Principles and Practice
Archaeology and Geography with Professional Practice
School of Environment & Life Sciences
September 2019Next enrolment
In a nutshell
This course will enable you to explore the relationship between the wider landscape and environment, and the human societies that inhabited them. You will gain real-world employment experience and knowledge of current professional practice during a two semester placement in your second year. Modules on current professional practice, British archaeology, the environment, Geographical Information Systems and heritage management will provide you with a broad archaeological and geographical foundation.
Field work is a key element of this course, and you may have the opportunity to go on day trips to the Peak District, the Yorkshire Dales, Sheffield and Liverpool, as well as on residential field courses across the UK.
The course offers specific modules where you will work directly with external professionals, these include ‘Heritage Protection and Management’ in the second year and the ‘GIS’ and ‘Archaeology and the Public’ modules in the third year.
- Gain real-world experience
- Explore the relationship between the wider landscape and environment, and the human societies that inhabited them
- Have the opportunity to go on field trips (including residential)
This is for you if...
You are interested in geography
You have a passion for fieldwork
You want to work with heritage companies and agencies
All about the course
A major feature of this course is the small group teaching and the strong links between the content of this course, current professional practice and staff research interests. Study and IT skills are embedded into the course, as is the use of computing facilities for data handling and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) for environmental mapping and modelling.
Human geography themes covered include: the effects of climate change, food security, mobility, sustainability, demography, economic geography, planning and environmental impact assessment (EIA), urban living and quality of life. Archaeological themes covered include heritage management and the planning process, current archaeological professional practice, UK heritage legislation, the archaeology of Britain, industrial archaeology, public archaeology and World Heritage Sites.
This module is designed as an introduction to the discipline, with a focus on the key principles and practices. You will be taken through the process of archaeological fieldwork from locating unknown sites, to the exploration of sites through geophysical and other methods, excavation and the post-excavation processing and archiving of finds and ultimate analysis. You will develop some familiarity with essential methodology, fieldwork techniques and the processing and interpretation of data and finds in archaeology.
Archaeology of Britain
This module is designed as an introduction to the main archaeological periods and data within the British Isles. After an introduction to the history of the archaeology in Britain, key periods will be reviewed from the Paleolithic to the 20th century. In each case key issues, type sites, material culture and debates will be discussed and studied.
You take a weekly one hour tutorial with a member of academic staff in a group of 6-8 students. The module develops your academic skills and helps you develop your personal and professional skills for study and for work. You will work on a range of geographical/environmental management problems linked to the core first year modules The tutorials involve discussion, debate, and problem-solving, and provide you with a regular forum for monitoring your progress.
Environmental resources include food, energy and water, and spatial and temporal variation in the availability of these resources is arguably the most important issue for society in the twenty first century. This module introduces energy and water resources as fundamental concepts and examines current problems related to climate change, food security and pollution.
Applied Skills and Field Course
The first part of this module provides you with the applied skills to manage and analyse data using descriptive statistics, inference, graphs, hypothesis testing, and correlation and regression. It also introduces information searching and retrieving skills, data presentation and report writing. The second part of the module involves a residential field course in the UK where you will collect, analyse and present data to put into practice what you have learned.
People, Place and Space
This module examines the role of people in shaping the human environment and focuses on key concepts such as place, power, scale and networks. You will learn about how the shape and form of cities is influenced by social and political issues, and how new technologies are changing the nature of human interactions in cities, states and across the world.
Heritage Protection and Management
This module will give an overview of current professional practice in managing the historic environment. Set within the current legislative and planning framework of the UK the role of planning and archaeology will be studied, along with the needs and requirements of industry and archaeologists.
Geographical Information Systems and Science
This module introduces the theory and practice of acquiring environmental data using global positioning systems, aerial photography and satellite remote sensing. It develops practical skills in the use of geographical information systems (GIS) that can be deployed in projects, dissertations and work. The module promotes hands-on learning, using state-of-the-art mapping software and mapping technologies.
Contemporary Issues in Human Geography
This module examines the key concepts and theories in human geography and how they help explain contemporary relationships between people and place. This is done by considering current affairs and social practices and how they interact with governance systems in the 21st Century and impact on environmental and social issues in the UK. This module will also examine how demography is use to characterise and classify the urban landscape. Formal and informal ways of using green spaces in cities will also be examined.
The Dissertation is a key feature of the course and provides you with an opportunity to undertake an independent and challenging research project under the guidance of a member of academic staff. Your research topic is defined in second year and in third year you focus on analysis and interpretation in preparation for the written submission. The dissertation expands and hones your research skills, strengthening your ability to engage with complex materials in a productive way and preparing you for further study or a career in the workplace.
Environmental Decision Making Systems
This module examines the role of decision-making in the management of natural resources and ecosystem services. You will investigate the role of environmental modelling in supporting environmental decision-making and assess the effectiveness of decision-making tools including Environmental Impact Assessment, hazard and risk analysis, and life-cycle analysis.
Environmental Geographical Information Systems
The aim of this module is to develop your knowledge and understanding of the factors controlling the design and implementation of GIS solutions to map, monitor and model terrestrial environments. You will also examine the major issues and impacts of GIS evolution and diffusion on society.
Archaeology and the Public
This module is designed to foster an understanding of the major problems encountered in conducting public archaeology in Britain in a comparative international context. Professional practitioners will lead some of the session, discussing the problems and benefits of engagement.
Britain and the Modern World
The module will explore the landscape archaeology of industrialisation in Britain during the period 1600-1900. This period covers the transition from a rural, agriculturally-based society to an urban, manufacturing-based society and the consequent landscape changes as reflected in the archaeological record. The module is structured around a series of major research questions with which archaeologists of the Industrial period are currently engaged.
Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.
What will I be doing?
Teaching is through a combination of lectures, fieldwork, practical classes, tutorials, computer-based learning and guided independent learning in the form of assignments and project work.
Assessments will be based on a combination of examination and continuous assessment. This will include field reports, reflective diaries, essays, problem-solving exercises, data analysis, seminars, and research projects, and will involve a mixture of group and individual work.
Our School is renowned for the quality of its teaching and research, and is supported by over 80 academic staff at the forefront of their specialisms. Our expanding suite of programmes covers geography and environmental management (GEM), wildlife, biology, chemistry, disease ecology and biomedical science. We work closely with our partners to ensure course content develops the skills that employers are looking for.
We have recently been presented with a ‘Bronze Award’ from the Equality Challenge Unit’s (ECU) Athena SWAN Charter for its commitment to gender equality.
If you are looking for a vibrant, welcoming and highly professional environment in which you can realise your potential, the School of Environment & Life Sciences at the University of Salford offers you a world of opportunities.
Centre for Applied Archaeology
The Centre for Applied Archaeology has unrivalled access to a wide range of skills from planning and surveying, to conservation and 3D visualisation.
Our professional seminars and postgraduate archaeology courses have an emphasis on industrial archaeology and the built environment to maximise this access to specialist expertise and resource.
The Centre undertakes work in three areas:
- Teaching and research, especially within industrial archaeology and the built environment
- Promoting and providing research access to heritage and community archaeology
- Archaeological consultancy work and professional development courses
We have a number of community archaeology projects engaging the local and wider community in their heritage and an established project undertaking research on landscape in the Trent Valley spanning multiple years. Follow our work with the University of Salford archaeology blog.
Dig Greater Manchester
Our "Dig Greater Manchester project" gives local communities the opportunity to get involved in their own history and heritage, with residents getting 'hands on' experience of an archaeological excavation. Over 6,000 local people across Greater Manchester will get involved, ranging from absolute beginners and school children, to experienced archaeology volunteers.
Find out more about the locations and the project and follow the excavations on the Dig Greater Manchester blog.
What about after uni?
Archaeology graduates often go on to explore career paths in professional archaeology units, environmental consultancies, museums, conservation and construction. By studying this course, you will develop a range of personal and professional skills, as well as gaining professional work experience - all of which are attributes that employers highly value in graduates. These include work-place experience, field experience (including excavation and surveying), report writing and presentation skills, the ability to interpret data and the application of IT, and the development of team working and project management skills.
Many Salford geography graduates have gone on to work in environmental consultancies, utility companies, transport logistics, housing organisations, and have pursued careers in primary and secondary teaching. Others have gone on to take Masters or PhD degrees in a variety of disciplines.
Links with industry
You will work with professionals involved in archaeology and heritage protection and public engagement and with a company involved in providing digital mapping. Experiences such as these will allow you to develop many of the key skills sought by employers and experience practical real-world placement experience that will give you an insight into the world of work.
This course includes a placement module taken over two semesters, that allows you to work with external heritage companies and agencies. You will arrange the placement with our support. Specific modules where you will work directly with external professionals are ‘Heritage Protection and Management’ in the second year and the ‘GIS’ and ‘Archaeology and the Public’ modules in the third year.
What you need to know
We welcome those coming from school or college, with, or without, an A level in Archaeology or Geography with interests in geography and a passion for fieldwork. We also welcome those returning to education, either with Access qualifications or by taking the foundation year. International students are also welcome.
English language requirements
International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.5 (with no element below 5.5) is proof of this. If you need to improve your written and spoken English, you might be interested in our English language courses.
English language and mathematics at grade C or 4 or above.
You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.
UCAS tariff points
112 points History, Archaeology or Geography preferred but not essential
GCE A level
112 points History, Archaeology or Geography preferred but not essential
BTEC National Diploma
BTEC Higher National Diploma
Possible entry to year 3
Possible entry to year 3
Irish Leaving Certificate
112 points from Higher Level
Pass in Diploma of at least 60% including at least 1 science subject
Access to Higher Education
Pass QAA approved access programme in Science or Health & Social Care
Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)
We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.
There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.
|Type of study||Year||Fees|
|Full-time home/EU||2019||£9,250per year|
|Full-time international||2019||£14,820per year|
|Part-time||2019||Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.|
All field trips are funded by the school but you may need to consider additional costs such as food and spending money.
Further costs may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.
All set? Let's apply
Course ID VF41