Taught degree

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.

Key Information

Modes and duration

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

Tuition Fees (2015/16)

£8,755 (FT) £4,375 (PT)
£17,250 (FT) £8,755 (PT)

Application deadlines

All applicants:
1 August 2015

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.

English language requirement: Good

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.

International equivalencies

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

Degree Information

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.

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

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


  • the Assyrian and Babylon Empires
  • Change and Continuity in the Ancient Near East in the first millennium BC:
  • <br /><strong>Or</strong> the following options in UCL History (subject to availability):
  • <br/><strong>Either</strong> the range of other Master's courses at the UCL Institute of Archaeology
  • <br />Options can also be selected from:
  • Near Eastern Material Cultures II: Middle Bronze through the Iron Age
  • Near Eastern Material Cultures I: Neolithic Societies
  • Evolution of Palaeolithic and Neolithic Societies in the Middle East
  • At least <strong>two</strong> options are normally chosen from the following:
  • Ancient Near Eastern Religion
  • Power and Knowledge in Ancient Mesopotamia


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.


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.

Kathleen Kenyon Awards

1 year

Gordon Childe Studentship

UK/EU fees plus stipend
1 year

More scholarships are listed on the scholarships website


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 degree

  • 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).

Why 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.

Student / staff ratios › 60 staff › 263 taught students › 130 research students

Department: Institute of Archaeology

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.

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.

Application deadlines

All applicants

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

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.


  • Register interest in your chosen subjects
  • Receive notice of graduate open days, events and more
Register now

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