Archaeology MA

London, Bloomsbury

The Archaeology MA is an intensive induction programme on current archaeological theory and interpretive trends which equips students to undertake research in their chosen field. The flexible programme of study serves as an excellent expansion of undergraduate studies or as a self-designed foundation for further postgraduate and professional work.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2022/23)
£12,900
£6,450
Overseas tuition fees (2022/23)
£26,600
£13,300
Duration
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2022
Applications accepted
All applicants: 18 Oct 2021 – 31 Mar 2022

Applications open

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

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

Equivalent qualifications

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. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

The programme provides a wide-ranging introduction to archaeology as a comparative, anthropologically informed, and socially situated discipline. Students develop critically aware perspectives on archaeological practice and research processes and gain an in-depth understanding of approaches to the collection, analysis and interpretation of archaeological data. The programme is extremely flexible, with a wide choice of options available allowing students to tailor the programme to their own interests.

Who this course is for

The programme is particularly suitable for students with a first degree in archaeology, anthropology, history or classics. It will appeal to those who wish to develop the necessary skills relevant to a professional career in archaeology, and to those who want to continue to a research degree in the field.

What this course will give you

The UCL Institute of Archaeology is the largest and one of the most highly regarded centres for archaeology, archaeological science, cultural heritage and museum studies in Britain, highlighted by its leading position in university assessments and National Student Survey results. It is one of the very few departments in the world undertaking research on a truly global scale. Its degrees offer an unrivalled variety of modules. The Institute hosts events on many different aspects of archaeology and is linked to heritage organisations, museums and archaeological societies, providing an outstanding research environment for students.

It is truly international in outlook and membership, with students and staff from over 40 countries, and involvement in field research projects around the world.

UCL is located in central London, within walking distance of the British Museum and the British Library. UCL's own museums and collections constitute a resource of international importance for research.

The foundation of your career

As the most general of the MA/MSc programmes, the experience and skills acquired depend on the optional modules selected, and how those skills are developed through assessed work, developing expertise in the archaeology of specific regions, periods or themes, or specific fields, museum and analytical skills. All students acquire a detailed understanding of specific theoretical debates and the critical skills to evaluate existing arguments and interpretations and to develop their own research, develop a range of research skills, and design and carry through original research.

Employability

Some recent graduates of the programme have gone on to PhD studies while others have pursued an incredibly wide range of professional careers both within and beyond archaeology.

Teaching and learning

The core modules are seminar based, and the sessions are interactive, with an emphasis on student participation and critical discussion. The optional modules are delivered through seminars, lectures, practicals, laboratory sessions, tutorials, and site and museum visits, as appropriate for specific modules. Assessment is through essays, oral examination and the dissertation.

The core courses are seminar-based and involve two contact hours per week during the teaching weeks. Extensive reading is required in advance of each week's seminar. Many of the optional courses are also taught in the same way but some may involve additional practical sessions or site/museum visits as above

Modules

Full-time

The teaching is carried out in the first two terms. In the second term you identify a dissertation topic and supervisor then in the third term you begin work on your dissertation, which continues over the summer. Research skills sessions provide support for this and you have to make an oral presentation of your dissertation plans to staff and your student colleagues to obtain feedback.

The flexible programme of study serves as an excellent expansion of undergraduate studies or as a self-designed foundation for PhD research and professional work. It is its flexibility in terms of option choices that distinguish this MA from the Institute's other Master's degrees with more specific remits.

Modules may include:

•    Aegean Prehistory: major themes and current debates (ARCL0135)

•    Archaeology of Early Human Origins  (ARCLG0212) 

•    Archaeologies of Modern Conflict (ARCLG217)

•    Aztec Archaeology: Codices and Ethnohistory (ARCL0137, 15 credits, 11 weeks)  

•    British and European Prehistory: Neolithic to Iron Age (ARCL0146)  

•    Comparative Archaeologies of the Americas II: Empires, states and settlement  (ARCL0188)

•    Exploratory Data Analysis in Archaeology (ARCLG021)  

•    Funerary Archaeology (ARCL0156)

•    Making and Meaning in Ancient Greek Art (ARCL0162) 

•    Making and Meaning in Ancient Roman Art (ARCL0164)

•    Maya Art, Architecture and Archaeology (ARCL0120) 

•    Prehistoric Stone Artefact Analysis (ARCL0101)

•    The Archaeology of the Silk Roads (ARCL210)  

•    The Mediterranean World in the Iron Age  (ARCL0138)  

•    Themes and Debates in Egyptian Archaeology (ARCL0147)

•    The Neolithic and Early Bronze Age of the Near East: The Emergence of Villages and Urban Societies (ARCL0151)

•    Themes and Debates in Islamic Archaeology and Heritage (ARCL0147, 15 credits, 11 weeks)  

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MA in Archaeology.

Fieldwork

There is no fieldwork element in this programme but students may have the opportunity to take part in the Institute's summer field training course if they wish to do so.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2022/23) £12,900 £6,450
Tuition fees (2022/23) £26,600 £13,300

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Additional costs

As noted above, MA Archaeology students have the possibility of taking part in the Institute of Archaeology's summer term field training course, held at a site in southern England. This involves extra costs of approximately £250-350 to cover food and travel.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

Institute of Archaeology Master's Awards: three studentships to the value of Home fees for the degree the successful applicant has been accepted onto. Home and International students with an offer to start any Master's degree offered by the IoA are eligible to apply. The deadline for applications is 1st March 2022. For further information and to download an application see here: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/archaeology/study/graduate-taught/applying/ucl-institute-archaeology-masters-award Any queries please email Lisa Daniel. The deadline for applications is 1 March 2022.

UCL Institute of Archaeology International Masters Student Award: thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor the scholarship will enable one international fee paying student to undertake a year of study. It will provide support of up to £26,000 for the duration of their degree to cover fees. Further details can be found here. The deadline for applications is 1 March 2022.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

Heritage and Museums Opportunity Scholarship

Deadline: 1 March 2022
Value: Full Home Fees (1yr)
Criteria Based on academic merit
Eligibility: UK

Institute of Archaeology International Masters Student Award

Deadline: 1 March 2022
Value: Up to £26,000 (1yr)
Criteria Based on academic merit
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

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.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Archaeology at graduate level
  • why you want to study 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.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes in any application cycle.

We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible. The programme may remain open if places are still available after 31 March 2022 and will be closed as soon as it is full or by 30 June 2022.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

This page was last updated 28 Sep 2021