• Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University Featured Masters Courses
  • Goldsmiths, University of London Featured Masters Courses
  • University of Leeds Featured Masters Courses
  • Swansea University Featured Masters Courses
  • Ulster University Featured Masters Courses
  • Jacobs University Featured Masters Courses
  • University of Cambridge Featured Masters Courses
  • University of Edinburgh Featured Masters Courses
King’s College London Featured Masters Courses
Kingston University Featured Masters Courses
Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University Featured Masters Courses
University of Northampton Featured Masters Courses
Durham University Featured Masters Courses

Archaeology of the Middle East (MA)

Course Description


This course is designed to develop your knowledge of the Middle East through the advanced study of its archaeology.

You will take part in active learning through the guided study of themes and issues, and explore major episodes in the human past through case studies from all regions of the Middle East, including Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Syria, Arabia, the Levant and Egypt. The course will focus on interdisciplinary approaches to important, real-world issues, including the transition from hunter-forager to farmer-herder, the development of urban, literate civilisations, and the rise and fall of some of the world's greatest empires.

Programme Structure

Set within the MA Archaeology, the Middle East MA is made up of both compulsory (90 credits) and optional modules (90 credits). Theoretical Approaches in Archaeology (10 credits) is recommended for those with no prior knowledge in this area. On this Specialist Pathway you need to complete the compulsory module (10 credits) and choose at least two options from the specific pathway options list (40 credits). The Dissertation should be in a subject related to the Specialist Pathway. Students are required to take a total of 180 credits.

Our current modules are:
Compulsory Modules
Dissertation 80
Themes and Debates in the Archaeology of the Middle East 10
Research Skills and Career Learning 10

Middle Eastern Archaeology Options (take 2 at 20 credits each)
Themes and Issues in the Archaeology of Iran
The Archaeology of Early Turkey
Themes and Approaches in the Study of Mesopotamia
Climate Change and Human Communities
Also see:
Erasmus Scheme (study in Bilkent, Turkey for one term)

Optional Modules (you may select 40 credits from any of these options)
Thematic Options
The Edge of the Pleistocene World (20)
Interpreting Neolithic and Bronze Age Britain (20)
Material Cultures and Identities in the Roman Empire (20)
From Village to Metropolis: Understanding the urban phenomenon of Ancient Rome (20)
Celtic, Roman and Provincial Coinage (20)
Food and Culture (20)
Vegetation History and Archaeobotany (20)
Dark Age Societies AD400-1000 (20)
Viking Interactions in the West (20)
Encountering the Twelfth Century (20)
Colonisation and Cultural Transformation: the archaeology of crusading (20)
Medieval Landscapes (10 or 20)
Analysing Medieval Townscapes (20)
International study (20)
Medieval Latin and Palaeography (20)
Special Topic (Graduate Centre for Medieval Studies) (20)

Skills-Based Options
Theoretical Approaches in Archaeology (10)
Archaeological Graphics (10)
Introduction to Human Bioarchaeology (10)
Introduction to Zooarchaeology (10)
Introduction to Applications of Micromorphological Analysis (10)
Archaeological Bone Chemistry (20)
Research and Enterprise Micro-placement
Or ONE Language option with the IWLP (20)

Career Prospects

The Masters Archaeology of the Middle East at Reading is both a route into archaeology (including field archaeology, museums and heritage management), and an excellent foundation for students wishing to pursue further research at higher degree level. It also forms the basis for other careers in the areas of the arts, media, management, administration, the civil service, local government, commerce, law, publishing, librarianship and teaching. A significant number of graduates have found positions in UK and European archaeology, either directly from their Masters degree, or following further postgraduate study.

Many of our postgraduates go on to full-time graduate-level employment within archaeology and related consultancies or units, but also within museums and government agencies. Up to one third continue their academic career through doctoral research.

In recent years, Reading postgraduate students have been successful in obtaining appointments with heritage agencies (e.g. English Heritage, National Trust) and universities, including Belfast, Bristol, Cardiff, Carmarthen, Cork, Durham, Exeter, Glasgow, Leicester, London, Newcastle and Reading.


We offer advanced study in archaeology on courses taught by academics with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research.

Join our lively and welcoming Department situated on a beautiful, award-winning green campus. Take advantage of outstanding teaching collections and facilities housed in modern premises.

We are skills focused – through our world-leading fieldwork and research projects we train graduates to the highest standards as a preparation for doctoral study and professional employment. We provide a strong research grounding linking social and scientific archaeology.

Visit the Archaeology of the Middle East (MA) page on the University of Reading website for more details!

Student Profiles

Entry Requirements

Normally a first or good second-class honours degree or equivalent in Archaeology or other relevant fields. Students with little or no background in archaeological theory are required to take a module in this subject.

Email Enquiry

Recipient: University of Reading
Insert previous message below for editing? 
You haven’t included a message. Providing a specific message means universities will take your enquiry more seriously and helps them provide the information you need.
Why not add a message here
* required field
Send a copy to me for my own records.
Email Sent

Share this page:

Cookie Policy    X