Archaeology of the British Isles


Join us for Archaeology of the British Isles, a fascinating introduction to the rich and diverse archaeology of Britain and Ireland.

In this flexible, self-paced online course we investigate the material culture of peoples who have settled in Britain over the millennia from the Lower Palaeolithic to the Anglo-Saxon period, and we discover the significance of some of the most intriguing sites, monuments and artefacts they left behind.

Following a broadly chronological framework through important periods, cultural influences and events in Britain, we engage with the latest archaeological research to glimpse life in past societies.

Along the way, we follow a number of recurring themes like social structure, politics and power, settlement organisation, economics and religion – all of which have left tantalising traces in Britain’s archaeological record.

Our journey will nurture a fresh appreciation for the discipline of archaeology and for the unique contribution it makes to our understanding of the human story, in Britain and beyond.


Roman mosaic from Cirencester

Course Details

Next start date:

Open enrolment – sign up any time.

Course duration:

Five weeks of guided online tuition (flexible).

Level of study:

Level 3 Certificate.

Student time commitment:

Recommended 2 to 5 hours per week (flexible).

Learner support:

Learners are supported by the tutor throughout the course.



Learning outcomes

Upon completion of the course, participants should be able to:

  • Explain the overall sequence of human settlement in Britain;
  • Interpret the evolution of the British landscape in terms of its human stories;
  • Identify the most common types of sites and artefacts from each period studied;
  • Evaluate archaeological evidence and what it can reveal about past societies in Britain;
  • Discuss a range of themes, concepts and theories in British archaeology.

Syllabus overview

In this course we explore the following topics:

  • The first people in Britain
  • Britain in the Mesolithic
  • Neolithic Britain
  • The Bronze and Iron Ages
  • Roman Britain
  • The Anglo-Saxons

Tutor profile

Dr. Mark Anderson is Head of the Akkadium School of Anthropology and Archaeology. He is a Senior Teaching Fellow at Imperial College London, and a tutor in archaeology and anthropology at the Oxford University Department for Continuing Education.

Mark is a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute, a Member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He is the author of Marothodi: The Historical Archaeology of an African Capital.

Mark Anderson

Additional information

Academic prerequisites

This learning opportunity is open to anyone, and no prior knowledge or experience of British archaeology is required. The only prerequisite is a curiosity about Britain's rich archaeological record, and a willingness to engage and contribute to course discussions.


Upon successful completion of this course, participants will receive an Akkadium College Level 3 Certificate in The Archaeology of the British Isles, and an academic transcript with details of completed modules and learner achievements.

Technical requirements

The course content and group discussions are accessed completely online in a virtual learning environment (VLE), so you will need access to an internet-connected computer or mobile device, and basic computing skills. Our team will be on hand to give you both academic and technical support as needed.

Other information

Please note that places on Certificate courses are limited to harness the educational value of small-group learning. However, most courses run multiple times throughout the year. If your preferred course is fully booked, please ask us about the next available opening.