Archaeology of the Middle East MA

For students seeking to undertake advanced study in the theory and practice of Middle Eastern Archaeology, this programme offers an unrivalled combination of specialist regional skills, chronological scope and flexibility of choice. Ongoing field projects and extensive in-house collections provide a unique opportunity to gain first-hand experience of the heritage of the Middle East.

Mode of study

  • Full-time 1 year
  • Part-time 2 years

Tuition fees

  • UK/EU Full-time: £8,500
  • UK/EU Part-time: £4,250
  • Overseas Full-time: £16,750
  • Overseas Part-time: £8,500

Application date

  • All applicants: 1 August 2014

More details in Application section.

What will I learn?

With guidance from our experienced staff, you will construct a distinct path through the degree programme, tailored to your priorities; selecting options from archaeological science, cultural heritage and ancient history. UCL Institute of Archaeology houses extensive cultural and environmental collections from the Middle East and offers direct hands-on experience with archaeological evidence as part of its training.

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. Its outstanding archaeological library is complemented by UCL’s Main Library, University of London Senate House and other specialist libraries.

Ongoing fieldwork and research activities span the entirety of the Middle East and those of the Arabian Peninsula, and are extended through our overseas campus at UCL Qatar.

The institute houses extensive cultural and environmental collections from the Middle East, including the Petrie Palestinian Collection, and offers hands-on experience with material culture as part of its training.

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

Core Modules

  • Themes, Thought and Theory in World Archaeology: Foundations
  • Pattern and Process in the Archaeology of the Middle East


  • At least two options are normally chosen from the following:
  • Evolution of Palaeolithic and Neolithic Societies in the Middle East
  • Near Eastern Material Cultures I: Neolithic Societies
  • Near Eastern Material Cultures II: Middle Bronze through the Iron Age

  • Options can also be selected from:

  • Either the range of other Master's courses at the UCL Institute of Archaeology

  • Or the following options in UCL History (subject to availability):
  • Change and Continuity in the Ancient Near East in the first millennium BC:
  • the Assyrian and Babylon Empires
  • Power and Knowledge in Ancient Mesopotamia
  • Ancient Near Eastern Religion


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

Teaching and Learning

The programme is delivered through formal lectures, seminars and practical sessions. In addition to developing new theoretical approaches, training will include hands-on study of material culture from sites throughout the Middle East, which form part of the institute’s collections.

Further details available on subject website:


UK/EU students are eligible to apply for AHRC funding

A small number of IoA Masters Award bursaries, normally in the region of £1,000, are available each year.

Scholarships available for this department

Kathleen Kenyon Awards

Gordon Childe Studentship

Further information about funding and scholarships can be found on the Scholarships and funding website.

Entry requirements

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

International equivalencies

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, anthropology or a closely related field, seeking to broaden their expertise in the archaeology of the Middle East.

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of Archaeology of the Middle East
  • why you want to study Archaeology of the Middle East at graduate level
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme at the EDI
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree and how this programme meets these needs
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.


Recent graduates of the programme have gone on to PhD studies while others have pursued a wide range of professional careers both within and beyond archaeology. First destinations of recent graduates include curatorial positions in leading UK museums (e.g. the British Museum), PhD studies at UCL, and other universities both in the UK and abroad, and employment in archaeological fieldwork throughout the Middle East

Top career destinations for this programme

  • Environmental Planning Group, GIS Analyst, 2011
  • Ministry of Education, Researcher, 2011
  • Terra Archaeology, Archaeologist, 2011


Through a range of courses and assesments the MA in Archaeology of the Middle East provides training in research skills (e.g. critical synthesis of published sources), personal effectiveness (e.g. meeting deadlines for coursework and independent research), communication skills (e.g. seminar presentations and debates), and teamwork (e.g. collaborative learning in a group setting, and interaction with a wide range of peers and faculty, building future networks). The degree is highly flexible. Depending on the options you choose, you can also expect to gain competencies in specific analytical methods (e.g. object handling) and computational techniques (e.g. working with GIS or other analytical software).

Next steps


Professor Andrew Reynolds

T: +44 (0)20 7679 7495


Institute of Archaeology

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Staff View

"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

Student View

"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."

Alexandra Salamunovich

Degree: Archaeology MA