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Archaeological Prospection - Shallow Geophysics (MSc)

Course Description

Our heritage

At Bradford we have been teaching prospection techniques since 1973, being the first institution in the UK to offer this subject at Master’s level in 1995. We pride ourselves on offering a sound foundation in scientific principles, which leads to an in-depth understanding of a variety of prospection techniques and their application to specific archaeological questions.

Archaeological Prospection is a dynamic and exciting discipline that requires a sound scientific understanding of your chosen subject and the ability to apply this to a range of archaeological situations in order to map and interpret information that relates to the understanding of past cultures, technologies and society.

At Bradford we have strengths in teaching, research and the practical application of a range of ground-based prospection techniques, including:
- Earth Resistance Survey
- Magnetometry
- Ground-Penetrating Radar
- Electrical Imaging Tomography
- Electromagnetic Induction

We have specialist facilities including a well-equipped geophysics laboratory, computer suite and a host of dedicated specialist laboratories that house a range of sophisticated and analytical instruments. A key feature of the course is the in-depth specialist training, including hands-on experience using state-of-the-art equipment, taught by active researchers in archaeological prospection


The course is designed to give systematic training in the application of modern scientific methods to prospection for archaeological or shallow investigation. Our course combines introductions to scientific principles and practices, leading to fieldwork and practical experience in the extensive suite of laboratories.The course provides the necessary practical, analytical and interpretive skills to apply a wide range of specialist prospection techniques in archaeology.

You will be taught via core modules which give an in-depth overview of archaeological prospection, but you will specialise via the MSc Dissertation. A key feature of the course is the in-depth specialist training, including hands-on experience using state-of-the-art prospection devices, taught by active researchers in archaeological prospection.

The course aims to prepare you not only for research in archaeological prospection, but also to further your career prospects in areas of archaeology, geophysics and other disciplines where investigation of the near surface is important. The course is well suited both to students who wish to use it as a foundation from which to commence further research or as vocational training to enhance employment prospects in archaeology.

Why Bradford?

Bradford is the perfect choice for studying for your higher degree in Archaeological Prospection. The department grew out of a Physics department following the development of applications for Archaeology; Bradford launched the world’s first Archaeological Sciences Master’s programme in 1973, followed by an undergraduate degree course in 1975; these courses provided a unique and diverse training programme in the application of scientific techniques to archaeology. Throughout its history there has been a drive to innovate, which is exemplified by the work of the department today. We now deliver a number of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, taught and supported by dedicated academic, technical and clerical staff.

Archaeological Sciences was congratulated by the external Research Assessment panel following the most recent review as being
‘world-leading, particularly in areas of fundamental scientific research’.

Research-led teaching

Our research underpins our teaching, providing you with up-to-date information as well as real-life experiences and case studies that will place your learning into context. This also ensures that our teaching is current, engaging and alive. Opportunities are provided to allow you to participate in research projects being undertaken in the department, gaining practical experience in a range of archaeological disciplines that will develop your academic and analytical skills.

Successful research projects

Successful research projects: we have a strong reputation in the successful completion of a number of innovative and interdisciplinary research projects, collaborating with academics and students from a range of disciplines, both in Bradford and beyond. These projects have developed our understanding of past societies spanning the Upper Palaeolithic to the Post-Medieval period, as well as the techniques and approaches used to investigate the archaeological evidence.

Dissemination, promotion and community involvement

Archaeology is a discipline that speaks to a wide audience of people, with many keen to learn more about the area that they live in and the past in general. The majority of the research carried out in Bradford has promotion and community involvement at its core, disseminating the findings to as wide an audience as possible. This has included working with local heritage groups, school groups and volunteers, running day-schools and workshops.

Core modules:

- Electrical Methods of Survey (20 credits)
- GIS for Practitioners (10 credits)
- Magnetic and Electromagnetic Methods of Survey (20 credits)
- The Nature of Matter (10 credits)
- Research Skills (10 credits)
- Site Evaluation Strategies (20 credits)
- Soils and Chemical Prospection (10 credits)
- Treatment, Display and Interpretation of Field Data (20 credits)
- Dissertation (60 credits, MSc)

For enquiries please clearly state:

Subject of your bachelor degree and Year of entry e.g. September 2016

Visit the Archaeological Prospection - Shallow Geophysics (MSc) page on the University of Bradford website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Rob Fry

2428.jpg Bradford has a nationwide reputation for producing the best archaeological geophysicists in the country.

I believe this to be through the extremely practical taught course which teaches the scientific detail behind the methods used as well as the practical elements of survey in the field. The course is taught enthusiastically by lecturers who are leaders in the field of geophysics.

Overall the whole year was informative and extremely enjoyable.


Country Specific Scholarships 2016 - 20+ Awards

All students from one of the World Bank countries will be entitled to a £2,000 fee scholarships as a fee reduction for meeting or exceeding the entry criteria.

Value of Scholarship(s)



Self-funding international students (not EU) who are nationals of countries that are defined by the World Bank as having low-income or low to middle income economies.

Application Procedure

These are automatically processed by us and no separate application is required.

Further Information



International Academic Excellence Scholarships 2016 - 20+ Awards

Although you may apply for more than one scholarship, you can only receive one scholarship from the University. The exception is that you can still receive the 15% Alumni discount and this scholarship. Students must be paying their own fees. Students in receipt of external funding e.g. chevening scholarships are not entitled to this award.Country equivalent of 2:1 at degree-level will result in a £2,500 fee scholarship
Country equivalent of first-class Honours at degree-level will result in a £3,500 fee scholarship

Value of Scholarship(s)

up to £3,500


Students from all other countries excluding EU countries and China will be automatically assessed for academic-related fee scholarships worth £2,500 or £3,500, based on your entry qualifications.Students entitled to the £3,500 fee scholarship can apply for one of our Half-Fee Academic Excellence Scholarships (see below).

Application Procedure

These scholarships are automatically processed by the University and no separate application is required. The amount of scholarship that you are entitled to will be shown on your offer letter.

Further Information



Academic Excellence Scholarships Home/EU Students 2016 - 10 Awards

Available for all full-time taught MSc and MA courses at the University of Bradford.The scholarship is given as a fee reduction. The award is valid for one year only.

Value of Scholarship(s)



Self-funding students paying Home/EU feesStudents must achieve at least a first-class Honours in their undergraduate studies, or the European equivalent.

Application Procedure

Please contact [email protected]

Further Information



Postgraduate Bursary 2016 - 20+ Awards

ELIGIBILITYIn order to apply for this bursary you must:Be from the UK or EU (if you are from the EU you must have done your degree in England to qualify).
Be on a full-time taught masters or research postgraduate programme and paying your own fees.
Have recently graduated from your undergraduate degree programme.
Have received support (i.e. fee payment, not a loan) towards your fees from your Local Authority or the Student Loans Company in your final year of undergraduate study at your previous university – and be able to prove this with a financial support notification letter. You will also be eligible if you received a bursary during your undergraduate study.
Bursaries will be paid in March provided that you are still in attendance and progressing satisfactorily on your course.

Value of Scholarship(s)



See full details below

Application Procedure

After you have started your course, come to The Hub with your last financial support notification letter, or bursary letter, from your undergraduate study - you will be required to fill in a short application form. In each academic year you need to apply for your PG Bursary by 31 July.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

2:2 or above in a relevant discipline

Email Enquiry

Recipient: University of Bradford

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