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History & Archaeology×

University of York, Full Time MA Degrees in History & Archaeology

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Highly respected qualification in buildings archaeology. Established more than 15 years ago, this course is one of the longest-established and most respected buildings archaeology and buildings history programmes in the UK. Read more
Highly respected qualification in buildings archaeology.

Why choose this course?

Established more than 15 years ago, this course is one of the longest-established and most respected buildings archaeology and buildings history programmes in the UK. It brings together experts in buildings survey and recording, archive research, legislation and policy, conservation, theoretical interpretation and computer modelling to deliver a dynamic course, which will equip you with the specialist skills and knowledge required for a career in researching, managing and conserving historic buildings.
-Learn the specialised skills required for researching, analysing and recording historic buildings.
-Gain experience in rectified photography, photogrammetry and other 3D recording methods, CAD drawing and computer modelling of historic buildings.
-Develop the knowledge and skills essential for careers in the architectural and archaeological sectors.
-Study in the cultural heritage capital of the UK – experience buildings archaeology in action.
-Access state-of-the-art facilities, including survey support, archives and libraries.
-Receive careers advice from staff with significant experience of recruiting within the sector.

York is one of the best places to study Archaeology, Heritage or Conservation. The Department has an excellent reputation and is one of the largest Archaeology teaching centres in the UK. The historic City of York is rich in architectural and archaeological treasures and resources which you will have easy access to during your studies.

What does the course cover?

The MA in the Archaeology of Buildings is designed to train students in the systematic research, recording, analysis and interpretation of historic buildings.

Through a combination of academic studies, practical training and research projects, the course will:
-Introduce the specialised skills required for the historical research, visual analysis and archaeological recording of buildings.
-Give you a foundational knowledge of the history of architecture in the UK, from c.1000 to the present day.
-Introduce you to current intellectual and professional research priorities in the archaeology of buildings.
-Introduce you to conservation legislation, policy and practice.
-Enable you to develop excellent research and communication skills relating to the research, analysis and interpretation of historic buildings.

Who is it for?

This course is suitable for students of Archaeology, History of Art, Architectural History and related subjects, as well as for mid-career professionals seeking to develop or enhance their professional specialism in buildings archaeology.

What can it lead to?

The discipline of buildings archaeology has grown in confidence, with new theoretical and methodological developments allowing archaeologists to record, date, model and present research in exciting new ways. There is significant demand for buildings archaeology professionals in the commercial sector and in national and local heritage organisations.

Course alumni have successfully launched careers in key roles with organisations across the heritage sector, including English Heritage, National Trust, Historic Scotland and Historic Royal Palaces, as well as with local authorities and conservation bodies, conservation architects, archaeological units and commercial developers.

Placement

Work placements provide a valuable opportunity to gain practical experience of working in the professional buildings sector. Your placement will draw on and contribute to the knowledge and experience you have gained on your taught courses, while enabling you to develop new insights, understanding and expertise in buildings archaeology that will be extremely valuable in future employment.

Aims
-To provide students with experience of buildings archaeology in a professional working environment.
-To consolidate students’ knowledge and understanding of buildings archaeology procedures and issues gained from the taught modules.

Learning outcomes
Upon completing these placements you should have:
-Gained experience and knowledge of how building recording and research inform conservation and heritage practice, under the guidance of experienced professionals.
-Developed experience in practical applications, facilitating critical reflection on the theoretical and philosophical issues raised in both core modules.

Placement providers
Although the organisations offering placements change from year to year, according to availability, the following list is a good indication of the choices likely to be available:
-English Heritage
-National Trust
-Council for British Archaeology
-York Civic Trust
-West Yorkshire Archaeology Service
-The Churches Conservation Trust
-Purcell Architects
-Quercus Design
-City of York Council
-Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings
-York Archaeological Trust
-Cathedral and Church Buildings Division

Careers

The MA in the Archaeology of Buildings offers practical skills and research training that provide excellent preparation for a range of careers. By the end of the course you will be able to:
-Record and analyse structures of all types, selecting a level of record appropriate to the end use.
-Execute hand, metric and photographic surveys and present the results in hand drawings, photographs and CAD.
-Recognise and apply the principles of structural analysis to elucidate a building’s history.
-Draw on a sound knowledge of British architectural history and, where appropriate, that of other countries.
-Carry out research using a wide range of archival sources on buildings in the UK and integrate these critically and effectively into the interpretation of buildings.
-Discuss and debate current research agendas in buildings archaeology.
-Direct your own independent work, and also interact with others as a member of a recording or conservation team.
-Communicate the results of research effectively through oral, written and graphic forms of presentation.

Alumni from the course have been employed in a range of commercial and heritage organisations across the UK, including:
-Field Archaeology Specialists (FAS Heritage)
-Oxford Archaeology
-URS Corporation
-Purcell Architects
-AOC Archaeology Group
-Pre-Construct Archaeology
-Headland Archaeology
-Arc Heritage
-York Archaeological trust
-English Heritage
-National Trust
-Historic Scotland
-Historic Royal Palaces
-West Yorkshire Archaeology Service
-MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology)

Others have been employed as freelance building archaeologists, local authority conservation officers and museum professionals.

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Training the next generation of archaeological pioneers. Read more
Training the next generation of archaeological pioneers

Why choose this course?

The MA in Field Archaeology offers a perfect blend of theory and practice, equipping you with wide-ranging, advanced practical skills, while giving you a deep theoretical knowledge and understanding of the logistical challenges, legal requirements and ethics involved in archaeological fieldwork. It is both challenging and rewarding.

York has been called the ‘heritage capital of the UK’. Here, we have routine contact with local, national and international leaders in archaeology and heritage management. We work closely with our neighbours at the Council for British Archaeology, English Heritage and Natural England, as well as local commercial units including York Archaeological Trust. You will also meet visiting lecturers of national standing, including John Oxley, the most experienced Local Authority Archaeologist in the UK, and Patrick Ottaway, formerly Fieldwork Director of York Archaeological Trust and now a respected archaeological consultant. You will also:
-Develop wide-ranging advanced field skills
-Build a deeper understanding of the theoretical, legislative and ethical context of archaeological fieldwork
-Study among a community of practitioners that is unrivalled in the UK
-Gain work experience with nationally significant public and private organisations
-Develop skills and knowledge essential for varied archaeological careers and research
-Learn from leading figures in archaeological research and fieldwork
-Receive close personal mentoring from experienced, well-connected staff

The MA in Field Archaeology is a flexible course, devised to meet demand for professional training in the UK and worldwide. It will give you a thorough knowledge of how, and why, archaeological fieldwork has arrived at its current state and acquaint you with the key methods employed in modern fieldwork, analysis and dissemination. It will enable you to think strategically about project design and tactically about project implementation.

Who is it for?
The course aims to ground you in European, and particularly UK, archaeology, so it is well suited to graduates of Archaeology. However, graduates in History, Geography and related disciplines often bring complementary perspectives that are greatly valued by both teachers and students. Also lessons and perspectives from Europe are relevant to archaeological fieldwork contexts worldwide. Individuals with some practical experience who wish to develop their careers by advancing their appreciation of the wider context of archaeology will also benefit from this course.

What can it lead to?
The MA in Field Archaeology aims to turn out not just archaeological practitioners, but leaders and creative thinkers with the imagination to advance the discipline, as well as their own careers. Some of our graduates go on to become project officers, curators and managers in the heritage industry. Others progress to further study, including doctoral research.

Placement

MA Field Archaeology students have a unique opportunity to gain practical work experience in a professional field environment with one of the many leading archaeological organisations based in and around York. You will work alongside experienced professionals on projects that enable you to gain new skills, as well as put into use those skills gained during your taught courses.

Aims
-To provide experience of organising archaeological fieldwork and interpreting results within a professional environment.
-To consolidate knowledge and understanding of data gathering or analysis as developed in one or more of the taught modules.

Learning outcomes
During your placements you will get involved with one or more of the following:
-Develop a practical understanding of how archaeological fieldwork is planned and carried out in an integrated way.
-Gain detailed knowledge of how ecofactual or artefactual assemblages might be identified, quantified, analysed and interpreted.
-Become familiar with the ways in which field archaeology is organised and administered, and of the pressures it is subject to, working with a local government organisation or national organisation with offices in York.

Placement opportunities
Although the organisations providing placements vary from year to year, according to availability, those regularly offering such opportunities include City of York Council, the Portable Antiquities Scheme, the York Archaeological Trust, AOC Archaeology and various other commercial archaeology units.

Careers

By the end of your MA in Field Archaeology you will have:
-Developed an awareness of the organisational and legislative context within which fieldwork operates in the UK
gained a detailed knowledge of the varied techniques of site evaluation used today
-Become aware of the practicalities, and problems, of implementing archaeological projects and understood the implications of this for strategy and project design
-Grasped the processes of analysing stratigraphic, spatial, artefactual and palaeoecological material, the objectives of this work, and how it is managed
-Surveyed the range of mechanisms for synthesising, archiving and disseminating the evidence generated by fieldwork
-Developed your understanding of how the profession operates in “the real world”, through work placements and field visits
-Developed your ability to gather and organise information and arguments in a critical and independent manner, through writing essays and producing projects
-Undertaken a piece of independent research on a topic within field archaeology
-Developed your presentational skills through the delivery of seminar papers on a range of diverse topics

The practical skills and theoretical knowledge gained on the course are applicable to a wide range of archaeological careers, as well as further study and research.

Course postgraduates have gone on to pursue research degrees or take up managerial positions working for museum, conservation and archaeological services and for local councils, national authorities, field units and heritage bodies. Others have set up their own archaeological businesses, both within the UK and in other countries. Some of the organisations now employing our students include:
-Historic England
-English Heritage
-The National Trust
-Natural England
-Commercial archaeological units
-York Archaeological Trust
-The Council for British Archaeology
-National Park services
-UK and overseas museum services
-Local Authorities
-Yorkshire Museums Trust
-Portable Antiquities Scheme
-Churches Conservation Trust

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Study in the European heartland of medieval archaeology. The buildings, material culture and landscapes of York and the north of England offer unrivalled opportunities for the study and research of medieval archaeology. Read more
Study in the European heartland of medieval archaeology

Why choose this course?

The buildings, material culture and landscapes of York and the north of England offer unrivalled opportunities for the study and research of medieval archaeology. The Archaeology department in York was established as the first in the UK to specialise in medieval archaeology, and that legacy is evident today in the department’s concentration of medieval archaeologists. Their specialisms cover the entire medieval period, from the post-Roman era to early modern times.
-Study in the heartland of medieval archaeology in Europe
-Learn from leading archaeologists, specialising in every aspect of the Middle Ages
-Immerse yourself in the medieval community at the Centre for Medieval Studies
-Gain volunteering and work experience in the heritage sector
-Access state-of-the-art facilities, including laboratories, archives and libraries
-Use the latest techniques and equipment to build key practical skills
-Receive careers advice from knowledgeable staff with valuable contacts in the academic and heritage sectors

What does the course cover?
The course focuses on the artefacts, landscapes, buildings and social, cultural and environmental contexts of medieval Britain and Western Europe. It covers the period from the end of the Roman Empire to the Reformation, and explores themes such settlement, trade and economy, religion, buildings and artefacts, social structure, ethnicity and identity, conquest and cultural contact, and methodological and theoretical approaches.

The flexible modular structure of the course means you can tailor your MA to suit your interests and goals. There is an opportunity to learn valuable practical skills, which are essential for a wide range of archaeological and associated careers.

Who is it for?
This degree is for anyone interested in studying the medieval period from a material perspective. It is primarily for students with previous experience in archaeology, history, art history or anthropology, but our students do come from a wide variety of academic backgrounds.

What can it lead to?
The course provides a solid foundation for a wide range of careers and further studies. Our students have gone on to research degrees, academic or teaching careers, museum positions and archaeology posts at local councils, regional authorities, field units, and heritage bodies such as English Heritage and the Portable Antiquities Scheme.

Careers

The MA in Medieval Archaeology enables you to:
-Study a broad range of issues in medieval archaeology at a general level
-Explore selected topics in detail, which may be drawn from both the early and later medieval periods
-Relate general research principles and skills to your studies of medieval archaeology in particular
-Develop an ability to gather and organise information and arguments in a critical and independent manner
-Undertake a piece of independent research on a topic within the field of medieval archaeology
-Develop written communication skills through essays and your dissertation
-Develop presentation skills through the delivery of seminar papers and a short lecture on your dissertation topic

The skills and knowledge gained on the course are applicable to wide range of archaeological careers, as well as further study and research.

Course postgraduates have gone on to pursue research degrees, academic or teaching careers, museum positions and archaeology posts at local councils, regional authorities, field units and heritage bodies. Some of the organisations our students now work for include:
-Historic England
-English Heritage
-The National Trust
-York Archaeological Trust
-The Council for British Archaeology
-Yorkshire Museums Trust
-Portable Antiquities Scheme
-British Museum
-Church of England
-Churches Conservation Trust
-Jorvik Viking Centre

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Study the field that brings past people to life. Past societies responded to and treated their dead in a huge diversity of ways, providing archaeologists with crucial insights into their workings. Read more
Study the field that brings past people to life

Why choose this course?

Past societies responded to and treated their dead in a huge diversity of ways, providing archaeologists with crucial insights into their workings. Funerary archaeology combines analysis of human remains with their archaeological context to take a truly interdisciplinary approach to studying both life and death in the past. The course at York offers the chance to develop skills in a range of different methods and techniques, but all centred on learning how to investigate death and burial in the past. The flexible nature of the course enables you to pursue your own particular period or methodological interests.
-Explore the varied archaeological and methodological approaches to funerary archaeology
-Work alongside internationally renowned specialists in a range of different periods and methodologies, by choosing either the MA or MSc route
-Gain ‘hands on’ experience of the analysis of human remains
-Learn through fieldtrips to local museums and relevant sites, e.g. the prehistoric monuments in the Yorkshire Wolds
-Choose modules to support your own research interests
-Use the latest techniques and equipment to build key practical skills
-Receive advice on developing your career and research interests from knowledgeable staff

What does the course cover?
The course focuses a range of topics from identity, landscape, social structure, commemoration and memory, ritual and belief, and the body. It covers attitudes and repsonses to death from the first evidence for the special treatment of human remains by homids up to the place of funeray rites in modern day societies, but with a particular focus on the interpretively challenging evidence from Prehistory. The analysis of human remains and their archaeological context are both taught in a flexible modular system, that allows you to tailor the course to your particular methodological or period interests.

The MA and MSc pathways offer a chance to specialise in different areas of Funerary Archaeology research. There is also an opportunity to learn valuable practical skills, which are essential for a wide range of archaeological and associated careers.

Who is it for?
This degree is for anyone interested in studying Funerary Archaeology from a range of perspectives, which are at the frontiers of both archaeological method and theoretical approach. It is primarily for students with previous experience in archaeology, anthropology, history, art history, biology or related fields, but students from a wide variety of academic backgrounds are encouraged.

What can it lead to?
The course provides a solid foundation for a wide range of careers and further studies. Postgraduate students at York have gone on to research degrees, academic or teaching careers, museum positions and archaeology posts at local councils, regional authorities, field units, and heritage bodies such as English Heritage.

Careers

By the end of the MA or MSc Funerary Archaeology course you will be able to:
-A thorough understanding of the history of research and the theoretical approaches to Funerary Archaeology
-A broad foundation in the key aspects of studying death and burial in the past
-Identify and record human bone assemblages
-Age, sex and assess pathologies from human bones
-Explore selected methods and periods in detail, through the option modules
-Critically evaluate published research and datasets
-Orally present knowledge and concepts
-Plan, design and undertake a piece of independent research

These skills and techniques are deployed widely in the field of archaeological research and exploration, but they are also valuable for a wide range of careers and further studies.

Many of York's Masters postgraduates go on to further research, academic or teaching careers, museum positions and archaeology posts at local councils, regional authorities, field units and heritage bodies. Some of the organisations our students now work for include:
-Archaeological field units
-Environmental archaeology
-Professional archaeologists – field and laboratory based
-Laboratory technicians
-Demonstrators
-University/research technicians
-Academia
-On-site osteoarchaeologists
-Medical humanities

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The MA in Medieval History offers an unparalleled opportunity to study at one of the world's leading centres of expertise in medieval history. Read more
The MA in Medieval History offers an unparalleled opportunity to study at one of the world's leading centres of expertise in medieval history. The degree is equally suitable for students who wish to pursue doctoral research or careers in teaching, public history, or archives, or for those with enthusiasm for the subject but not yet a clear career direction.

Since few students will have had the opportunity to study medieval history in depth at Undergraduate level, the programme offers both wide-ranging training in sources and methods and Option Modules in specialised areas. The University of York’s Medieval MA programmes (in History, Literature, Archaeology, Stained Glass) are some of the most popular and sought after, making York the largest centre in the UK for medieval masters level study across the Humanities disciplines.

This degree offers both thorough research training and the opportunity to explore new approaches to the history of medieval Britain and Europe with seminars led by experts in the area. You will be introduced to a wide range of sources and approaches from across the period. Team teaching on the core and training modules brings the chance to get acquainted with most staff not on leave.

You will be able to participate in the lively scholarly community surrounding the active graduate school, and also have full access to the Centre for Medieval Studies and its active programme of seminars, conferences and reading groups involving both staff and graduate students.

Programme of study

The MA programme consists of five taught courses (80 credits in total), a 20,000-word dissertation (90 credits), and a Research Training module (10 credits). Note that the most effective means of teaching the specific medieval study skills result in the course being split slightly unevenly in terms of credit-weighting, with students taking 50 credits in Autumn and 30 in Spring. This will, nevertheless, give students the space to begin thinking about their dissertation earlier in the Spring Term.

For students registered for full-time study, the programmme runs as follows:

Autumn Term (October-December)
-Core Module: Perspectives on Medieval History
-Option Module 1
-Skills Module 1: Latin
-Skills Module 2: Palaeography
-Research Training (taught content)

All students take the core module, Perspectives on Medieval History. This module introduces students to a diverse range of themes and areas of debate within Medieval History. Students also take an option module chosen from a list approved by the Course Convenor. (When enrolment numbers permit, students may also select options from the Centre for Medieval Studies and its other parent departments as well as from the MA in Public History.)

All students also take the two skills modules, in Latin and Palaeography, and follow a research training programme. The research training includes specific sessions for Medieval History MA students, which will explore some of the resources available in York and may involve opportunities to handle original source materials.

Spring Term (January-March)
-Option Module 2
-Skills Module 1: Latin
-Skills Module 2: Palaeography
-Research Training (independent writing of dissertation proposal)

During the Spring Term students take a second Option module and continue the two skills modules in Latin and Palaeography, as well as writing their dissertation proposal.

Summer Term and Summer Vacation (April-September)
During the Summer Term and over the Vacation, students write a dissertation of up to 20,000 words on a subject of their choice and under the supervision of a member of staff, submitted at the end of the academic year. Dissertations should be focused on a well considered research question and should based on primary source material. Students receive generic advice about selecting research topics, setting up the research questions and assembling bibliographies, followed be specialist advice and guidance from an advisor with relevant expertise. The range of expertise of staff members and the wealth of source material available at York enables a wide range of topics, both chronologically and geographically.

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Explore human-environment interaction through the ages. This course offers a unique perspective on landscape archaeology, focusing on human ecology and the interactions of people with their environments. Read more
Explore human-environment interaction through the ages.

Why choose this course?

This course offers a unique perspective on landscape archaeology, focusing on human ecology and the interactions of people with their environments. It takes you beyond isolated archaeological sites, buildings or artefacts to explore their context in the wider landscape. You will investigate the varying lifeways of humans through the ages, and how people have interacted with the natural world since early prehistory.
-Study landscape archaeology from the perspective of human ecology – from early prehistory to the 19th century
-Explore topical issues ranging from human-environment interaction to rock art in the landscape
-Access the region’s rich natural resources for landscape study in the Yorkshire Moors, Dales and Wolds
-Learn from world-leading researchers in landscape archaeology
-Use the latest techniques to build key practical skills in surveying, GIS, geoarchaeology and aerial photography
-Receive careers and research advice from knowledgeable and experienced staff

What does the course cover?
The course explores the links between landscape theory and practice, and provides a broad foundation in the recognition, recording, interpretation and conservation of archaeological landscapes. The course comprises modules that assess the development of landscape archaeology and the range of approaches and methods employed in this increasingly important field of study. You will examine case studies from many different periods and areas around the world to understand different approaches to the study of landscape change.

Who is it for?
The MA in Prehistoric Landscape Archaeology is designed for students with an interest in how people have engaged with landscapes and the environment during the prehistoric and protohistoric periods. Students with a background in archaeology, physical geography, environmental science or history are particularly suited to this course.

What can it lead to?
This MA opens the door to a variety of archaeological and landscape heritage careers, as well as further research or PhD study.

Careers

Open the door to varied archaeological careers and research. The MA in Prehistoric Landscape Archaeology enables you to:
-Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of research methods appropriate to Landscape Archaeology
-Understand and critically assess the sources of information pertinent to the study of Landscape Archaeology
-Understand the fundamental concepts, techniques and current debates relevant to Landscape Archaeology
-Gather and organise information and arguments in a critical and independent manner through writing essays under various conditions
-Undertake independent research on a topic within the field of Landscape Archaeology
-Develop presentation skills through the delivery of seminar papers on a range of diverse themes

The skills and knowledge gained on the course are applicable to wide range of archaeological and landscape conservation careers, as well as further study, research and academic careers.

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Study at the cutting edge of post-medieval archaeological investigation. Historical Archaeology is the study of relatively recent documented periods, from the end of the Middle Ages to the 21st century. Read more
Study at the cutting edge of post-medieval archaeological investigation.

Why choose this course?

Historical Archaeology is the study of relatively recent documented periods, from the end of the Middle Ages to the 21st century. It is one of the most rapidly expanding aspects of archaeology, dealing with many exciting issues that relate directly to the world we have inherited today, drawing on a diverse range of material and documentary sources.

The skills you develop working with material culture, landscapes and archival sources, as well as presenting short papers and writing essays and your dissertation, will provide an unrivalled insight into the past and present and prepare you for a wide range of jobs and careers, as well as further research.
-Explore dynamic and globally significant themes, from capitalism to colonialism.
-Gain practical training in analysing and interpreting evidence, from excavations and standing buildings to landscapes and material culture.
-Develop knowledge and skills that will give you a head start in many heritage, historic-environment and other post-graduate careers and research.
-Study in the archaeological capital of Britain – experience historical archaeology in action.
-Access state-of-the-art facilities, including laboratories, libraries and internationally important archives, resources and collections in York.
-Receive career and research advice and guidance from staff with significant professional knowledge and experience.

What does the course cover?
The MA in Historical Archaeology examines themes such as the development of consumption and capitalism, colonialism and globalisation from British and international perspectives. It builds out from the unique experience of Britain in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to consider the global impact of changing economic, political and cultural values as the modern world took shape.

We examine data sources including excavated material alongside material culture from museums and collections, standing buildings, landscapes and documentary sources of all kinds, which relate to both the UK, its former colonies and the wider world.

Who is it for?
This course is ideally suited for students from a wide range of backgrounds, which need not necessarily include Archaeology. The course appeals to anyone interested in the material culture and landscapes of the post-medieval period. Past students have included graduates of History, Art History, Heritage, English Literature and many more subjects, as well as mid-career professionals looking to enhance their knowledge, expertise and qualifications.

What can it lead to?
The course provides you with highly valued and transferrable skills, knowledge and experience essential for a wide variety of careers. Many students go on to further study or take up employment with a range of organisations both within and outside the heritage sector, including the civil service and law firms, heritage consultancies and museums.

Careers

This course will give you a thorough grounding in the rapidly growing field of Historical Archaeology and equip you with valuable skills and experience for a career in this and related fields. It also provides valuable transferable skills which are recognised across a wide range of professional graduate careers.

By the end of the course you will:
-Be familiar with current research agendas and a broad range of issues in historical archaeology.
-Have detailed knowledge of topics and themes using material from Britain, Europe, North America, Africa and the Caribbean.
-Have developed key skills to organise information and arguments in a critical and independent manner in written form and in presentations.
-Have undertaken an extended piece of independent research on a topic of your choice in the field of historical archaeology.
-Have delivered a short lecture on a chosen topic in historical archaeology.

Course postgraduates have gone on to work with many organisations, including landscape and environmental consultancies, professional bodies, heritage organisations such as English Heritage and the National Trust, the media and museums.

Others have used the skills gained to pursue careers in other sectors, including:
-Local government and development
-Civil service and law
-Chartered surveying
-Computing and IT services
-Business and administration
-Marketing and public relations
-Education
-Accountancy and financial services

Others have gone on to pursue PhDs in the UK and overseas.

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Essential preparation for successful heritage careers. The cultural heritage sector offers a wide range of exciting opportunities in museums, local authorities and heritage agencies, organisations and consultancies. Read more
Essential preparation for successful heritage careers

Why choose this course?

The cultural heritage sector offers a wide range of exciting opportunities in museums, local authorities and heritage agencies, organisations and consultancies. This course offers essential training for professional roles throughout the sector.
-Understand all aspects of heritage management theory and practice.
-Gain practical work experience in the heritage sector.
-Develop knowledge and skills essential for today’s heritage-sector careers.
-Study in the heritage capital of Britain – see heritage-management in action.
-Access state-of-the-art facilities, including laboratories, archives and libraries.
-Use the latest techniques and equipment to build key practical skills.
-Receive heritage careers advice from staff with significant experience of recruiting within the sector.

York is one of the best places to study Archaeology, Heritage or Conservation. The Department has an excellent reputation and is one of the largest Archaeology teaching centres in the UK. The historic City of York is rich in architectural and archaeological treasures and resources which you will have easy access to during your studies.

What does the course cover?

Through a combination of academic studies, practical training, work placements and research projects, this course provides a thorough grounding in all aspects of heritage management theory and practice. You will address key issues such as:
-Why does the past matter and to whom?
-Who decides what constitutes heritage and what should be done with it?
-How should we present the past to the public?

The course focuses on providing you with highly valued and transferrable practical skills, knowledge and experience.

Who is it for?

This is a general programme of study, exploring the multi-disciplinary nature of the heritage environment. It is therefore suitable not just for students of Archaeology or History, but for anyone who wishes to pursue a career in the heritage sector. Recent students have included those with backgrounds in History, English, History of Art, Politics and Environmental Sciences.

What can it lead to?

The course places strong emphasis on employability. In recent years, and in spite of the economic downturn, it has successfully launched many students into heritage careers with organisations ranging from the National Trust, English Heritage and the Council for British Archaeology to museums, councils, heritage consultancies, and even travel book publishers.

Placement

The work placements provide a valuable opportunity to gain practical experience of working in the professional heritage sector. The two placements will draw on and contribute to the knowledge and experience you have gained on your taught courses, while enabling you to develop new insights, understanding and expertise in heritage management that will be extremely valuable in future employment.

Aims
-To provide students with experience of heritage management in a heritage sector working environment.
-To consolidate students’ knowledge and understanding of heritage-management procedures and issues gained from the taught modules.

Learning outcomes
Upon completing these placements you should have:
-Gained experience and knowledge of the implementation of heritage policy and principles in the workplace/cultural sector, under the guidance of experienced professionals.
-An understanding of the contexts in which heritage policy and principles are applied, and of real-world limitations.
-Developed experience in practical applications, facilitating critical reflection on the theoretical and philosophical issues raised in both core modules.

Careers

The MA in Cultural Heritage Management has a clear focus on employability. At the end of the course you will have:
-Enhanced your skills and knowledge, improving your chances of employment as a heritage practitioner;
-Developed intellectually and personally through direct contact with heritage professionals;
-Gained a critical understanding of the policies and practices underpinning heritage management;
-Developed an understanding of the nature of heritage and its relevance to society; and
-Received guidance on career opportunities across the heritage sector, including where to find jobs and how best to apply for them.

Course postgraduates have gone on to careers in archaeology and heritage-related organisations across the UK and abroad, including:
-English Heritage
-The National Trust
-York Archaeological Trust
-The Council for British Archaeology
-Highland Council
-Yorkshire Museums Trust
-Heritage consultancies
-The Science Museum Group
-The Royal Mint Museum
-Heritage Malta
-New South Wales Government

Others have used the skills gained to pursue careers in other sectors, including:
-Local government and development
-Chartered surveying
-Computing and IT services
-Business and administration
-Marketing and public relations
-Education
-Civil service, law and police authorities
-Accountancy and financial services
-Others have gone on to take PhDs at York, Stanford (USA) and other universities.

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Study at the world centre for Mesolithic research. The University of York is the only place in the world where you can study a Masters programme Mesolithic archaeology. Read more
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.

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.

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Training for careers in heritage conservation. If you’re interested in a career in heritage or historic building conservation, the Conservation Studies course at York gives you the theoretical knowledge and practical, hands-on experience you will need for a professional role in the sector. Read more
Training for careers in heritage conservation

Why choose this course?

If you’re interested in a career in heritage or historic building conservation, the Conservation Studies course at York gives you the theoretical knowledge and practical, hands-on experience you will need for a professional role in the sector. Established in 1972, the course was the first of its kind in the UK, and has developed an international reputation for producing highly skilled and knowledgeable conservation practitioners.
-Understand historic and evolving practice in heritage conservation.
-Gain vital work experience and learn practical, hands-on skills.
-Build relationships with conservation specialists and research organisations locally, nationally and internationally.
-Develop careers-focused knowledge, experience and contacts.
-Study in the heritage capital of Britain – be part of conservation in action.
-Access state-of-the-art facilities, including laboratories, archives and libraries.
-Choose to study full-time over one year or part-time over two or three years.

York is one of the best places to study Archaeology, Heritage or Conservation. The Department has an excellent reputation and is one of the largest Archaeology teaching centres in the UK. The historic City of York is rich in architectural and archaeological treasures and resources which you will have easy access to during your studies.

The University also validates the MSc in Building Conservation and Timber Building Conservation at the Weald & Downland Open Air Museum in Sussex, more details from the Weald & Downland Museum webpage.

What does the course at York cover?

The core of the MA in Conservation Studies covers the history and philosophy of historic environment conservation, and provides a critical understanding of contemporary issues in building conservation practice. Theoretical elements of the course are complemented by a wide choice of short ‘skills modules’, which focus on developing your knowledge of the specialist skills that are an essential part of professional practice.

By choosing a specific set of accredited modules, you can gain the more specialised MA in Conservations Studies (Historic Buildings), which is recognised by the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC). As such, it offers a bespoke route for UK practitioners working towards full professional membership of the IHBC.

Who is it for?

This course attracts a vibrant mix of UK and international students. These include graduates in architecture, archaeology, history of art, architectural history, and related subjects, as well as experienced conservation practitioners from multi-disciplinary backgrounds, including architects, surveyors planners, conservators and practising craftsmen in various fields. We welcome the diversity of our students’ backgrounds.

What can it lead to?

The course focuses on the knowledge and skills required for a wide range of careers in heritage conservation and related fields. Recent students have gone on to employment with organisations ranging from the National Trust, Historic England, English Heritage and ICCROM to building preservation trusts, local authority services, heritage consultancies and conservation practices.

Placement

The work placement module gives you a chance to gain practical experience of working in the professional heritage-conservation sector. The placement will draw on and develop the knowledge and experience gained on your taught courses, while enabling you to develop new skills in conservation and heritage management, to enhance your employability and confidence in practice.

Aims
-To provide students with experience of conservation within a professional environment.
-To consolidate students’ knowledge and understanding of conservation procedures and issues from one or more of the taught modules.

Learning outcomes
Upon completing the placement you should:
-Have gained knowledge and skills in evaluating historic buildings and environments, and be able to advise on their conservation requirements.
-Have an understanding of the practical applications of conservation principles and ethics.
-Be able to critically reflect on the issues raised in the core conservation modules through your work experience.

Careers

The MA in Conservation Studies has a strong focus on enhancing employability and professional development with a valuable combination of practical skills and theoretical understanding. By the end of the course you will have:
-Enhanced your skills and knowledge, improving your chances of employment as a heritage-conservation practitioner.
-Developed intellectually and personally through direct engagement with conservation professionals and specialists.
-Developed the ability to work in a team through group working and placement experiences, and independently through research for your dissertation
-Received guidance on career opportunities in the conservation sector and the key networks for employment
-Worked alongside our Regional Heritage Skills Coordinator with the National Heritage Training Academy

Course postgraduates have gone on to careers in heritage conservation roles across the UK, for organisations including:
-English Heritage
-Historic Scotland
-INTACH (Indian National Trust)
-The National Trust
-Building Preservation Trusts
-Local authority conservation services in England and Scotland
-National Parks
-The Council for British Archaeology
-Architectural practices and heritage consultancies
-Traditional building conservation craft businesses

Others have used the skills gained to pursue careers in other sectors, including:
-Chartered surveying
-Planning
-Business and administration
-Education
-International affairs
-Research

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Accredited training for building conservation professionals. The MA in Conservation Studies (Historic Buildings) is recognised by the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC) and offers a bespoke route for UK practitioners to achieve full professional membership of the IHBC. Read more
Accredited training for building conservation professionals

Why choose this course?

The MA in Conservation Studies (Historic Buildings) is recognised by the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC) and offers a bespoke route for UK practitioners to achieve full professional membership of the IHBC. The programme conforms with the international ICOMOS Guidelines for Education and Training in Conservation.

Having run successfully for more than 40 years, the programme is now supported by a network of specialist conservation and research organisations locally, nationally and internationally. Contributors to the course include national experts from English Heritage, Council for British Archaeology, ICOMOS-UK, Historic Scotland, and the National Trust and from a large number of local conservation and heritage organisations.
-Understand historic and evolving practice in heritage building conservation.
-Gain vital work experience and learn practical, hands-on skills.
-Build working relationships with national and international conservation specialists and research organisations.
-Develop careers-focused knowledge, practical experience and contacts.
-Study in the heritage capital of Britain – be part of conservation in action.
-Access state-of-the-art facilities, including laboratories, archives and libraries.
-Choose to study full-time over one year or part-time over two or three years.

What does the course cover?

The MA in Conservation Studies (Historic Buildings) covers the history, ethics and philosophy of historic environment conservation together with a critical understanding of contemporary issues in building conservation practice. It is complemented by training in the systematic research, recording, analysis and interpretation of historic buildings. The practical ‘skills modules’ focus on specific aspects of professional practice, repair and conservation techniques, legislation and planning, policy, finance and managing conservation projects.

Who is it for?

This course attracts graduates in architecture, archaeology, history of art, architectural history and related subjects. It also appeals to experienced conservation practitioners from multi-disciplinary backgrounds, including architects, surveyors planners, conservators and practising craftsmen in various fields, who wish to advance their professional training.

What can it lead to?

The course provides the knowledge and practical skills required for a range of careers in historic building conservation and related fields. Recent students have gone on to employment with organisations ranging from the National Trust and English Heritage to building preservation trusts, local authority services, heritage consultancies and conservation practices.

Placement

The work placement module gives you a chance to gain practical experience of working in the professional heritage-conservation sector. The placement will draw on and develop the knowledge and experience gained on your taught courses, while enabling you to develop new skills in conservation and heritage management, to enhance your employability and confidence in practice.

Aims
-To provide students with experience of conservation within a professional environment.
-To consolidate students’ knowledge and understanding of conservation procedures and issues from one or more of the taught modules.

Learning outcomes
Upon completing the placement you should:
-Have gained knowledge and skills in evaluating historic buildings and environments, and be able to advise on their conservation requirements.
-Have an understanding of the practical applications of conservation principles and ethics.
-Be able to critically reflect on the issues raised in the core conservation modules through your work experience.

Careers

The MA in Conservation Studies (Historic Buildings) focuses on enhancing students’ employability and professional development with a combination of practical skills training and theoretical teaching. By the end of the course you will have:
-Enhanced your skills and knowledge so that your chances of employment as a conservation professional are improved.
-Developed both intellectually and personally as a result of having dealt directly with conservation professionals and completed a sustained independent research project.
-Developed the ability to work both within a group through seminar and placement experiences, and independently through research for a dissertation.

The accredited training provided by this course has led postgraduates into varied careers in historic building conservation across the UK, for organisations including:
-English Heritage
-Historic Scotland
-The National Trust
-Building Preservation Trusts
-Local authority conservation services in England and Scotland
-National Parks
-The Council for British Archaeology
-Architectural practices and heritage consultancies
-Traditional building conservation craft businesses

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This is a fully interdisciplinary programme, involving the Departments of English, History, History of Art, and Archaeology. Read more
This is a fully interdisciplinary programme, involving the Departments of English, History, History of Art, and Archaeology. It offers the opportunity for you to study the culture and cultural history of the eighteenth century from new perspectives, as well as to lay foundations for higher degrees within the various disciplines involved in the programme.

We do not assume that you have any prior knowledge of more than one discipline, or that you wish to abandon whatever discipline you pursued in your earlier studies. Our aim is to encourage you to develop a kind of intellectual curiosity that is open to different methods of inquiry, and interested in exploring many different aspects of the period.

The MA can be taken full-time over one year, or part-time over two years.

Structure

In addition to their core module, students follow one optional module in the first term, and two optional modules in the second term. A range of module courses taught by staff from the English, History, Philosophy and History of Art Departments are available each year.

All courses are taught by weekly two-hour seminars. Assessment is by four term papers and a 14,000-16,000-word dissertation written over the summer term and vacation. Part-time students are encouraged to use the first summer term of their two years to begin working on their dissertation topic.

Students will also take classes in research training.

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Interdisciplinary medieval study and unrivalled skills training – in the medieval capital of Britain. Read more
Interdisciplinary medieval study and unrivalled skills training – in the medieval capital of Britain

Why Medieval Studies at York?

Through pioneering interdisciplinary study, you will gain a comprehensive overview of the medieval cultures of Europe, taught by leading specialists from the departments of Archaeology, English, History and History of Art. The course emphasises new methodologies and techniques in the cross-disciplinary study of the Middle Ages. No other medieval studies course in the world offers the level of skills training in medieval languages, diplomatic and palaeography offered by this course.

• Choose study options covering every facet of medieval life and culture, from 400 to 1550
• Unrivalled skills training in medieval languages, diplomatic and palaeography
• Experience interdisciplinary research and understand its methodologies
• Follow your own study interests and develop key research skills
• Study in the medieval capital of Britain – with unrivalled resources on your doorstep .
• Access state-of-the-art resources, including research centres, archives and libraries.
• Become part of a vibrant humanities research culture within the University of York

What does the course cover?

The MA in Medieval Studies provides an introduction to the medieval cultures of Europe. The course draws on expertise from the four CMS parent departments, and challenges students to recognise how these subjects are inter-related while allowing them to explore fields of study that most interest them. It includes unparalleled practical skills training in palaeography, diplomatic and medieval languages.

The one-year (50-week) course comprises three terms: two taught terms, and a third devoted to researching and writing a dissertation.

Who is it for?

This course offers a wide programme of study, making it suitable for students from many different backgrounds, and with a wide variety of experience and qualifications. Applicants are expected to have a good degree or equivalent qualification, although mature students with relevant experience are also very welcome. Previous study in any of the related fields of history, history of art, literature or archaeology is particularly helpful. Some experience of medieval subjects is beneficial, but not essential. Our unique ‘streamed’ approach to skills training also allows students to receive just the right level of skills training to meet their needs and experiences: beginners, intermediate or advanced.

What can it lead to?

This course has successfully launched students into careers with a huge range of organisations involved in investigating and interpreting the Middle Ages, including English Heritage, National Trust, archives, libraries, museums, galleries, publishing companies, television companies and the media. See what our graduates have to say about the course.

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This innovative programme, the first of its kind in the English-speaking world, offers an integrated study of stained glass and its conservation, meeting a perceived need internationally for a qualification in this field. Read more
This innovative programme, the first of its kind in the English-speaking world, offers an integrated study of stained glass and its conservation, meeting a perceived need internationally for a qualification in this field. Our graduates are now leading figures in the discipline in the UK, Germany, Belgium and the USA.

The programme is taught in partnership with the Department of Archaeology.

Aims

Our aim is to offer training for a variety of employment in stained glass conservation, but also in cultural heritage management, arts administration, museums, and the administration of historic buildings.

The programme may also be preparation for higher research degrees.

Curriculum

This is a two-year programme, including four terms of taught courses, with two modules per term, a sixteen-week placement, and a five-month dissertation. Modules are devoted to basic and advanced techniques of glass conservation. Other fields of study include the history, ethics and the philosophy of conservation, international issues in conservation, art and architectural history, archaeology, conservation and the impact of climate change, and heritage and business administration. There will be a free choice of art-historical or archaeological modules in the spring term of the second year. In each taught term a masterclass addressing current issues and new research will be conducted by a visiting lecturer.

Placements

Leading conservation studios, museums and heritage institutions in Britain, Europe and the United States host placements, providing invaluable work experience, and networks for future careers.

Study tour

Every other year, usually in the Easter vacation, students will have the chance to join a European study tour, visiting major stained glass sites, and leading conservation practices.

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Our MA in Renaissance and Early Modern Studies will provide you with a wide-ranging and cross-disciplinary perspective on this exciting and invigorating period, immersing you in the cutting-edge research and writing that makes the study of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries so dynamic. Read more
Our MA in Renaissance and Early Modern Studies will provide you with a wide-ranging and cross-disciplinary perspective on this exciting and invigorating period, immersing you in the cutting-edge research and writing that makes the study of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries so dynamic.

By the time you graduate you will be richly expert in your field, and superbly positioned to pursue PhD research, develop a career in the heritage and cultural sector, or simply to enjoy the lifelong rewards of an informed and scholarly fascination with this crucial period.

Over the course of the degree, you will:
-Get to grips with a broad range of primary materials documenting the intellectual, political, spiritual, aesthetic, and literary cultures of the Renaissance and early modern period.
-Gain the skills needed to find, read and interpret these materials, and to identify and develop original and important research projects.
-Explore the relationship between England, British, European and global cultures during this period of dramatic geographical, intellectual and linguistic expansion and profound social, political and religious change.
-Experience the challenges and the rewards of pursuing research across traditional departmental and disciplinary boundaries.
-Develop the academic, professional and personal skills required to undertake PhD research or pursue employment in a relevant field such as teaching, curating or broadcasting.Students are offered a rich and challenging research environment and encouraged to work independently within a clearly defined structure of regular discussion and supervision. On successful completion of the course students will have gained the professional and personal skills required to progress to PhD research or to pursue immediate employment in a relevant field such as teaching, curating or broadcasting.

Students on the CREMS MA are eligible to apply for Internships in Public History, gaining invaluable experience working with museums, archives and projects. Students also gain excellent experience in public engagement through the thriving annual York Festival of Ideas, the York Shakespeare Festival, and a wide range of other public events.

Course structure

-The MA can be studied full-time over 1 year, or part-time over 2 years, starting in October each year
-The MA is modularised and all elements of the course must be completed to qualify for the degree
-The course is fully interdisciplinary, administered by the Centre for Renaissance and Early Modern Studies, and governed by the Department of History's Graduate Examinations Board

Over the autumn and spring terms you will take:
-One core 20 credit module: Approaches to Renaissance & Early Modern Studies (examined by a 4,000 word essay)
-Three option 20 credit modules, chosen from related MAs in the departments of English, History, History of Art, Archaeology, Politics, Philosophy, Music and Theatre, Film and Television (each examined on a c.4,000 word essay)
-Parts I and II of a research training module (with the research dissertation having a combined value of 100 credits)
-Optional classes in Latin, palaeography and modern languages

In the summer you will research and write your dissertation (15-20,000 words).

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