Staff and Facilities
The Institute of Archaeology provides a stimulating environment for postgraduate study, with over 290 registered Masters students and 120 MPhil/PhD students - see for further details. Its outstanding archaeological library is complemented by University College London's main library, University of London Senate House and other specialist libraries.
Students benefit from the Institute’s lively international involvement in archaeology and heritage, from its well-equipped facilities, and access to the College’s extensive science, art and archaeology collections. The Institute’s conservation laboratories provide a modern and pleasant learning environment having been redesigned and refitted with the aid of the Getty Grant Program. The Wolfson Archaeological Science Laboratories, which were refurbished in 2004 also provide excellent facilities for the examination and analysis of a wide variety of archaeological materials. They form a collection of labs that is unparalleled in science-based archaeology within the UK and Europe (for further details).
The Institute has long-standing links with a number of museums (e.g. the British Museum, the Museum of London) which provide internships to students in the second year of the programme. It works particularly closely with the National Trust, providing students with the opportunity to take part in the care and presentation of collections in individual historic houses. It is also involved in a number of field projects (e.g. the Neolithic site of Çatalhöyük in Turkey) which provide students with experience of undertaking conservation at an archaeological site.
The teaching staff for this degree bring together a range and depth of expertise that is arguably unparalleled at other institutions.
- Dean Sully specialises in the conservation of organic materials, conservation for exhibitions, and pest control. His research interests focus on the impact that conservation has on people’s lives and on local histories. He is the editor of Decolonizing Conservation: The Care of Maori-meeting Houses Outside New Zealand.
- James Hales has a strong background in conservation materials science and the conservation of metals, ceramics and glass; he is currently researching the 3D recording and rendering of cultural heritage material.
- John Merkel's interests focus on conservation and analysis of ancient metals. His research includes corrosion inhibitors for copper artifacts, Imperial Roman lead and silver production, and Pre-Inca copper arsenic alloys and precious metal utilisation in Peru.
- Renata Peters specialises in conservation of organic materials. Her current research focuses on how museum professionals treat artefacts originated by indigenous peoples from the Americas, and on the effects of participatory conservation.
- Elizabeth Pye focuses on philosophy and ethics of conservation, use of colour and pigments in archaeology, and conservation of ceramics, glass and wall paintings. She is author of Caring for the Past: issues in conservation for archaeology and museums, and editor of Power of Touch; handling objects in museums and heritage contexts.
- UK and EU students who intend to enrol for this degree are eligible to apply for AHRC Funding for MA Museum Studies.
- UK students may also apply to the Anna Plowden Trust.
While you are here
After you leave
A very high proportion of our graduates goes on to pursue careers in conservation in local and national museums, art galleries and heritage organisations (in the UK, Europe, USA and Asia). Recent graduates are working in institutions such as the British Museum; the Horniman Museum; the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter; York Archaeological Trust; the National Archives; the Metropolitan Museum, New York; the National Museum of the American Indian, Washington; the National Palace Museum, Taiwan. Several students have also gone on to become PhD candidates at both UCL and elsewhere.
Further Information and Application Forms
- Applications can be accepted from November and complete applications (with both references) must be submited by 15th January at the very latest. Please contact Lisa Daniel if you are applying after this date to see if places are still available.
- For further details, please email the Institute of Archaeology's Graduate Admissions Tutor.