PDF version of Urban Archaeology MA

Contact details

Professor Andrew Reynolds

Email: a.reynolds@ucl.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 1522

Fees and funding

UK/EU 2013/14:

£8,500 (FT)

Overseas 2013/14:

£16,500 (FT)

UK and EU students are eligible to apply for Arts and Humanities Research Council funding.

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

More information

Prospectus Entry


Key facts

Research Assessment Rating

60% rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
(What is the RAE?)

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

Urban Archaeology MA

Urban Archaeology is a fundamental feature of world archaeology - few countries have no urban past - and since classical times a significant proportion of the world's population has lived in urban centres. This MA aims to develop both critical theory and practical approaches in this vital field of academic research.

Degree summary

What will I learn?

You will develop an advanced understanding of the significance of urbanism in the development of human society, and of important theoretical issues such as identities and institutions; cities and empire; town planning and urban morphology. You also gain subject specific skills, including recording and analysing complex stratigraphy and understanding archaeological archives.

Why should I study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Institute of Archaeology is the largest and most diverse department of archaeology in the UK.

The range of staff expertise at the institute is unparalleled in this field, across both the chronological and geographic range of urbanism, and in approaches to handling complex urban data.

UCL is located in central London, within walking distance of the British Museum and the British Library. Students benefit from London's many museums, galleries and other archaeological spaces, but in particular have easy access to UCL's own museums and collections, which form a resource of international importance for academic research.

See subject website for more information:

Degree structure

Availability: Full-time 1 year; Part-time 2 years

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of three core modules (60 credits), 30 credits of optional modules and a research dissertation (90 credits).

Core Modules

  • Themes in Urban Archaeology
  • The Archaeology of Complex Urban Sites: Analytical and Interpretative Techniques
  • Themes, Thought and Theory in World Archaeology: Foundations


  • Antiquities and the Law
  • Applied Archaeology in the UK
  • Archaeology and Ethnicity
  • Archaeology and Education
  • Archaeologies of Modern Conflict
  • Art: Interpretation and Explanation
  • British and European Prehistory: Neolithic to Iron Age
  • Cultural Heritage and Development
  • Experimental Archaeology
  • Managing Archaeological Sites
  • Managing Museums
  • Museum and Site Interpretation
  • Rock Art Studies: Theories, Methods and Management
  • Themes, Thought and Theory in World Archaeology: Foundations
  • Themes, Thought and Theory in World Archaeology: Current Issues
  • World Rock Art: From Palaeolithic to Present


An independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of approximately 15,000 words.

Teaching and Learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, practical sessions and structured reading. Assessment is through written and practical essays, oral examination and the dissertation.

Further details available on subject website:

Entry and application

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant subject from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

For overseas equivalencies see the relevant country page.

How to apply

You may choose to apply online or download application materials; for details visit www.ucl.ac.uk/gradapps

The deadline for applications is 2 August 2013. 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 application deadlines.

Who can apply?

The degree will appeal to an international cohort of scholars wishing to specialise in this important field: there is almost no country for which the theory and practice of urban archaeology is not of primary relevance to the challenges facing the discipline in the 21st century.

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Urban Archaeology at graduate level
  • what do you consider to be major challenges in this field today
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree
  • why you want to study Urban Archaeology at UCL
  • how your personal, academic and professional background meets the demands of a challenging academic environment


Many of our MSc graduates obtain further research positions and nearly half go on to conduct PhD research, either at UCL or elsewhere. Their projects are generally concerned with the technology and/or provenance of ceramics, metals or glass in different regions and periods, but most of them involve scientific approaches in combination with traditional fieldwork and/or experimental archaeology.

Some of our graduates are now teaching archaeometry or ancient technologies at different universities in the UK and abroad. Others work as conservation scientists in museums and heritage institutions, or as finds specialists, research assistants and consultants employed by archaeological field units or academic research projects.

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

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