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Course content

The Mediterranean, the world' s largest inland sea and the interface of Europe, Africa and western Asia, is one of the major crucibles of cultural, economic and political change in world history, a focus of scholarship for all periods between the Palaeolithic and the present, and a place where the past plays a critical role in the present, as well as in the creation of a viable future.

About this degree

Students will develop an understanding of Mediterranean societies from earliest times through Classical antiquity until the early medieval period, and of major interpretative paradigms and principal investigative techniques - including fieldwork and archaeological science - applied to the Mediterranean. One or more specific regions will be analysed in depth from a comparative perspective, and Mediterranean societies will be studied holistically.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of two core modules (30 credits), four optional modules (60 credits) and a dissertation/report (90 credits).

Core modules

All students are required to take the following: 

  • Mediterranean Dynamics
  • Themes, Thought and Theory in World Archaeology: Foundations

Optional modules

From an outstanding range of Master's optional modules, students choose options to the value of 60 credits, at least one of which must be chosen from the following:

  • Mediterranean Prehistory 
  • The Mediterranean World in the Iron Age
  • The Transformation of the Roman Mediterranean. 

The remaining must be made up from the list below (Please note not all modules are available every year): 

  • Aegean Prehistory: major themes and current debates
  • Ancient Italy in the Mediterranean
  • British and European Prehistory: Neolithic to Iron Age
  • Egyptian Archaeology: An Object-Based Theoretical Approach
  • Intangible Dimensions of Museum Objects from Egypt
  • Making and Meaning in Ancient Greek Art
  • Making and Meaning in Ancient Roman Art
  • Medieval Archaeology: Selected Topics and Current Problems
  • Middle Bronze Age to the Iron Age in the Near East: City-states and Empires
  • Museum and Site Interpretation
  • Society and Culture in Ancient Egypt
  • The Neolithic and Early Bronze Age of the Near East: The Emergence of Villages and Urban Societies
  • Themes and Debates in Islamic Archaeology and Heritage
  • Themes, Thought and Theory in World Archaeology: Current Topics

Dissertation/report

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words (90 credits). Approaches that explore new connections or comparisons are strongly encouraged, and students will be able to draw on the expertise of more than 50 members of the institute's staff.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of seminars and assessed through essays and the dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Mediterranean Archaeology MA

Careers

Graduates of this programme are expected to pursue further studies at PhD level or embark on a wide range of professional careers both within and beyond archaeology.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Consultant, Archaeological Research Services (ARS) Ltd
  • PhD in Archaeology, University of Cambridge

Employability

Successful graduates will have been fully prepared to undertake research on ancient Mediterranean societies, from a comparative region/period/theme-specific perspective, and will also possess the expert background knowledge to move on to related professional work in or on the Mediterranean (subject to the particular requirements of the role). They will also have honed their transferable skills in critical analysis, debate, presentation and writing skills that are key to any future professional career.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Institute of Archaeology is the largest and most diverse department of archaeology in the UK, and provides a stimulating environment for postgraduate study. Its own outstanding library is complemented by UCL’s Main Library, University of London Senate House and other specialist libraries.

This programme deploys the institute’s unparalleled research and teaching strengths in Mediterranean archaeology, which must constitute the largest single concentration of expertise anywhere in the UK.

UCL’s own museums and collections form a resource of international importance for academic research and students may work on material from the institute’s collection as part of their assessment. Regular interaction with the British Museum, its collections and staff offers a further invaluable opportunity to add to one's learning experience. 

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Institute of Archaeology

73% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.


Visit the Mediterranean Archaeology (MA) page on the University College London website for more details!

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