The MA in Archaeology programme is highly flexible, and the skills you can gain will depend upon the options you choose, perhaps involving very practical skills derived from object handling and analysis, or computational competencies developed by working with GIS or other analytical software. In general, though, the MA programme provides training in four main areas:
Research skills:finding, compiling, filtering and synthesising information from disparate sources is a key part of the dissertation element of the programme. The taught course options also encourage you to acquire the ability to read selectively and critically, to evaluate and prioritise information, and to organise oral and written presentations of your work. The assessed coursework elements of the programme support you in your writing skills: they help you to write concisely, and to argue your case clearly.
Personal effectiveness: time-keeping and time-management are important to the successful completion of the programme, and the ability to manage several projects at the same time will be a skill you gain through organising different course readings and written assignments. Throughout the programme, as you engage in class discussions, produce critical writing, and plan your research for essays and your dissertation, you will build up your flexibility, open-mindedness, self-discipline, and self-motivation.
Communication skills: written and oral communication skills are vital elements in the programme. In seminars, you will refine your ability to engage in debate, which entails careful listening as well as speaking. You will also gain formal presentation skills. The construction of arguments in different contexts and within different time-constraints is a major part of academic training. Writing in critically-sophisticated but clear language in assignments of different lengths is fostered throughout the programme.
Teamworking and networking: the seminars of an MA degree have a variety of structures. They involve a high proportion of collaborative learning: the ability to work with others on shared problems or to debate alternative viewpoints is constantly developed. Some taught options also involve group projects, involving more in-depth co-operation on a presentation or on a written assignment. Building up networks of contacts is also a key professional skill that the sheer breadth of teaching at the Institute facilitates.