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Archaeology at Sidney

Archaeology covers a huge range of topics, spanning the evolution of humans through the development of farming, ancient civilisations aand world empires, as well as the role of material culture in human life and of heritage in modern societies. Students can follow several streams - Archaeology (covering all world cultures), Biological Anthropology, Egyptology and Assyriology.

With the Division of Archaeology and the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, Cambridgeis one of the largest centres of archaeological research in Britain, and the department has recently been awarded top place in the Good University Guide for Archaeology in the UK. Archaeology students at Cambridge benefit from direct hands-on access to world-class collections in Cambridge's many museums, libraries and research centres. 

Archaeology at Sidney Sussex

Sidney  Sussex College has an established expertise in Archaeology and Biological Anthropology, with an impressive recent crop of First Class Honours results  among its students. The disciplines are also well-anchored among the Fellowship.

Our Directors of Studies are:

Part I - Dr Sheila Kohring, an external Director of Studies who is and Affiliated Lecturer and Manager of the Material Culture Laboratory in the Archaeology Department.

Part II - Dr Yannis Galanakis, a Sidney Fellow and University Lecturer in Greek Prehistory, who specialises in Aegean and Classical Archaeology.

Sidney is also home to Dr Janice Stargardt (Professorial Research Fellow in  Asian Historical Archaeology and Geography). Her special teaching  subjects are Archaeological Theory and Method, Archaeological Science and Early  Kingdoms and Empires, while her research is currently on the development of early  polities and trade in Asia. She carries out annual fieldwork in India, Burma  and China and is collaborating in research to make Remote Sensing (satellite  imagery) a more sensitive instrument for archaeological research.  

Course requirements

Archaeology spans a very broad subject area, and the course allows study of topics ranging across the humanities, social sciences and sciences. Students with almost any combination of subjects can apply; there are no specific required or recommended courses. We welcome applications from students studying humanistic fields such as History, English, Classics and ancient languages, social sciences such as Geography, Sociology, Psychology or Anthropology, and sciences such as Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics. Applicants for Egyptology and Assyriology are strongly encouraged to study an ancient or modern language.

The application process

Applicants are not expected to have any standard background in archaeology, as the field is highly varied, there are many relevant backgrounds and the subject is not often taught in schools. However, they should be prepared to discuss their relevant interests and potential directions they may wish to follow at interview.

Typical Intake

1 - 2

Entry Requirements

No specific subjects are required, and a wide range of subjects can be useful preparation for the Archaeology course (for example Classics, Geography, History, an ancient or modern language, science subjects, social sciences).


Admissions Process

Written work

Two essays, preferably on subjects with some relation to the topics in the Archaeology Tripos.

Admissions Assessments

One hour at-interview assessment, comprising:

Essay/text response element (60 minutes)


Two interviews, both with a focus on the subject. Candidates may be asked to consider some form or written or non-written source material in one or both of the interviews.

Find out more

Please also visit the Division of Archaeology website for further information.