The Archaeology MA inspires you to think about the human past from a variety of thematic and analytical perspectives. Newcastle is surrounded by world-class prehistoric, Roman and medieval heritage. We make full use of our rich archaeological landscape with regular study trips and fieldwork.
The Archaeology MA has five specialist pathways and a generic route to suit your individual needs, background and career aspirations:
Newcastle University has a long and distinguished history of archaeology, including:
We have access to some of the finest collections of archaeological artefacts in Great Britain in the on-campus Great North Museum: Hancock.
We provide quality teaching in small groups. This means you'll reach a level of familiarity with artefacts that most students can only dream of.
We have a range of period-based, practical and theoretical modules available. Our modules will give you an understanding of the interpretive approaches that archaeologists adopt. They will also help you understand the methodologies and sources available during your investigations.
You can develop a range of advanced practical skills in:
Throughout the course you'll have opportunities to engage and learn about our innovative research. We have an extensive programme of invited speakers organised by our research groups. Our Postgraduate Forum also has a seminar series, annual conference and e-journal.
The Archaeology MA provides you with outstanding skills and the ability to enter a range of professions. You will gain advanced skills in literacy, research and project management. You could also choose to continue your academic career with a PhD in archaeology.
The North East has an outstanding prehistoric, Roman and medieval heritage. We take full advantage of this through regular study trips and fieldwork. You can also take optional modules with field trips to:
The tuition of these trips is included in your course fees. If you select a module with an overseas trip you should budget about £450 to cover your flights and accommodation.
All campus-based teaching takes place during the working week. Some field trips take place during holidays and weekends, depending on the modules taken.
Contact and independent study times vary depending on the module and time of year.
Semesters one and two: You typically attend between 6 - 15 hours of teaching per week. The remaining hours of a standard week are for independent study.
There are many opportunities for you to gain archaeological experience outside your course. We'll encourage you to gain this experience whilst part of our archaeology community.
Staff carry out a wide range of archaeological projects. Most of our students participate in projects run in Newcastle and by partners in the UK and overseas.
Archaeologists have exceptional facilities on campus. This includes over 200 years of scholarship, libraries and archaeological collections built up by the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle and the Great North Museum: Hancock.
You'll have access to one of finest archaeological collections in the UK. You can access the following internationally important collections:
You'll be based in the recently renovated Armstrong Building. It has:
You'll also get a personal research allowance and an interlibrary loan allowance to support your studies.
The Archaeology MA: Cultural Archaeology pathway focuses on cultural interpretation in archaeology, both in relation to specific cultures/periods and current research themes.
There are opportunities to specialise in a range of subjects, including material culture studies, funerary archaeology, British and European prehistory, Greek and Roman archaeology, and thematic areas relevant to all periods and regions of archaeological study such as environment, landscape, material culture, death and burial, age and gender, warfare, ritual and religion, and archaeological theory and method.
It is an ideal foundation for doctoral research in all fields of cultural archaeology, as well as training in practical and research skills for careers in archaeology and heritage.
We offer the flexibility to upgrade from Certificate to Diploma level and from Diploma to Masters level during your programme as you develop your postgraduate studies. We also offer a Landscape Archaeology pathway on the Archaeology MA.
The MA Archaeology programme provides a foundation for doctoral study, or for developing research skills and capabilities applicable in professional fields in Archaeology and Heritage, and for demonstrating expertise in chosen aspects of archaeological method and interpretation.
The course structure combines the advantages of training in technical and methodological areas, gaining in-depth knowledge of particular thematic, period-based and/or geographical fields of archaeological study, with the freedom to pursue your own research interests through your Masters dissertation project.
You will study three core modules:
In addition, MA and Diploma students choose three optional modules from a wide range of subjects including landscape archaeology, late prehistoric and early medieval Europe, Greek archaeology, ancient Egyptian society, empire and identity in the Roman world, Byzantine archaeology, GIS and spatial analysis, and field survey. Full module descriptions are available below.
MA Archaeology students are encouraged to develop a broad range of transferable skills during the course. These include: familiarity with research methods; the ability to manage information from diverse sources; the ability to organise information in a logical and coherent manner; the ability to write clearly and concisely and to tight deadlines; analytical rigour; confident oral presentation; and the capacity for critical argument and debate.
Research training is also provided for all postgraduate students.
Modules are typically assessed by written assignment, with the exception of Archaeological Theory, Method and Interpretation which also requires a presentation. MA students also complete a supervised 15,000-word dissertation.
MA Archaeology students attend a wide range of seminars, lectures, and classes as part of their taught modules, potentially including computer suite-based classes, a survey field school, and study visits, depending on the modules selected.
Dissertation research is conducted independently, guided by a supervisor selected for their expertise and experience relevant to the student's project, with supervisory meetings taking place on a regular basis. The course benefits from excellent library resources for archaeological study, housed within the new University Library situated close to the department, and MA students join the wider, dynamic community of Archaeology staff and students at the University with opportunities to attend seminar series, public lectures, social events, and potentially participate in departmental field projects.
Support with academic writing
As a postgraduate student in the College of Arts and Law, you have access to the Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) which aims to help your transition from undergraduate to taught Masters level, or back into academia after time away. The service offers guidance on writing assignments and dissertations for your MA/MSc programme with individual support from an academic writing advisor via tutorials, email and the provision of online materials.
Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University.
The University's Careers Network provides advice and information specifically for postgraduates that will help you to develop an effective career and skills development strategy, and to make the most of your time with us at the University. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated careers and employability team to deliver tailored programmes of careers events and local support.
You will have opportunities to: meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs; attend employer presentations and skills workshops; receive individual guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique; and access to comprehensive listings of hundreds of graduate jobs and work experience opportunities.
You will also be able to access our full range of careers support for up to two years after graduation.
Postgraduate employability: Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology
Birmingham's Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology graduates develop a broad range of transferable skills including: familiarity with research methods; the ability to manage large quantities of information from diverse sources; the ability to organise information in a logical and coherent manner; the expertise to write clearly and concisely and to tight deadlines; critical and analytical ability; the capacity for argument, debate and speculation; and the ability to base conclusions on statistical research.
Many of our postgraduates enter roles for which their programme has especially prepared them, such as museum and heritage activities and archaeological posts. Elsewhere, a range of professions are undertaken by our graduates, from librarianship and teaching to accountancy. Employers that our graduates have gone on to work for include: AC archaeology; University of Birmingham; National Trust; and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts.
International students can access support for English Language development and skills through the Birmingham International Academy (BIA).
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.
This programme lets you explore the richness of European archaeology, a region that presents innumerable opportunities for archaeological research, through examination of a wide range of periods, geographical areas and themes. The flexible programme lets you tailor your individual studies to suit your interests and take advantage of the experience of our staff, as well as those in related programmes in history, classics and geography.
You will develop an understanding of European archaeology, with an emphasis on European prehistory, and a knowledge of topics including contemporary theoretical perspectives, methodologies and practice.
This programme incorporates transferable skills and training, while preparing you for a professional role in archaeology or further study at doctoral level. The School has excellent facilities: dedicated study space, archaeological and computing laboratories, teaching and reference collections.
The city of Edinburgh is ideal for archaeological study and research, allowing you to benefit from 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.
You will combine lectures, seminars, practicals, essays, research projects and one-to-one meetings in all areas of archaeology. You will complete one compulsory course and select a further five options from a wide range on offer. You will then complete a dissertation on an approved subject of your choice.
The compulsory course is:
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:
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, 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.
The MA in Medieval and Early Modern Studies is an interdisciplinary MA associated with Durham's Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS), and is currently run from the History Department. The programme is suitable for students whose undergraduate training is in Archaeology, Classics, History, Literature/Languages, Philosophy, Theology, or other related disciplines. The main aim of the programme is to prepare students for doctoral research in the study of the medieval and early modern past by offering outstanding interdisciplinary training to equip students with the skills they need for their future careers. It is taught by specialists who are members of IMEMS, primarily from the departments of Archaeology, Classics, English, History, Modern Languages and Cultures, Philosophy and Theology.
Students are incorporated into the vibrant research communities within departments, IMEMS, and the university. Durham has a large and extremely active postgraduate community, and IMEMS supports the Medieval and Early Modern Student Association (MEMSA), whose members organise regular seminars and conferences. IMEMS has more than fifty staff members from arts, humanities, social science and science departments across the University, all active researchers, and is one of the largest gatherings of scholars in this area in the world. IMEMS is situated in the historic setting of the World Heritage Site, which includes Durham Cathedral, Durham Castle, and the surrounding area. Students of medieval and early modern studies at Durham benefit from the rich archival and manuscript resources in the collections of the University (at Palace Green Library and at Ushaw College) and in the Cathedral Library, while the wider regional resources for study of the period are also highly significant.
All students on the MA in Medieval and Early Modern Studies take two core modules, Reading the Medieval and Early Modern Past, and Writing the Medieval and Early Modern Past (30 credits each); both of these run throughout Michaelmas and Epiphany Terms. Students also write a 15,000-word dissertation (60 credits), supervised by one of Durham's specialists, which allows them to focus on a specialist topic of their choice in the period AD 300-1700, which may be interdisciplinary or focused primarily on one of the individual disciplines which make up the programme. They also take two optional modules (30 credits each) which run either in Michaelmas or Epiphany or throughout both terms. These may be content, language or skills modules, and are drawn from the seven participating departments as well as Durham’s other centres and programmes. All elements of the programme have embedded within them a range of content, subject-specific skills, and key skills.
The two team-taught core modules enable students to develop advanced skills in interpreting and usinga range of different kinds of source-material from the medieval and early modern periods, including textual, material and visual culture. They allow students to consider developments over the longue duree and enable a more rounded understanding of how a range of themes, ideas and institutions changed from the end of the classical world, through the Middle Ages and into the early modern era. These modules are intended to guide students whose backgrounds are in a range of disciplinary specialisms towards an understanding of how study of the medieval and early modern past can be nuanced and enhanced by approaches from multiple different disciplines used alongside each other. The modules also help students develop from a more tutor-led approach to independent learning, in order to support their work on their dissertations and their future careers. Reading the Medieval and Early Modern Past takes one key item or body of material (e.g. a text, a site, an archive) as a lens through which to explore different disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to studying the period 300-1700. Students are assessed by a 5000-word essay on a topic of their choice connected with the themes of the module. Writing the Medieval and Early Modern Past focuses on major themes, movements and institutions which can best be examined across the whole medieval and early modern period, and which can best be explained by close study of change and continuity over a long period of time. A number of these themes will invite interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary approaches, and thus will allow students to develop their skills in bringing together different kinds of material for study of the past. Students are assessed for this module by a) a 4000-word essay on a topic of their choice, connected with the themes of the module, and b) a 15-minute presentation.
Students choose two optional modules offered by the departments participating in the programme. These modules are taught by subject specialists and usually involve a series of seminars with an emphasis on close study of original material from the medieval and early modern periods, and provide a ‘step up’ from the level of final-year undergraduate study. The breadth of modules available means that students can develop their skills and research interests according to their own tailored programme and with the advice of their dissertation supervisor, ensuring the best possible preparation for the future. There are also some modules focusing on particular skills-training such as medieval or modern languages or auxiliary skills (e.g. Latin; Ancient Greek; Old Norse; Old English; Academic French; Academic German; Palaeography).
The range of optional modules in each year varies according to staff availability and departmental provision, but as a representative sample optional modules may include the following:
Our Research Master’s programme in Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance Studies focuses on interdisciplinary study of the material, social, and intellectual developments in Europe (including the Mediterranean region) from Antiquity through the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. Within this long period, you can focus on your academic interests by choosing one of the following tracks:
1. Ancient Studies
2. Medieval Studies
3. Medieval Celtic Studies
4. Renaissance Studies.
Within each track, you will work with source materials in their original languages, including in manuscript form. The Ancient Studies track has a keen interest in archaeology. The Medieval Studies and Renaissance Studies tracks go beyond a solely historical approach by including courses in literature, linguistics, art history, musicology, and history. In the Medieval Studies track, you may specialise in either Medieval History, Medieval Art History, Medieval Literature, or Medieval Musicology. Medieval Celtic Studies combines literary studies with historical linguistics.
The programme is enhanced with research conducted by lecturers who are internationally renowned in their fields of expertise. You are encouraged to work alongside these lecturers on research projects, and you can spend a semester abroad at one of the many universities with which we have research links. After graduation, approximately 50% of graduates go on to undertake a PhD, either in the Netherlands or abroad.
For those with ambitions outside research, courses are being developed on ‘Heritage and Cultural Transfer’ (including an internship in material culture, e.g. on written texts as objects), and on the uses of the ancient and medieval languages.
The highly regarded Keuzegids Master’s Selection Guide 2017 ranked Utrecht University’s Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance programme as the best in the field in the Netherlands.
The programme attracts students from the Netherlands and abroad. International students find an internationally unique interdisciplinary approach to the study of pre-modern civilisations. They quickly feel welcome in the community of teachers and students and fully participate in the programme’s scholarly life.
This Research Master’s programme will provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to gain admission to PhD programmes in your chosen specialisation; you can also conduct independent research and complete your doctoral dissertation. The programme will give you the skills needed for your future career, including pursuing scholarly research to be published in peer-reviewed journals.
Our programme also prepares you for careers outside academia in management, politics, or the arts. The programme is both academically and socially relevant; by developing your professional skills and your ability to work independently, you will be well prepared for the challenges of the modern employment market.
The area around the Mediterranean presents many opportunities for archaeological research. This MSc allows you to explore the region through the examination of periods, geographical areas and themes. You’ll analyse contemporary theoretical approaches, hone your skills in current methodologies and take advantage of the specialist fields and periods of study that our staff, and those in history and classics, can offer.
You’ll develop an understanding of specific regions and periods, current theories, methodologies and major research issues, all of which provide the basis for a PhD or future participation in excavation, survey and/or lab work.
Edinburgh is ideal for archaeological study and research, allowing you to benefit from national and local institutions and heritage agencies, such as the excellent collections of the National Museum, the archival and bibliographic resources of Historic Environment Scotland, and expertise and practical advice from staff in commercial companies.
You will complete one compulsory course and select a further five options from a wide range on offer. You will take a variety of seminar-style courses in small groups while developing your own research project, in the form of the dissertation, on an approved subject of your choice.
The compulsory course is:
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).
The programme will help you develop potential research interests and explore these with a view to progressing to research. You will also acquire a range of transferable intellectual and practical skills, including:
This programme equips you to go on to advanced study and 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, teaching, tourism industry, broadcasting and the police. An archaeology degree does not restrict you to a career in archaeology.
The Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Culture MA combines the benefits of an interdisciplinary, cross-period MA with the capacity to follow your interests in a particular discipline or period. You will be taught by a team of specialists across English, History, Music and Archaeology and benefit both from expert classroom teaching and from field trips to important Medieval and Early Modern sites and collections both locally and abroad. Rich local resources will be fully exploited for teaching and dissertation research on the MA, notably Salisbury Cathedral Library and Archive, to which you will have privileged access. You will also have the opportunity to make a guided and fully-funded week-long trip abroad to a European city rich in medieval and renaissance heritage, such as Rome or Paris. In addition the MA core modules will train you in interdisciplinary methods and core research skills such as Medieval and Renaissance Palaeography. You will have the opportunity to study Latin or another foreign language useful for your research. Optional modules will allow you to follow your interests in subjects such as medieval political thought, medieval and renaissance spaces and places, to Early Modern performance.
Why do scholars routinely differentiate between ‘medieval’ and ‘renaissance’? How can different disciplinary perspectives benefit us in our study of these periods? Explore through this MA how a range of social, cultural and material ‘renaissances’ occurred across Europe in different ways over a long historical period. Discover how combining historical, archaeological, literary and musicological perspectives and hands-on experience of sites and collections both locally and abroad can deepen and nuance your understanding of these interconnected periods. Learn core research skills such as palaeography, Latin, or a modern foreign language to enable you to progress to PhD study at Southampton or elsewhere. Develop your own research interests through a wide variety of interdisciplinary and single-discipline study options and your independent dissertation.
Two Core Modules, From Medieval to Renaissance Parts I and II, will introduce you to key methods, approaches and resources for interdisciplinary study of the Medieval and Early Modern periods. You will learn key skills in manuscript and archival work, including how to assess, read, transcribe and edit Medieval and Early Modern documents appropriate to your research interests. You will also gain experience of working with Medieval and Renaissance source collections through our regional and foreign field trips. Most students of the Medieval and Renaissance periods will take our optional module in Latin, which will equip you to read and translate Classical and Medieval forms of the language. In consultation with the course convenor, however, you may replace Latin with with an alternative language appropriate to your research interests.
View the programme specification document for this course - Please note that updated version of the programme specification will be available after programme validation.