History, Heritage and Archaeology FdA

Making Mesolithic Glue

History and heritage are central features of the leisure and tourist industries that are so important in the South West of England. If you are interested in the past and want to study to progressyour career or personal interests, Somerset and the South West provide many opportunities to investigate different aspects of this fascinating subject.



This Foundation Degree delivers the relevant practitioner knowledge, skills and critical understanding of history, heritage and archaeology essential for those seeking careers in this sector. It will also appeal to anyone with a general interest in the past, particularly the history, heritage and archaeology of the ‘Wessex’ region.


Length of study

You can study this course full-time over two years, attending college two days each week or part-time over four years. You can also study individual modules. Taught sessions are spread over thirty weeks, divided into two semesters. Reading weeks and holidays coincide with local schools and colleges.


Sherlock Bone

Course content

Stage 1, Level 4:

  • The Theory and Method of History
  • Archaeological Survey and Excavation
  • Heritage and the Heritage Industry
  • Prehistoric Wessex
  • Rebellion and Reformation: English History from c.1450 to 1603
  • Professional Practice

Download the Handbook for Stage 1

Stage 2, Level 5:

  • Historical Interpretations: Witch-Hunting in Early Modern Europe
  • Historical Reputations (eg. Alfred the Great and King John)
  • The Analysis, Interpretation and Conservation of Archaeological Evidence
  • Agricultural and Industrial Lives: 18th Century and 19th Century Wessex
  • Ethno-archaeology and Experimental Archaeology
  • Personal Investigation

Download the Handbook for Stage 2


Enrichment opportunities

Each year we organise a wide range of visits and practical activities to enhance your studies. Previous trips have included Dorchester and Maiden Castle, Salisbury and Old Sarum and local World Heritage sites such as Stonehenge and Avebury. You will also have the opportunity to participate in a residential study trip: in recent years we have visited Pompeii and the Bay of Naples, Bruges, Barcelona, Rome, Nuremburg, and Dublin. Costs for trips are additional to course fees.

Practical activities including excavation are arranged at a variety of venues, for example at the Somerset Heritage Centre and the Dorset Ancient Technology Centre. Conferences and workshops with visiting speakers are arranged throughout the year. ‘Museology’ is an important element of the programme and all students are encouraged to investigate museums and heritage centres through work shadowing or work placements.


Employer support

We have an active Employers’ Forum which participates fully in the planning and operation of our courses, ensuring that they are relevant and current. We have strong links with experts and practitioners in the field including the Somerset Archaeology and Natural History Society, the South Somerset Archaeology Research Group, and the curators of local sites and collections including Glastonbury Abbey and the Museum of Rural Life, Wells Museum, the Somerset Heritage Centre and the Museum of Somerset.



You will be assessed through coursework, including an extended project - the Personal Investigation - and presentations. There are no formal examinations. The awarding body is Plymouth University.



Programme Manager:

Module Leaders:

  • Katherine Dray MA, BA (Hons), PGCE
  • Dr Sean McGlynn MA (London), PhD (Exon), FRHistS


Entry requirements

At age 18, the usual entry requirement is 180 UCAS points. Typically you may have gained an Extended/National Diploma (merit, merit, pass or above); AS and/or A Levels for example, one AS grade C plus two A Levels grade B and C or above. However, experience and other qualifications will be taken into consideration. Please discuss this with the Programme Manager.

Age 25 plus entry is considered on an individual basis by the Programme Manager based on experience, enthusiasm and other evidence of aptitude. All applicants meeting the entry requirements will be offered a personal interview.

Please apply directly to Strode College. You can also apply via UCAS. See How to Apply.



The Foundation Degree can lead to a final year through approved routes to the BA (Hons) History, Heritage and Archaeology Degree at Strode College or the BA (Hons) History Degree at Plymouth University. Former students have progressed to work in a variety of roles including teaching, curation and archaeological practice.


Tuition fee

Full-time fee £6,500 per year. See the Financial Support page for part-time fees. Trips and visits are not mandatory; additional costs will apply.

You may be eligible for a student loan, or your employer may wish to support you on this programme.


Andrew HowatStudent Profile: Andrew Howat

“After 23 years in the haulage industry, a medical condition meant I could no longer continue my career. I needed a personal challenge and this course appealed; it is unique to Strode and something I’ve always been interested in. I was nervous going back to education - I finished school in 1979! It’s a really great course and I’m so pleased I took the plunge. I achieved a First in my Foundation Degree at Strode College and I’ve come away with added focus and skills. I’m delighted that I can now do a further year to gain a full degree.”

Future plans: To explore a range of career options in the heritage and culture sector whilst completing his Degree.


Keri VigarsStudent Profile: Keri Vigars

“I love history and knew that it would be difficult to obtain a job without a higher qualification; this course will open up a wider range of career opportunities. The course is stimulating and challenging; the teachers are fantastic and supportive; they go the extra mile.

“I chose to study at Strode because it is local and has excellent academic achievements. The course is the best fit for me as it’s based on coursework and is full-time condensed to two days a week - this gives me the flexibility I need as a mum.“

Future plans: A career in the conservation of historical sites and buildings.


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