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Masters Degrees (Experimental Archaeology)

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This programme explores experimental archaeology's potential as a powerful research method, an effective educational tool and an excellent medium for public outreach. Read more

This programme explores experimental archaeology's potential as a powerful research method, an effective educational tool and an excellent medium for public outreach.

You will receive a sound practical and theoretical grounding in scientific use of experiments in archaeological research. The programme will give you practical experience of experiments related to archaeological and taphonomic processes and the production of a range of material culture types including ceramics, stone tools, metals and a range of organic materials.

The role of experiments and ‘reconstructions’ in education and public outreach is investigated through classes, practical activities, and field visits. Links with professionals, such as museums and independent establishments, provide opportunities for practical work based on a sound appreciation of theory.

The University has established an outdoor centre on its Streatham Campus to provide a location for both short- and long-term experimental archaeology research. The programmes involve practical work and field trips.

Programme Structure

The programme is divided into units of study(modules).

Compulsory modules

The compulsory modules can include;

  • Research Methods and Archaeological Theory;
  • Experimental Archaeology;
  • Material Culture
  • Dissertation

Optional modules

You can choose from a variety of modules on offer, some examples of these are;

  • Advanced Project;
  • Field Study;
  • Landscape Archaeology:
  • Understanding the historic environment;
  • Advanced Human Osteology;
  • Zooarchaeology
  • Funerary Osteoarchaeology.

The modules listed here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand

Learning and teaching

This programme involves a high degree of learning through practice and experiments. Most of the formal classes that you attend will be based on a mixture of lectures, seminars, and workshops. The precise mix will vary between modules.

All members of staff are actively engaged in research, both in Britain and abroad, and regularly attend conferences, symposia and workshops. It is through this active engagement in the discipline that we are able to supply top quality teaching by experts in their field and as a result we have a 24/24 grading for our teaching from the Quality Assurance Agency.

We have excellent facilities for experimental archaeology including:

• experimental archaeology lab - this flexible laboratory space is the epicentre of our students' experimental activity and is a hard- wearing practical space in which we can carry out the unusual projects that only experimental archaeologists can dream up!

• material stocks - including sinew, feathers, hides, bones, antlers, wood, different stone types and plant materials

• pottery and kiln room, where students can work with clay, equipped with a potter's wheel and a large programmable electric kiln that can reach 1300 degrees Celsius

• workshop equipped with all the tools necessary to prepare materials for experiments

• knapping area - an outdoor space reserved for flintknapping and other activities best done in the fresh air

• experimental land - a substantial area of land on campus for long-term outdoor experiments.



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Course content. Material culture - the study of archaeological material remains - is at the very heart of archaeology. Studying objects gives you a route into any field you choose, and the combination of theory, analysis and experimentation makes this course unique. Read more

Course content

Material culture - the study of archaeological material remains - is at the very heart of archaeology. Studying objects gives you a route into any field you choose, and the combination of theory, analysis and experimentation makes this course unique. Experimental archaeology gives us new insights into the processes involved in the production, use, discard and deterioration of material culture.

This course interweaves practical and theoretical approaches to material culture. You'll explore the theory underpinning our understanding of the material world through ethnoarchaeological studies while developing invaluable practical skills: from analysis of use-wear and residue traces, building reference collections, to making short documentaries for the heritage sector.

This course is also available as an MA.

Information for international students

  • If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability:
  • IELTS: 6.5, with a minimum of 6.5 in Writing and no less than 6.0 in all other components
  • PTE: 61, with a minimum of 61 in Writing and no less than 55 in all other components
  • CAE and CPE (from January 2015): 176, with a minimum of 176 in Writing and no less than 169 in all other components
  • TOEFL: 87, with a minimum of 23 in Writing and a minimum of 21 in all other components
  • Trinity ISE: level 3 with Merit in all components


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If you choose to study our MA in Archaeology then you will be joining a vibrant, active Postgraduate community in a setting surrounded by sites of archaeological interest. Read more

If you choose to study our MA in Archaeology then you will be joining a vibrant, active Postgraduate community in a setting surrounded by sites of archaeological interest. We are lucky in the West Country to have prehistoric Dartmoor on our doorstep and Exeter itself is a city built on Roman foundations - the nearby Ipplepen dig is shedding further light on Romano-British history. The Anglo-Saxons too were active in our part of the world and we have excellent interdisciplinary ties with the History Department and Centre for Medieval Studies. In the past there have been opportunities for Exeter students to participate in fieldwork and outreach activities in as diverse locations as Argentina, Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan, South Dakota and Texas. In some cases, fieldwork may consist of archaeological work in a museum rather than excavation.

The MA Archaeology programme is flexible, so you can choose the modules that interest you – including those on Experimental Archaeology, Human Osteoarchaeology and Zooarchaeology. If you’re interested in going on to doctoral study then our MA will give you the right training and our academic staff will be happy to support you through the process of funding applications.

If you choose to join us, as an active member of our Postgraduate community, you will become part of a world leading research department among a great archaeological landscape.

Programme Structure

The programme is divided into units of study called 'modules' .

Compulsory modules

The compulsory modules can include;

  • Research Methods and Archaeological Theory;
  • Field Study;
  • Landscape Archaeology: Understanding the historic environment;
  • Material Culture
  • Dissertation

Optional modules

You can choose from a variety of modules on offer within our other Masters, some examples of these are;

  • Advanced Project;
  • Experimental Archaeology in Practice;
  • Advanced Human Osteology;
  • Zooarchaeology;
  • Funerary Osteoarchaeology
  • Musculo-skeletal Anatomy

The modules listed here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

Learning and teaching

Most of our teaching is done collaboratively in small groups because we feel this is the best way to help you develop. Your classes will be a mix of lectures, seminars and workshops where you will learn the methodology and practical skills you need. We have a range of specialist equipment and excellent facilities including laboratories, kiln room, and spaces for experimental archaeology.

Research areas

Our research at Exeter is world-leading and all our academic staff are actively engaged in both Britain and further afield. We are particularly unique for our expertise in the fields of Bioarchaeology and Experimental Archaeology. Our interests run from early prehistory through to the post-medieval period. Our geographic specialisations include the Americas, the British Isles, Europe, South Asia and North Africa.



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The Research Master’s programme in Archaeology is the most diverse in the Netherlands. Benefit from our extensive experience and reputation in archaeological research. Read more

The Research Master’s programme in Archaeology is the most diverse in the Netherlands. Benefit from our extensive experience and reputation in archaeological research.

Choose Archaeology at Leiden University:

Our research master's programme offers interesting regional and thematic specialisation possibilities. It stimulates extra-talented and motivated students by exposing them to cutting edge research and making them part of it.

The programme helps you to find your own place in the wide world of archaeological careers, and equips you with all the 21st century professional and transferable skills you need.

Our research facilities and labs, field schools and excavation projects, experimental archaeology projects and the national research schools (ARCHON, OIKOS) offer excellent opportunities for every prospective researcher.

Research possibilities in 2018-2019:

Human Origins

Australopithecus africanus, one of our many ancestors

Interdisciplinary studies of the human past

This programme provides an in-depth interdisciplinary introduction in the European Palaeolithic record and its wider setting, from the Early Pleistocene to the Late Pleistocene.

  • Study the archaeology of Prehistoric hunter-gatherers, from the earliest stone tools in East Africa, 2.6 million years old, to the end of the last ice age.
  • Focus on Neanderthal behaviour, and explore research questions, methods of analysis and theoretical perspectives in Palaeolithic archaeology.

Prehistoric Farming Communities

A view of past communities

The programme aims to develop a detailed and coherent view of past communities.

  • Focus on the later prehistory of Europe, especially on communities bordering the North Sea (Scandinavia, the Low Countries, France, Great Britain and Ireland).
  • Explore research topics such as Beaker cultures and settlements of the Bronze and Iron Ages, cultural identity, and burial ritual and (selective) deposition.

Town and Country in the Mediterranean Region and the Near East

The cradle of civilisation

This programme focuses on a region that has enormous culture-historical significance, and is a cradle of civilisation from Prehistory up to the Early Medieval period.

  • Study various key developments, such as the origins of farming and sedentary life, as well as the emergence of complex urbanised societies and writing, as they occurred first in this region and spread subsequently.
  • Participate in current research projects. These projects focus on the Near East (modern Iraq, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and Turkey) and Egypt, as well as the Mediterranean.

Religion and Society in Native American Cultures

Leiden Archaeology researchers used high-tech imaging to reveal rare precolonial Mexican manuscript hidden from view for 500 years

Study the past in connection to the present

The programme offers an interdisciplinary context, where archaeology, anthropology, sciences, history, linguistics, landscape and heritage studies come together.

  • Gain a broad knowledge of and deep insight into Native American cultural history, focusing on the relationships between religious worldview and social agency.
  • Participate in field schools related to long-term research projects, such as excavations in the Caribbean or Nicaragua,including studies of material culture and physical anthropology.

Bioarchaeology

Fragments of a sabre-toothed cat skull where recenty excavated

Combine archaeology with hard science

Discover our four research disciplines, together covering an extensive geographical area and time range.

  • Opt for Archaeobotany and investigate changes in vegetation and environment during the past 2.6 million years, as well as the taphonomy of plant macrofossils in lacustrine and fluvial depositional settings.
  • Focus on Archaeo/Palaeozoology and dive into Eurasia in the period from the Early Pleistocene to the Holocene. Biostratigraphical studies, palaeo-ecological studies, as well as taphonomical studies are carried out.
  • Study Human Osteoarchaeology and analyse human remains from international archaeology contexts as well as behavioural and social facets of mortuary practices in past societies.
  • Explore Isope Archaeology and work on the analysis and interpretation of stable isotopes of human and faunal remains from archaeological contexts. Learn how to carry out dating projects, including radiocarbon dating as well as other dating methods.

Archaeological Heritage in a Globalising World

A new and exciting interdisciplinary approach

The programme focuses on the role of the past in the present. Explore the various aspects of recent developments in international politics, cultural tourism, the use of social media, and the revitalisation of local traditions and regional identities.

  • Develop the practical skills to translate academic research and social knowledge into strategies for heritage management, and pursue individual initiatives.
  • Benefit from our close association with the Center for Global Heritage and Development, an interdisciplinary cooperation between three high-ranking universities: Leiden University, Erasmus University Rotterdam and Delft Technical University. This allows for a partnership between archaeology, social sciences, humanities and natural sciences.

The Transformation of the Roman World

Europe on the starting blocks

This programme offers an introduction to advanced studies of Europe and the Mediterranean in Late Roman and Post-Roman times (c. 300-900 AD).

  • Analyse the economic recovery of North-Western Europe in Merovingian and Carolingian times, exchange networks in the Mediterranean, and agrarian innovation and water management in Jordan.
  • Study burial sites, the fate of Roman towns in the early Middle Ages, and centres of Christianity.

Master of Arts or Master of Science

Students who choose the Bioarchaeology track receive a Master of Science degree in Archaeology. For the other research tracks you receive a Master of Arts degree in Archaeology.



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Our collaborative programme, led by our department of Archaeology and department of Classics and Ancient History gives you advanced grounding in the main themes and methods in Roman Archaeology and is ideal preparation for a PhD on the subject. Read more

Our collaborative programme, led by our department of Archaeology and department of Classics and Ancient History gives you advanced grounding in the main themes and methods in Roman Archaeology and is ideal preparation for a PhD on the subject.

Balancing core elements that bring together theoretical sophistication with cutting-edge digital methodologies, from the ‘big data’ of Roman artefacts to high-resolution LiDAR imaging, we offer a wide choice of specialist topics to suit your own requirements and aspirations, including the possibility to tailor genuinely interdisciplinary training through modules offered by world leading experts in Archaeology, Ancient History, and Classics.

Additionally, by choosing to study at the University of Exeter you will not only be joining a vibrant and active postgraduate community, but you will also benefit from Exeter’s origins as a Roman city with a wealth of excavated material currently housed by the local Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM) as well as the ongoing research at the nearby rural settlement of Ipplepen.

Programme structure 2018/19

The MA in Roman Archaeology programme is a one year full-time programme of study at National Qualification Framework level 7. The programme can also be studied part time.

The programme includes 120 compulsory credits, including 30 credits of general archaeology modules (Research Design and Themes in Archaeological Theory and Practice), 30 credits of specialist modules and 60 credits of Dissertation. You must also choose 60 credits of optional modules from those available from the Masters Programmes within the Department of Archaeology or the Department of Classics and Ancient History.

Interim Awards

After successful completion of 60 Masters Level credits, you are eligible for a Postgraduate Certificate in Roman Archaeology. After successful completion of 120 Masters Level credits, you are eligible for a Postgraduate Diploma in Roman Archaeology.

You may take optional modules of up to 30 credits outside of the programme as long as any necessary prerequisites have been satisfied, where the timetable allows and if you have not already taken the module in question or an equivalent module.

Modules

Please note constituent modules may be updated, deleted or replaced in future years as a consequence of programme development. Details at any time may be obtained from the programme website.

Recent examples of compulsory modules are as follows;

  • Research design in archaeology
  • Themes in archaeology theory and practice
  • Rome: Globalisation, materiality
  • Roman archaeology in the digital world
  • Dissertation in classics and ancient history

Optional modules can include;

Archaeology modules:

  • Experimental archaeology in practice
  • Discovering the past with molecular science
  • Field study
  • Landscape archaeology
  • Material culture
  • Advance zooarchaeology
  • Funerary osteoarchaeology
  • Musculo-skeletal anatomy
  • Researching the historic environment online
  • Forensic anthropology: principles and practice

Classics modules

  • The city of Rome
  • History through art and archaeology
  • The western dragon in lore, literature and art
  • Hellenistic culture and society - history
  • Hellenistic culture and society - literature
  • Cultural transformation in late antiquity
  • Migration and the migrant through ancient and modern eyes
  • Ancient philosophy: truth and ancient thought
  • Greek 1
  • Latin 1

Assessment method

The assessment of these skills is through a combination of essays, other written reports/projects, oral presentations, visual presentations, and you will be given an opportunity to develop your own study skills through a piece of individual research, a dissertation.

Research areas

Drawing directly on the internationally-recognised research and teaching expertise located in the Departments of Archaeology and in that of Classics and Ancient History, within the College of Humanities. In particular, this MA programme will build on the recent success of the vibrant cross-departmental Centre for Connectivity in the Roman World, which has a strong archaeological emphasis in its research activity, as well as drawing upon recent developments in Digital Humanities.

The research culture in the Department of Archaeology and of Classics and Ancient History at Exeter is characterised by world-leading and internationally excellent research projects and publications in a wide range of sub-disciplinary fields. Interdisciplinary work is an increasingly important part of funded research and we regularly work with colleagues from across the College of Humanities and wider University.

You will be also welcome to join our Centre for Hellenistic and Romano-Greek Culture and Society, where academic staff and Postgraduate students work together to develop cutting-edge research in this area.

Find out more about our research on the Classics and Ancient History and Archaeology websites.



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Bioarchaeology is an exciting and fast-advancing field which combines archaeology with branches of the natural sciences to study key topics such as past health and well-being, diet, ecology, subsistence strategies and environmental impacts. Read more

Bioarchaeology is an exciting and fast-advancing field which combines archaeology with branches of the natural sciences to study key topics such as past health and well-being, diet, ecology, subsistence strategies and environmental impacts.

Our MSc in Bioarchaeology aims to develop a broad understanding of these issues through the study of human remains. Students on this programme will also have the opportunity to study animal remains, as well as floral and faunal evidence depending which pathway they choose to follow. 

The three available Bioarchaeology pathways are:

The programme develops advanced practical skills in skeletal analysis, making use of the department’s well-provisioned specialist laboratories and reference collections. A particular strength of our provision is that we are able to address the bioarchaeology of both the New and Old Worlds. Those completing the programme acquire the skills necessary to continue into academic research or employment, as an osteologist in field units, museums or CRM companies.

It allows you to specialise in one of two named pathways: Human Osteology (physical anthropology and funerary archaeology) or Zooarchaeology (animal bones and other faunal remains).

Learning and teaching

Most of the formal classes that you attend will be based on a mixture of lectures, seminars, and workshops. The precise mix will vary between modules. These aim to outline the principal issues of the module, to explore some detailed issues, and, where relevant, to give you experience of working with a particular technique or data set.

All members of staff are actively engaged in research, both in Britain and abroad, and regularly attend conferences, symposia and workshops. It is through this active engagement in the discipline that we are able to supply top quality teaching by experts in their field and as a result we have a 24/24 grading for our teaching from the Quality Assurance Agency.

In addition to our established palaeobotany, experimental archaeology, and microscopy laboratories, we have a new bioarchaeology lab dedicated to the study of anatomical variation, palaeopathological conditions, and the funerary context of human and animal remains. The laboratory, accompanied by a designated store for the Department's collection of human remains, provides facilities for use by researchers and students for examining skeletal remains recovered from archaeological sites. Equipment includes anatomical casts and demographic reference standards used to determine the sex, age-at-death, stature and body proportions from human remains.

Research areas

Bioarchaeological research at Exeter combines the study of archaeology with branches of the natural and physical sciences to address questions of health and well-being, diet, ecology, subsistence strategies and natural and human-induced environmental impacts in the past.

Our approach is holistic and inter-disciplinary, drawing its inspiration from both definitions of ‘bioarchaeology’: as a study applied to human remains (human osteoarchaeology) and, as originally defined by Grahame Clark, as related to the integration of environmental archaeology, floral and faunal evidence – archaeobotany and zooarchaeology – in archaeological research.

Active field research programmes in North and South America and Eurasia link with extensive laboratory research to address questions of social structure and social organisation, the process of animal and plant domestication, the development of social inequality and power relations, violence and warfare, the rise of élites and craft specialists, and division of labour.

Programme Structure

This programme includes 135 credits of compulsory modules and 45 credits of optional modules.

Compulsory modules

The compulsory modules for each of the pathways can include the following;

  • Research Methods and Archaeological Theory;
  • Musculo-skeletal Anatomy;
  • Advanced Zooarchaeology;
  • Advanced Human Osteology;
  • Zooarchaeology (Masters level);
  • Bioarchaeology Dissertation
  • Bioarchaeology Dissertation Zooarchaeology.

Optional modules

The following is a list of the possible optional modules;

  • Advanced Project;
  • Experimental Archaeology in Practice;
  • Field Study; Landscape Archaeology:
  • Understanding the historic environment;
  • Material Culture; Advanced Human Osteology;
  • Zooarchaeology (Masters level);
  • Palaeobotany (Masters level);
  • Funerary Osteoarchaeology (Masters level);
  • Musculo-skeletal Anatomy
  • Researching the Historic Environment Online.

The modules listed here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand



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Our MA in Aegean Archaeology offers a series of specialist modules on the archaeology of the Aegean and neighbouring regions, situated within a sophisticated and intellectually demanding theoretical context. Read more

About the course

Our MA in Aegean Archaeology offers a series of specialist modules on the archaeology of the Aegean and neighbouring regions, situated within a sophisticated and intellectually demanding theoretical context. We encourage a diachronic perspective and broad range of approaches and throughout the programme we will encourage and support you in the development of intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, problem-solving and independent judgement.

Your future

Each of our masters courses is designed to equip you with valuable employment skills and prepare you for your future career. If you’re seeking to move into an archaeology-related field from a different academic or employment background, our courses and supportive staff will help you to realise your ambitions and develop professionally.

Graduates from our MA and MSc courses successfully compete for some of the most sought-after archaeological posts in the world. Our courses help students to develop essential transferable skills, and upon graduation they are also in demand by a wide variety of employers outside of the sector.Many of our graduates decide to continue their studies, carrying out doctoral research in their chosen specialist field, equipped with a solid theoretical and practical grounding from which to develop their research.

World-leading expertise

The character and strength of research carried out by Sheffield’s Archaeology department is captured under the following broad themes. These reflect the range of our research and its cross-disciplinary, embedded nature:

Funerary Archaeology
Landscape Archaeology
Bioarchaeology
Medieval Archaeology
Cultural Materials
Mediterranean Archaeology

Specialist facilities

The Archaeology department is situated on the edge of the main campus, near to Sheffield’s city centre. The department houses world-class reference collections and facilities to support teaching, learning and research in a range of archaeological disciplines. Facilities include specialist lab space dedicated to teaching and research, dedicated study spaces, and a student common room.

Fieldwork opportunities

We offer you the opportunity to get involved in our research projects in the UK, Europe and further afield.

How we will teach and assess you

Our students come from all around the world and the content of our courses reflects this. You can expect a balanced timetable of lectures, seminars and practicals. Many of our masters courses also include a fieldwork or project work component. Our teaching staff are leading scholars in their field. Through their research and field projects they are active in generating new knowledge that feeds directly into their teaching.

Funding, scholarships and bursaries

If you accept a place on one of our courses, you may be eligible to apply for WRoCAH and University of Sheffield studentships. There are also a number of departmental and programme-specific scholarships available each year. See our website for details.

Core modules

Current Issues in Aegean Prehistory
Reinventing Archaeology
Research Design: Planning, Execution and Presentation
Dissertation

Indicative optional modules

Mediterranean Landscapes
Rethinking the Ancient Economy
Experimental Archaeology
The Archaeology of Cyprus
Introduction to Human Osteology
Ethnography in Archaeology: Materialising Culture: Agents, Things and Social Processes
Reconstructing Ancient Technologies: Ceramics
Archaeobotany
Archaeozoology

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This MA provides training in the documentation and interpretation of artefacts from archaeological sites and museum collections. Students benefit from a placement within a museum or an archaeological unit where experience will be gained in the practice of finds analysis. Read more

This MA provides training in the documentation and interpretation of artefacts from archaeological sites and museum collections. Students benefit from a placement within a museum or an archaeological unit where experience will be gained in the practice of finds analysis.

About this degree

Students are introduced to the skills of finds specialists. They develop the ability to identify, describe, document, catalogue and analyse artefacts and artefact assemblages. Subjects covered include the description of ceramic, lithic and metal objects. In practical sessions, we cover drawing, photography and work with databases. Many sessions make use of the institute's extensive collections. The programme will also raise awareness of different approaches to artefact analysis and introduce recent discussions on the subject.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of two core module (30 credits), four optional modules (60 credits), an optional work placement and a research project (90 credits).

Core modules

All students are required to take the following: 

  • Working with Artefacts and Assemblages
  • Technology within Society

Optional modules

Students choose to follow further optional modules up to the value of 60 credits from an outstanding range of Master's options available at the UCL Institute of Archaeology. For this degree, some of the most popular choices include: 

  • Antiquities and the Law
  • Archaeological Ceramic Analysis
  • Archaeological Glass and Glazes
  • Archaeometallurgy
  • British and European Prehistory: Neolithic to Iron Age
  • Experimental Archaeology
  • Funerary Archaeology
  • Geoarchaeology
  • Intangible Dimensions of Museum Objects from Egypt
  • Interpreting Pottery
  • Issues in Conservation: Understanding Objects
  • Key Topics in the Archaeology of the Americas
  • Laboratory and Instrumental Skills in Archaeological Science
  • Making and Meaning in Ancient Greek Art
  • Making and Meaning in Ancient Roman Art
  • Nature, Culture and the Languages of Art: theories and methodologies of art interpretation
  • Prehistoric Stone Artefact Analysis
  • Social and Material Contexts in Art: comparative approaches to art explanation

Dissertation/report

The 15,000–word dissertation can cover any artefact-based subject matter. It normally combines a professional standard finds report with an analysis and an academic overview.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through formal lectures, seminars and practical sessions. It can include a placement at a relevant museum or archaeological unit where students gain experience in the practical study and the recording of an artefact assemblage. Assessment of the core course is by weekly pieces of short work, a portfolio and the dissertation. The Technology within Society module is assessed by a project proposal and an essay.

Placement

Students have the option to undertake a 20-day voluntary placement at a relevant museum or archaeological unit. The placement itself is not formally assessed other than through its contribution to the student's dissertation work. 

Tier 4 students are permitted to undertake a work placement during their programme, however they must not exceed 20 hours per week (unless the placement is an intergral and assessed part of the programme). This applies whether that work placement takes place at UCL or at an external institution. If you choose to undertake a placement at an external institution, you will be required to report to the department on a weekly basis so that you can continue to comply with your visa. 

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Artefact Studies MA

Careers

Some recent graduates of the programme have gone on to PhD studies while others have pursued a very wide range of professional careers both within and beyond archaeology. The main career path is working as assistants, museum curators or working in the antiquities service recording and analysing finds.

Employability

The degree is tailored to give graduates a solid grounding in systematically recording and documenting artefacts as well as analysing artefact assemblage. They will also have a basic understanding of creating graphs and diagrams, and analysing and assembling finds-catalogues. Without concentrating on any specific epoch, we give students the tools for understanding and systematically analysing any artefact assemblages.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

Whether you plan a career as a finds assistant, museum curator or plan a materials-based PhD, this programme provides you with the skills you need to successfully identify, describe and document artefacts and analyse assemblages. The emphasis  is very much on practical application, so there will be numerous handling sessions and praxis-related tasks.

The UCL Institute of Archaeology is the largest and most diverse department of archaeology in the UK, and provides a stimulating environment for postgraduate study. Its outstanding archaeological library is complemented by UCL's Main Library, University of London Senate House and other specialist libraries. UCL is located in central London, within walking distance of the British Museum and the British Library.

UCL's own museums and collections form a resource of international importance for academic research. Students will work on material from the institute's collection as part of their assessment. Past students on this programme have made effective use of the resources at the British Museum, the Museum of London and the Museum of London archives, the Petrie Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum and other British and international museums. The Wolfson Labs provide a unique facility for scientific analyses of materials and have been used by numerous artefact students for their dissertations after the required training.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Institute of Archaeology

73% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.



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Scientific analysis is a key tool in the study of archaeological artefacts and assemblages. Read more

Scientific analysis is a key tool in the study of archaeological artefacts and assemblages. This MSc offers detailed training in the use of scientific techniques for the analysis of archaeological and heritage materials, and a solid background in the archaeology and anthropology of technology, allowing students to design and implement archaeologically meaningful scientific projects.

About this degree

This degree aims to bridge the gap between archaeology and science by integrating both a detailed training in the use of scientific techniques for the analysis of inorganic archaeological materials and a solid background in the anthropology of technology. By the end of the degree, students should have a good understanding of the foundations of the most established analytical techniques, practical experience in their application and data processing, as well as the ability to design research projects that employ instrumental analyses to address archaeological questions.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of one core module (15 credits), four optional modules (75 credits) and a research dissertation (90 credits).

Core modules

  • Laboratory and instrumental skills in archaeological science

Optional modules

You are then able to choose further optional modules to the value of 75 credits. At least 15 credits must be made up from the following:  

  • Technology within Society
  • Archaeological Data Science

At least 30 credits must be made up from the following list below: 

  • Technology within Society
  • Archaeological Data Science
  • Archaeological Ceramic Analysis
  • Archaeological Glass and Glazes
  • Archaeometallurgy
  • Geoarchaeology: Methods and Concepts
  • Key topics in the Archaeology of the Americas
  • Interpreting Pottery
  • Working with Artefacts and Assemblages

In order to allow for a flexible curriculum, students are allowed to select up to 30 credits from any of the postgraduate modules offered at the UCL Institute of Archaeology under other Master's degrees

Dissertation/report

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, practical demonstrations and laboratory work. A popular aspect of this programme is its extensive use of analytical facilities. Assessment is through essays, practicals, projects, laboratory reports and oral presentations depending on the options chosen, and the dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Archaeological Science: Technology and Materials MSc

Careers

Given our strong emphasis on research training, many of our MSc graduates take up further research positions after their degree, and over half of our MSc students progress to PhD research. Their projects are generally concerned with the technology and/or provenance of ceramics, metals or glass in different regions and periods, but most of them involve scientific approaches in combination with traditional fieldwork and/or experimental archaeology. 

Some of our graduates are now teaching archaeometry or ancient technologies at different universities in the UK and abroad. Others work as conservation scientists in museums and heritage institutions, or as finds specialists, researchers and consultants employed by archaeological field units or academic research projects.

Employability

Due largely to an unparalleled breadth of academic expertise and laboratory facilities, our graduates develop an unusual combination of research and transferable skills, including critical abilities, team working, multimedia communication, numerical thinking and the use of advanced analytical instruments. On completion of the degree, graduates should be as comfortable in a laboratory as in a museum and/or an archaeological site. They become acquainted with research design and implementation, ethical issues and comparative approaches to world archaeology through direct exposure to an enormous variety of projects. The range of options available allows students to tailor their pathways towards different career prospects in archaeology and beyond.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Institute of Archaeology is the largest and most diverse department of archaeology in the UK. Its specialist staff, outstanding library and fine teaching and reference collections provide a stimulating environment for postgraduate study.

The excellent in-house laboratory facilities will provide direct experience of a wide range of techniques, including electron microscopy and microphone analysis, fixed and portable X-ray fluorescence, X-ray diffraction, infra-red spectroscopy, petrography and metallography under the supervision of some of the world's leading specialists.

The institute houses fine teaching and reference collections that are extensively used by MSc students including ceramics, metals, stone artefacts and geological materials from around the world. In addition, the institute has a wide network of connections to museums and ongoing projects offering research opportunities for MSc students.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Institute of Archaeology

73% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.



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Archaeology in Leiden encompasses the study of societies and cultures from the past, aiming to reconstruct and revive them. Make a meaningful contribution to resolving present-day societal issues such as migration, globalisation and climate change, using your interest in the past. Read more

Archaeology in Leiden encompasses the study of societies and cultures from the past, aiming to reconstruct and revive them. Make a meaningful contribution to resolving present-day societal issues such as migration, globalisation and climate change, using your interest in the past.

Leiden's Faculty of Archaeology

Leiden’s Archaeology master’s degree has the most diverse programme in the Netherlands. Leiden also boasts the only independent Faculty of Archaeology in the Netherlands. The study programme offers various regional and thematic specialisations and the teaching programme is closely linked to ongoing research.

Our academic staff are involved in research all over the world, with a strong focus on field research. In addition, the programme emphasises ecology and geology, combined with both iconology and historical studies, as well as ethno-archaeological, anthropological and experimental approaches. A combination with modern museum practices and developments in archaeological heritage management broadens your scope even more.

Choose Archaeology at Leiden University:

  • Explore a truly unique choice of challenging regional and thematic specialisations.
  • Study at a faculty that ranks in the top ten worldwide in academic reputation and research impact (March 2017 QS World University Ranking by subject).
  • Benefit from our outstanding international faculty staff, which is involved in projects all over the world, and has a strong emphasis on field archaeology.
  • Work with top researchers, and take advantage of the strong connection between our current research projects and our education.

Multidisciplinary focus

As a student of one of our specialisations, you will gain in-depth knowledge of the discipline of your choice. At the same time, you will take part in ongoing debates about general theory, the development of new methods and the use of information technology.

Our teaching is multidisciplinary and uses theories, methods and techniques drawn from the humanities, social sciences and sciences. By regarding the matter from an ecologist's viewpoint, or seeing it through a geologist's or anthropologist's eye, you add great value to your studies and research.

Specialisations

Master of Arts or Master of Science

Students who choose the Archaeological Science specialisation receive a Master of Science degree in Archaeology. For World Archaeology and Heritage and Museum Studies, you receive a Master of Arts degree in Archaeology.



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Each of our masters courses is designed to equip you with valuable employment skills and prepare you for your future career. Read more

About the course

Each of our masters courses is designed to equip you with valuable employment skills and prepare you for your future career. If you’re seeking to move into an archaeology-related field from a different academic or employment background, our courses and supportive staff will help you to realise your ambitions and develop professionally.

Graduates from our MA and MSc courses successfully compete for some of the most sought-after archaeological posts in the world. Our courses help students to develop essential transferable skills, and upon graduation they are also in demand by a wide variety of employers outside of the sector.Many of our graduates decide to continue their studies, carrying out doctoral research in their chosen specialist field, equipped with a solid theoretical and practical grounding from which to develop their research.

World-leading expertise

The character and strength of research carried out by Sheffield’s Archaeology department is captured under the following broad themes. These reflect the range of our research and its cross-disciplinary, embedded nature:

Funerary Archaeology
Landscape Archaeology
Bioarchaeology
Medieval Archaeology
Cultural Materials
Mediterranean Archaeology

Specialist facilities

The Archaeology department is situated on the edge of the main campus, near to Sheffield’s city centre. The department houses world-class reference collections and facilities to support teaching, learning and research in a range of archaeological disciplines. Facilities include specialist lab space dedicated to teaching and research, dedicated study spaces, and a student common room.

Fieldwork opportunities

We offer you the opportunity to get involved in our research projects in the UK, Europe and further afield.

How we will teach and assess you

Our students come from all around the world and the content of our courses reflects this. You can expect a balanced timetable of lectures, seminars and practicals. Many of our masters courses also include a fieldwork or project work component. Our teaching staff are leading scholars in their field. Through their research and field projects they are active in generating new knowledge that feeds directly into their teaching.

Funding, scholarships and bursaries

If you accept a place on one of our courses, you may be eligible to apply for WRoCAH and University of Sheffield studentships. There are also a number of departmental and programme-specific scholarships available each year. See our website for details.

Core modules

All streams: Ethnography in Archaeology; Reinventing Archaeology; Materialising Culture: Agents, Things and Social Processes; Dissertation*

*Material Culture Studies stream choose between a fieldwork placement and a dissertation.

Examples of optional modules

Depending on which of the three streams you choose to study, these may include:

Analysis of Inorganic Materials; Reconstructing Ancient Technologies: Ceramics, Metals or Vitreous Materials; Experimental Archaeology; Research Design: Planning, Execution and Presentation.

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Study at the world centre for Mesolithic research. The University of York is the only place in the world where you can study a Masters programme Mesolithic archaeology. Read more
Study at the world centre for Mesolithic research

Why choose this course?

The University of York is the only place in the world where you can study a Masters programme Mesolithic archaeology. Mesolithic studies have gathered huge momentum in recent years, with academics at York leading the way in uncovering significant new evidence on sites such as Howick and the internationally renowned Star Carr – not far from York.

The lack of detailed study into the Mesolithic period means there is a huge amount waiting to be discovered. Almost any project investigating the period is sure to uncover something new and previously unknown. That gives our students an incredible opportunity to become leading specialists in the period, and to get involved in truly pioneering projects.
-Study in the globally recognised centre for Mesolithic archaeology
-Make new discoveries in this under-researched field of study
-Get involved in globally significant Mesolithic field projects
-Gain ‘hands-on’ experience of experimental archaeology at our Mesolithic camp
-Work alongside world leaders conducting pioneering research
-Learn about cutting-edge techniques, such as ancient DNA and stable isotope analysis and climate-change reconstruction
-Receive career and research guidance from experienced and knowledgeable staff

What does the course cover?
The MA in Mesolithic Studies provides an important review of the European Mesolithic, exploring the ways in which the period has been interpreted from the 19th century, up to the present day. It also explores key topics such as technology, consumption practices, death and burial, plants and animals, and settlement, drawing on the research carried out in the department.

Students have the opportunity to get involved in one of several Mesolithic excavation projects, including nearby Star Carr, site of the oldest house and oldest carpentry in Europe, Howick in Northumberland, and coastal shell middens in Europe, all of which have featured on TV and in the media.

Who is it for?
This course is suitable for graduates of archaeology, anthropology, biology or related fields, as well as for people with relevant experience or enthusiasm for the subject.

What can it lead to?
This masters course gives you the chance to specialise in an exciting area of archaeology, but also gives you the essential skills and knowledge required for many different archaeological and related careers or further study. While some students take the course as the gateway to further specialist research at PhD level, others go on to a wide variety of careers.

Careers

By the end of the MA in Mesolithic Studies course you will have:
-A thorough understanding of the history of research and the theoretical approaches in Mesolithic Studies
-A broad foundation in the key aspects of Mesolithic lifeways
-Developed a critical understanding of the key debates in the period
-Developed an ability to gather and organise information and arguments in a critical and independent manner through writing essays under various conditions
-Undertaken a piece of independent research on a topic within the field of Mesolithic archaeology
-Developed presentation skills through the delivery of seminar papers on a range of diverse themes

Many course graduates go on to further specialist research at PhD level, many of which have been funded, and then pursue careers in academia. Others have gone into a range of careers, from teaching and digital archiving to commercial archaeology work and wilderness training.

Some of the organisations our past students now work for include the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists, Council for British Archaeology, Yorkshire Museums Trust, archaeological consultancies and even Wikipedia.

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This programme is a pathways-based research degree, with a strong emphasis on the development of skills and specialism in Palaeoanthropology. Read more

This programme is a pathways-based research degree, with a strong emphasis on the development of skills and specialism in Palaeoanthropology.

Palaeoanthropology (combining Palaeolithic archaeology, biological anthropology and genetics) is one of the fastest-changing disciplines. Beyond the headlines of “the earliest” and “the most advanced” lies a huge range of evidence to explore and master, focusing on how our early ancestors and their relatives lived their lives and responded to opportunities and setbacks. Here at Southampton we have particular strengths in social and technological responses of hominins (the species directly ancestral to our own) to changing environments and landscapes, and have been shaping the debates on these key aspects for several decades.

Introducing your degree

Palaeoanthropology is a pathway within the MSc degree, and it aims to give you a diverse and in-depth experience of the discipline’s key themes. There is a strong emphasis on the development of practical skills in the study of ancient material culture, in visiting some key Palaeolithic sites, and in reconstructing the environments and lifeways of our hominin ancestors. From seven million years ago, and Sahelanthropus tchadensis, to the molecular biology of Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans, and through to collections of beautiful American Palaeo-Indian Clovis points, this pathway master’s will prepare you for future research in human origins, or give you an in-depth understanding of our amazing evolutionary journey, depending on what you want out of your MSc.

You will acquire an expertise in looking at hominin material culture which will include a mixture of traditional techniques, as well as some of the ways of analysing artefacts that Southampton is pioneering. Students will also learn the latest theoretical issues in human evolution and engage with some of the most up to date arguments surrounding our ancient ancestors from staff actively shaping those debates. Students with an interest in general Prehistory will find many of the modules and topics available on the Palaeoanthropology Pathway of interest and relevance.

You will be based in the John Wymer Laboratory, which is CAHO’s (Centre for the Archaeology of Human Origins) nerve centre. Here you will have daily access to our extensive teaching collections of replica and real stone tools, our hominin skull collection, and a large library of original and rare offprints and books focused on our most ancient ancestors and their world as well as on modern-day primates. The Wymer is a lively research and teaching space where you will be in the company of other MSc students, as well as our Ph.D researchers. We also have an experimental knapping and ancient technology area, where you can use our equipment to test key questions. You will automatically be a member of CAHO, and can participate in all its various activities. You will also have the opportunity of taking modules in related subjects such as skeletal anatomy or evolutionary and molecular biology to broaden your knowledge base.

Through CAHO you will be linked to a huge network of Human Origins teachers and researchers who are at the forefront of their disciplines. We aim to provide an enjoyable but challenging experience and convince you that the interdisciplinary study of hominin ‘deep history’, understanding who and what we are, and how behaviours developed, is one of our greatest intellectual journeys.

Overview

You will engage with hands-on, real-world archaeological materials and situations, including opportunities to collaborate with a range of stakeholders and partners in the archaeological sector through a professional placement. By these means you will acquire skills for vocational employment or subsequent PhD research. Your programme will be embedded within Southampton Archaeology’s distinctive research culture, with world-class expertise, diverse practice, and contacts with the commercial environment and the heritage sector.

The specialism in Palaeoanthropology includes elements that familiarise you with human evolution; primatology; early tool manufacture and use; cognitive and anthropological approaches to the human past; and key debates in British and European prehistory from our earliest ancestors onwards. 

Important aspects of the programme are available across all specialisms. These include the compulsory dissertation module, which should focus on an area of your specialism, if you have chosen one. Furthermore, modules from each pathway are open to you as options, regardless of your chosen specialism. By these means you will be able to build a personalised and flexible programme tailored to your needs.

This programme includes opportunities for credit-bearing placements within organisations involved in commercial archaeology, heritage management, fieldwork projects and/or museums. The placements are typically organised by the University, and may be available to students following all specialisms, or crossing between them.

View the programme specification document for this course



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This innovative cross-disciplinary programme teaches 'hard' science subjects within a cultural heritage context. You will develop a holistic understanding of state-of-the-art science and engineering enabling you to identify, investigate and solve problems in arts, heritage and archaeology. Read more

This innovative cross-disciplinary programme teaches 'hard' science subjects within a cultural heritage context. You will develop a holistic understanding of state-of-the-art science and engineering enabling you to identify, investigate and solve problems in arts, heritage and archaeology. Students gain a range of competitive skills that make them employable in industry, heritage or academia.

About this degree

SEAHA students develop a unique, interdisciplinary understanding of art, heritage, and archaeological sites within their historical, artistic, and cultural contexts. You will question and reflect on research in the light of broader societal and environmental issues. You will gain the skills to engage with diverse stakeholders including researchers, heritage professionals, policymakers and the wider public.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of four core modules (120 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

Core modules

  • SEAHA in Context
  • Research Methodology
  • Transferable Skills
  • Field Project

Optional modules

There are no optional modules for this programme.

Dissertation/report

All students undertake an independent research project which usually includes placement in a heritage institution. The project culminates in a dissertation of 10,000–12,000 words and an oral examination.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through lectures, seminars, problem-solving classes, tutorials, laboratory and fieldwork and independent project work. It includes a significant research component with intensively linked projects, field-based research and a dissertation. Students present their research through a poster, a scientific paper, and a fieldwork report.

Fieldwork

The programme includes a significant element of fieldwork as part of the Field Project module, including a week-long fieldtrip and a one-day study visit. The field projects take place in a historic property, in which students work in groups, using a variety of experimental methods to explore conservation and interpretation issues.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Science and Engineering in Arts, Heritage and Archaeology MRes

Funding

The MRes Science and Engineering in Arts, Heritage and Archaeology can be taken as a standalone degree or as part of the SEAHA CDT, for which we offer 12 studentships a year.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

Graduates have pursued careers in a wide variety of fields including further PhD studies and academia, museum science, galleries and museums, and preservation and conservation.

Employability

SEAHA graduates have enhanced knowledge of conservation, interpretation, research and management within cultural heritage. You will be ideally placed to take on employment in cross-disciplinary roles within industry, heritage institutions or academia. Alternatively, you may wish to follow this programme with a PhD in a diverse range of science or engineering subjects.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The programme provides students with access to interdisciplinary teachers, including world-leading heritage professionals, as well as a cutting-edge heritage science laboratory equipped with instrumentation and tools for environmental, digital and materials research. Students engage in real-life case studies enabling discussion and reflection on complex heritage issues. By working with leading, heritage stakeholders and fellow students, you will be at the forefront of scientific research in cultural heritage.

As part of the MRes, students benefit from a fully funded field laboratory experience involving the SEAHA Mobile Heritage Laboratory, enabling them to develop their research ideas in the field, and to interact with heritage owners, managers and visitors. 



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Human skeletal remains are the most direct evidence of past lifeways and their scientific investigation gives unique insights into human history. Read more

Human skeletal remains are the most direct evidence of past lifeways and their scientific investigation gives unique insights into human history. Bioarchaeology (the study of archaeological human remains) is an exciting field that draws on a variety of techniques, ranging from visual examination of the whole skeleton to the biomolecular analysis of small bone samples. Demographic shifts, environmental changes, migrations, the spread of diseases and the impact of violence and conflict all leave traces on the skeleton.

This MSc provides the skills required to understand skeletal biographies and interpret them in their cultural context at the individual and the population level. Combining theoretical learning with hands-on practice, we will provide you with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills essential to your handling and analysis of specimens recovered from archaeological sites.

Programme structure

Throughout the programme, you’ll take part in lectures, seminars and practical work with archaeological skeletal assemblages and reference collections. Drawing on Edinburgh’s long history in the study of the human body, you will also have the opportunity to visit Surgeons’ Hall Museum and anatomy department, which provide unique collections of pathological and anatomical study specimens.

You will complete six compulsory courses and select one further option. You will be assessed through reports, lab exams, oral and poster presentations, and essays. You will also submit a dissertation on a research topic of your choosing. Past dissertations have ranged from experimental projects on violence in prehistory to dietary studies of Chalcolithic Turkey and considerations of disease and impairment in post-medieval England.

The compulsory courses on this programme are:

  • Human Musculo-Skeletal Anatomy
  • Analytical Methods in Human Osteology
  • Quantitative Methods and Reasoning in Archaeology
  • Skeletal Pathology
  • Bioarchaeological Analysis and Interpretation
  • Research Sources and Strategies in Bioarchaeology

Option courses change from year to year and those available when you start your studies may be different from those shown in the list:

  • Exploring the past with data science
  • Practical Zooarchaeology

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the programme, you will be able to:

  • identify and interpret human skeletal remains from archaeological sites
  • develop hypothesis testing skills
  • carry out relevant scientific analyses, often in cooperation with experts in other disciplines
  • engage in theoretical and methodological discussions relevant to osteoarchaeology
  • design research strategies based on transferable skills providing a basis for advanced studies (PhD and beyond)

Career opportunities

Examples of career paths available to archaeology graduates (although some may require additional training) include: higher education, heritage management and agencies, commercial archaeology, environmental assessment, teaching, tourism industry, broadcasting and the police.

An archaeology degree does not, of course, restrict you to a career in archaeology. The programme also equips you for advanced study.



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