Institute of Archaeology


Programme Structure for MA Mediterranean Archaeology

The MA Mediterranean Archaeology explores Mediterranean societies from earliest times through Classical antiquity until the early medieval period.

Degree co-ordinator: Borja Legarra Herrero

The Mediterranean, the world' s largest inland sea and the interface of Europe, Africa and western Asia, is one of the major crucibles of cultural, economic and political change in world history, a focus of scholarship for all periods between the Palaeolithic and the present, and a place where the past plays a critical role in the present, as well as in the creation of a viable future.

Students will develop an understanding of Mediterranean societies from earliest times through Classical antiquity until the early medieval period, and of major interpretative paradigms and principal investigative techniques - including fieldwork and archaeological science - applied to the Mediterranean. One or more specific regions will be analysed in depth from a comparative perspective, and Mediterranean societies will be studied holistically.

Degree Handbook

Modules Courses

The degree is available either full-time over one academic year or part-time over two academic years (commencing September). It comprises two core modules (15 credits each), options to the value of 60 credits chosen by the student in consultation with the degree coordinator, and a dissertation of 15,000 words prepared on a germane topic, with guidance from an assigned supervisor.

Core Modules

All students must take the following:

The core module Themes, Thought and Theory in World Archaeology: Foundations provides a firm methodological foundation for archaeological interpretation through a review of the recent history of archaeological ideas and of current themes in archaeological theory. The core module Heritage Ethics and Archaeological Practice in the Middle East and Mediterranean will give students a firm basis on archaeological practice, policy, legislation on heritage and ethical issues in the context of the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Optional modules then allow students to apply the broader ideas to the specifics of a given sub-region or a specific broad period across the study region, the choice of options being tailored to the student's specific interests. This degree sets out to attract and challenge students seeking new intellectually and materially-driven approaches to the Mediterranean's past, whether as a foundation for doctoral research or for intrinsic interest. It is suitable for students interested in the prehistoric, Iron Age, classical or medieval Mediterranean and its cultural heritage.

Option Modules

From an outstanding range of Masters course options, students choose options worth 60 units of credit (usually four 15-credit courses), among which are dedicated Mediterranean archaeology options. At least 45 credits should normally be chosen from the list below of option modules recommended for this degree programme (Please note not all modules are available every year):

The remaining 15 credits may also be selected from this list or from amongst an outstanding range of other Masters modules offered at the UCL Institute of Archaeology or, subject to approval by the degree coordinator, or more widely within UCL and the University of London. All options are subject to availability and resources (please note not all modules are available every year). 


A dissertation of 15,000 words (90 credits) will be prepared by the student on a suitable topic, resulting from individual research in depth with guidance from an assigned supervisor.

Examples of past dissertation projects include:

  • Ancient Italy: a social prehistory of language.
  • To burn or to bury? Mediterranean inhumation and cremation practices from the Late Bronze Age to the Iron Age.
  • Theoretical and practical advances in underwater regional archaeological survey
  • A study of Mediterranean exchange routes from an analysis of Phoenician and Etruscan materials in southeastern Iberia.
  • A stylistic study of ivory figurine heads from Nimrud.
  • The social and cultural significance of Etruscan female anatomical votives.
  • Ideology and urbanism in the Christianisation of Late Antique Greece.
  • A study of Late Prepalatial Crete and interaction with the East Mediterranean. 
  • Archaeological risk management and the Mediterranean