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History & Archaeology×

Cardiff University, Full Time MSc Degrees in History & Archaeology

We have 4 Cardiff University, Full Time MSc Degrees in History & Archaeology

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The MSc Archaeological Science will provide you with a solid grounding in the theory and application of scientific principles and techniques within archaeology. Read more
The MSc Archaeological Science will provide you with a solid grounding in the theory and application of scientific principles and techniques within archaeology. The programme also develops critical, analytical and transferable skills that prepare you for professional, academic and research careers in the exciting and rapidly advancing area of archaeological science or in non-cognate fields.

The programme places the study of the human past at the centre of archaeological science enquiry. This is achieved through a combination of science and self-selected thematic or period-based modules allowing you to situate your scientific training within the archaeological context(s) of your choice. The programme provides a detailed understanding of the foundations of analytical techniques, delivers practical experience in their application and data processing, and the ability to design and communicate research that employs scientific analyses to address archaeological questions. Upon graduation you will have experience of collecting, analysing and reporting on data to publication standard and ideally equipped to launch your career as a practising archaeological scientist.

Distinctive features

The MSc Archaeological Science at Cardiff University gives you access to:

• A flexible and responsive programme that combines training in scientific enquiry, expertise and vocational skills with thematic and period-focused archaeology.

• Materials, equipment, library resources and funding to undertake meaningful research in partnership with a wide range of key heritage organisations across an international stage.

• A programme with core strengths in key fields of archaeological science, tailored to launch your career in the discipline or to progress to doctoral research.

• A department where the science, theory and practice of archaeology and conservation converge to create a unique environment for exploring the human past.

• Staff with extensive professional experience in researching, promoting, publishing, and integrating archaeological science across academic and commercial archaeology and the wider heritage sector.

• An energetic team responsible for insights into iconic sites (e.g. Stonehenge, Çatalhöyük), tackling key issues in human history (e.g. hunting, farming, food, and feasts) through the development and application of innovative science (e.g. isotopes, residue analysis, DNA, proteomics)

• A unique training in science communication at every level - from preparing conference presentations and journal articles, to project reports, press releases and public engagement, our training ensures you can transmit the excitement of scientific enquiry to diverse audiences.

• Support for your future career ambitions. From further study to science advisors to specialists – our graduates work across the entire spectrum of archaeological science as well as moving into other successful careers.

Structure

There are two stages to this course: stage 1 and stage 2.

Stage 1 is made up of:

• 40 credits of Core Skills and Discipline-Specific Research Training modules for Archaeology and Conservation Master's students
• A minimum of 40 credits of Archaeological Science modules
• An additional 40 credits of Archaeological Science or Archaeology modules offered to MA and MSc students across the Archaeology and Conservation department

Stage 2 comprises:

• 60 credit Archaeological Science Dissertation (16-20,000 words, topic or theme chosen in consultation with academic staff)

Core modules:

Postgraduate Skills in Archaeology and Conservation
Skills and Methods for Postgraduate Study
Archaeological Science Dissertation

Teaching

Teaching is delivered via lectures, laboratory sessions, interactive workshops and tutorials, in addition to visits to relevant local resources such as the National Museum Wales and local heritage organisations.

Lectures take a range of forms but generally provide a broad structure for each subject, an introduction to key concepts and relevant up-to-date information. The Archaeological Science Master's provides students with bespoke training in scientific techniques during laboratory sessions. This includes developing practical skills in the identification, recording and analysis of archaeological materials during hands on laboratory sessions. These range from macroscopic e.g. bone identification, to microscopic e.g. material identification or status with light based or scanning electron microscopy, to sample selection, preparation and analysis e.g. isotopic or aDNA and include health and safety and laboratory management skills. Students will be able to develop specialist practical skills in at least one area of study. In workshops and seminars, you will have the opportunity to discuss themes or topics, to receive and consolidate feedback on your individual learning and to develop skills in oral presentation.

This programme is based within the School of History, Archaeology and Religion and taught by academic staff from across Cardiff University and by external speakers. All taught modules within the Programme are compulsory and you are expected to attend all lectures, laboratory sessions and other timetabled sessions. Students will receive supervision to help them complete the dissertation, but are also expected to engage in considerable independent study.

Assessment

The 120 credits of taught Modules within Stage 1 of the Programme are assessed through in-course assessments, including:

Extended essays
Oral presentations
Poster presentations
Statistical assignments
Critical appraisals
Practical skills tests
Data reports
Research designs

You must successfully complete the taught component of the programme before progressing to Stage 2 where assessment is:

Dissertation (16-20,000 words)

Career prospects

After successfully completing this MSc, you should have a broad spectrum of knowledge and a variety of skills, making you highly attractive both to potential employers and research establishments. You will be able to pursue a wide range of professional careers, within commercial and academic archaeology and the wider heritage sector. Career paths will generally be specialist and will depend on the choice of modules. Graduates will be well placed to pursue careers as a specialist in isotope analysis, zooarchaeological analysis or human osteoarchaeology. They will also be in a position to apply for general laboratory based work and archaeological fieldwork. Working within science communication and management are other options. Potential employers include archaeological units, museums, universities, heritage institutions, Historic England and Cadw. Freelance or self-employment career routes are also common for animal and human bone analysts with postgraduate qualifications.

The archaeology department has strong links and collaborations across the heritage sector and beyond. British organisations that staff currently work with include Cadw, Historic England, English Heritage, Historic Scotland, National Museum Wales, the British Museum, the Welsh archaeological trusts and a range of other archaeology units (e.g. Wessex Archaeology, Oxford Archaeology, Cambridge Archaeology Unit, Archaeology Wales). In addition, staff are involved with archaeological research across the world. You will be encouraged to become involved in these collaborations via research projects and placements to maximise networking opportunities and increasing your employability.

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We are highly regarded within the sector nationally and internationally for this vocational MSc Care of Collections programme, which offers exceptional training in preventive conservation and the management of cultural and heritage collections regardless of humanities or science background. Read more
We are highly regarded within the sector nationally and internationally for this vocational MSc Care of Collections programme, which offers exceptional training in preventive conservation and the management of cultural and heritage collections regardless of humanities or science background.

You will become adept in the skills essential for a heritage career including project design and report writing, and gain valuable museum or heritage experience.

Twinned with a heritage organisation in the UK, you will experience collection management and operation in the working environment. You are not expected to have a high level of scientific knowledge for this programme, but a strong interest in the subject is anticipated.

Designed with entry to the heritage profession in mind, our stimulating programme embodies elements of art and science and includes a wide range of transferable skills.

Distinctive features

• Our range of programmes is designed for all entry levels, from experienced practitioner to graduate wishing to enter the sector.

• Taught by internationally-recognised experts in the field.

• The degree offers specialist skills for building a portfolio of qualifications for entry to the museum sector.

• You will be ‘twinned’ with a real heritage organisation and have the opportunity to study the operation of this organisation and how it relates to the care of collections.

• Committed to opening up the profession regardless of discipline background, we do not presume a significant level of scientific knowledge.

• High proportion of transferable skills (particularly in research, project design and report writing).

Structure

You take a total of 180 credits of modules over 1 year full-time or three years part-time.

This consists of 120 credits of taught modules and, following successful completion of the taught stage, a 60-credit dissertation.

Core modules:

Assessment & Design for Collections Care
Postgraduate Skills in Archaeology and Conservation
Skills and Methods for Postgraduate Study
MSc Conservation Dissertation

Optional modules:

Scientific Approach in Conservation Practice
Analysis in Heritage Science
Collection Care in the Museum Environment
Materials in the Museum Environment

Teaching

You will be taught via seminars, lectures and assessed work to combine theoretical knowledge with realistic practical applications, including in partner museum and related heritage organisations.

Assessment

Assessment is via essays, exams, oral presentations and reports, to ensure you develop a broad range of skills and underpinning knowledge to become adept in appropriate communication by the completion of the course.

On successful completion of the taught elements of the programme you progress to a dissertation of up to 20,000 words. This self-regulated year of study is ideal preparation for progression to PhD.

Career prospects

Graduates of this and similar degree programmes have embarked on careers in a range of professions from academia, the heritage sector, journalism and law to media research (media, commercial, academic), teaching and publishing. A significant number choose to continue studies at PhD level.

Recent graduate destinations include CADW, Church in Wales, Council for British Archaeology, Glamorgan Archives, Heritage Lottery Fund, National Trust, Tate Gallery, Welsh Assembly Government and a range of universities in the UK and overseas.

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Designed as a conversion programme for humanities and science graduates seeking a career in Conservation, this highly-respected two-year programme is dedicated to teaching the next generation of conservators. Read more
Designed as a conversion programme for humanities and science graduates seeking a career in Conservation, this highly-respected two-year programme is dedicated to teaching the next generation of conservators. It is a hands-on degree scheme with significant time spent in laboratories working on archaeological and historical objects.

The degree delivers the knowledge and expertise for graduates to operate as professional conservators in the heritage sector. It also provides transferable skills in project and resource management, problem solving and communication that would suit a wide range of careers, while also offering a solid platform for pursuing research.

Gaining a sophisticated understanding of theoretical principles and practical applications, you will become adept in the care and protection of cultural heritage artefacts through laboratory experience and close tuition, which develops your skills in the practice of both new and traditional conservation techniques.

Over the two years, you will evolve a sophisticated understanding of theoretical principles, amassing considerable experience of working on cultural heritage objects from the UK and across the globe.

Distinctive features

• taught by internationally-recognised experts in the field.

• rewarding conservation placements (two months minimum).

• allows you to hone both practical conservation techniques and an impressive range of skills useful for professions in the heritage sector.

• gives you experience of working on archaeological, historical, and cultural materials in a laboratory and to consider their value, use, legal and ethical context.

• an exciting mix of practical and research skills encompassing: aesthetics; ethics; science; project management.

• an emphasis on independent learning and research in a well-resourced and research-led environment.

Structure

You study modules with a total of 300 credits over two years, combining core modules in Conservation training (120 credits), postgraduate core skills (40 credits), optional modules (80 credits) and, upon successful completion of the taught stage of the programme, a dissertation (60 credits).

In your first year you will gain the underpinning skills, knowledge and theory required to study and deliver conservation practice.

In the summer you engage in an eight-week placement working in conservation.

Year two incorporates a taught element which lasts for the first two semesters of study and is assessed at the end of this period.

Core modules:

Practical Projects 2
Essentials of Conservation
Museums Collections Management
Advance Practical Projects
Method in Conservation
Postgraduate Skills in Archaeology and Conservation
Skills and Methods for Postgraduate Study
Conservation Dissertation

Teaching

We teach via laboratory practice, seminars, lectures and assessed work using multiple formats to combine theoretical knowledge with realistic practical applications, including placements in partner museums and related heritage organisations.

Importantly, this programme integrates theory and practice throughout via practical work on archaeological and historical objects, where you are supported by one to one tuition. The focus is on developing problem solving and decision-making skills using problem-based learning assignments. Verbal interaction with staff forms a large part of the learning process that leads the student towards being a stand-alone decision maker.

Learning outcomes for the module are correlated to the novice to expert scale utilised by The Institute for Conservation (ICON) for competence assessment.

More advanced knowledge and understanding is acquired by independent study, guided reflective laboratory practice, self-directed learning and individual supervision of dissertations.

Assessment

There is a diverse range of assessment methods including reflective learning logs, essays, exams, oral presentations, portfolio, reports and viva.

This range of assessment ensures that you have developed a broad range of practical and theoretical skills, knowledge and communication methods by the completion of the course.

On successful completion of the taught elements of the programme you progress to a dissertation of up to 20,000 words. This self-regulated year of study is ideal preparation for progression to PhD.

Career prospects

Graduates of this and similar degree programmes have embarked on careers in a range of professions from academia, the heritage sector, journalism and law to media research (media, commercial, academic), teaching and publishing. A significant number choose to continue studies at PhD level.

Recent graduate destinations include CADW, Church in Wales, Council for British Archaeology, Glamorgan Archives, Heritage Lottery Fund, National Trust, Tate Gallery, Welsh Assembly Government and a range of universities in the UK and overseas.

Placement

Benefitting from our sector connections, you will develop your skills on an eight week conservation placement, normally in the summer between years one and two.

Among recent partner organisations are the Imperial War Museum, Amgueddfa Cymru National Museum Wales, Staffordshire Hoard project, Bristol Museum and the Royal Armouries.

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This highly-regarded programme teaches the design, execution and delivery of research in conservation and conservation science via seminars and laboratory practice. Read more
This highly-regarded programme teaches the design, execution and delivery of research in conservation and conservation science via seminars and laboratory practice.

Taught by internationally respected researchers, it is designed to meet the needs of conservators and science graduates wishing to expand into this exciting field.

The programme gives you flexibility to specialise in a variety of areas to suit your interests and career direction. With a focus on thought process rather than knowledge the goal is to produce problem solvers.

Distinctive features:

You will be taught by researchers with international profiles within the field of heritage science. The high profile of the Ferrous Metals Research group at Cardiff is used as a platform to teach a generic approach to research, which is transferable across the sciences and elsewhere.

Structure

This course can be completed in one year with full-time study or over 3 years with part-time study.

You study core modules totalling 80 credits and choose optional modules worth 40 credits.

Following successful completion of the taught element of the programme you progress to your dissertation (20,000 words maximum) on a laboratory-based research topic.

Core modules:

Scientific Approach in Conservation Practice
Analysis in Heritage Science
Postgraduate Skills in Archaeology and Conservation
Skills and Methods for Postgraduate Study
MSc Conservation Dissertation

Teaching

We teach via lectures, seminars, group discussion, tutorials, laboratory classes, demonstrations and field trips.

Our focus is on interaction with staff and involvement in laboratory practice. This aims to develop the skills and the critical insight necessary to generate and execute evidence-based research designs.

The dissertation forms an important part of the programme, as does the instrumental analysis and data interpretation that accompanies laboratory practice.

Assessment

Assessment of the programme comes through a diverse range of assessment methods including essays, reports, written critique, data interpretation, oral presentation, research design, and dissertation.

This range of assessment ensures that you have developed a broad range of skills, knowledge and communication methods that are of direct relevance to the design, delivery and reporting of research, while also being of relevance within many other contexts.

On successful completion of the taught elements of the programme you progress to a dissertation of up to 20,000 words. This self-regulated year of study is ideal preparation for progression to PhD.

Career prospects

Graduates of this and similar degree programmes have embarked on careers in a range of professions from academia, the heritage sector, journalism and law to media research (media, commercial, academic), teaching and publishing. A significant number choose to continue studies at PhD level.

Recent graduate destinations include CADW, Church in Wales, Council for British Archaeology, Glamorgan Archives, Heritage Lottery Fund, National Trust, Tate Gallery, Welsh Assembly Government and a range of universities in the UK and overseas.

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