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About the programme
Quota 1 2019: 7.3 (Standby: 5.9)   |   Quota 2 2019: 6.5 (Standby: 6.3) (Indicative)  
: Danish  | Place of study: Aarhus  |  Commencement: Week 35


Students of archaeology study the relics of the past and our archaeological cultural heritage from the earliest human beings until today. With your nose in a book, your trowel in the ground and your eyes on the artefacts that you find, you will learn to interpret traces of the past and present your knowledge of the culture of our ancestors.

With your nose in a book and dirt under your nails

You will learn to understand the living conditions and cultures of the past, and to use techniques of excavation and documentation as well as various methods of analysis. The teaching is based on lectures and classroom instruction, both of which involve active participation and two-way discussions between students and teachers. You will go on expeditions, excursions and of course excavations, which are a central aspect of archaeological work and research.

Working on excavations will teach you the art of archaeology and all the many techniques that it involves. You learn to work independently and critically with the physical traces of people and societies from the past, using methods derived from both the humanities and science. In interpreting and analysing findings, you will be involved in subject areas such as social anthropology, history, the study of religion, geology, biology and geography.

Interpretation and presentation

You will learn to present your knowledge of the past, archaeology and cultural heritage to a broad audience, as well as gaining insight into the role of archaeology and cultural heritage in the world today. You will gain skills in the fields of cultural heritage administration, project management, methods of documentation and IT-archaeological tools. In other words: you will be trained in all areas of modern archaeology.

Detectives of the soil

On this degree programme you will learn how to describe and systematise the relics of the past, as well as becoming familiar with the settlement patterns, artefacts and cultures of the past. Depending on whether you specialise in prehistoric or historical archaeology, you can study anything from stone adzes, cult practices, the hunting methods of the Stone Age, the peasant societies of the Iron Age, artefacts, monasteries, towns, fortifications and castles to settlements and burials. You will investigate finds from above and below ground, in the water and in the collections and archives of museums.

The past and present in perspective

The main emphasis of the programme is on Denmark’s past, but you will also learn about the past in the rest of Europe and other parts of the world. You will analyse the physical traces left by our ancestors and flesh out our understanding of the living conditions and societies of the past. The study of cultural heritage will also lead to a focus on connecting the past with the present.

Career opportunities

Completion of the Bachelor’s degree programme in archaeology gives you access to a range of Master’s degree programmes such as the programmes in prehistoric archaeology or Medieval and Renaissance archaeology. These degree programmes can lead to a career in the field of museums and excavations, or in areas such as cultural communication, teaching and research.

Admission requirements

Admission area number


To be eligible for admission to this degree programme, you must fulfil the following requirements:

A qualifying examination as well as the following specific admission requirements (A, B and C refers to the subject level in the Danish upper secondary school with A being the highest level possible):

  • Danish A
  • English B
  • History B or History of Ideas B or Contemporary History B
  • An additional language at A level (or B level in case of an advanced language).

If there are any subjects you have not completed at the required level, you can take them as supplementary courses or as a summer supplementary course (conditional Admission).

The admission requirements must be met and documented by 5 July in the year of application unless you apply for conditional admission

Quota 2

Like quota 1 applicants, quota 2 applicants must have passed a qualifying examination, and they must also fulfil the specific admission requirements above.

Quota 2 applicants are individually evaluated on the basis of:

1) a grade average calculated on the basis of the particularly relevant subjects (Quota 2 subjects), listed below

2) other particularly relevant documented qualifications. 

Quota 2 subjects:

  • Danish A
  • English B
  • History B or History of Ideas B or Contemporary History B
  • An additional language at A level (or B level in case of an advanced language).

Programme structure

Bachelor’s degree programme in archaeology

The subjects studied on the archaeology course provide you with an introduction to both practical and theoretical aspects of the archaeological process. You learn about the practical aspects of archaeological excavations and how to organise and analyse your finds. You also acquire the theoretical tools necessary to interpret archaeological finds and understand them in their cultural context.


In the academic regulations, you can read more about the content of the individual course, the structure of the degree programme and the demands the programme places on you as a student. You can also read about the types of exams and the exam requirements.

The diagram below shows you how the programme is structured. You can click on the various courses to read the individual course descriptions.

Student life

Academic life for students of archaeology

Your teachers will give lectures to present and discuss the assigned reading for your entire year group (joint teaching). You will be given the chance to give presentations and discuss your reading with your fellow students in the classroom. Some courses also involve working in the field or in the laboratory. Through out the programme you will be part of different study group, where you will join forces to work on presentations together and discuss archaeological method.

This is a full-time degree programme, even though there aren’t as many lessons in your timetable as you’re used to. You will spend a lot of your time preparing for classes and meetings with your study group, so you will learn how to structure your time. There are about 300 students of archaeology at Aarhus University. So this is one of the smaller subjects here. As a result, there is an intimate academic and social environment, with a pleasant, relaxed atmosphere both between the different year groups and between the teachers and students.

Social life for students of archaeology

The archaeology degree programme is based at Moesgård Manor, an ancient estate located just south of Aarhus. There are cosy classrooms and a library, as well as access to Moesgård Museum and the beautiful countryside nearby. Read more here. You will study in a setting of great natural beauty which encourages students from different year groups to get to know each other. You can also join a wide variety of academic and social clubs and organisations. For example, you can join: 

·  Middelalderarkæologisk Forum
This is for both students and graduates, and publishes the journals “Middelalderarkæologisk Nyhedsbrev” and “Anno Domini”, containing articles written by students.

·  The student association Ottar 
The student association Ottar safeguards the interests of the archaeology students at Moesgaard. This association have a great number of activities and arrange parties, excursions, video evenings, culture cafés, lectures and a journal. They also have information about student jobs and can put you in touch with the business community and others.

·  Party committee
Under the student association Ottar is the party committee Arken Under the student association Ottar is the party committee Arken. You can join the party committee as soon as you begin your studies and contribute to the study environment by arranging fun events for yourself and your fellow students. You can join the party committee as soon as you begin your studies and contribute to the study environment by arranging fun events for yourself and your fellow students. 

·  Kulturlaget
Kulturlaget publishes the student journal LAG, which contains Master’s theses and other assignments written by students.

·  The degree programme committee
If you want to have an influence on your study environment, you can join the degree programme committee, which represents student interests in relation to the university.

DALF (the national association of Danish archaeology students) represents the interests of archaeology students in Denmark.

·  Moesgård Special Olympics
A competition for students from the various programmes based at Moesgård. The disciplines include ‘snøvsen-bold’, synchronised swimming on land and marshmallow races.

Studying abroad

Doing a semester abroad is an excellent idea for students on the archaeology degree programme. But please remember that this requires a good deal of planning, and you need to apply at a quite early point in your programme. Studying abroad improves your foreign language skills, and you get the opportunity to study themes or subjects that are not available in Denamrk. Click here for more inspiration and guidelines.

Commencement of studies

Your time at Aarhus University will begin with an introductory week in week 35 (the last week of August). During this week, you will get an introduction to IT systems, exam forms and degree programme structure and opportunities as well as meeting your teachers. You can read more about your commencement of studies and the introductory week here. On this page, you will also find tips and good advice for new students at Aarhus University.

Follow the student life at Aarhus University 

-experienced, photographed and filmed by the students themselves.

With thousands of pictures #yourniversity and #moesgaardcampus gives insight into the everyday life as a student at AU; the parties, procrastination, exams and all the other ways you’ll spend your time at university.


The photos belong to the users, shared with #Yourniversity, #AarhusUni and course-specific AU-hashtags.


The career opportunities available to Bachelor’s graduates in archaeology depend very much on which courses you study and which Master’s degree programme you choose. 

On this degree programme you will gain historical and cultural understanding of the past and what life was like back then. You will learn the art of excavation and how to interpret what you find, as well as becoming skilled in organising complex material. You will also learn how to analyse material and visual artefacts, and archaeological excavations will give you experience in cross-disciplinary collaboration – involving cultural heritage in particular. 

Graduates of an archaeology programme often work on archaeological excavations and data collection. Other career possibilities include administration, communications, or work in the cultural heritage sector, for example in a museum. 

Master’s degree programme

Most Bachelor’s graduates of archaeology go on to do a Master’s degree as well. Here are some of the options:

·  The Master’s degree programme in prehistoric archaeology, which builds on the Bachelor’s degree programme. At this level, you learn to adopt a more critical approach to the various archaeological methods and theories.

·  The Master’s degree programme in Medieval and Renaissance archaeology, which focuses on the cultural history of Europe from the Viking Age until today.

·  The Master’s degree programme in sustainable heritage management, which focuses on the theoretical and communicative elements associated with cultural heritage.

·  The Master’s degree programme in the experience economy, where you learn to understand experiences as commodities and design experiences for users.

·  The Master’s degree programme in aesthetics and culture, where you learn to analyse the aesthetic dimensions of our culture and everyday life.

There are also many Master’s or part-time Master’s degree programmes available outside Denmark.