Degree structure



This degree comprises a core course, several option courses, and a dissertation, each of which is described in greater detail below. Teaching for this degree is primarily by lectures, seminars, practical demonstrations and laboratory work.

  • A popular aspect of this degree is its extensive use of information technologies. Registered students are given access to a virtual learning environment through Moodle, where they can download PowerPoint presentations and hundreds of publications relevant to the core and optional courses, together with access to discussion groups and other online resources and learning activities.

Core Course

Students all follow one core course:

  • Technology and Analysis of Archaeological Materials (ARCLG107, 30 credits, 22 weeks)

Option Courses

You are then able to choose further option courses to the value of 60 credits. At least 30 credits must be made up from the list below of option courses recommended for this degree programme. The other 30 credits may also come from this list or can be chosen from amongst an outstanding range of other Masters courses offered at the UCL Institute of Archaeology (subject to availability and resources). Please note that some core courses are normally only available to those enrolled for the degree in question and so if you wish to take a core course from another degree as an option certain restrictions may apply. Please consult the relevant course co-ordinator before making your options choice.

  • Archaeological Ceramics Analysis (ARCLG114, 15 credits, 11 weeks)
  • Archaeological Glass and Glazes (ARCLG111, 15 credits, 11 weeks)
  • Archaeometallurgy 1: Mining and Extractive Metallurgy (ARCLG108, 15 credits, 11 weeks)
  • Archaeometallurgy 2: Metallic Artefacts (ARCLG109, 15 credits, 11 weeks)
  • Dendrochronology and tree-ring studies (ARCLG231, 30 credits, 11 weeks) 
  • Experimental Archaeology (ARCLG220, 15 credits, 11 weeks)
  • Geoarchaeology: methods and concepts (ARCLG104, 15 credits, 11 weeks)
  • Interpreting Pottery (ARCLG112, 15 credits, 11 weeks)


(90 credits) - The dissertation (15,000 words) is produced as a result of an individual research project undertaken during the course, building upon the Core Course and often on a specialisation chosen from the options. The dissertation may be written on any approved topic relevant to the degree. Students are assigned a Supervisor to guide them through the main stages of the work. Hands-on analytical work using the Institute's own facilities is encouraged.

Examples of past dissertation projects include:

  • archaeometallurgical analyses of iron smelting remains from Africa
  • a non-destructive characterisation of a medieval mosaic from Italy
  • scientific investigations of medieval stained glass in France and England
  • a study of multi-material funerary assemblages from Nepal
  • a reconstruction of copper-alloy production in Iron Age Spain
  • an investigation of the technology and provenance of ceramics from Baja California

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