This MSc provides participants with a theoretical understanding of research questions and methodologies in the study of past human-environment interactions, including subsistence and subsistence change. The Institute of Archaeology has a long research and training tradition in environmental archaeology, and has well-established laboratory facilities and reference collections as a result.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2018/19)
- £10,410 (FT) £5,240 (PT)
- £21,440 (FT) £10,740 (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 minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant subject 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:
About this degree
Students gain practical experience in laboratory analysis of at least one of either: identification of animal bones, identification of plant macro-remains, sedimentological analyses. They develop an understanding of stratigraphic formation processes and their implications for developing sampling strategies, and are trained to collect and analyse data and report scientific results.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of two core modules (30 credits), optional modules (60 credits) and a research dissertation (90 credits).
Students are required to take the following:
- Environmental Archaeology in Practice
- Resources and Subsistence
- Aegean Prehistory: Major Themes and Current Debates
- Archaeobotanical Analysis in Practice
- Archaeology of Hunter-Gatherers from Emergence of Modern Humans
- British and European Prehistory: Neolithic to Iron Age
- Comparative Archaeologies of the Americas I: First Peoples to Emerging Complexity
- Funerary Archaeology
- The Mediterranean World in the Iron Age
- The Neolithic and Early Bronze Age of the Near East: The emergence of villages and urban societies
Please note not all modules are available every year.
All students undertake an independent research project, normally based on practical laboratory-based research, which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words (90 credits).
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, presentations, laboratory sessions, practicals, and site and museum visits. Assessment is through the dissertation, and a combination of essays, coursework, presentations, practical examination and laboratory reports, depending on the options selected.
Institute of Archaeology Master's Awards: A small number of grants up to the value of £1,000 are available for the academic year 2018/19. All UK/EU and Overseas fee paying students with an offer to start any Master's degree offered by the IoA are eligible to apply. For an application form please email Lisa Daniel. The deadline for applications is 1 March 2018.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Some graduates of the programme go on to PhD studies but others will be well-placed to pursue a wide range of professional careers both within and beyond archaeology, including employment as environmental specialists for contract archaeology units.
Recent career destinations for this degree
- Trainee Archaeologist, Cotswold Archaeology
- Freelance Researcher, Self-Employed Rearcher
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?
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.
The institute boasts a wide range of laboratory facilities relevant to this degree including dedicated laboratories for zooarchaeology (with a comparative collection of Near Eastern and European faunal remains), archaeobotany (with extensive comparative collections for seeds, wood, tubers, phytoliths and pollen); phytolith processing, sedimentology and scanning electron microscopy.
UCL is located in central London, close to the resources of the British Museum, the British Library and the Natural History Museum.
Department: Institute of Archaeology
Student / staff numbers
› 63 staff
including 25 postdocs
› 246 taught students
› 115 research students
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.
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.
Application fee: There is an application processing fee for this programme of £75 for online applications and £100 for paper applications. More details about the application fee can be found at www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.
Who can apply?
The programme is particularly suitable for students with a first degree in archaeology or a relevant subject who wish to develop skills and training in research methods relevant to environmental archaeology, and to gain practical training in laboratory practice in the areas of archaeozoology, geoarchaeology or archaeobotany.
- All applicants
- 27 July 2018
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 Environmental Archaeology at graduate level
- why you want to study Environmental Archaeology at UCL
- what particularly attracts you to this programme
- how your personal, academic and professional background meets the demands of a challenging academic environment
- where you would like to go professionally with your degree
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.
Applicants need a general archaeological background to be eligible for direct entry onto this degree. Applicants without this may wish to consider our Graduate Diploma in the first instance.