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University of Aberdeen is an excellent location to study archaeology due to the vast amount of locations which reference civilisations from the past in Aberdeenshire, and the Highlands and Islands. Aberdeen is a ferry ride away from UNESCO World Heritage Sites on Orkney and Shetland.

You are equipped with research skills to investigate the material culture and heritage of the far northern hemisphere, a region that includes Scotland, the North Atlantic, Scandinavia and Baltic Europe, northern Russia and the circumpolar region through Siberia, the North Pacific and high-latitude North America. Aberdeen is ideally situated to offer optional courses to look at the Viking and Norse Age and Scandinavian Iron Age, plus you are offered employable courses which are very relevant to your field of study in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and The Museum Idea to tie all of your discipline together.

The university holds a partnership with a village in Alaska to record archaeological sites threatened by rising sea levels. You can volunteer in Alaska with the team if you wish. You are also near to some world heritage sites which are located a ferry ride away in Orkney and Shetland such as Skara Brae and within Aberdeenshire including the university which is Medieval.

In recent years Archaeology has become very well recognised on the television with Time Team and programmes about Orkney, Pompeii, hidden cities in Italy and many more. As a discipline it pieces together our hidden and sometimes lost past, helps us understand history, migration, our ancestry and it also helps us to understand just how sophisticated many previous civilisations were and the constant struggle for survival and cultural creation.

There are a great many famous international sites which are often world heritage status which bring our past to tourists but the real interest lies in finding items and piecing together settlements, harbours, and how people lived on actual sites. We can then take all of this knowledge to help us understand how far reaching ancient civilisations were. Archaeology is a fascinating subject area and there are a wealth of very important sites within this region of Scotland to really enjoy whilst you are studying.

Courses listed for the programme

Semester 1

  • Theory and Method Research


  • Northern Worlds
  • Viking Archaeology
  • Introduction to GIS Tools and Techniques, Cartography and Geovisualisation
  • Understanding People and Environment
  • The Museum Idea

Semester 2

  • Advanced Archaeological Approaches

Optional Courses

  • Northern Peoples and Cultures
  • The World of the Vikings
  • Introduction to GIS, Techniques, Cartography and Geovisualisation
  • Advanced Spatial Analysis and Programming
  • Current Applications of GIS
  • Reading Environmental Ethnography
  • Developing a Theory of Practice: Learning and Museums

Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page

Visit UsAberdeen, Online In Your Country

Why study at Aberdeen?

  • We are ideally situated to see some world famous heritage sites in Orkney, Aberdeenshire and Highlands
  • You can volunteer on a live site in Alaska if you wish along with academics
  • You are taught by dedicated professionals and researchers
  • The programme ties all aspects of Archaeology together nicely to give you the widest appreciation of the discipline
  • You get a great range of facilities to access

Where you study

  • University of Aberdeen
  • 12 Months Full Time or 24 Months Part Time
  • Full Time or Part Time
  • September Start

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Living in Aberdeen

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Campus Facilities

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Visit the Archaeology MSc page on the Aberdeen University website for more details!





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