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Course content

Within our highly-rated, nationally and internationally acclaimed, research-led department, some of the very best post-graduate students in Archaeology are able to develop and further their careers within their chosen field of research. Our Department has a high research profile notably in British, European and Middle Eastern archaeology and in science-based and theoretical aspects of the discipline. We are keen to attract research students to work in these areas. We offer research supervision leading to MSc by full-time and by part-time study. Where appropriate, we encourage higher degree candidates to obtain training in research methods by first taking an MA in either Archaeology or one of our other taught Masters courses.

Research postgraduates integrate with staff offering expert specialist knowledge and have access to extensive research facilities. Skills-based training is provided to assist in developing research projects. All postgraduates are encouraged to vocalize their research and share their knowledge with the departmental and wider academic community, by means of departmental seminars, afternoon workshops, postgraduate-led 1-day conferences and by means of publication.

Following one year of full-time or two years of part-time (plus up to six months writing up time) research and writing, you will produce a thesis of up to 50,000 words. The research topic for this qualification is usually based on a specific object, site, or phenomenon. If your topic is suitable and you demonstrate an aptitude for research, the MA or MSc by Research can lead to postgraduate research at a higher level (MPhil. or PhD).


A range of general and specialist research training will be provided for you through individual and group tuition based in the department and more general research preparation courses organised centrally. Your individual training needs will be assessed at the start of your course, and this process is repeated annually.

Departmental Training:

Research and Study Skills in Social Archaeology/Archaeological Science;
access to Level 3 and taught Master's modules, where required;
training in teaching methods with feedback, normally from 2nd year onwards;
specialist training provided by supervisors specific to individual research needs;
contributions to the general Research Seminar Programme and seminars specific to Research Centes linked to the department.
University Training:

Faculty Induction Course at the start of your first year;
Training Needs Analysis to identify your specific training needs;
courses/workshops on research (e.g. 'Managing your research project', Managing the student-supervisor relationship', 'Your intellectual property rights');
access to UKGRAD HEFCE funded training events
access to University information technology courses.

Visit the MSc by Research page on the Durham University website for more details!




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