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The University of Reading is in the top 100 in the world for Archaeology (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2024).

Our master's programme offers flexible study options, providing the opportunity to develop professional and research skills while maintaining your career.


Research excellence

The University of Reading is ranked 1st in the UK for research quality and research outputs in Archaeology (Times Higher Education Institutions Ranked by Subject, based on its analysis of the latest REF 2021).

You have the opportunity to work directly with our academics on live research projects, placing you at the heart of new developments in archaeology. The Department's research expertise feeds directly into the student experience, allowing you to engage with concepts of global interest.

Read more about our research

Superb location

You'll 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, Cookham, Winchester and Salisbury.

We also have close links with the British Museum, Natural History Museum, Oxford Archaeology, Historic England and Museum of London that provide access to collections for master's level dissertation research.

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 access to the University's central Chemical Analysis Facility, as well as our three superb on-campus museums.

Three labs make up the Bioarchaeology Suite at Reading: we boast a dedicated and well-equipped laboratory for human osteology, digital radiographic equipment and a bone chemistry (isotope analysis) preparation laboratory, with world-class analytical facilities in the School and in our Chemical Analysis facility (CAF).

Learn more about our archaeology facilities

Supportive community

The Department of Archaeology fosters a friendly, supportive community and our staff have a reputation for being accessible and approachable.

"The staff are all leaders in their respective fields, but that does not make them unapproachable; the professors are constantly criss-crossing the atrium to consult with colleagues and commune with students. Despite this informality, staff hold their students to a high academic standard that has put the department among the ranks of the best programmes in the UK."

Mike Murray, MA Archaeology graduate

Read about life in the Department

Career opportunities

The demand for trained and skilled archaeologists is set to grow exponentially over the next decade, due to a high number of large scale infrastructure and investment projects planned on a national scale both in the UK and abroad.

Many of our postgraduates go on to full-time, graduate-level employment within archaeology and related consultancies or contractors, as well as within museums, the heritage sector and government agencies. Others continue their academic careers through doctoral research.

Overall, 97% of graduates from Archaeology are in work or further study within 15 months of graduation (based on our analysis of HESA data © HESA 2023, Graduate Outcomes Survey 2020/21; includes all Archaeology responders).

Our course

Further your studies and gain professional expertise with an MA Archaeology at Reading.

How you'll study

Learn through a combination of seminars, lectures and workshops, and further your skills in conducting independent research and critical analytical thought.

Life in the Department

Join our inclusive community of staff and students, where you'll be supported to develop your expertise and explore new areas of research.
Athena SWAN Silver Award