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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. 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.

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).

Compulsory 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
  • British and European Prehistory: Neolithic to Iron Age
  • Comparative Archaeologies of the Americas I: First Peoples to Emerging Complexity
  • Funerary Archaeology
  • Interpreting Pottery
  • 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
  • Themes and Debates in Egyptian Archaeology
  • The Neolithic and Early Bronze Age of the Near East: The Emergence of Villages and Urban Societies
  • The Transformation of the Roman Mediterranean

Please note not all modules are available every year.

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.

Funding

Institute of Archaeology Master's Awards: a small number of grants up to the value of £1,000 are available for the academic year 2018/19. All UK/EU and Overseas fee-paying students with an offer to start any Master's degree offered by the IoA are eligible to apply. For an application form please email . The deadline for applications is 1 March 2018.

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

Careers

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.

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.

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.

Department: Institute of Archaeology

Applications

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £75 for online applications and £100 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

The programme is particularly suitable for students with a first degree in archaeology, anthropology, history or classics. It will appeal to those who wish to develop the necessary skills relevant to a professional career in archaeology, and to those who want to continue to a research degree in the field.

Application deadlines

26 July 2019

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Archaeology at graduate level
  • why you want to study Archaeology at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your personal, academic and professional background meets the demands of a challenging academic environment
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.


Visit the Archaeology MA page on the University College London website for more details!

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