The UCL Institute of Archaeology is one of the largest and most highly regarded centres for archaeology, cultural heritage and museum studies in the world, as evidenced by its leading position in university league tables and National Student Survey results.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2018/19)
- £5,060 (FT) £2,530 (PT)
- £19,580 (FT) £9,850 (PT)
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.
A Master's degree in a relevant discipline (pass of 70% or better including 70% in the dissertation) from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.
English language requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.
The English language level for this programme is: Good
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.
International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.
Select your country:
Current research at the UCL Institute of Archaeology covers fieldwork, laboratory analysis and conservation, artefact studies, and theoretical, synthetic, and analytical work across a range of perspectives. It has more than 60 research-active staff, projects on five continents and in the Pacific, and wins regular and substantial research funding from a wide range of national and international sources. Research is carried out in tropical Africa, Asia, Britain and Europe, China, Egypt, the Pacific, South America and the Caribbean.
The institute is organised in three major sections: Archaeological Science, Heritage Studies, World Archaeology, and has over 20 research networks.
Research focuses on the following areas:
- Archaeological theory
- Archaeology of hunter-gatherer, early agrarian and ancient urban societies
- Comparative archaeology in a global context
- Human palaeobiology, subsistence, diet and health
- Indigenous archaeology
- Museum studies, heritage management and public archaeology
- Palaeoecology and environmental change
- Prehistoric, ancient and classical art
- Quantitative methods and computer applications
- Technology and conservation of ancient materials.
Competitive applications for LAHP (AHRC) awards for MPhil/PhD study may be made via the Institute of Archaeology. The admissions deadline for those wishing to be considered for LAHP (AHRC) funding is likely to be early December. Please contact the institute for details.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Doctoral graduates have become university lecturers, senior administrators, senior museum and heritage management curators, postdoctoral researchers on academic projects or for other organisations including the BBC and other media companies.
Recent career destinations for this degree
- Environmental Archaeologist, UCL Institute of Archaeology
- Research Associate, UCL
- Research Associate, University of Bologna
- Adjunct Professor of Archaeology, The American University of Rome
- Director of School of Heritage and Culture Studies, Great Zimbabwe University
The UCL Institute of Archaeology has strong links with numerous organisations and universities both internationally and within London and the UK including the British Museum, English Heritage, UNESCO, the Wellcome Trust, the UK Arts Council and numerous national park services across the globe. We host several centres including the Centre for Applied Archaeology, International Centre for Chinese Heritage and Archaeology, and the Centre for Museums, Heritage and Material Culture Studies.
In addition, the department holds an extensive range of seminars and lectures generated by our sections, centres and research networks given by guest speakers from across the world and over 200 honorary members of staff who regularly contribute to the life and work of the institute, including offering supervision for research students.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
Why study this degree at UCL?
UCL's Institute of Archaeology provides an unparalleled breadth of teaching and learning provision and opportunities for the supervision of research degrees in most areas of archaeology and heritage studies. The institute's comparative approach encourages a global perspective. Facilities for science-based archaeology are all housed within the department as is the institute's world-renowned library.
Research students are encouraged to participate fully in the life of the institute, with funds available for student-led academic events. The institute's graduate journal - Papers from the Institute of Archaeology - provides opportunities to acquire peer-reviewing and editorial experience.
Department: Institute of Archaeology
Student / staff numbers
› 63 staff
Staff/student numbers information correct as of 1 August 2017.
Research Excellence Framework (REF)
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Institute of Archaeology
73% rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
What our students and staff say
"The UCL Institute of Archaeology is the largest and one of the most highly regarded centres for archaeology, cultural heritage and museum studies in Britain."
Dr Rodney HarrisonArchaeology MPhil/PhD
Reader in Archaeology, Heritage and Museum Studies
"I applied to undertake PhD research at the Institute of Archaeology as having completed my MA there, I knew that it was a friendly, supportive and encouraging place to study, as well as one which would offer good professional development. The international standing of UCL's Archaeology department also made it a good choice."
Felicity WinkleyArchaeology PhD
"The UCL Institute of Archaeology is an incredibly vibrant place. The opportunity to mix with staff, students and visiting scholars working on cutting-edge research is a major highlight."
Andrew BrownArchaeology PhD
Application and next steps
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.
Deadlines and start dates are usually dictated by funding arrangements so check with the department or academic unit to see if you need to consider these in your application preparation. In most cases you should identify and contact potential supervisors before making your application. For more information see our How to apply page. We can accept applications for a September start up to 25 July, however applicants are strongly advised to submit a complete application by 1 May. Applications submitted after this date take significantly longer to process. The UCL Institute of Archaeology offers two start dates: September and January.
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now
- Ms Lisa Daniel