Institute of Archaeology


MSc Environmental Archaeology Programme Structure

The MSc Environmental Archaeology provides students with a theoretical understanding of research questions and methodologies in the study of past human-environment interactions.

Degree co-ordinator: Louise Martin

Other contributors: Dorian Fuller and Rhiannon Stevens

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.

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.

Degree Handbook


This degree comprises three core modules and several options along with a dissertation, each of which is outlined more fully below.

Core Modules

Students are required to take the following:

Option Modules

Students will be encouraged to select option modules up to the value of 60 credits. At least one of these options however must be from the following three practical modules:

The remaining can be selected from the outstanding range of Masters course modules available at the UCL Institute of Archaeology, but for this degree, the normal choices include:

Please note not all modules are available every year.


(90 credits)- All students are asked to write a dissertation of 15,000 words on a topic that includes practical lab-based research, with guidance from a supervisor.

Examples of past projects include: 

  • micromorphological study of anthropogenic dark earths
  • micromorphological study of Palaeolithic cave sediments
  • micromorphological study of peri-glacial paleosols
  • micromorphological study of Neolithic house floors and pits
  • microscopic analysis of spherulites in animal dung
  • micromorphological/petrographic analysis of mudbrick