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Course content

The area around the Mediterranean presents many opportunities for archaeological research. This MSc allows you to explore the region through the examination of periods, geographical areas and themes. You’ll analyse contemporary theoretical approaches, hone your skills in current methodologies and take advantage of the specialist fields and periods of study that our staff, and those in history and classics, can offer.

You’ll develop an understanding of specific regions and periods, current theories, methodologies and major research issues, all of which provide the basis for a PhD or future participation in excavation, survey and/or lab work.

Edinburgh is ideal for archaeological study and research, allowing you to benefit from national and local institutions and heritage agencies, such as the excellent collections of the National Museum, the archival and bibliographic resources of Historic Environment Scotland, and expertise and practical advice from staff in commercial companies.

Programme structure

You will complete one compulsory course and select a further five options from a wide range on offer. You will take a variety of seminar-style courses in small groups while developing your own research project, in the form of the dissertation, on an approved subject of your choice.

The compulsory course is:

  • Research Sources and Strategies in Archaeology

Option courses previously offered include those listed below (Option courses change from year to year and those available when you start your studies may be different from those shown in the list).

  • Bronze Age Civilisations of the Near East and Greece
  • From Foraging to Farming: the Beginnings of Agriculture in the Mediterranean and Europe
  • Frontiers in Archaeology: Research Seminars
  • Archaeological Illustration
  • Byzantine Archaeology: The archaeology of the Byzantine empire and its neighbours AD 500-850.
  • Theoretical Archaeology
  • Principles of GIS for Archaeologists
  • Space, Place and Time: the archaeology of built environments
  • Archaeology of the Roman Economy
  • Etruscan Italy, 1000 - 300 BC
  • Gallia from the Third Century BC to Augustus
  • Conflict archaeology: materialities of violence
  • Constantinople: The History of a Medieval Megalopolis from Constantine the Great to Suleyman the Magnificent

Learning outcomes

The programme will help you develop potential research interests and explore these with a view to progressing to research. You will also acquire a range of transferable intellectual and practical skills, including:

  • a good understanding of the distinctive nature of archaeology and its contribution to a critical and informed understanding of the past
  • a good understanding of theoretical and methodological debates within archaeology
  • familiarity with a number of important fieldwork studies
  • a broad knowledge of archaeological methods, techniques and practices in current use

Career opportunities

This programme equips you to go on to advanced study and 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 Mediterranean Archaeology (MSc) page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

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