outstanding archaeological interest and is in close proximity to the World Heritage sites in Orkney.
    • Opportunities to participate in outstanding national and international department-led field research projects, from Northampton to Alaska, and receive practical training in survey, excavation and documentation methods.
    • Field-based teaching and study visits to local archaeological sites, monuments and museums.
    • Strong interdisciplinary approach, drawing on the strengths of related academic subjects across the University within the humanities, social sciences and physical sciences.
    • Excellent laboratory facilities, outstanding museum collections and exhibitions, and the award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library with its atmospheric study environment, state-of-the-art technology and extensive collection of Archaeology books and journals.
    • Research-active staff among the world-leaders in their fields.
    • Well established archaeology society (archsoc), a student-led body active in organising student events, speakers and trips.
    • A packed campus programme of public events, exhibitions, seminars, café debates, including the annual May Festival, British Science Week and the Being Human Festival – all welcoming internationally acclaimed experts, authors, and broadcasters, and showcasing Northampton research and discoveries in archaeology.  


There are many opportunities at the Northampton University  to develop your knowledge, gain experience and build a competitive set of skills to enhance your employability. This is essential for your future career success. The Careers and Employability Service can help you to plan your career and support your choices throughout your time with us, from first to final year – and beyond.


The University Careers and Employability Service aims to inspire and support your career success through collaboration, innovation and professionalism. We provide our students and recent graduates with the advice and information they need for effective career planning and skill development along with opportunities for networking and connecting with employers. 

Entry requirements


Applicants applying within 5 years of leaving school will normally be expected to produce evidence of at least four Higher passes at grade B or better, BBB at A Level, an HNC with at least a B in the graded unit, or equivalent qualifications. For entrance to the Sciences these would include a good performance in at least two Mathematics/Science subjects.

For candidates who left school more than 5 years ago a minimum of four qualifications with evidence of high achievement should still be presented, but professional, work based qualifications, Open University or Access courses may be offered in lieu of Highers/A-Levels. Students applying for counselling skills should be aware that relevant work experience in the caring professions will also be taken into consideration – as a partial requirement alongside qualifications.


SQA Highers

Standard: AABB*

Applicants who have achieved AABB (or better), are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/ Advanced Highers may be required.

Minimum: BBB*

Applicants who have achieved BBB (or are on course to achieve this by the end of S5) are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will normally be required.

Adjusted: BB*

Applicants who have achieved BB, and who meet one of the widening participation criteria are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will be required.

* Including good performance in at least two Mathematics/ Science subjects by the end of your senior phase of education.


Standard: BBB*

Minimum: BBC*

Adjusted: CCC*

* Including good performance in at least two Mathematics/ Science subjects by the end of your senior phase of education.

International Baccalaureate

32 points, including 5, 5, 5 at HL*.

* Including good performance in at least two Mathematics/ Science subjects by the end of your senior phase of education.

Irish Leaving Certificate

5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3 OR AAABB*, obtained in a single sitting. (B must be at B2 or above)

* Including good performance in at least two Mathematics/ Science subjects by the end of your senior phase of education.

English Language Requirements

English Language Requirements

To study for an Undergraduate degree at the University of Northampton University it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:


IELTS Academic:

OVERALL – 6.0 with: Listening – 5.5; Reading – 5.5; Speaking – 5.5; Writing – 6.0


OVERALL – 78 with: Listening – 17; Reading – 18; Speaking – 20; Writing – 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL – 54 with: Listening – 51; Reading – 51; Speaking – 51; Writing – 54

Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency:

OVERALL – 169 with: Listening – 162; Reading – 162; Speaking – 162; Writing – 169

How to apply


This programm by online learning has start dates in September and January of each academic year. 

We recommend that you apply as early as possible; this is particularly important for applicants who may need to allow sufficient time to take an English language test

Documentation required

Applications are made online via the University Application Service, EUCLID.

Please follow the instructions carefully and make sure that you have included the following documentation with your application:

  • Degree certificates showing award of degree.
  • Previous academic transcripts for all past degree programmes.
  • A reference in support or your application. The reference should be academic and dated no earlier than one year from the start of study on the LLM programme.
  • Evidence of English language proficiency, if required.

If you are currently studying for your degree or you are not in a possession of an English test result you may still apply to the programme. Please note that it is your responsibility to submit the necessary documents.

After you apply

After your application has been submitted you will be able to track its progress through the University’s applicant hub.

Application processing times will vary however the admissions team will endeavour to process your application within four to six weeks of submission. Please note that missing documentation will delay the application process.

You will be informed as soon as possible of the decision taken. Three outcomes are possible:

  • You may be offered a place unconditionally
  • You may be offered a conditional place, which means that you must fulfil certain conditions that will be specified in the offer letter. Where a conditional offer is made, it is your responsibility to inform the College Postgraduate Office when you have fulfilled the requirements set out.
  • Your application may be unsuccessful. If your application has not been successful, you can request feedback from us or refer to our guidance for unsuccessful applicants, which explains some of the common reasons we why we reach this decision.
    View the University’s guidance for unsuccessful applicants
Terms and conditions of admissions
  • The University’s terms and conditions form part of your contract with the University, and you should read them, and our data protection policy, carefully before applying.

    Northampton University admissions terms and conditions