This programme studies the ancient Greek and Roman worlds from the Iron Age to the late Roman and early Christian period through their material remains including sculpture, funerary art, topography and visual cultures.
Focusing on the ancient Mediterranean world, broadly defined, you’ll explore not simply the archaeology of Greece and Rome but also the near east and north-western Europe.
Through our interdisciplinary approach, you’ll also be able to work with staff from all areas of the School. Several members of classics have ongoing excavations in Italy, Georgia and Macedonia, which students are welcome to attend.
The programme aims to familiarise you with the various methods used in the study of classics, enabling you to work in a manner that is theoretically and methodologically engaged.
We offer a range of courses, which has been designed to reflect the research interests of our lecturers and help you develop a particular topic of interest for your dissertation.
You will complete a compulsory course, five option courses and a 15,000 word dissertation.
The compulsory course is:
Option courses previously available include:
The programme aims to:
Our students view the programme and a graduate degree from Edinburgh as an advanced qualification valued and respected by many employers. Those students interested in long-term academic careers consider the programme as preparation for a PhD.
The programme provides a toolkit of transferable skills in organisation, research and analysis that will be highly prized in any field of work. This programme can form the stepping stone to many career options, such as further academic research, museum and art curation, literary translation or analysis, education or public heritage. Recent Classics graduates are now putting their skills to use as tutors, archivists, writers and conference coordinators for a range of employers including the RSPB.
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 six courses over the course of the programme, which culminates in the production of your independently researched dissertation.
The compulsory course is:
Option courses previously offered include:
You may also be able to choose a course from any of the non-archaeology taught masters programmes that relate to your study.
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, environmental assessment, teaching, tourism industry, broadcasting and the police. An archaeology degree does not restrict you to a career in archaeology.
The MSc by Research in Archaeology is aimed at students who have a specific topic of interest into which they wish to conduct their own research.
The programme provides structured research training while at the same time enabling you to pursue a research project that you design yourself, in consultation with supervisors. It serves as both a self-contained research degree and a preparation for further study for the PhD degree.
Archaeology at Edinburgh has a tradition going back to the 19th century. Many aspects of that tradition are still visible in the School today: our archaeological collections were named to commemorate the great prehistorian and first holder of the Abercromby Chair Vere Gordon Childe; the annual series of Munro lectures in archaeology and anthropology were endowed in 1910 by Dr Robert Munro, a distinguished medical practitioner who, in his later life, became a keen archaeologist; and the Abercromby Chair of Prehistoric Archaeology commemorates Lord Abercromby, author of distinguished research on Bronze Age pottery.
Edinburgh’s great tradition in prehistory continues to this day, with expertise in Britain, the Mediterranean and the Near East, but we also have strengths in Classical and Byzantine archaeology, in archaeological theory, environmental archaeology, osteoarchaeology and forensic anthropology.
We are happy to supervise across the wide range of our research interests: we have particular strengths in prehistory of Europe, the Mediterranean and Near East, in classical and early medieval archaeology, as well as in archaeological theory, environmental archaeology, osteoarchaeology and forensic anthropology.
Our home is the William Robertson Wing, an A-listed building on the southern edge of Edinburgh’s Old Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Designed by the distinguished 19th-century architect Sir Robert Rowand Anderson, the building – part of the University’s Old Medical School – has recently been refurbished to an exceptional standard, providing state-of-the-art facilities for research, teaching and study.
Graduate students enjoy access to:
All of our facilities are in addition to the multiple libraries and computer labs provided across the University’s estate. Many of our rooms overlook the Meadows, one of the city’s best-loved green spaces.
Archaeology students benefit from our laboratories for artefact analysis, environmental archaeology, osteoarchaeology, bone chemistry and computing (with a wide range of software applications).
There is an extensive reference collection of archaeological materials, such as pottery, metal, stone and glass artefacts, in the V Gordon Childe teaching collection.
You can also benefit from the facilities, archives, collections and expertise of a range of heritage agencies and commercial archaeology units based in the city of Edinburgh.
A long dissertation of 30,000 words is the sole form of assessment, but you will also attend compulsory training courses and may take other relevant courses.
The programme’s focus on research under supervision makes this degree suitable for those contemplating doctoral study, whether in our own School or elsewhere, and many who take this degree follow that route. But undertaking a substantial and independent research and writing project is equally an excellent preparation for a wide variety of careers.
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.