PDF version of Technology and Analysis of Archaeological Materials MSc

Contact details

Professor Andrew Reynolds

Email: a.reynolds@ucl.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 1522

Fees and funding

UK/EU 2013/14:

£8,750 (FT)

Overseas 2013/14:

£16,500 (FT)

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

ACE Master's Scholarship: to support a student from a newer EU country applying to study on a technical or applied Master's course.

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. 

Technology and Analysis of Archaeological Materials MSc

The application of scientific techniques to the study of archaeological remains is an increasingly important dimension of archaeological research. This MSc offers students a detailed training in the use of scientific techniques for the analysis of inorganic archaeological materials and a solid background in the anthropology of technology.

Degree summary

What will I learn?

By the end of the programme, students should have a good understanding of the foundations of the most established analytical techniques, practical experience in their application and data processing, as well as the ability to design research projects that employ instrumental analyses to address archaeological questions.

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, and provides a stimulating environment for postgraduate study.

The Wolfson Archaeological Science Laboratories offer excellent facilities for the examination and analysis of a wide variety of archaeological materials, with past and present projects covering all periods in most world regions.

The Institute houses fine teaching and reference collections, including prehistoric ceramics and stone artefacts, collections of Classical Greek and Roman ceramics, and collections of minerals and other materials for the study of early technology, among others. Western Asiatic material includes the famous Petrie collection of Palestinian artefacts.

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 one core module (30 credits), four optional modules (60 credits) and a research dissertation (90 credits).

Core Modules

  • Technology and Analysis of Archaeological Materials


  • Archaeological Ceramic Analysis
  • Archaeological Glass and Glazes
  • Archaeometallurgy 1: Mining and Extractive Metallurgy
  • Archaeometallurgy 2: Metallic Artefacts
  • Dendrochronology and Tree-ring Studies
  • Experimental Archaeology
  • Geoarchaeology: Methods and Concepts I
  • Geoarchaeology: Methods and Concepts II
  • Interpreting Pottery
  • Lithic Archaeology
  • Technology in Society: Archaeology and Ethnography in the Andes


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, practical demonstrations and laboratory work. A popular aspect of this programme is its extensive use of analytical facilities. Assessment is through essays, practicals, projects, laboratory reports and oral presentations depending on the options chosen, 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 programme is designed for graduates in archaeology with an interest in scientific methods. It is also suitable for conservators and others concerned with archaeological collections, and for science graduates who have, or are willing to acquire, a good understanding of archaeology.

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study the Technology and Analysis of Archaeological Materials at graduate level
  • what do you consider to be the major challenges in this field today
  • if you have a strong interest in any particular ancient material or technology
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree
  • why you want to study the Technology and Analysis of Archaeological Materials at UCL
  • how your personal, academic and professional background meets the demands of a challenging academic environment


Many of our graduates obtain further research positions and nearly half go on to PhD studies 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 involve scientific approaches in combination with traditional fieldwork and/or experimental archaeology. Some of our graduates now teach 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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