Why study Archaeology?study

Archaeology is the study of the human past. It addresses big questions about how humans survived over the last 7 million years of our evolution from early hominins in Africa to modern Melbourne. Our work looks at how climatic and environmental change affected past societies and enables us to better plan for similar challenges in our own future. The buildings, utensils and tools of past societies can help archaeologists unlock the secrets of ancient community life or group dynamics in our earliest ancestors. Archaeologists use artefacts and fragments from the past to study the economies, social structure, art and culture of past societies, and how our technology and practices have changed the planet. It is the story of how we are all related and how we got to where we are today.

Our students work and gain experience locally within the Heritage sector, as well as on our excavations all over the world, from mediaeval Sri Lanka to the origins of farming in Jordan to understanding our earliest origins in South Africa. Such projects enable our students at all levels to interact with and learn from professional archaeologists and research leaders from all over the world.

Our world leading research laboratories enable our students to get involved in conducting research early and learning how we estimate the age of our earliest ancestors, reconstruct ancient environments using pollen, or understand past diets. Our academic staff are world leaders in researchers who have been published in the top academic journals such as Nature and Science, and have published books on a variety of topics including: Sludge: Disaster on Victoria's Goldfields.

Career opportunities

Graduates from our vocational Archaeology degree are employed in a range of archaeological projects, both nationally and globally, including those related to proposed mining and construction development within the Australian Heritage sector, museum curation, government heritage management, academia, television and documentary film making.


  • Bachelor of Archaeology

    The Bachelor of Archaeology Program is a world renowned centre of research into the archaeological past - the course is a vocational degree aimed at providing work ready skills for working in Australian Archaeology, but also providing a broad global and temporal perspective, from the origins of humans through to the historical archaeology. There is also an emphasis on practical based learning and the application of scientific techniques within archaeology. Opportunities for field research currently exist in: Australia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and Jordan. We have excellent links with industry, with industry placements frequently available.

    Fourth year option including Bachelor of Archaeology Honours.

  • Bachelor of Arts - Major in Ancient Societies and Human Origins

    The Major in Ancient Societies and Human Origins is a Major in the BA program; subjects are directed towards providing an understanding of human societies and cultures based on archaeological, geographical, historical and other evidence. Emphasis is given to the evolution of modern people and their social and technical developments with a focus on the global record from early humans to the rise in complex societies. In all subjects, attention is given to the techniques and theories that contribute to the study of archaeology.

  • Master of Professional Archaeology

    The Masters in Professional Archaeology is a vocational degree that offers the opportunity to develop workplace skills in archaeological field techniques, technical analysis, Aboriginal and historical archaeology, heritage management and business.

    Please contact Susan Lawrence for more information.

  • Postgraduate research in Archaeology

    We have a world renowned centre for research in archaeology. We can supervise research topics from deep time to the contemporary world, in any location in the world. Your research will be supported with high quality laboratories and information technology, and skilled technical staff.

    For more information, please contact Nicola Stern

  • Short courses in Archaeology:

    We provide a number of short courses geared towards building practical skill sets that are useful in the field of archaeology.