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MA Archaeology

Course Description

Course description:

Archaeology at Manchester is internationally recognised as a centre for social archaeology. The MA in Archaeology thus facilitates a fascinating journey into the material and social world of past human societies. By combining theory with practice, we are able to ask fundamental questions about the complex web of inter-relationships between societies, individuals, animals and plants, the built environment as well as the material world. This socially-focused approach also encourages a critical and self-reflective attitude towards the politics and practice of archaeology today. Working at the forefront of knowledge and interpretation, the MA brings together researchers of international calibre with specialization in a wide range of geographical areas and chronological periods, and thus offers a unique and stimulating environment for postgraduate study.
This MA programme fosters strong student-led research. By encouraging you to propose your own essay, presentation and dissertation topics, the MA allows you to pursue your specific archaeological interests throughout all our modules.

The MA in Archaeology will appeal to:

• Those wishing to explore the following themes: history, theory and practice of archaeology; the archaeology of cultural identity; landscape, monuments and architecture; technology and society; death and the body; archaeological heritage and the contemporary significance of the past.
• Those interested in the following geographical areas or chronological periods: Mesolithic, Neolithic, and Iron Age Britain, Neolithic and Bronze Age Near East, Cyprus and Greece, Africa, Pacific and historical/colonial archaeology, as well as the role of the past in contemporary societies.
• Those whose first degree was in a related discipline (eg Anthropology, Museology, History of Art, History) and now wish to take a postgraduate degree in Archaeology in order to gain a solid grounding in the discipline.
• Those who have a first degree in Archaeology (single or joint honours) who wish to advance their knowledge, understanding and skills in an exciting research led environment at the forefront of new developments and discoveries.


The Programme aims are to:
• Enable you to develop their understanding of the interrelationship between archaeological theory, interpretation and practice.
• Provide you with an overview of a range of theoretical approaches to artefacts, architecture and landscape, and encourage you to explore these in relation to specific case studies.
• Encourage you to develop their critical skills concerning inference and interpretation
• Encourage you to develop a critical awareness of the contemporary social and political context of archaeology.
• Enhance and amplify previously acquired disciplinary and transferable skills.
• Enable you to undertake self-critical original research (through the MA dissertation).

Coursework and assessment:

In addition to the compulsory core module `Archaeologies of the Past, Present and Future', students take three option course units and complete a 12,000-15,000 word dissertation. Most teaching will take place in small interactive seminar groups, involving, as appropriate, directed-reading, staff and student presentations, discussion, debate, problem-solving and group-work. Assessment is both formative and summative. Most courses are summatively assessed by a 6,000-word essay. Oral presentations, poster presentations, self-reflective learning reports and assessed group work may also be used and additional formative feedback is given throughout.

Course unit details

Find out more about the course unit details by visiting:

Scholarships and bursaries

Each year, a number of scholarships, studentships and bursaries for postgraduate study are awarded on a competitive basis by the University, Research Councils UK or other external funders. Visit our website for information on funding opportunities:

Lindy Crewe, Archaeology Admissions Tutor
“Our students show remarkable progress in their intellectual development and research skills. Many go on to do a PhD.”

Stephanie Duensing, MA Archaeology
"You feel like you're contributing something to the discussion, and materials."

Visit the MA Archaeology page on the University of Manchester website for more details!

Entry Requirements

2i in a relevant subject area

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Recipient: University of Manchester

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