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Taught degree

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.

Key Information

Modes and duration

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

Tuition Fees (2015/16)

UK/EU:
£9,015 (FT) £4,530 (PT)
Overseas:
£17,510 (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 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

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.

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).

Core Modules

  • Approaches to Artefact Studies

Options

  • Textile Archaeology
  • Funerary Archaeology
  • Experimental Archaeology
  • British and European Prehistory: Neolithic to Iron Age
  • Art: Interpretation and Explanation
  • Archaeometallurgy II: Metallic Artefacts
  • Archaeometallurgy I: Mining and Extractive Metallurgy
  • Archaeological Glass and Glazes
  • Archaeological Ceramic Analysis
  • Antiquities and the Law
  • Lithic Analysis
  • Issues in Conservation: Understanding Objects
  • Interpreting Pottery

Dissertation/report

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.

Funding

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

Kathleen Kenyon Awards

Value:
£4,000
Duration:
1 year

Gordon Childe Studentship

Value:
UK/EU fees plus stipend
Duration:
1 year
Eligibility:

More scholarships are listed on the scholarships website

Careers

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 degree

  • 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,

Employability

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.

Why 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 the Museum of London archives, the Petrie Museum, The V and A and other British Museums.

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

Department: Institute of Archaeology

Degree reviews

Staff review

"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

Subject: I teach Funerary Archaeology, a module that is taken by Master’s students in a whole range of archaeology-related MA and MSc programmes.

Application and next steps

Applications

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 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.

Application deadlines

All applicants
2015-08-01

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

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

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