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Archaeology (MSc)

Course Description

Programme description

Our Masters in Archaeology takes your interest in this fascinating field to the professional level.

You’ll develop an in-depth understanding of the subject, particularly its history and development, and its links with historical, social and natural sciences.

The flexibility of our course structure allows you to tailor your studies to take full advantage of the exhaustive range of specialist fields and periods of study that our staff, as well as those in the History and Classics areas, can offer.

You’ll explore contemporary theoretical approaches and hone your skills in current methodologies and practice to prepare for a professional role in archaeology or further studies at doctoral level.

Programme structure

Our comprehensive programme encompasses theory, methodology and practice. You will undertake a varied schedule of learning, from lectures, seminars and practicals, to essays, research projects, field trips and individual tutorials.

You will take the following compulsory courses:

Frontiers in Archaeology
Research Seminars
Research Sources and Strategies in Archaeology
Theoretical Archaeology

You’ll complete three additional courses, chosen from a list of subjects ranging from late hunter-gatherers and early farmers, later European prehistory and the archaeology of Scotland to Byzantine and Roman archaeology, osteoarchaeology, and experimental archaeology.

You’ll conclude with original research for a dissertation in a subject of your own choosing.

Learning outcomes

You will acquire:

a good understanding of the distinctive nature of archaeology and its contribution to a critical and informed understanding of the past
a good understanding of theoretical and methodological debates within archaeology
familiarity with a number of important fieldwork studies
a broad knowledge of archaeological methods, techniques and practices in current use
The programme will help you to develop potential research interests and to explore these with a view to progressing to further research. You will also acquire a range of transferable intellectual and practical skills.

Career opportunities

Archaeology graduates can follow a variety of career options. The programme equips you to go on to advanced study, and also provides a solid foundation for a career.

You will gain practical as well as academic experience, teamworking and analytical skills, and will be able to work in a variety of contexts.

Examples of career paths available to archaeology graduates (although some may require additional training) include: higher education, heritage management and agencies, commercial archaeology, environmental assessment, schools, tourist/travel industry, broadcasting and the police.

An archaeology degree does not, of course, restrict you to a career in archaeology. You may develop your own career pathway in unusual ways or branch into related fields, while maintaining a lifelong interest and involvement in archaeological work and research.

Visit the Archaeology (MSc) page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

Student Profiles

Entry Requirements

A UK 2:1 degree, or its international equivalent, either in archaeology or in another related subject (such as anthropology), or in a group of subjects in which archaeology figures prominently.

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