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Course content

Enhance your understanding of Archaeology by region and period, through a combination of taught modules and individual research in this flexible programme.

Overview

Enhance your understanding of Archaeology by region and period, through a combination of taught modules and individual research in this flexible programme.

Renowned for our particular expertise in the British Isles, Europe and the Mediterranean area, our experts teach from the Neolithic through to the Celtic, Roman and Viking periods.

You will be able to critically assess the work of others and of your own, to engage effectively in debate at an advanced level, to plan, design and carry out a coherent research strategy, and to produce detailed and coherent reports and presentations. The wide-range of transferable skills acquired are a particular strength for the pursuit of careers outside of archaeology and the heritage sector.

In addition to our general MA Archaeology programme we offer three pathways to shape your studies. You can choose the pathway that best suits you. The pathway you choose will determine the modules you go on to study.

The three pathways are as follows:

European Neolithic

The Neolithic encompasses some of the most important transformations in prehistory: people settling down, adopting and developing agriculture and animal husbandry, taking on new forms of material culture, extending networks of exchange, establishing long-lived sites and building monuments. These new practices were not just the result of new technologies or subsistence economies; they were deep rearrangements of the ways in which people lived their lives and how they structured their communities. The Neolithic therefore sets a series of unanswered questions about origins and identity, what people believed about the world, their past and themselves, the nature of their relations with others, and the rate and kind of change over several millennia.

Prehistoric Britain

The Prehistoric Britain pathway is designed to introduce students to the prehistory of Britain through a detailed examination of the archaeological record from Shetland to Cornwall and Kent. Cardiff University has long been a centre for research into British Prehistory. In the past staff and students from Cardiff University were involved in the iconic excavation at Stonehenge and Silbury Hill. Current staff have been involved in excavations throughout the country including at Avebury, Maiden Castle, Cladh Hallan and Skara Brae and at Ham Hill in Somerset, the largest hillfort in Britain. Research themes in the recent past have included the chronology of early agricultural communities, the nature of monumentality in the first millennium BC, the domestic wild dichotomy and animal life ways and the spatial organisation of settlements.

Early Medieval Society and Culture

In Britain and Ireland, the period AD 400-1100 witnessed some of the deepest and most lasting changes in society and culture in post-Roman Europe. Through the study of settlement forms and patterns, mortuary remains, artefacts, art, literature and place-names, the MA Archaeology Early Medieval Society and Culture sets the foundations of modern society, cultures and identities in Britain and Ireland within their proper European contexts. The rich archaeological sources are ideally suited for many developing analytical techniques, as well as for multidisciplinary approaches.

Distinctive features

  • Training in research methods and skills including writing and public speaking, interpreting and presenting data, and designing research projects
  • Wide choice of topic, region, period and method-based optional modules
  • Advanced research seminars tailored to specific student interests
  • You may have the opportunity to build on your existing skill-set through participation in projects and excavations.

Learning and assessment

How will I be taught?

You will be taught through a mix of seminars, lectures, tutorials and practicals in the archaeology laboratories.

As part of the programme, you will deliver presentations to your fellow MA students within our supportive community.

How will I be supported?

You are assigned your own personal tutor.

We offer one-to-one time in set office hours during teaching weeks, and also welcome email contact. Additionally, you can make appointments to see your personal tutor or module leaders on a one-to-one basis about any issues. Our Professional Services team is also available for advice and support.

Discussion of assignments is offered and written feedback is provided on summative assessment. You are encouraged to discuss your ideas with module tutors both in seminars and one-to-one in office hours.

Your personal tutor is your contact point to discuss any problems arising from the course. Further queries should be addressed to the Course Director.

Career prospects

Graduates of this and similar degree programmes have embarked on careers in a range of professions from academia, the heritage sector, journalism and law to media research (media, commercial, academic), teaching and publishing. A significant number choose to continue studies at PhD level.

Recent graduate destinations include CADW, Church in Wales, Council for British Archaeology, Glamorgan Archives, Heritage Lottery Fund, National Trust, Tate Gallery, Welsh Assembly Government and a range of universities in the UK and overseas.


Visit the Archaeology - MA page on the Cardiff University website for more details!

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