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Master's courses – University of Reading

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  • Get the flexibility to follow your own path

    Tailor your master's degree to your interests with our pathway structure

Master's courses

Establish a firm foundation in your chosen specialism.

Further your studies with an MA or MSc in archaeology. You'll learn from academics with an international reputation for excellence in research and participate in world-leading fieldwork and research projects.

As an MA student, you'll have the opportunity to develop a strong research base that links social and scientific archaeology, and our pathway structure allows you the flexibility to specialise in MA Archaeology or focus on the Medieval Archaeology pathway. You'll have choice and flexibility through a range of optional modules, as well.

As a student on our MSc Environmental Archaeology degree, you'll gain advanced training in the palaeoenvironment, and can choose from geoarchaeology and bioarchaeology options for advanced skills in environmental-based assessments, heritage management and field projects.

“As an MSc Environmental Archaeological student at Reading, I have had the opportunity to expand my knowledge in a field I very much enjoy with the help of the very knowledgeable and supportive staff in the Department. I have had the opportunity to undertake fieldwork practicals that have furthered my understanding of the taught theory and been able to explore fields of archaeology that I have a specific interest in. In all, I have had a fantastic year studying my master's here and feel it has been an invaluable and enjoyable experience.”

Tegan Abel – MSc Environmental Archaeology

How you'll learn

You'll learn through a series of seminars, lectures and workshops, and further develop your skills in conducting independent research and critical analytical thought. Our MA students gain technical skills in key archaeological methods and techniques, and MSc students have fully equipped and dedicated laboratories for bone analysis, stable isotope analysis, micromorphology, palynology, geoarchaeology and digital X-rays, as well as a microscopic suite.

You'll take a research skills module, which includes a series of workshops and practicals on writing essays, dissertations, research proposals and publications, information and communication technology resources, and quantitative applications in archaeology.

The annual master's conference will help develop your oral presentation skills, and MSc students have a guided eight-day residential field course. There are also opportunities to get involved with staff fieldwork projects.


Whether you plan to continue your studies at doctoral level, or use your intellectual and practical skills in employment, you'll have the opportunity to prepare for your future career with a placement.

Recent master's students have done placement work with the Silchester Environs team and the Museum of English Rural Life, gaining skills in earthwork surveys and geophysics work.


Many of our postgraduates go on to full-time, graduate-level employment within archaeology and related consultancies or contractors, as well as within museums and government agencies.

Up to a third of graduates continue their academic career through doctoral research.

In recent years, Reading postgraduate students have been successful in obtaining appointments with heritage agencies such as Historic England and The National Trust, and as university academics.

Dedicated facilities

Take advantage of our outstanding teaching collections and facilities housed in modern premises. You will benefit from our dedicated Archaeology Building as well as five laboratories containing our extensive collection of artefacts, ecofacts, human remains and animal bones. You'll have easy access to the University's central Chemical Analysis Facility and our three superb on-campus museums, as well.

You will also benefit from the rich archaeological heritage of Reading and its area, including the important medieval abbey at Reading, the prehistoric monuments of the Thames Valley, and historic locations such as Oxford, Silchester, Winchester and Salisbury.


The School of Archaeology, Geography & Environmental Science offers a number of home and international postgraduate scholarships. The first deadline for applications is April 2018. See SAGES Scholarship Information for details of how to apply.



​Apply now

The quickest and easiest way to apply for postgraduate study at the University of Reading is through our online application service.

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