For those looking to take an interest in our ancient past, now is the time to enrol for courses beginning in October. Those who do not have the time for a full time course but are interested in furthering their knowledge of pre-Roman Britain may be interested to know that the University of Exeter are offering a range of online distance-learning Archaeology courses.  None of the below are ‘credit-bearing’, so will not count towards a formal certification, but there is enough material in each of the 20-week courses to provide a solid foundation for more formal studies.


Introduction to Prehistory in Britain

“An introduction to prehistory, discussing common perceptions of this age and showing how archaeology can tell us how prehistoric man lived. This online course introduces students to prehistoric archaeology in Britain, and covers the Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age.”

Neolithic Prehistory in Britain

“This course will cover the Neolithic period in Britain and Ireland, broadly between 4500BC – 2000BC. The course first sets the scene with a summary of the previous Mesolithic Hunter Gatherer lifestyles and the development of farming which reached Britain around 4100BC and started slightly earlier in Ireland.”

Ancient Britain in the Bronze Age

“This online course introduces students to the Bronze Age in Britain (2500-700BC), a time when the stone-working inhabitants first learnt and developed the skills of refining metal for tools and other objects.”

The Iron Age in Britain

“This online course explores the Iron Age in Britain, from 700BC until the arrival of the Romans in AD43. We will begin with a look at the Late Bronze Age (LBA) and consequent Iron Age as concepts, their chronology in terms of current research, and some discussion of the ‘Celts’, before a short overview of the LBA background and changes in landscapes and societies in this period.”

All the above courses commence on the 8th October, run for 20 weeks of study with a mid-winter break (15 for the Neolithic course), and cost £145 each – the price of 3 or 4 pints per week. Other courses  at Exeter cover later periods such as the Roman and Viking eras.

If you know of similar online courses, or have experience of attending such a course, please let us know in the comments.