Thursday, 12 July 2018

New BSc Archaeology programme at Newcastle!

Exciting news from Newcastle today - the proposal I have been working on for over a year, for a new BSc Archaeology degree, was approved today (pending some minor paperwork tweaks). I am really excited about this - it is something I have wanted to do since I started at Newcastle, and it's been hard work getting all the paperwork in place, but it has paid off, and fingers crossed is the first step in broadening our archaeological science teaching at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, in line with our expanding research profile in this area. Newcastle is actually quite unusual, being one of the only Russell Group universities not to offer  both a BA and BSc in Archaeology. Archaeology is one of those truly interdisciplinary subjects that places emphasis on both science and humanities, and students usually have the option to focus their skills in either area. Since I joined Newcastle I have developed a number of new 'science' based modules in environmental and geoarchaeology, and since I started we have also hired other new staff specialising in materials analysis and zooarchaeology. So now really is the perfect time to take advantage of our research expertise, and develop this new focus for students.

One of the major drivers for me developing this programme was to attract a broader range of students onto the Archaeology degree programmes, particularly those who may be interested in pursuing lab based dissertations. Hopefully the BSc will be an attractive option for students with science A Levels (or equivalents) to combine an interest in archaeology, with the technical skills associated with a BSc. Whether students wish to pursue a career in archaeology or something completely different, I honestly believe that an archaeology degree, and a BSc in particular, is a really good option for developing graduate skills. The BSc will emphasise analytical and technical skills, but students will also gain humanities training. Best of both worlds! I can't wait to meet the first intake, which is planned for 2019/20, keep an eye out for future updates!