BA Archaeology

Last Updated on July 29, 2023 by Vishnu Nambiar

Have you passed 12th standard? Do you want to pursue a good Archaeology course after 12th? If yes, this article will be of help to you. Here, we will have an in-depth analysis of BA in Archaeology course.

  How’s this article of help to me, you may ask. Here, you will find everything you need to know about BA Archaeology course. This article covers topics such as – duration, eligibility criteria, colleges, fees, syllabus, scope, PG courses, admission process, career prospects and salary details.   BA in Archaeology is an honors program. It is a Bachelor of Arts program that focuses on the discipline of archaeology and its allied areas (such as history, museology, ancient culture etc).   It is an undergraduate level Bachelor’s Degree course. The academic program is 3 years long. Students who have passed 10+2 are eligible to pursue this course.   There’s a notion that archaeology and history programs are meant for arts stream students only! It is not true at all. If you are interested in this domain, you may pursue this academic program! Students hailing from Science and Commerce stream are also eligible to pursue this course.   Here’s an overview of the course –

  • Name of the course: BA Archaeology
  • Type of course: Bachelor’s Degree
  • Duration: 3 years
  • Eligibility Criteria: 10+2 pass from a recognized board or equivalent

It is not uncommon to see Universities/Colleges/Institutes offering bundled programs related to Archaeology in India. Here are some such courses – BA in History and Archaeology, BA in Archaeology and Museology, BA in Culture and Archaeology etc.   Though the course names are slightly different from each other, they share the same course content (almost).   What is archaeology? What’s the scope and potential associated with it? What is it like to become an archaeologist in India? You will find answers to these questions in the next section. Here it is –

Archaeology: Introduction, Scope and Details

In simple terms, archaeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture.   It is a branch of social science and humanities. It is a broad field and consists of many allied sectors.   Some of its notable sub-disciplines are –

  • Historical archaeology
  • Ethnoarchaeology
  • Experimental archaeology
  • Archaeometry
  • Cultural archaeology

The main aim of this branch is to study about prehistoric societies. It helps document changes that occurred in human societies, understand culture history and obtain insights into the past lifestyle and practices.   An archaeologist is a professional who studies human prehistory and history. He/she is knowledgeable about aspects such as –

  • History
  • Culture
  • Social Science and Humanities
  • Excavation
  • Surveying
  • And more…

Here are some of the important tasks carried out by a skilled and qualified archaeologist –

  • Sampling
  • Excavation
  • Collecting data and material evidence
  • Storing data and material evidence safely
  • Analysis
  • Creating record

Archaeologists study human history and prehistory through the recovery and study of material evidence. Material evidence may consist of artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes.   In order to obtain material evidence, archaeologists employ techniques such as –

  • Surveying
  • Excavation

After collecting data and material evidence, an archaeologist analyzes it. After a detailed study of the data and material, he/she creates an archaeological record.   Technology has heavily influenced this field. Old school surveying methods and excavation practices have made way for modern, technology based solutions! Also check – Archaeology courses in India.   For example, modern day archaeological surveying involves aspects such as –

  • Remote sensing
  • Drone Survey

Modern excavation involves sophisticated mechanical equipment. Computer Technology and data science are used to carry out post excavation analysis of material evidence.   In short, technology has made these processes easier, more productive, safe and accurate!   Come, let us take a closer look at the course details. Here they are –

Course Details

Type of course

It is an undergraduate level Bachelor’s Degree program.


The academic program is 3 years long.


10+2 pass from a recognized board or equivalent.


BA course is offered by numerous Arts Colleges in India. There exists many Government and Self Financed Colleges offering this course in India. Government Colleges are usually operated by the State or Central Government.   BA Colleges are usually found across all major districts in a state! Government Colleges are known to charge relatively lower fees than their Self Financed counterparts.   Some of the notable colleges and universities are –

  • Gujarat University
  • MSU
  • Ahmedabad University
  • DU
  • RKU
  • MGU

Admission Process

Reputed institutes rely on merit based admission process. Seats are allotted to deserving candidates on the basic of marks scored by them in board exam and/or relevant entrance test. Some institutes are also known to carry out direct as well as donation based admission process. You may also check – Entrance exams after 12th in India.


Fees charged for BA in Archaeology course may vary from one institute to another. Tuition fees depends upon factors such as –

  • Type of college (Government of SF)
  • Rating and status of the college
  • Scholarship status of the student
  • Mode of learning (distance or regular)

On an average, tuition fees could be anywhere between 50-150K INR per year. Government Colleges are known to charge relatively lower fees. Apart from tuition fees, additional expenses (lodging, mess, library, sports etc) may also apply.


Here are some of the important subjects present in BA in Archaeology curriculum –

  • Methods in Archaeology
  • History
  • Science in Archaeology
  • Archaeology
  • Iconograhpy
  • Paleography and Epigraphy
  • Cultural Heritage Management
  • Archaeological Theory and Research Methodology
  • Earth Science
  • Field Archaeology
  • Practical Work

The academic program consists of classroom lectures and practical work.

PG Courses

After completing the course, graduates may take up a job or go for higher studies. BA in Archaeology graduates have access to a handful of PG courses. Notable ones are –

  • Relevant MA course
  • PG Diploma (Archaeology) courses
  • MBA
  • PG Diploma (Management) courses
  • PG Certificate (Archaeology) courses

Career Prospects

Archaeology graduates have access to diverse job opportunities. They have access to both Government and Private job opportunities.   Some of the notable recruiters are –

  • ASI
  • State-level Government departments
  • Museums
  • Tourism Department

In the above mentioned firms, one may don roles such as –

  • Instructor
  • Archaeologist
  • Officer
  • Manager
  • R&D Professional


Predicting the starting salary is a difficult task. Because it depends upon factors such as –

  • Profile of the employer
  • Institute from which one has pursued the course
  • Job location
  • Academic qualification of the applicant (UG/PG)

On an average, starting salary could be anywhere between 30-40K INR. In case of a Government job, the salary will be based on the pay scale and grade.

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