The MA Archaeology is a flexible degree that prepares you for a career in research, the commercial sector or heritage management.
Join a world-leading Department of Archaeology with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research as you take thematic and skills-based options that integrate social and scientific techniques for a deeper understanding of the past.
This course allows you to discover archaeology for the first time, or deepen your existing knowledge. You will gain an effective grounding in archaeological practice and research, with the opportunity to study a suite of modules from prehistory to the medieval period. Alternatively you can opt to follow a focused pathway in Medieval Europe, enabling you to concentrate your studies on our specialised research areas through your dissertation, and core period modules.
You will also have access to advanced facilities including fully-equipped and dedicated laboratories for human skeletal remains and animal bone analysis, stable isotope analysis, microscopic suite (CAF) and an MA study room. Our analytical suite is extensive, allowing students to access a range of techniques for their research projects.
Our assessments are varied, providing a mix of vocational and research opportunities, including:
poster and conference presentations
skeletal and lab-based reports
in-class practical assessments
Class sizes are kept to a minimum but vary depending on the modules selected.
You may also have the opportunity to participate in staff research excavations in Europe (Crusades project), the Isle of Islay, or more locally at the famous Silchester Roman town excavation.
Research in Archaeology is nurtured by world-class research clusters. These clusters provide an interdisciplinary environment for advancing social and scientific approaches to past communities and environments as well as issues of fundamental significance, including environmental change, health, diet, social diversity and inclusivity, and cultural heritage. We benefit from excellent resources for both humanities-based and science-based archaeological research, and have strong research links and collaborations with departments across the University and external institutions.
As part of your degree you can take an optional Research and Enterprise Placement module, during which you will be placed with a member of staff, or with a museum or archaeological unit such as the British Museum or Oxford Archaeology, to gain experience of working within an external commercial environment.
IELTS: 6.5 overall with no element less than 5.5 (or equivalent)
Entry requirements: First or good second class honours degree (or equivalent from a university outside the UK) in archaeology, history, environmental studies or any related field.
What will you study?
Compulsory modules (100 credits)
Theoretical Approaches in Archaeology
Optional modules (80 credits)
Our Closest Cousins? Archaeology of the Neanderthals
Interpreting Neolithic and Bronze Age Britain
Themes and Approaches in the Study of Mesopotamia
The City of Rome
Viking Interactions in the West
Colonisation and Cultural Transformation: the Archaeology of Crusading
Coastal and Maritime Geoarchaeology
Applications of Micromorphological Analysis
Vegetation History and Archaeobotany
Statistical Approaches: Making Sense of your Data
Dark Age Societies AD 400-1000
Edge of the Pleistocene World
Issues and Debates in Bioarchaeology
Analysis of Human Remains
Science and the Dead
Hidden Heritage: Investment and Interpretation of Historic Buildings and Landscapes
Please note that all modules are subject to change. Please see our modules disclaimer for more information.
How much will it cost?
New UK/EU students: £7,735 per year
New international students: £16,450 per year
The fees listed are for full-time study, unless otherwise stated, and relate to courses starting in the 2021/22 academic year. Fee information will be confirmed in offer letters sent out to successful applicants. You can find further information on fees and funding, including for part-time study, through our fees and funding page.
These course fees cover the cost of your tuition. Some courses will require additional payments for field trips and extra resources. You will also need to budget for your accommodation and living costs. See our information on living costs for more details.
Financial support for your studies
Highways England Scholarships
Highways England are funding two Master's Studentships for those applying for a full-time MA Archaeology programme. Each award covers;Tuition fees for new UK/EU students (£7,735), £5,000 during 12-week placement and £11,500 stipend over the duration of the master's course. Subject to conditions.
You may be eligible for a scholarship or bursary to help pay for your study. Students from the UK and other EU countries may also be eligible for a student loan to help cover these costs.
Our recent graduates have gone on to further study through funded PhD projects, as well as finding employment in professional archaeology, museums, publishing, journalism, radio and television, the heritage and leisure industries, the fields of conservation including the natural and built environment, government office, and teaching.