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MPhil in Archaeological Research

Course Description

Often a stepping-stone toward PhD studies, this course allows students considerable freedom in designing an independent course of study under the direction of a supervisor. Applicants will normally have already assembled an appropriate data set and questions for their dissertation at the time of application. The MPhil provides training in archaeological research methods and associated transferable skills, and the opportunity to complete a research thesis under academic guidance. This thesis and its topic are normally considered as a vehicle for working out detailed plans for pursuing a PhD, but may also be taken as a stand-alone one-year MPhil degree.

See the website http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/hsarmparr

Course detail

The MPhil in Archaeological Research consists of three components, structured around independent study:

1. A Research Paper (6000 words)
2. A Research Skills module
3. The Dissertation (25,000 words).

This course is for students who have a substantial and appropriate background in Archaeology (at the first degree level and in fieldwork) accompanied by considerable maturity in the development of their research topic. Training in specific research skills (archaeological computing, quantitative methods, GIS and/or laboratory-based techniques) are arranged as appropriate to the student's needs.


The dissertation is an extended piece of independent, original research. Students work with their supervisor to formulate a dissertation project, carry out research and write it up. The topic of the dissertation has to be approved by the Faculty Degree Committee; the dissertation is of maximum 25,000 words (excluding bibliography and appendices) and is due at the end of August; it counts as 70% of the student’s final mark.

A Research Paper of up to 6000 words will account for 25% of the final mark for the degree, and will be developed under guidance from the student’s supervisor. The Research Paper is an important milestone which helps students progress towards the dissertation.

Attendance at the relevant Research Skills Workshops is required of all MPhil students in the Division of Archaeology. MPhil students are required to submit a 2000 word research proposal and give a presentation to teaching staff and peers which form the assessed part of the Research Skills module and are worth 5% of the overall MPhil degree.


MPhil students wishing to continue to the PhD in Archaeology are required to achieve a High Pass mark of 68 overall and no less than 68 in their dissertation, and to obtain the support of an appropriate supervisor. In some circumstances additional academic conditions may be set to ensure appropriate skills, such as language competence, are in place prior to admittance on the PhD programme.

How to apply: http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/applying

Funding Opportunities

There are many different sources of funding available to support UK/EU and International students at the Division of Archaeology but full scholarships for MPhil students are highly competitive. The Division of Archaeology enters exceptionally strong MPhil candidates for Gates Cambridge, CHSS and AHRC scholarships and scholarship schemes administered by the Cambridge Trust. The Division of Archaeology also administers several funds which aim to support Archaeological fieldwork, Egyptology and Assyriology at MPhil level and will endeavour to support students in obtaining funding from University and external sources. For further information about funding opportunities at the Division of Archaeology consult the Division website: http://www.arch.cam.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate-funding or contact the Graduate Administrator: .

General Funding Opportunities http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/finance/funding

Visit the MPhil in Archaeological Research page on the University of Cambridge website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Applicants for this course should have achieved a UK High II.i Honours Degree. Find University Minimum Academic Requirements here View Website

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