Studying Archaeology from 14 to 16 Years in England, Wales & Northern Ireland
Unfortunately since 2004 Archaeology is no longer offered as a separate GCSE subject. However there are aspects of archaeology within other subjects taught at GCSE:
GCSE Classical Civilisations
The Classical Civilisations courses offered by both the AQA and the OCR exam board include the examination of archaeological evidence as part of the Greek and Roman Civilisation components of the course. Both courses are broadly similar and both use archaeological evidence to examine life in the classical world.
More information can be found at the exam boards’ websites:
OCR will also offer a GCSE in Ancient History from September 2009 which will include some archaeological perspectives.
The only history GCSE course to cover archaeology is the OCR GCSE History pilot course. The course is available in both the standard and short course forms (Course codes 1938 and 1038 respectively).
The course core units are:
- Unit 1: Medieval History
- Option 1: Raiders and Invaders: The British Isles c400 – c1100
- Option 2: Power and Control: Kingship in the Middle Ages c1100–1500
- Unit 2: Local History Investigation
- Unit 3: International History
Archaeology is included as an optional unit (6) entitled “An archaeological enquiry” and archaeological evidence is used throughout the course as a source material for students to consider.
Other History courses
History is offered by most of the other exam boards and in some cases may occasionally use archaeology as a source material (eg in the Schools History Project course).
The Welsh Baccalaureate
The Welsh Baccalaureate for 14 to 19 year old learners is in the next stage of its development. The qualification will allow learners to combine parts of other qualifications into one larger award starting from September 2009. The potential for using archaeology within this new qualification is great, and the CBA will be supporting the inclusion of archaeology into the award. Further details of the Welsh Baccalaureate system will be available here when they are published.
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