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Environmental Archaeology MSc

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.

Key Information

Modes and duration

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

Programme start date

September 2016

Tuition Fees (2016/17)

£9,285 (FT) £4,665 (PT)
£18,670 (FT) £9,285 (PT)

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 5 October 2015
Close: 29 July 2016

Entry Requirements

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.

International students

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:

Degree Information

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 three core modules (45 credits), optional modules (45 credits) and a research dissertation (90 credits).

Core Modules

  • Cultural Environments
  • Resources and Subsistence
  • Environmental Archaeology in Practice


  • Archaeobotanical Analysis in Practice
  • Geoarchaeology I
  • Zooarchaeology in Practice
  • Remaining options are chosen from:
  • Archaeology of the Late Pleistocene and Holocene Hunter Gatherers
  • Archaeology of Buddhism
  • British and European Prehistory: Neolithic to Iron Age
  • Cities, States and Religion in Ancient Asia
  • Dendrochronology and Tree-ring Studies
  • Evolution of Palaeolithic and Neolithic Societies in the Near East
  • Experimental Archaeology
  • Near Eastern Material Cultures I: Neolithic and Early Bronze Age
  • Near Eastern Material Cultures II: Middle Bronze Age through the Iron Age
  • Technology in Society: Archaeology and Ethnography in the Andes
  • The Aegean from First Farmers to Minoan States
  • The Archaeology of Complex Urban Sites: Analytical and Interpretative Techniques
  • The Late Bronze Age Aegean
  • The Mediterranean World in the Iron Age


All students undertake an independent research project, normally based on practical laboratory-based research, which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words.

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.

Further information on modules and degree structure available on the department web site Environmental Archaeology MSc


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

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed (where available) below. For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme (CSSS)

Full fees, flights, stipend, and other allowances (1 year)
Overseas students
Based on both academic merit and financial need

More scholarships are listed on 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.

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.

Student / staff ratios › 63 staff including 27 postdocs › 277 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 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.

Application deadlines

All applicants
29 July 2016

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.


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

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