The MA Archaeology is a flexible degree that prepares you for a career in research, the commercial sector or heritage management.
Archaeology at the University of Reading is a thriving and research-orientated department. 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 Research Excellence Framework 2021). Join us 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, 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 in the Department of Archaeology, including fully-equipped and dedicated laboratories for human skeletal remains and animal bone analysis, stable isotope analysis, microscopic suite 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
- article critiques
- seminar presentations
- professional 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 an Anglo-Saxon monastery in the vicinity of Holy Trinity church in village of Cookham.
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.You can also get a feel for the course by checking out a taster session recording, delivered by academics from the Department.