PDF version of Archaeology of the Arab and Islamic World MA

Contact details

Mr Brett Kershaw

Email: b.kershaw@ucl.ac.uk

Tel: +974 4457 8688

Fees and funding

UK/EU 2013/14:

QAR123,900 (FT)

Overseas 2013/14:

QAR123,900 (FT)

Departmental funding and scholarship opportunities are available. All successful candidates are eligible for consideration.

Full details of funding opportunities can be found on the UCL Scholarships website

More information

Prospectus Entry

UCL Qatar

Key facts

Research Assessment Rating

Not Applicable
(What is the RAE?)

The programme information on this page relates to 2013 entry. 2014 content to appear here shortly. 

Archaeology of the Arab and Islamic World MA

There is a pressing need for qualified professionals with expertise in Arab and Islamic archaeology and material culture. This MA at UCL Qatar, which includes extended placements on excavation and post-excavation projects in the region, offers students in-depth training in the recovery, analysis and interpretation of archaeological data.

Degree summary

What will I learn?

Students will gain a detailed understanding of long-term developments of human occupation and societal change in the region, and will be trained in the recovery, analysis and interpretation of archaeological data. They will be able to specialise in an area, time-period or field of their choice through an independent research project.

Why should I study this degree at UCL?

UCL Qatar represents a three-way partnership between UCL, Qatar Foundation and Qatar Museums Authority.

The programme has particular focus on the Arab and Islamic worlds, allowing students a unique opportunity to learn, study and practise in the Gulf region.

The opening of the UCL Qatar campus builds upon UCL's renowned strengths in archaeology and further establishes Qatar as the centre of excellence for cultural heritage studies in the Gulf.

See subject website for more information:

Degree structure

Availability: Full-time 2 years

This two year MA has a total value of 330 credits. In Year One students take five compulsory courses (120 credits). In Year Two students take one compulsory course (30 credits), four option modules (60 credits), dissertation (90 credits) and placement (30 credits).

Compulsory Modules

  • Year one
  • Archaeology of the pre-Islamic Middle East
  • Art and Archaeology of the Islamic World
  • Archaeological Method and Theory
  • Technical Skills for Cultural Heritage
  • Collections Care and Management

  • Year two
  • Archaeology of Arabia and the Gulf
  • Placement Portfolio
  • Dissertation (see below)


  • Options may include:
  • Archaeology of Islamic Egypt
  • Archaeology of the Abbasid Caliphs in Iraq
  • Archaeology of the Swahili Coast and Indian Ocean Trade
  • Comparing Civilisations: The Middle East and Egypt in the Bronze Age
  • Early Islamic Papyri and Arabic Palaeography
  • Early State Formation in Egypt
  • Historical approaches to Islamic Ceramics
  • Introduction to GIS and Remote Sensing
  • Islamic Central Asia and the Silk Route
  • Islamic Historiography for Archaeologists
  • Maritime Archaeology
  • Pre-Islamic Arabian Epigraphy
  • The Assyrian and Babylonian Empires
  • The Gunpowder Empires, AD 1450-1850
  • Urban Foundations of the Middle East


All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words.

Teaching and Learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, structured reading, seminar presentations, and practical sessions. Students undertake eight weeks of field work on excavation and post-excavation projects in the region. Assessment is through written essays, placement portfolio, assessed exercises, dissertation and oral examination.

Further details available on subject website:

Entry and application

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a related discipline from a UK university, or GPA of 3.3 out of 4.0 (US system), or another overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Degree class requirement could be waived for candidates with other exceptional qualifications, such as professional experience in related fields.

For overseas equivalencies see the relevant country page.

How to apply

Please apply online; for details visit www.ucl.ac.uk/gradapps

The closing date for applications is 31 May. Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of the relevant deadlines.

Who can apply?

The programme is suitable for students with a first degree in Archaeology, Anthropology, History or a related discipline who wish to gain the skills necessary to pursue further critical research in Arab and Islamic Archaeology, or develop a career in archaeology or the cultural heritage sector.

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Archaeology of the Arab and Islamic World at graduate level
  • why you want to study Archaeology of the Arab and Islamic World at UCL Qatar
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree


Graduates of this new programme will gain key skills relevant to archaeology and material culture in the Gulf region and beyond. Training in the practical, analytical and methodological issues surrounding archaeology, together with research methods and advanced study skills, will enable our graduates to work as researchers, archaeologists, or within the cultural heritage sector, or pursue further independent research in this field.

The first cohort of students on the Archaeology of the Arab and Islamic World MA are due to graduate in 2014, therefore no information on graduate destinations is currently available.

Find out more about London graduates' careers by visiting the Careers Group (University of London) website:

Request content update l Request printed information l Disclaimer
Page maintained by Publications and Marketing Services