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The Archaeological Institute of the University of Cologne is one of the largest in all of Germany with around 50 employees, several lecturers and around 500 students. It consists of three departments that collaborate closely:

Each department has its own methods and areas of work, but they collaborate closely in teaching and research, thus complementing each other in many and diverse ways. Classical archaeology studies the ancient cultures of the Mediterranean region, particularly of the Greeks, the Romans, and neighboring cultures, whereas Archaeology of the Roman provinces is concerned with Rome's material legacy, esp. in the northwest of the Roman Empire. Archaeoinformatics are concerned with the computer aided methods in Archaeology. 

At the Archaeological Institute of the University of Cologne, academic classes on all epochs and cultural regions of archaeology are taught, covering everything from the Aegean Bronze Age to Late Antiquity. Special focal areas include the diversity of methods and practical professional training. The institute also operates its own educational excavations for this purpose.

The institute carries out many and diverse research projects in Germany and abroad and cooperates with numerous institutions around the world. The fields of archaeoinformatics and geophysical prospection methods are particular methodological focal areas in research and teaching. Since its establishment, the Research Archive for Ancient Sculpture has devoted its work to accessing and publishing Greek and Roman sculptures. The Archaeological Institute is also heavily involved in the research training group 1878 'Archaeology of Pre-Modern Economies'.


Within the University of Cologne, the institute is part of various interdisciplinary networks, including the Centre for Ancient Mediterranean Cultures (ZAKMIRA), the Cologne Center for eHumanities (CCeH), and the Competence Network Archaeoinformatics and the Competence Network Geophysical Prospection. At the regional level, the archaeological institutions located in Cologne and Bonn have joined forces in the Society of Archaeological Institutes in Cologne and Bonn (VarI). Further, the institute is involved in numerous cooperations in and outside of Germany.