Artefact Studies MA
This MA provides training in the documentation and interpretation of artefacts from archaeological sites and museum collections. Students benefit from a placement within a museum or an archaeological unit where experience will be gained in the practice of finds analysis.
Mode of study
- Full-time 1 year
- Part-time 2 years
- UK/EU Full-time: £8,750
- UK/EU Part-time: £4,400
- Overseas Full-time: £17,000
- Overseas Part-time: £8,500
- All applicants: 1 August 2014
More details in Application section.
What will I learn?
Students are introduced to the skills of finds specialists, practical issues of artefact study, and debates about the collection, interpretation, reporting and curation of archaeological materials. They develop the ability to evaluate different approaches to artefact studies and undertake the cataloguing and analysis of an artefact assemblage.
Why should I study this degree at UCL?
Students are introduced to the skills of finds spcialists, practical issues of artefact study, and debates about the collection, interpretation, reporting and curation of archaeological materials. They develop the ability to evaluate different approaches to artefact studies and undertake the cataloguing and analysis of an artefact assemblage.
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. Its outstanding archaeological library is complemented by UCL's main library, University of London Senate House and other specialist libraries.
UCL is located in central London, within walking distance to the British Museum and the British Library.
UCL's own museums and collections form a resource of international importance for academic research. Students will work on material from the Institute's collection as part of their assessment. Past students on this programme have made effective use of the resources at the British Museum, the Museum of London and thw Museum of London archives, the Petrie Museum, The V and A and other British Museums.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of one core module (30 credits), four optional modules (60 credits), an optional work placement and a research project (90 credits).
The 15,000–word dissertation normally combines a professional standard finds report with an academic overview.
Teaching and Learning
The programme is delivered through formal lectures, seminars and practical sessions. It can include a placement at a relevant museum or archaeological unit where students gain experience in the practical study and the recording of an artefact assemblage. Assessment is through an essay, a portfolio, a project proposal and the dissertation.
Further details available on subject website:
A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in archaeology or related subject from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.
Select your country for equivalent alternative requirements
English language proficiency level: Good
How to apply
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.
The deadline for applications is 1 August 2014.
Who can apply?
The programme is particularly suitable for graduates with a first degree in archaeology who wish to develop their skills in the study and interpretation of artefacts from archaeological sites and museum collections, with a view to further research or a career in this field.
What are we looking for?
When we assess your application we would like to learn:
- why you want to study Artefact Studies at UCL
- why you want to study Artefact Analysis at graduate level
- what you expect to get out of this programme
- what is your general archaeological background
- what particularly attracts you to this programme
- how your personal, academic and professional background meets the demands of a challenging academic environment
- what your undergraduate degree is in and how much practical work with artefacts does the degree include
- what previous experience you have in working with artefacts
- if you have any experience in working as a finds assistant or in a museum
- where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Some recent graduates of the programme have gone on to PhD studies while others have pursued an incredibly wide range of professional careers both within and beyond archaeology. The main career course is work as finds assistant, museum curator or in the antiquities service recording finds.
Top career destinations for this programme
- Kent County Council, Finds Liaison Officer, 2009
- Burg House, Museums Event Co-Ordinator, 2010
- Museum of London, Finds Specialist, 2011
- Sussex County Council, Finds Liaison Officer, 2011
- UCL, Research Assistant, 2011
The degree is taylored to give the graduates a solid knowledge in systematically recording and documenting artefacts as well as analysing artefact assemblage. They will have a basic knowledge in creating graphs and diagrams, analysing and putting together finds-catalogues. We do not concentrate on any specific epoch, but give students the tools for understanding and systematically analysing any artefact assemblages.
"The Institute of Archaeology's library has been an invaluable tool due to the huge amount of material available that is related to our field, and is one of my favourite things about the institute."
Degree: Archaeology MA
"UCL Archaeology has a great atmosphere for both staff and students; it's a great place to work, and with so many experts passing through from different countries to give lectures and seminars it is very much the centre of the archaeological world."
Professor Mike Parker Pearson
Professor of British Later Prehistory