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Through imaginative teaching and world-leading research, we inspire our students to explore.

Course description

On this course you choose roughly half the modules. And the list of options is extensive. With our help, you can design a degree that reflects your interests and your ambitions. You’re free to specialise in a particular area if you want to, or develop a broader understanding of the discipline.

You choose whether to go on a fieldwork placement over the summer or complete a dissertation.

We believe archaeology is crucial to understanding the present: the relationship between humans and the environment, the problems we face, and their potential solutions. Our research-led teaching reflects this. If you’re looking for a masters that understands how archaeologists engage with contemporary society, this is it.

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The MA Archaeology at Sheffield offers you the opportunity to explore the potential of Archaeology to examine issues in the past while illuminating some of the key issues facing the world at present, and to gain an understanding of the relationship between humans and their environment.

On this programme, you will be guided through an extensive choice of modules covering a broad range of topics, allowing you to build a bespoke degree. Sheffield's research-led teaching encompasing insights from archaeological science through to Humanities-based approaches. Plus, the MA Archaeology offers you the opportunity to construct a degree which really reflects your interests and ambitions, whether you aim to specialise in depth in one particular area or gain a broader understanding of archaeology as a discipline.

The course is ideal whether you:

  • have a degree in another subject and now wish to take a higher degree in archaeology
  • have an archaeology degree and want the opportunity to rethink your understanding of the discipline
  • wish to gain an understanding of the ways in which archaeologists have sought, over the last 25 years, to engage with contemporary society

You can choose between pursuing a dissertation or undertaking a fieldwork placement over the summer.


Core modules

These compulsory modules will provide you with the key knowledge and understanding for research in archaeology.

*While the majority of dissertation projects do not involve any additional cost to the student, you may incur some expenses if you choose a topic that is not resourced by the department. You will be expected to cover the cost of printing and binding two copies of your dissertation/placement report.

  • **Depending on a student's choice of placement, this may involve additional travel or other costs.

Optional modules

You will chose modules worth a total of 90 credits, which can also include a module up to the value of 15 credits in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities OR an MLTC language unit. For information on modules in Archaeology which could be taken please see module list. Availability varies from year to year.


You can expect a balanced timetable of lectures, seminars and practicals. You’ll have access to specialist labs and world-class reference collections. Many of our masters courses include a fieldwork or project-based component.

We integrate humanities and science-based approaches to nurture a deeper understanding. You’ll have the opportunity to explore different viewpoints and make up your own mind about their strengths and weaknesses.

We’ll help you to develop your critical thinking as well as your practical skills. What we ask of you, as a member of our lively academic community, is that you challenge, question, and explore.

Visit the MA Archaeology page on the University of Sheffield website for more details!






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