Undergraduate Study

The Archaeology Department at the University of Sydney offers students access to one of the most diverse and exciting teaching and research environments available. Units of study are taught in the archaeology of different regions of the world, Heritage Studies and archaeological theory, method and practice.

In 2008 we introduced a new code ARCA (Archaeology) as part of major curriculum review. Some undergraduate units temporarily retain old system codes (ARNE, ARPH and HRTG). The wide range of available subjects allows students first to broaden their knowledge and then to specialise in a region/area of interest through their choice of units at senior level.

In first year students normally take ARCA1001 (Ancient Civilisations) in Semester 1 and ARCA1002 (Archaeology: An Introduction) in Semester 2. At senior level students select from a range of units, most of which are offered every other year. After completing their pass degree, students who have earned a credit average or better in 48 senior credit points of Archaeology (which must include ARCA 3601 or one of ARCA 3602, ARCA 3603, ARCA 3604, ARNE 3691) are eligible to apply to continue into a fourth, Honours, year. In the Honours year, students take two coursework units in Archaeology and write an 18-20,000 word research thesis in Classical Archaeology, Near Eastern Archaeology, or Prehistoric & Historical Archaeology (which includes the possibility of working in the area of Heritage Studies).

Archaeology is highly inter-disciplinary. Students are encouraged also to study in cognate areas including Ancient History, Anthropology, Asian Studies, Fine Arts, Religious Studies, Australian Studies, Aboriginal Studies/Indigenous Australian Studies, Museum Studies and more, including sciences and other relevant areas beyond the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. (See also crosslisted units.) For some senior Archaeology units, ANHS1600 and ANHS1601 are acceptable as first year preparation.

A Bachelor of Arts (honours) degree from the University of Sydney provides a solid foundation in archaeological practice, method and theory and prepares students for future study at the postgraduate level or employment in archaeological consulting and heritage management.

Regional Archaeology

Many units of study focus on the archaeology of one region of the world. Particular departmental strengths lie in Classical archaeology (ancient Mediterranean: Aegean, Greek, Etruscan and Roman), Near Eastern archaeology (from the origins of agriculture to the coming of Islam), central Asian and south-east Asian archaeology, and Australian and Pacific archaeology (both prehistoric and historical). These are the regions in which staff members have active research projects.

Archaeological Theory, Method and Practice

Several of our ARCA units of study aim to teach field, laboratory, scientific and computer methods relevant to Archaeology in all parts of the world. For practical reasons, hands-on field methods classes are primarily taught using local examples although the techniques are common to archaeology generally. All such units require ARCA 1002 as a prerequisite.