Introducing your Student Rep

Evan Grandidge de Paz

Hi! I'm Evan, a 1st year Archaeologist and I'm the Target & Access Officer at Fitzwilliam College. I work to make Cambridge more familiar and accessible for students from all backgrounds who are thinking of applying. I'm involved with running outreach events for schools at Fitzwilliam and helping with university-wide initiatives such as the Student Union Shadowing Scheme.

Key Facts

Average offer: A*AA

3 years

Available at all colleges except Queens'

Key subjects for admission: None mandatory

Written assessment if interviewed

No inclusive prayer space :(


Why did you want to study Archaeology?


I wanted to study Archaeology because it was a good mix of the humanities and sciences. At A-Level I did a combination of sciences and humanities and I enjoy how Archaeology gives me a chance to integrate these two when looking at the past. I was also particularly interested in the practical aspect of the subject, whether that be handling objects in museums or going on excavations. I really enjoy the mixture of practical and theoretical aspects that Archaeology at Cambridge offers.

How is the Archaeology course structured?


In first year you choose 3 out 6 Archaeology modules, for your 4th you can choose another or you can borrow one module from Human, Social and Political Sciences. There are a range of modules with reflect the disciplinary breadth of the department, for example Biological Anthropology, Egyptian or Akkadian Language or World Archaeology. You may have coursework for some modules during the year but you are mostly assessed through an exam for each module at the end of the year. After first year there is the option of choosing more specialised modules within 4 tracks: Archaeology, Biological Anthropology, Assyriology or Egyptology. There are also opportunities to combine these or borrow further modules from Human, Social and Political Sciences or Classics.

What is the faculty building like?


I really love the Archaeology Faculty building. It is located on Downing Site in the centre of town- conveniently close to all the cafes, supermarkets and most colleges if you need to dash to grab some lunch between lectures! The faculty has a lovely green space in the centre of the courtyard with an old, tall tree. You'll be spending a good deal of time in the buildings surrounding this courtyard! The Haddon Library with its traditional wooden bookcases is genuinely one of the best in the city and contains all the archaeological books you will need as well as good study spaces. Many of the lectures are in the North or South Lecture Room in the main building, and you will also use many of the labs and computer rooms in the West Building and the McDonald Institute in the centre of the courtyard. These include a material culture lab, zooarchaeology, geoarchaeology, isotopes, genetics and computer lab.

What is the workload like?


You will have two, hour-long lectures a week per module and some occasional practicals, including handling sessions in the museum or lab work. You will also have supervisions, which are small group (2-3 people) meetings with an academic. You will typically have 3 supervisions per module per term but these are more often if you study an ancient language (Egyptian or Akkadian). Overall you will have around 10 contact hours a week. Generally you will write an essay per supervision of up to 2,000 words. These are ungraded, but very useful for you to receive feedback from. They will be based around lecture topics and will also include a reading list of books/articles to help you. For language supervisions you will instead do translation exercises in preparation for the supervisions.

What about your course would you change?


Although there are plenty of optional modules to choose from (so many that it is often difficult to choose!), these are mainly focused around different periods or regions. I would love if some more thematic modules were also offered in 2nd year onwards.  It would also be great if we had an archaeology common room for students to hang out between lectures!


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Academic Reps are the voice of students in faculties, departments and schools. Reps have the power to enact changes to education, individually based on their priorities and collectively, working with other representatives across the University. Their responsibilities include taking students’ ideas and concerns to faculty and department boards, relaying important information from those boards back to students, and organising with their peers to foster a subject community.