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Study at the world centre for Mesolithic research

Why choose this course?

The University of York is the only place in the world where you can study a Masters programme Mesolithic archaeology. Mesolithic studies have gathered huge momentum in recent years, with academics at York leading the way in uncovering significant new evidence on sites such as Howick and the internationally renowned Star Carr – not far from York.

The lack of detailed study into the Mesolithic period means there is a huge amount waiting to be discovered. Almost any project investigating the period is sure to uncover something new and previously unknown. That gives our students an incredible opportunity to become leading specialists in the period, and to get involved in truly pioneering projects.
-Study in the globally recognised centre for Mesolithic archaeology
-Make new discoveries in this under-researched field of study
-Get involved in globally significant Mesolithic field projects
-Gain ‘hands-on’ experience of experimental archaeology at our Mesolithic camp
-Work alongside world leaders conducting pioneering research
-Learn about cutting-edge techniques, such as ancient DNA and stable isotope analysis and climate-change reconstruction
-Receive career and research guidance from experienced and knowledgeable staff

What does the course cover?
The MA in Mesolithic Studies provides an important review of the European Mesolithic, exploring the ways in which the period has been interpreted from the 19th century, up to the present day. It also explores key topics such as technology, consumption practices, death and burial, plants and animals, and settlement, drawing on the research carried out in the department.

Students have the opportunity to get involved in one of several Mesolithic excavation projects, including nearby Star Carr, site of the oldest house and oldest carpentry in Europe, Howick in Northumberland, and coastal shell middens in Europe, all of which have featured on TV and in the media.

Who is it for?
This course is suitable for graduates of archaeology, anthropology, biology or related fields, as well as for people with relevant experience or enthusiasm for the subject.

What can it lead to?
This masters course gives you the chance to specialise in an exciting area of archaeology, but also gives you the essential skills and knowledge required for many different archaeological and related careers or further study. While some students take the course as the gateway to further specialist research at PhD level, others go on to a wide variety of careers.


By the end of the MA in Mesolithic Studies course you will have:
-A thorough understanding of the history of research and the theoretical approaches in Mesolithic Studies
-A broad foundation in the key aspects of Mesolithic lifeways
-Developed a critical understanding of the key debates in the period
-Developed an ability to gather and organise information and arguments in a critical and independent manner through writing essays under various conditions
-Undertaken a piece of independent research on a topic within the field of Mesolithic archaeology
-Developed presentation skills through the delivery of seminar papers on a range of diverse themes

Many course graduates go on to further specialist research at PhD level, many of which have been funded, and then pursue careers in academia. Others have gone into a range of careers, from teaching and digital archiving to commercial archaeology work and wilderness training.

Some of the organisations our past students now work for include the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists, Council for British Archaeology, Yorkshire Museums Trust, archaeological consultancies and even Wikipedia.

Visit the Mesolithic Studies - MA/PGDip/PGCert page on the University of York website for more details!




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