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MA Experimental Archaeology

Course Description

This programme explores experimental archaeology's potential as a powerful research method, an effective educational tool and an excellent medium for public outreach.

You will receive a sound practical and theoretical grounding in scientific use of experiments in archaeological research. The programme will give you practical experience of experiments related to archaeological and taphonomic processes and the production of a range of material culture types including ceramics, stone tools, metals and a range of organic materials.

The role of experiments and ‘reconstructions’ in education and public outreach is investigated through classes, practical activities, and field visits. Links with professionals, such as museums and independent establishments, provide opportunities for practical work based on a sound appreciation of theory.

The University has established an outdoor centre on its Streatham Campus to provide a location for both short- and long-term experimental archaeology research. The programmes involve practical work and field trips.

Programme Structure

The programme is divided into units of study(modules).

Compulsory modules

The compulsory modules can include; Research Methods and Archaeological Theory; Experimental Archaeology; Material Culture and Dissertation

Optional modules

You can choose from a variety of modules on offer, some examples of these are; Advanced Project; Field Study; Landscape Archaeology: Understanding the historic environment; Advanced Human Osteology; Zooarchaeology and Funerary Osteoarchaeology.

The modules listed here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand

Learning and teaching

This programme involves a high degree of learning through practice and experiments. Most of the formal classes that you attend will be based on a mixture of lectures, seminars, and workshops. The precise mix will vary between modules.

All members of staff are actively engaged in research, both in Britain and abroad, and regularly attend conferences, symposia and workshops. It is through this active engagement in the discipline that we are able to supply top quality teaching by experts in their field and as a result we have a 24/24 grading for our teaching from the Quality Assurance Agency.

We have excellent facilities for experimental archaeology including:
• experimental archaeology lab - this flexible laboratory space is the epicentre of our students' experimental activity and is a hard- wearing practical space in which we can carry out the unusual projects that only experimental archaeologists can dream up!
• material stocks - including sinew, feathers, hides, bones, antlers, wood, different stone types and plant materials
• pottery and kiln room, where students can work with clay, equipped with a potter's wheel and a large programmable electric kiln that can reach 1300 degrees Celsius
• workshop equipped with all the tools necessary to prepare materials for experiments
• knapping area - an outdoor space reserved for flintknapping and other activities best done in the fresh air
• experimental land - a substantial area of land on campus for long-term outdoor experiments.

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

Student Profiles

Funding for Postgraduate Study - 20+ Awards

We offer a range of postgraduate scholarships and studentships for talented students. For 2016 entry, the total value of scholarships for taught postgraduate programmes exceeds £500,000. This is in addition to over 100 PhD studentships we make available each year.Students who reside in England and are interested in our Masters programmes can now take advantage of the UK government's postgraduate loan scheme which offers loans of up to £10,000.

Value of Scholarship(s)



Varies, but most awards are competitive and merit-based.

Application Procedure

Please see the details of each scheme as listed in our search: http://www.exeter.ac.uk/studying/funding/search

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Normally an appropriate degree in Archaeology or a related subject. Please see our website for full details

Course Fees

See our web site for more information (click on "Finance") View Website

Email Enquiry

Recipient: University of Exeter

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