This programme is taught by experts and specialists in fields such as European, Mediterranean, science-based, and theoretical archaeology. It offers a range of courses and allows you to tailor your studies to suit your interests and take advantage of the experience of our staff, and those in related programmes in history, classics and geography. You will develop an in-depth understanding of archaeology and its links with the historical, social and natural sciences, as well as the practice of archaeology within and outside an academic setting, incorporating skills and training.
The programme prepares you for a professional role in archaeology or further study at doctoral level. We have excellent facilities: dedicated study space, archaeological and computing laboratories, and teaching and reference collections. Edinburgh is ideal for archaeological study and research, allowing you to benefit from the presence of national and local institutions and heritage agencies, such as the excellent archaeological collections of the National Museum, the archival and bibliographic resources of Historic Environment Scotland, and the expertise and practical advice of staff in several commercial archaeology companies.
Our wide-ranging programme encompasses theory, methodology and practice. You will undertake a varied schedule of learning, including lectures, seminars, practicals, and individual supervisions. You will complete three compulsory courses and select a further three options from a wide range on offer. We will help you to develop your research interests and choose a suitable dissertation topic.
The compulsory courses are:
Option courses previously offered include those listed below. Option courses change from year to year and those available when you start your studies may be different from those shown in the list:
You will acquire:
The programme will help you to develop potential research interests and to explore these with a view to progressing to further research. You will also acquire a range of transferable intellectual and practical skills.
Archaeology graduates can follow a variety of career options. The programme equips you to go on to advanced study, and also provides a solid foundation for a career. You will gain practical as well as academic experience, teamworking and analytical skills, and will be able to work in a variety of contexts.
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 restrict you to a career in archaeology.
The Research Master’s programme in Archaeology is the most diverse in the Netherlands. Benefit from our extensive experience and reputation in archaeological research.
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.
Australopithecus africanus, one of our many ancestors
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.
The programme aims to develop a detailed and coherent view of past communities.
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.
Leiden Archaeology researchers used high-tech imaging to reveal rare precolonial Mexican manuscript hidden from view for 500 years
The programme offers an interdisciplinary context, where archaeology, anthropology, sciences, history, linguistics, landscape and heritage studies come together.
Fragments of a sabre-toothed cat skull where recenty excavated
Discover our four research disciplines, together covering an extensive geographical area and time range.
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.
This programme offers an introduction to advanced studies of Europe and the Mediterranean in Late Roman and Post-Roman times (c. 300-900 AD).
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
The Archaeology Graduate Diploma at UCL is fully integrated within the teaching programme of the Institute of Archaeology. The programme offers an education in all major aspects of archaeology, in a challenging yet supportive environment, under the supervision of teachers actively engaged in research at the forefront of the field.
By the end of the programme, students will have developed an understanding of past societies within their cultural, socio-political, economic, historical and environmental contexts, as well as the current social and political context of archaeology, with particular reference to the management, interpretation and presentation of archaeological heritage. Depending on their choice of optional modules, students will also have gained knowledge and understanding of specific topics.
Students undertake modules to the value of 120 credits.
The programme consists of two core modules (30 credits) and optional modules from the wide range available within the department (90 credits).
Optional modules are chosen from the wide range of second and third-year undergraduate taught modules available within the institute.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, museum visits and laboratory classes. Nearly all modules, except the core module Interpreting Archaeological Data which involves one unseen examination, are assessed by coursework. Any language module that students may choose will also be assessed by examinations.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Archaeology Grad Dip
The programme provides a solid foundation for students whose first degree is in a non-archaeology subject and who wish to pursue graduate studies (MA and higher) in archaeology and develop their own interests, which they will also pursue at graduate level. The diploma is also designed to provide an academic qualification in archaeology for students wishing to explore employment opportunities in the field.
The UCL Institute of Archaeology is the largest and one of the most highly regarded centres for archaeology, archaeological science, cultural heritage and museum studies in Britain, as evidenced by its leading position in university league tables and National Student Survey results.
Its outstanding archaeological library is complemented by the UCL 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. Students benefit from London's many museums and galleries and other archaeological spaces, but in particular have easy access to UCL's own museums and collections, which form a resource of international importance for academic research.
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.
This course offers advanced study of Greek and Roman art and archaeology and is an intercollegiate programme with options taught at King's, UCL and Royal Holloway, with close links to the Institute of Classical Studies.
It gives you with the unique opportunity to acquire technical skills provided by optional modules in papyrology, epigraphy and palaeography.
Leads to further research or careers in education, journalism, finance, politics and cultural sectors.
Through this Classical Art & Archaeology MA you will examine painting, pottery, sculpture and mosiaics and explore the craftsmanship that produced archologically significant works. Traditionally, classical archaeology has focused on the art history of Classical Greece and Italy, but has more recently branched out geographically and chronologically. Archaeology has also become more theoretical in recent decades.
This course explores the relationship between humans and their material environment. We consider engagement in field projects as essential for the continuing health of the discipline. All trends are well represented here at King's.
Classical Art & Archaeology at King's
Our expert staff cover wide range of specialisms including Bronze Age, Aegean, Byzantine Cyprus, Roman Britain, Persian monuments, Greek pottery and Roman mosaics, while many other staff members employ art historical and archaeological methods in their work.
London has been a centre for the collection and display of ancient art and artefacts for many centuries, a cultural engagement that has in turn had a great influence on British heritage. There is a strong commitment at King's to exploring the role that ancient art and archaeology has had and continues to have in this local context of a global capital.
MA Classical Art & Archaeology
The MA course consists of a wide range of optional modules and a research dissertation. The compulsory colloquium, Undertaking Research in Classical Archaeology, taken as preparation for writing the dissertation, provides particularly concentrated training in research techniques and methodology. Modules are taught both with texts in the original languages and with translated texts. If you intend to pursue further research in classical archaeology or art history, you may find particular value in the unique opportunities to acquire technical skills in the handling of documentary evidence provided by modules in Greek Papyrology, Greek & Roman Epigraphy, and Greek & Latin Palaeography.
As well as archaeological and art-historical topics, students can also choose modules from other MA programmes at King's, including Ancient History, Classics, and Late Antique & Byzantine Studies. Students also have the opportunity to study Latin and Ancient Greek.
The MA programme in Classical Art & Archaeology is organised on an intercollegiate basis, combining the expertise of staff in all three of the participating colleges - King's, UCL and Royal Holloway. It centres on the University's Institute of Classical Studies, which not only contains a world-class research library, but also hosts the richest programme of seminars, conferences, and occasional lectures for this subject area in the UK.
In the Department of Classics we run a research seminar series (which MA students are encouraged to attend), where you will learn about the current research of our academic staff and PhD students. The Department regularly hosts major research conferences with speakers from around the world. There are also University of London research seminars organized through the Institute of Classical Studies, for example in Literature, Classical Archaeology and Ancient History, where you will be able to listen to and meet leading scholars from around the world. There is also the Late Antique & Byzantine Studies seminar, which is organized by the Centre for Hellenic Studies.
We will assign you a personal tutor in the Department of Classics, who will advise you and help you decide which modules to take, and can answer any questions or concerns you may have whilst at King's.
During your first term at King's you will need to decide on your MA dissertation subject, if you have not done so before you arrive. The dissertation can be related to work you are doing for a taught module, or it can be in a completely different area. On the basis of your chosen subject area you will be assigned a supervisor within the Department of Classics who will discuss the topic with you, and oversee your work on it.
This programme offers advanced study of Greek and Roman archaeology and art; it is intended either as a further year's study after a first degree or as training in the technical disciplines needed to undertake doctoral research.
We will typically provide you with six to eight hours of teaching through lectures and seminars each week, and we will expect you to undertake 35 hours of independent study. For your dissertation, we will provide five hours of supervision from a member of the Department, depending on your chosen topic, who will oversee your work on it. We will expect you to undertake 575 hours of independent study.
We typically assess our modules through a combination of coursework and examinations, and the amount of coursework we expect you to produce will be greater for modules which are worth more credits. For your dissertation module you will write a 12,000-word thesis.
The MA in Archaeology can be studied on a full-time and part-time basis. Through sets of specialist modules, skills-oriented classes and workshops, and dissertation research it provides the opportunity to advance your skills and knowledge in archaeology with a view to progressing to doctoral level research, or to pick up vital transferable skills ready for working in commercial archaeology or in the wider employment market.
A unique feature of our MA is the provision of specialist strands within which you will study, allowing you to gain breadth and depth in your understanding of particular periods, areas and topics. The current strands are:
By the end of this course, you will have had a chance to engage in advanced collection, management and analysis of archaeological data and materials; to develop a sound understanding of current archaeological approaches, concepts and practice; and to acquire specialist skills and knowledge related to their strand from our team of leading experts in the field.
The MA in Archaeology is a 180 credit programme comprising
Students can take a 20 credit language module from the Centre for Foreign Language Study in lieu of the practical skills module.
There is also the option of substituting a specialist research topic module with another MA module on offer in the department, and in some instances one offered by another department in the University. See below of other modules offered in the department.
Part-time students are expected to complete the course in 2 years. Typically part time students complete the two 15 credit and two 30 credit modules in the first year and the dissertation in the second year.
The programme is delivered through a mixture of lectures, seminars and workshops or practical classes. Typically lectures provide key information on a particular area, and identify the main areas for discussion and debate among archaeologists in a specific area or on a particular theme. Seminars then provide opportunities for smaller groups of students to discuss and debate particular issues or areas, based on the knowledge that they have gained through their lectures and through independent study outside the programme’s formal contact hours. Practical classes and workshops allow you to gain direct experience of practical and interpretative skills in Archaeology. Finally, independent supervised study enables you to develop and undertake a research project to an advanced level. Throughout the programme emphasis is placed on working independently outside the contact hours, in order to synthesise large datasets and to develop critical and analytical skills to an advanced level.
The balance of activities changes over the course of the programme, as you develop your knowledge and abilities as independent learners and researchers, in order to prepare them for work or advanced study once they have completed the programme. In the first two terms students typically attend around four hours of lectures and two one hour seminars per week. These are supplemented with two hours a week of workshops or practical classes. The practical work complements desk-based analytical skills, and are intended to develop skills applicable within and outside the field of Archaeology. Outside timetabled contact hours, you are also expected to undertake your own independent study to prepare effectively for your classes, focus your subject knowledge and develop a research agenda. During these first two terms you have the opportunity to do one or two formative essays or practical projects in preparation for summative (assessed) work. Typically you will submit around three to four pieces of summative work per term (essays of c. 3,000 words; practical projects such as photographic portfolios or posters).
Over Term 2 and into Term 3 the balance shifts as you develop your abilities as independent researchers. The lectures and workshops already attended have introduced them to and given them the chance to practice archaeological research methods in specific fields of study. You will also engage with academic issues, archaeological datasets and their interpretation, which are at the forefront of archaeological research. The dissertation is regarded as the cap-stone of the taught programme and as an indicator of advanced research potential, which could be developed further in a professional or academic field. Under the supervision of a member of academic staff, with whom they will typically have up to ten one-to-one supervisory meetings, students undertake independent, detailed study of a particular theme, area or research problem, and produce a substantial piece of academic written work of around 20,000 words.
Throughout the programme, all students also have access to an academic adviser who will provide them with academic support and guidance. Typically a student will meet with their adviser two to three times a year. In addition, all members of teaching staff have weekly office hours when they are available to meet with students on a ‘drop-in’ basis. The department also has an exciting programme of weekly research seminars which postgraduate students are strongly encouraged to attend.
Many of our postgraduates move into an academic career, either teaching or by taking up post-doctoral research positions in universities. Others join museums or national and regional heritage organisations. Some work in professional archaeology, in national or local planning departments, while others elect to use their analytical and presentation skills to gain positions in industry, commerce and government.