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Course content

Research profile

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.

We welcome applications from anyone keen to work in fields that overlap with or complement our academic staff interests. These include human osteoarchaeology, forensic anthropology and archaeology, isotopes and science-based methods of investigation, geographical information systems, early civilisations and urban societies in the Mediterranean and Europe, Egyptology, Roman archaeology, the Byzantine world and late antiquity, hunter-gatherers and the spread of farming in Europe, megalithic monuments, later European prehistory and the archaeology of Scotland. As part of your application, you must submit a viable research proposal which sets out your aims and plans, while demonstrating your knowledge of the chosen field: this will be scrutinised as part of our admissions process. Two supervisors will be appointed to work with you on the project. It is a good idea to consult with prospective supervisors in advance of an application.

The School of History, Classics & Archaeology, and our relationships with other subject areas and external organisations, such as the National Museums of Scotland and Historic Environment Scotland, allow us to arrange interdisciplinary study and supervision.

Programme structure

A long dissertation is the sole form of assessment, but you will also attend a prescribed training course and are encouraged to take other relevant courses.

Facilities

Our building offers you exceptional, modern facilities, resources and study spaces, in a stunning location.

Our postgraduate students have access to:

  • A dedicated study and computing lab with printing, copying and scanning facilities, overlooking the Meadows, one of the city’s best-loved green spaces.
  • Two research rooms, shared with undergraduates, housing some of our impressive book collections and a small selection of computing facilities.
  • A large common room overlooking the Meadows, shared by students and staff.
  • Our PhD study room. Subject to available desk space, you may apply after semester one of your first year.
  • A number of small-scale teaching rooms, well-equipped with facilities such as data projection and smart boards.
  • Exhibition areas, filled with artefacts and artwork from our collections.

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.

Our location, right in the heart of Edinburgh, means you will be based close to the city’s cultural attractions and facilities, including a wealth of libraries, archives, museums and galleries, which provide uniquely rich support for the disciplines we teach.

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. Students 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.

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.


Visit the Archaeology (MScR) page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

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