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Archaeological Sciences

PG Diploma
Duration: Up to five years
Attendance mode: Part-time
Award: PG Diploma
Not suitable for international students
Start date: September
Faculty of Life Sciences
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This course is designed to give graduates a systematic training in the application of modern scientific methods in archaeology. It provides the necessary practical, analytical and interpretative skills to apply a wide range of specialist approaches in archaeology.

It aims to prepare students not only for research in archaeological science, but also to further career prospects in all areas of mainstream archaeology.

Students normally follow one of three pathways.

  • Environmental Archaeology focuses on subsistence and health through studies of animal bones, plant remains and biomarkers in human and non-human hard tissue. It also introduces environmental issues which impact on human beings, including environmental change.
  • Landscape Archaeology focuses on understanding and interpreting landscapes in the past using scientific methods.
  • Biomolecular Archaeology allows students to specialise in the use of biomolecular methods to study both human remains and artefacts.

The pathways are intended to guide students through appropriate modules; they are indicative rather than prescriptive and students may choose to take the optional modules offered in any combination, subject to timetabling.

Find out more about the School of Archaeological and Forensic Sciences.

Why Bradford?

  • Individual modules are available to candidates wishing to enhance their specialist knowledge in a particular area
  • This course includes hands-on experience in the Division's laboratories, a substantial individual research dissertation and has a wide range of option choices
  • First destination figures indicate that about 85% of postgraduates in Archaeological Sciences achieve work or further studies in the discipline or cognate areas

Entry requirements

Additional entry requirements:

  • A first degree in Archaeology (or another relevant or related discipline) 2:2 or above
  • Other relevant qualifications will be considered
  • For North American students a GPA of at least 2.5 on a scale of 4.0 is required, or an equivalent

English language requirements:

IELTS 6.0 or equivalent

If you do not meet the IELTS requirement, you can take a University of Bradford pre-sessional English course. See the Language Centre for more details.


The modules for this course can be found in the latest programme specification.

This programme prepares students not only for research in archaeological science, but also to further career prospects in all areas of mainstream archaeology.

The programme is normally offered on a full-time basis but a part-time route is feasible as well. Individual modules are available to candidates wishing to enhance their specialist knowledge in a particular area.

Modules: (C) = Core, (O) = Option

Semester 1 (60 Credits - 3 x (C) Modules and 30 Credits from the (O) Modules listed):

  • Quantitative Methods (10 Credits) (C)
  • Analytical Methods 1* (10 Credits) (C)
  • The Nature of Matter 1 (10 Credits) (C)
  • Analysis of Human Remains (20 Credits) (O)
  • GIS: Theory and Practice (10 Credits) (O)
  • Archaeozoology (10 Credits) (O)
  • Introduction to Forensic Archaeology (20 Credits) (O)

Semester 2 (60 Credits - 4 x (C) Modules and 20 Credits from the (O) Modules listed):

  • Analytical Methods 2* (10 Credits) (C)
  • Research Skills (10 Credits) (C)
  • Techniques and Interpretation in Instrumental Analysis (10 Credits) (C)
  • Topics in Archaeometry (10 Credits) (C)
  • Forensic Taphonomy (20 Credits) (O)
  • Funerary Archaeology (10 Credits) (O)
  • Past Environments (20 Credits) (O)
  • Site Evaluation Strategies (20 Credits) (O)
  • Soils and Chemical Prospection (10 Credits) (O)

* Students must take at least 20 credits from Analytical Methods 1 and 2. These comprise a wide choice of 10 credit modules run as short courses are shared with the MSc Analytical Sciences. These modules are run as short courses.

Semester 1:

  • X-Ray Diffraction
  • Separation Science
  • Vibrational Spectroscopy

Semester 2:

  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Stable Light Isotope Analysis
  • Electron Microscopy

Reading lists

All reading lists can be found here.

Career support and prospects

Career support

The University is committed to helping students develop and enhance employability and this is an integral part of many programmes. Specialist support is available throughout the course from Career and Employability Services including help to find part-time work while studying, placements, vacation work and graduate vacancies. Students are encouraged to access this support at an early stage and to use the extensive resources on the Careers website.

Discussing options with specialist advisers helps to clarify plans through exploring options and refining skills of job-hunting. In most of our programmes there is direct input by Career Development Advisers into the curriculum or through specially arranged workshops.

Career prospects

The course prepares students not only for research in archaeological science, but also furthers career prospects in mainstream archaeology or scientific analysis. The course is well-suited both to students who wish to use it as a foundation from which to commence research or as vocational training to enhance employment prospects in archaeology.

Career destinations have included PhDs at Universities of York, Bradford, Oxford, Texas A&M, Catamarca; UNESCO research; archaeological project managers; conservation science and teaching.


Fees, Finance and Scholarships

Tuition fees


  • Home /EU: £2,060 per year

Tuition fees are subject to review for students starting their course in subsequent years. See our Fees and Financial Support website for more details.

How do I find out more?

Steps to Postgraduate Study

Find out more about studying at a postgraduate level on the official, independent website Steps to Postgraduate Study (link opens in new window).

How to apply

The easiest way to apply is online.

This will help us process your application more quickly and allow you to submit your supporting documents electronically.

If you are unable to apply online, please email to request a paper application form.

We will also need the following supporting documents, along with any other information specified on the course page:

  • Degree certificates/transcripts
  • Research proposal (if required)
  • Two references (including one academic reference)
  • Evidence of English language level (if required)
  • A copy of your passport

Once you have applied you will have access to the University's Applicant Portal, where you can track the status of your application.

You should also start thinking about how you plan to fund your postgraduate study — you may need to apply for loans or grants at this stage.

This is the current course information. Modules and course details may change, subject to the University's programme approval, monitoring and review procedures. The University reserves the right to alter or withdraw courses, services and facilities as described on our website without notice and to amend Ordinances, Regulations, fees and charges at any time. Students should enquire as to the up-to-date position when applying for their course of study.