Archaeology covers a huge range of topics, spanning the evolution of humans through the development of farming, ancient civilisations and world empires, as well as the role of material culture in human life and of heritage in modern societies. Students can follow several streams – Archaeology (covering all world cultures), Biological Anthropology, Egyptology and Assyriology.
With the Division of Archaeology and the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, Cambridge is one of the largest centres of archaeological research in Britain, and we have recently been awarded top place in the Good University Guide for Archaeology in the UK. Archaeology students at Cambridge benefit from direct hands-on access to world-class collections in Cambridge’s many museums, libraries and research centres. From 2017 onwards, Cambridge is launching an exciting new undergraduate degree programme in single honours archaeology (for more information on the course, see http://www.arch.cam.ac.uk/prospective-students/undergraduates).
Archaeology spans a very broad subject area, and the course allows study of topics ranging across the humanities, the social sciences and the sciences. Students with almost any combination of subjects can apply; there are no specific required or recommended courses. We welcome applications from students studying humanistic fields such as History, English, Classics, and ancient languages, social sciences such as Geography, Sociology, Psychology, or Anthropology, and sciences such as Biology, Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics. Applicants for Egyptology and Assyriology are strongly encouraged to study an ancient or modern language.
The application process
Candidates should normally expect two interviews. Applicants are not expected to have any standard background in archaeology, as the field is highly varied, there are many relevant backgrounds and the subject is often not taught in schools; however, they should be prepared to discuss their relevant interests and potential directions they may wish to follow. Applicants should submit two examples of recent work [not essays written specifically for this purpose but school work that has your teacher’s corrections or comments on it], which will be available to interviewers.
All applicants for Archaeology are required to take a written assessment if interviewed. The assessment will consist of an essay/text response element (60 minutes). For further information on the assessment format, please view the entry requirements tab on: http://www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/archaeology.
The 2022 Archaeology assessment will take place on Monday 28 November. Further information will be provided if you are invited to interview. You do not need to register for this assessment.
Director of Studies - Dr Emma Pomeroy
For incoming 1st year students, the following reading list will be helpful: Archaeology Reading List
Last updated October 2022