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Masters Degrees (Medieval Archaeology)

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Study in the European heartland of medieval archaeology. The buildings, material culture and landscapes of York and the north of England offer unrivalled opportunities for the study and research of medieval archaeology. Read more
Study in the European heartland of medieval archaeology

Why choose this course?

The buildings, material culture and landscapes of York and the north of England offer unrivalled opportunities for the study and research of medieval archaeology. The Archaeology department in York was established as the first in the UK to specialise in medieval archaeology, and that legacy is evident today in the department’s concentration of medieval archaeologists. Their specialisms cover the entire medieval period, from the post-Roman era to early modern times.
-Study in the heartland of medieval archaeology in Europe
-Learn from leading archaeologists, specialising in every aspect of the Middle Ages
-Immerse yourself in the medieval community at the Centre for Medieval Studies
-Gain volunteering and work experience in the heritage sector
-Access state-of-the-art facilities, including laboratories, archives and libraries
-Use the latest techniques and equipment to build key practical skills
-Receive careers advice from knowledgeable staff with valuable contacts in the academic and heritage sectors

What does the course cover?
The course focuses on the artefacts, landscapes, buildings and social, cultural and environmental contexts of medieval Britain and Western Europe. It covers the period from the end of the Roman Empire to the Reformation, and explores themes such settlement, trade and economy, religion, buildings and artefacts, social structure, ethnicity and identity, conquest and cultural contact, and methodological and theoretical approaches.

The flexible modular structure of the course means you can tailor your MA to suit your interests and goals. There is an opportunity to learn valuable practical skills, which are essential for a wide range of archaeological and associated careers.

Who is it for?
This degree is for anyone interested in studying the medieval period from a material perspective. It is primarily for students with previous experience in archaeology, history, art history or anthropology, but our students do come from a wide variety of academic backgrounds.

What can it lead to?
The course provides a solid foundation for a wide range of careers and further studies. Our students have gone on to research degrees, academic or teaching careers, museum positions and archaeology posts at local councils, regional authorities, field units, and heritage bodies such as English Heritage and the Portable Antiquities Scheme.

Careers

The MA in Medieval Archaeology enables you to:
-Study a broad range of issues in medieval archaeology at a general level
-Explore selected topics in detail, which may be drawn from both the early and later medieval periods
-Relate general research principles and skills to your studies of medieval archaeology in particular
-Develop an ability to gather and organise information and arguments in a critical and independent manner
-Undertake a piece of independent research on a topic within the field of medieval archaeology
-Develop written communication skills through essays and your dissertation
-Develop presentation skills through the delivery of seminar papers and a short lecture on your dissertation topic

The skills and knowledge gained on the course are applicable to wide range of archaeological careers, as well as further study and research.

Course postgraduates have gone on to pursue research degrees, academic or teaching careers, museum positions and archaeology posts at local councils, regional authorities, field units and heritage bodies. Some of the organisations our students now work for include:
-Historic England
-English Heritage
-The National Trust
-York Archaeological Trust
-The Council for British Archaeology
-Yorkshire Museums Trust
-Portable Antiquities Scheme
-British Museum
-Church of England
-Churches Conservation Trust
-Jorvik Viking Centre

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This programme offers a series of closely integrated core modules addressing key issues in medieval archaeology, enabling you to develop your experience and understanding of method and theory whilst developing your intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, problem solving and independent judgement. Read more

About the course

This programme offers a series of closely integrated core modules addressing key issues in medieval archaeology, enabling you to develop your experience and understanding of method and theory whilst developing your intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, problem solving and independent judgement. You will be encouraged to explore your own particular interests with a range of modules allowing you to focus on Anglo-Saxon, Scandinavian and later medieval, and Tudor archaeology in Europe.

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

Heritage, Museum and Field: Archaeology in Practice; Ethnicity and Identity in the Early Middle Ages; Society and Culture in the Later Middle Ages; Reinventing Archaeology; Research Design: Planning, Execution and Presentation; Dissertation.

Indicative optional modules

Viking-Age Britain; Wars of the Roses to Elizabeth: The Archaeology of England 1455-1603; Introduction to Human Osteology; Archaeozoology; Two modules from the Department of History.

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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. Read more

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:

  • Prehistoric Archaeology
  • Greek Archaeology
  • Roman Archaeology
  • Roman Frontier Studies
  • Late Antique, Medieval and Byzantine Archaeology

Newcastle University has a long and distinguished history of archaeology, including:

  • Prehistoric
  • Greek
  • Roman
  • Late Antique
  • Western Medieval
  • Byzantine
  • Historical Archaeology

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:

  • artefact analysis, including metallography and use-wear analysis
  • archaeological surveying, including topographical, buildings and geophysical survey
  • database and archive use
  • geographical information systems (GIS)
  • ancient languages

You'll join a vibrant archaeology community at Newcastle. You'll receive specialist teaching from leading academics in subjects of their research expertise.

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.

Fieldtrips

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:

  • Rome 
  • Athens

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.

Delivery

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.

Work experience

Work experience

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.

Facilities

Facilities

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:

  • prehistoric
  • Greek
  • Etruscan
  • Roman 
  • medieval artefacts
  • Gertrude Bell archive.

You'll be based in the recently renovated Armstrong Building. It has:

  • dedicated study spaces
  • Reading Room
  • computers
  • free printing
  • photocopying
  • laptops for research trips,

You'll also get a personal research allowance and an interlibrary loan allowance to support your studies.



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The Core Archaeology course introduces current debates in archaeological theory and the history of archaeological thought, as well as archaeological methods (ranging from the study of prehistoric exchange to bio-archaeological techniques to artefact studies, quantitative analyses and dating methods). Read more
The Core Archaeology course introduces current debates in archaeological theory and the history of archaeological thought, as well as archaeological methods (ranging from the study of prehistoric exchange to bio-archaeological techniques to artefact studies, quantitative analyses and dating methods). Area option courses examine the archaeology of a particular region of the world (such as South Asia or Europe) in detail. Students are encouraged to choose a third module from the range of MPhil options on offer in the Division of Archaeology to complement their specific interests (e.g., heritage, science, material culture, etc). All module choices must have the approval of the module's instructor and the MPhil in Archaeology Coordinator.

Students may choose to specialise in any of the following options:

- Archaeological Heritage and Museums
- Archaeological Science
- Archaeology of the Americas
- Egyptian Archaeology
- European Prehistory
- Medieval Archaeology
- Mesopotamian Archaeology
- Palaeolithic and Mesolithic Archaeology
- South Asian Archaeology

Visit the website: http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/hsarmpmar

Course detail

Students electing the Archaeological Heritage option will take three taught modules:
1. The Socio-politics of the Past
2. Museums: History, Theory, and Practice
3. Management of the Archaeological Heritage. This course concentrates on issues of differentiation of interpretation.

The topics are all of academic importance and the teaching focuses on a theoretical understanding of the issues involved, with practical examples used as case studies. The aim is to educate you within this expanding field and to activate further research.

Students choosing the Archaeological Science option will take:
1. Archaeological Science
2. Practical Application of Scientific Methods modules
3. One other module offered by the Division of Archaeology (chosen in consultation with the supervisor and MPhil Coordinator).

This course covers a broad range of scientific archaeological approaches with geo- and bioarchaeological foci, from theoretical, methodological and practical points of view. A series of recurrent case studies is used to introduce the questions, techniques and ideas applicable in each archaeological situation. In addition, this MPhil equips students with analytical skills in archaeological science.

Format

All MPhil students in the Division of Archaeology take a Research Skills Module and write a dissertation (15,000 words maximum). Students choosing Archaeology of the Americas, Archaeology of Egypt, European Archaeology, Medieval Archaeology, Mesopotamian Archaeology, Palaeolithic and Mesolithic Archaeology, or South Asian Archaeology take:

1. the Core Archaeology course
2. the appropriate area option course
3. any other module offered by the Division of Archaeology (in consultation with the supervisor and MPhil coordinator).

The assessed components of the three selected modules each represent 15% of the final mark. The assessed components of Research Skills module represents 5%, while the dissertation counts for 50% of the final mark.

Assessment

- The dissertation is an extended piece of independent, original research. Students work with their supervisor to formulate a dissertation project, carry out research and write it up. The topic of the dissertation has to be approved by the Faculty Degree Committee. The dissertation is of maximum 15,000 words (excluding bibliography and appendices) and is due at the end of August; it counts as 50% of the student’s final mark.

- Students taking the MPhil in Archaeology are usually required to produce between 3 and 6 assessed essays depending on their chosen course of study and the modules they select. The essays are between 3000 and 4000 words and are submitted in Michaelmas, Lent and Easter Terms.

- Students taking the MPhil in Archaeology are required to sit written examinations for some modules.

- Attendance at the relevant Research Skills Workshops is required of all MPhil students in the Division of Archaeology. MPhil students submit a 2000 word research proposal and give a presentation to teaching staff and peers which form the assessed part of the Research Skills module and are worth 5% of the overall MPhil degree.

Continuing

MPhil students wishing to continue to the PhD in Archaeology are required to achieve a High Pass mark of 68 overall and no less than 68 in their dissertation, and to obtain the support of an appropriate supervisor. In some circumstances additional academic conditions may be set to ensure appropriate skills, such as language competence, are in place prior to admittance on the PhD programme.

How to apply: http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/applying

Funding Opportunities

There are many different sources of funding available to support UK/EU and international students at the Division of Archaeology but full scholarships for MPhil students are highly competitive. The Division of Archaeology enters exceptionally strong MPhil candidates for Gates Cambridge, CHESS and AHRC scholarships and scholarship schemes administered by the Cambridge Trust. The Division of Archaeology also administers several funds which aim to support Archaeological fieldwork, Egyptology and Assyriology at MPhil level and will endeavour to support students in obtaining funding from University and external sources. For further information about funding opportunities at the Division of Archaeology consult the Division website: http://www.arch.cam.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate-funding or contact the Graduate Administrator: .

General Funding Opportunities http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/finance/funding

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Through our Archaeology MPhil/ you will conduct original and advanced research into a specialist area of archaeology. Read more
Through our Archaeology MPhil/ you will conduct original and advanced research into a specialist area of archaeology. This is a perfect programme to advance your academic career in archaeology; you will also develop employability skills including project management, report writing, problem-solving, independent working, and research.

Our Archaeology MPhil programme research degree, conducted as supervised independent study, assessed through a single written document that is supported with a viva voce examination.

Both degrees involve the production of new knowledge through original research and advanced scholarship, exploring a field of academic study in detail. This involves detailed understanding of the methods, techniques and approaches needed to produce such knowledge, and the wider context of the subject of study.

These programmes are based in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology and cover a wide range of specialisms. Research supervision is available in the following periods and regions:

Later Prehistory

-Mesolithic/Neolithic transition in north-west Europe
-Neolithic and Early Bronze Age of Britain and north-west Europe
-Copper and Bronze Age in Italy and the Mediterranean
-Iron Age/Roman transition

Classical Archaeology

-Roman Britain
-Roman Europe and Mediterranean
-Roman urbanism
-Greek and Byzantine archaeology
-The Roman/medieval transition

Medieval and Post-Medieval Archaeology

-Early medieval Britain and Europe
-Byzantine archaeology
-Medieval and post-medieval landscapes
-Church archaeology, historic buildings
-Post-medieval archaeology, colonialism, slavery

Thematic research is also strong at Newcastle and research supervision is available in the following areas of enquiry:

Bodies and Identity

-Personhood and identity
-The archaeology of the body and mortuary archaeology
-Art and identity

Landscapes

-Landscape archaeology
-Ritual landscapes
-Historic landscape characterisation

Material Culture

-Ancient technology and economy
-Ancient metallurgy
-Artefact analysis and material culture studies

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The Archaeology MLitt gives you an opportunity to learn the latest research skills in archaeology. This research programme will prepare you for doctoral study and an academic career in archaeology, or to enter a profession requiring high-level skills in literacy, research and project management. Read more
The Archaeology MLitt gives you an opportunity to learn the latest research skills in archaeology. This research programme will prepare you for doctoral study and an academic career in archaeology, or to enter a profession requiring high-level skills in literacy, research and project management.

The Archaeology MLitt is based in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology and covers a wide range of specialisms. Research supervision is available in the following periods and regions:

Later Prehistory

-Mesolithic/Neolithic transition in north-west Europe
-Neolithic and Early Bronze Age of Britain and north-west Europe
-Copper and Bronze Age in Italy and the Mediterranean
-Iron Age/Roman transition

Classical Archaeology

-Roman Britain
-Roman Europe and Mediterranean
-Roman urbanism
-Greek and Byzantine archaeology
-The Roman/medieval transition

Medieval and Post-Medieval Archaeology

-Early medieval Britain and Europe
-Byzantine archaeology
-Medieval and post-medieval landscapes
-Church archaeology, historic buildings
-Post-medieval archaeology, colonialism, slavery

Thematic research is also strong at Newcastle and research supervision is available in the following areas of enquiry:

Bodies and Identity

-Personhood and identity
-The archaeology of the body and mortuary archaeology
-Art and identity

Landscapes

-Landscape archaeology
-Ritual landscapes
-Historic Landscape Characterisation

Material Culture

-Ancient technology and economy
-Ancient metallurgy
-Artefact analysis and material culture studies

Profiles of our staff, who will supervise you, are available on the School website. You can also view our current postgraduate research projects and our recent postgraduate research projects.

Inter-disciplinary research is supported, and research projects can be co-supervised by staff from other subject areas, such as history, ancient history, classics, or fine art.

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Choose from a diverse range of options covering the full extent of the Middle Ages (AD 400-1600). Learn to integrate social and scientific techniques. Read more
  • Choose from a diverse range of options covering the full extent of the Middle Ages (AD 400-1600)
  • Learn to integrate social and scientific techniques
  • Prepare for a career in research, the commercial sector or heritage management
  • Become part of a Department with one of the world’s largest groups of medieval archaeologists
  • Benefit from state-of-the-art facilities

What will you study?

Compulsory modules include:

  • Dissertation
  • Issues and Debates in Medieval Archaeology
  • Research Skills and Career Learning

Optional modules include:

The Social World of Medieval Archaeology 

  • Viking Interactions in the West
  • Colonisation and Cultural Transformation: the archaeology of crusading 
  • The Medieval Landscape
  • ONE Language option with the IWLP 
  • Medieval Latin and Palaeography 
  • Theoretical Approaches to archaeology 

Bioarchaeology

  • Human Bioarchaeology 
  • Food and Culture 
  • Zooarchaeology 
  • Applications of Micromorphological Analysis 
  • Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 
  • Climate Change and Human Communities 

Placement and Career 

  • Archaeological Graphics 
  • Research and Enterprise Placement
  • Research and Enterprise Micro-Placement 
  • Management of Heritage Assets 
  • Quantitative Methods 

You may also select Old World or Environmental Archaeology modules.

Please see our modules outline for further information.

Please note that all modules are subject to change. Please see our modules disclaimer for more information.

What career can you have?

Our graduates go on to full-time employment within archaeology and related consultancies or units, museums and government agencies. Up to one third continue their academic career through doctoral research. In recent years, graduates have been successful in obtaining appointments with heritage agencies (Historic England, National Trust) and universities, including Bristol, Cardiff, Durham, Exeter and Newcastle.



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The Archaeology MA is an intensive induction programme on current archaeological theory and interpretive trends which equips students to undertake research in their chosen field. Read more

The Archaeology MA is an intensive induction programme on current archaeological theory and interpretive trends which equips students to undertake research in their chosen field. The flexible programme of study serves as an excellent expansion of undergraduate studies or as a self-designed foundation for further postgraduate and professional work.

About this degree

The programme provides a wide-ranging introduction to archaeology as a comparative, anthropologically-informed, and socially situated discipline. Students develop critically aware perspectives on archaeological practice and research processes and gain an in-depth understanding of approaches to the collection, analysis and interpretation of archaeological data. The programme is extremely flexible, with a wide choice of options available allowing students to tailor the programme to their own interests.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of two core modules (30 credits), optional modules (60 credits) and a research dissertation (90 credits).

Core modules

All students are required to take the following: 

  • Themes, Thought and Theory in World Archaeology: Foundations
  • Themes, Thought and Theory in World Archaeology: Current Issues

Optional modules

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

  • Aegean Prehistory: major themes and current debates
  • Ancient Italy in the Mediterranean
  • Archaeologies of Modern Conflict
  • Archaeology of Buddhism
  • Archaeology and Education
  • Archaeology of Hunter-Gatherers from the Emergence of Modern Humans
  • Aztec Archaeology: Codices and Ethnohistory
  • Beyond Chiefdoms: Archaeologies of African political complexities
  • British and European Prehistory: Neolithic to Iron Age
  • Cities, States and Religions in Ancient India
  • Funerary Archaeology
  • Interpreting Pottery
  • Key Topics in the Archaeology of the Americas
  • Making and Meaning in Ancient Greek Art
  • Making and Meaning in Ancient Roman Art
  • Maya Art, Architecture and Archaeology
  • Medieval Archaeology: Select Topics and Current Problems
  • Prehistoric Stone Artefact Analysis
  • Society and Culture in Ancient Egypt
  • The Neolithic and Early Bronze Age of the Near East: The Emergence of Villages and Urban Societies

Dissertation/report

All MA students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of approximately 15,000 words (90 credits).

Teaching and learning

The core modules are seminar based, and the sessions are interactive, with an emphasis on student participation and critical discussion. The optional modules are delivered through seminars, lectures, practicals, laboratory sessions, tutorials, and site and museum visits, as appropriate for specific modules. Assessment is through essays, oral examination and the dissertation.

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

Careers

Some recent graduates of the programme have gone on to PhD studies while others have pursued an incredibly wide range of professional careers both within and beyond archaeology.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Project Manager, Korea Cultural Heritage Foundation
  • Freelance Archaeologist, Murray Archaeological Services
  • Sales Executive, Harper Collins
  • MPhil/PhD in Archaeology, UCL
  • Assistant, Museum of Nicosia

Employability

As the most general of the MA/MSc programmes, the experience and skills acquired depends on the optional modules selected, and how those skills are developed through assessed work, developing expertise in the archaeology of specific regions, periods or themes, or specific field, museum and analytical skills. All students acquire a detailed understanding of specific theoretical debates and the critical skills to evaluate existing arguments and interpretations and to develop their own research, develop a range of research skills, and design and carry through original research. Taught from a comparative anthropological perspective, understanding cultural differences, in the past and present, is fundamental.

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?

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, highlighted by its leading position in university assessments and National Student Survey results. It is one of the very few departments in the world undertaking research on a truly global scale. Its degrees offer an unrivalled variety of modules. The institute hosts events on many different aspects of archaeology and is linked to heritage organisations, museums and archaeological societies, providing an outstanding research environment for students.

It is truly international in outlook and membership, with students and staff from over 40 countries, and involvement in field research projects around the world.

UCL is located in central London, within walking distance of the British Museum and the British Library. UCL's own museums and collections constitute a resource of international importance for research.

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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The Masters in Celtic & Viking Archaeology provides an introduction to both theory and practice in approaches to early medieval archaeology, based on our particular research strengths in the settlements and material culture of Celtic, Pictish and Viking peoples, and in the archaeology of kingship and political development. Read more

The Masters in Celtic & Viking Archaeology provides an introduction to both theory and practice in approaches to early medieval archaeology, based on our particular research strengths in the settlements and material culture of Celtic, Pictish and Viking peoples, and in the archaeology of kingship and political development.

Why this programme

  • If you want to further your career in archaeology, our new approaches to early medieval studies bring fresh insights into the life and ideas of the period and provide you with a stimulating environment, learning from internationally-renowned scholars
  • You will have the opportunity to take fieldtrips to a number of sites relevant to your studies.
  • Our programme has strong links with the University's Hunterian Museum, and Glasgow Life giving you access to primary source material, including objects and archives.

Programme structure

You will take two core courses and three optional courses. For the MLitt you will produce a dissertation on a specialist topic agreed with the course convenor.

The core courses provides you with a theoretical background to the study of early medieval archaeology, examining themes such as burial, settlement, material culture, religion through a series of case studies. You will also get training and support in a wide variety of research methods including library skills, humanities computing, writing and presenting papers.

Core courses

  • Approaches to Celtic and Viking Archaeology
  • Research Skills

Optional courses

Three optional courses must be selected, two of which from the following

  • Themes in Early Medieval Scottish archaeology
  • Early Christian monuments of Scotland
  • Early Medieval artefacts
  • Viking and late Norse artefacts
  • Norse in the North Atlantic, AD 800–1500
  • Viking and late Norse British Isles.

You may also choose one of the following options

  • Thematic studies: any one of the thematic courses offered via other MLitt programmes, by agreement with the course convener. These may include courses available via other Masters programmes within the University (most relevant are those offered as part of Celtic Studies and Scottish Medieval Studies)
  • Independent study on a topic agreed with the course convenor.
  • Artefact studies: any one of the specialist courses offered in the MLitt Material Culture & Artefact Studies
  • Multimedia analysis and design or 2D digitisation.

Career prospects

Graduates have gone on to work for various heritage bodies such as the National Museum of Scotland, and for UK-based commercial archaeology firms.

The programme provides an excellent platform for you to move onto PhD studies and an academic career. The wide variety of specialist optional courses allow you to tailor your particular programme experience towards a direction that best suits your future plans upon completion.

Positions held by recent graduates include Field Archaeologist, Open Learning Tutor, University lectureships and research managers.



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The . city of Exeter.  is the perfect setting for our MA in Medieval Studies. At the University there is a wide variety of resources and you will have access to extensive holdings, audio-visual collections and some medieval manuscripts in our . Read more

The city of Exeter is the perfect setting for our MA in Medieval Studies. At the University there is a wide variety of resources and you will have access to extensive holdings, audio-visual collections and some medieval manuscripts in our Special Collections in the University library. Exeter Cathedral Library Archives and the Devon Heritage Centre, located nearby, contain further significant medieval manuscripts, documents and early printed books.

The MA Medieval Studies draws on the expertise of the Centre for Medieval Studies, which is one of the largest centres in the university. Exeter is unique in that we have a large number of specialists in medieval studies across various disciplines. Our expertise is especially strong in medieval history, archaeology, law, music, French literature, English literature, and Arab and Islamic studies. 

Modules are taken from nine different disciplines meaning the course is varied and you will be offered comprehensive training on skills needed to study the Middle Ages, including medieval languages (Latin, Old English, and medieval French) and palaeography. With such a large number of medieval studies experts and excellent links to the local and national heritage sector we are in an excellent position to help you as you further your historical knowledge whether you are planning on progressing to PhD study, pursuing a profession, or simply exploring a passion for medieval studies.

Learning resources

The University's Streatham Campus is located with excellent access to the heart of historic Exeter which has a rich cultural heritage extending back to the Roman period and boasts particularly fine evidence of its medieval past. You will benefit from access to Exeter Cathedral Library and University libraries which maintain excellent holdings relevant to medieval studies.

Modules

A range of optional modules are available which reflect the varied research interests of academic staff across the Centre for Medieval Studies. These interests range widely across the medieval period and cover Britain, Europe and the Islamic world. They also represent several disciplines, including History, Archaeology, Classics, Literature, Music, Art History, Theology and Islamic Studies.

The core module Interpreting the Middle Ages: Images, Texts and Contexts will give students an overview of these different disciplinary approaches and show how they can be applied to the study of medieval texts and objects. Other core modules are Medieval Research Skills, which introduces students to the skills needed to work with medieval sources such as palaeography and codicology, and Current Research in Medieval Studies which asks students to reflect on how academic research projects are designed and presented, and gives them guidance in developing their own dissertation projects. Students also have the option of taking Latin modules and are strongly encouraged to do so if they are considering going on to an MPhil or PhD.

The programme

- offers an excellent, interdisciplinary education in medieval studies, covering a wide range of topics and approaches across the medieval period;

- gives students the opportunity to work with the medieval sources in and around Exeter, for example at Exeter Cathedral, the Devon Heritage Centre and the University’s Special Collections;

- produces graduates who are highly competent in subject-specific, core academic, and personal and key skills that are both relevant and transferable to employment;

- encourages participation in research seminar programmes offering insights into a very wide range of research cultures and specialisms and into how academics go about designing and presenting research projects;

- offers excellent preparation for students intending to continue on to doctoral-level research with a good track record in obtaining funding for further study.

Research areas

As an MA Medieval Studies student you will be welcome to join the Centre for Medieval Studies, which brings together academic staff and Postgraduate students from a wide range of disciplines across the University’s Colleges. We are brought together by our shared interests which run from the Early Middle Ages to the early Renaissance and may include archaeology, theology, music, literature and law. We hold regular seminars and research events which, if you decide to join us at Exeter, we hope you will not only attend but become an active part of.

Research is at the heart of History and our students are encouraged to come to Departmental Research Seminars and become an active part of wider research community. Our research centres regularly hold seminars and other research events which MA students are welcome to attend.

Our current research centres include:

As well as our research centres we also have a Postgraduate Reading Group for matters medieval which brings together our Masters and PhD students to share ideas.



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The Archaeology MA. Cultural Archaeology pathway focuses on cultural interpretation in archaeology, both in relation to specific cultures/periods and current research themes. Read more

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.

Course details

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:

  • Archaeological Theory, Method and Interpretation
  • Funerary Archaeology
  • Material Culture

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.

Assessment

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.

Learning and teaching

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.

Employability

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).



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The Mediterranean, the world' s largest inland sea and the interface of Europe, Africa and western Asia, is one of the major crucibles of cultural, economic and political change in world history, a focus of scholarship for all periods between the Palaeolithic and the present, and a place where the past plays a critical role in the present, as well as in the creation of a viable future. Read more

The Mediterranean, the world' s largest inland sea and the interface of Europe, Africa and western Asia, is one of the major crucibles of cultural, economic and political change in world history, a focus of scholarship for all periods between the Palaeolithic and the present, and a place where the past plays a critical role in the present, as well as in the creation of a viable future.

About this degree

Students will develop an understanding of Mediterranean societies from earliest times through Classical antiquity until the early medieval period, and of major interpretative paradigms and principal investigative techniques - including fieldwork and archaeological science - applied to the Mediterranean. One or more specific regions will be analysed in depth from a comparative perspective, and Mediterranean societies will be studied holistically.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of two core modules (30 credits), four optional modules (60 credits) and a dissertation/report (90 credits).

Core modules

All students are required to take the following: 

  • Mediterranean Dynamics
  • Themes, Thought and Theory in World Archaeology: Foundations

Optional modules

From an outstanding range of Master's optional modules, students choose options to the value of 60 credits, at least one of which must be chosen from the following:

  • Mediterranean Prehistory 
  • The Mediterranean World in the Iron Age
  • The Transformation of the Roman Mediterranean. 

The remaining must be made up from the list below (Please note not all modules are available every year): 

  • Aegean Prehistory: major themes and current debates
  • Ancient Italy in the Mediterranean
  • British and European Prehistory: Neolithic to Iron Age
  • Egyptian Archaeology: An Object-Based Theoretical Approach
  • Intangible Dimensions of Museum Objects from Egypt
  • Making and Meaning in Ancient Greek Art
  • Making and Meaning in Ancient Roman Art
  • Medieval Archaeology: Selected Topics and Current Problems
  • Middle Bronze Age to the Iron Age in the Near East: City-states and Empires
  • Museum and Site Interpretation
  • Society and Culture in Ancient Egypt
  • The Neolithic and Early Bronze Age of the Near East: The Emergence of Villages and Urban Societies
  • Themes and Debates in Islamic Archaeology and Heritage
  • Themes, Thought and Theory in World Archaeology: Current Topics

Dissertation/report

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words (90 credits). Approaches that explore new connections or comparisons are strongly encouraged, and students will be able to draw on the expertise of more than 50 members of the institute's staff.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of seminars and assessed through essays and the dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Mediterranean Archaeology MA

Careers

Graduates of this programme are expected to pursue further studies at PhD level or embark on a wide range of professional careers both within and beyond archaeology.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Consultant, Archaeological Research Services (ARS) Ltd
  • PhD in Archaeology, University of Cambridge

Employability

Successful graduates will have been fully prepared to undertake research on ancient Mediterranean societies, from a comparative region/period/theme-specific perspective, and will also possess the expert background knowledge to move on to related professional work in or on the Mediterranean (subject to the particular requirements of the role). They will also have honed their transferable skills in critical analysis, debate, presentation and writing skills that are key to any future professional career.

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?

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 own outstanding library is complemented by UCL’s Main Library, University of London Senate House and other specialist libraries.

This programme deploys the institute’s unparalleled research and teaching strengths in Mediterranean archaeology, which must constitute the largest single concentration of expertise anywhere in the UK.

UCL’s own museums and collections form a resource of international importance for academic research and students may work on material from the institute’s collection as part of their assessment. Regular interaction with the British Museum, its collections and staff offers a further invaluable opportunity to add to one's learning experience. 

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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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 programme is taught by experts and specialists in fields such as European, Mediterranean, science-based, and theoretical archaeology. Read more

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.

Programme structure

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:

  • Frontiers in Archaeology: Research Seminars
  • Research Sources and Strategies in Archaeology
  • Theoretical Archaeology

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:

  • Archaeological Illustration
  • Bronze Age Civilisations of the Near East and Greece
  • Byzantine Archaeology: The archaeology of the Byzantine empire and its neighbours AD 500-850.
  • Principles of GIS for Archaeologists
  • Space, Place and Time: the archaeology of built environments
  • Archaeology of the Roman Economy
  • Etruscan Italy, 1000 - 300 BC
  • From Foraging to Farming: the Beginnings of Agriculture in the Mediterranean and Europe
  • Gallia from the Third Century BC to Augustus
  • Human Evolution
  • Ritual and Monumentality in North-West Europe: Mid-6th to Mid-3rd Millennium BC
  • Conflict archaeology: materialities of violence
  • Constantinople: The History of a Medieval Megalopolis from Constantine the Great to Suleyman the Magnificent.

Learning outcomes

You will acquire:

  • a good understanding of the distinctive nature of archaeology and its contribution to a critical and informed understanding of the past
  • a good understanding of theoretical and methodological debates within archaeology
  • familiarity with a number of important fieldwork studies
  • a broad knowledge of archaeological methods, techniques and practices in current use

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.

Career opportunities

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.



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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. Read more

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.

Programme structure

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:

  • Research Sources and Strategies in Archaeology

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:

  • Frontiers in Archaeology: Research Seminars
  • Archaeological Illustration
  • Bronze Age Civilisations of the Near East and Greece
  • Byzantine Archaeology: The archaeology of the Byzantine empire and its neighbours AD 500-850.
  • Theoretical Archaeology
  • Principles of GIS for Archaeologists
  • Space, Place and Time: the archaeology of built environments
  • Archaeology of the Roman Economy
  • Etruscan Italy, 1000 - 300 BC
  • From Foraging to Farming: the Beginnings of Agriculture in the Mediterranean and Europe
  • Gallia from the Third Century BC to Augustus
  • Human Evolution
  • Ritual and Monumentality in North-West Europe: Mid-6th to Mid-3rd Millennium
  • Conflict archaeology: materialities of violence
  • Constantinople: The History of a Medieval Megalopolis from Constantine the Great to Suleyman the Magnificent

Learning outcomes

You will acquire:

  • a good understanding of the distinctive nature of archaeology and its contribution to a critical and informed understanding of the past
  • a good understanding of theoretical and methodological debates within archaeology
  • a familiarity with a number of important fieldwork studies
  • a broad knowledge of archaeological methods, techniques and practices in current use

Career opportunities

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.



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