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Consultation on new Subject Benchmark Statement for Archaeology

Date: August 26 - 2021

The study of Archaeology lays out the foundations of an understanding of the human past and how we interact and value it in the present. Students are prepared for a wide range of career paths and opportunities, as set out in the updated QAA Subject Benchmark Statement for Archaeology courses - now out for consultation.

Subject Benchmark Statements describe the nature of study and the academic standards expected of graduates in specific subject areas. They show what graduates might reasonably be expected to know, do and understand at the end of their studies. The consultation on the draft statement is open to key stakeholders with an interest in Archaeological education such as students, staff, professional, statutory and regulatory bodies, and employers. It asks stakeholders to comment on key aspects set out in the Subject Benchmark Statement such as learning and teaching, and fieldwork, excavation and field skills.

The Advisory Group for the Archaeology Subject Benchmark Statement is chaired by Professor Chris Gerrard, Professor of Archaeology at Durham University, and comprises academic experts drawn from universities across the UK. The Chartered Institute for Archaeologists and the Council for British Archaeology are also represented on the Advisory Group.

The draft statement directs educators towards the standards set by the Chartered Institute for Archaeology and aligns with other higher education reference points including The Framework for Higher Education Qualifications and the UK Quality Code for Higher Education. The new statement also considers the role of equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) including accessibility for disabled students; Education for Sustainable Development (ESD); and enterprise and entrepreneurship within archaeological education.

Commenting on the draft statement, Professor Chris Gerrard, Chair of the Archaeology Subject Benchmark Statement Advisory Group said:

‘This is an important opportunity for the Archaeology subject community to contribute to the review process and to ensure that the document provides the best possible guidance for all those involved in Archaeological education.’

QAA is reviewing 14 Subject Benchmark Statements in 2021 - consultations on the remaining 13 statements will be launched in October 2021. A further 14 Subject Benchmark Statements will be reviewed in 2022 - the call for Advisory Group chairs and members will be launched later in the autumn.

How to respond


The consultation document is published below and responses should be submitted via our online survey.

A Microsoft Word version of the consultation questions has also been provided below for those who would like to prepare their answers before submitting the online survey.

The closing date for responses is Thursday 7 October and we plan to publish the final agreed Statement towards the end of 2021.