Archaeology MA

London, Bloomsbury

The Archaeology MA is an intensive programme focused 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 (2024/25)
£15,100
£7,550
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
£31,100
£15,550
Duration
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2024
Applications accepted
Applicants who require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 05 Apr 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Applicants who do not require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 30 Aug 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

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.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 2

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.

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.

*Should you experience any issues with the drop-down below, try de-selecting the country and re-selecting it. If this doesn't work, then you may refer to this page which may help you find the same equivalencies - check the Entry requirements above beforehand. Please note the table is indicative only, revisiting when the dropdown is working to confirm is recommended.

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. It is its flexibility in terms of module choices that distinguish this MA from the institute's other Master's degrees with more specific remits.

Who this course is for

The programme is particularly suitable for students with a first degree in archaeology, anthropology, history or classics. Students with other disciplinary backgrounds who wish to do the MA Archaeology may be asked to successfully complete the Institute's Graduate Diploma in Archaeology as a condition for entry. It will appeal to those who wish to develop 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 one of the largest and most highly regarded centres for archaeology, archaeological science, cultural heritage and museum studies in Britain, highlighted by its leading position in university rankings 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

Since this is the most general of the MA/MSc programmes, the specific experience and skills acquired depend on the optional modules selected. The programme allows students to develop expertise in the archaeology of specific regions, periods or themes, or specific field, museum and analytical skills.

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.

Employability

All students acquire a detailed understanding of specific theoretical debates and the critical skills to evaluate existing arguments and interpretations. They develop their own research, a range of research skills, and design and carry out original research.

Networking

Careers events are provided with contributions from professionals in the field. There are opportunities to meet visiting experts and Institute researchers after seminars and also to talk to Institute PhD students about their experiences.

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.

Most modules are assessed through essays. All students complete a 15,000 word dissertation, which includes an oral examination.

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 weekly seminar. Many of the optional courses are taught in the same way but some may involve additional practical sessions or site/museum visits as above

Modules

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 will be required to deliver an oral presentation outlining your dissertation plans to staff and your student colleagues to obtain feedback.

Teaching takes place during terms one and two. Those who undertake part-time study will discuss with the degree co-ordinator their pathway through the degree. Typically students will take the compulsory core modules in the first year and select their optional modules in order to spread these out to year two. The dissertation is discussed in year 1 and completed at the end of year two. We endeavour to be flexible to the needs of part-time students in designing their pathway through the degree over two years.

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 are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

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, and are encouraged to do.

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 and Wellbeing team.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: Institute of Archaeology

The UCL Institute of Archaeology is one of the largest centres for archaeology, cultural heritage and museum studies in Britain. Join us for a Virtual Graduate Open Event to find out more about our wide range of Master’s programmes, how our programmes are taught, and what it’s like to study at the Institute of Archaeology. Please contact Lisa Daniel, Graduate Admissions Administrator (l.daniel@ucl.ac.uk) if you have any questions.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: Institute of Archaeology

Join our accomplished academic programme leads as they provide insight into their programme’s offering, life and study at UCL and beyond.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £15,100 £7,550
Tuition fees (2024/25) £31,100 £15,550

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

MA Archaeology students have the option 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

UCL Institute of Archaeology International Masters Student Award. Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor the scholarship will enable one Overseas fee paying student to undertake a year of study on an eligible MA or MSc degree in Archaeology or Archaeological Science. 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 2024.

Institute of Archaeology Master's Awards: The UCL Institute of Archaeology has one studentship of £10,000 available to support a graduate student who is an ordinarily resident in the UK or Ireland and eligible to pay home fee rate. The deadline for applications is 1st March 2024. For further information and to download an application see here: here

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

Aziz Foundation Scholarships in Social and Historical Sciences

Value: Full tuition fees (equivalent to 1yr full-time) (1yr)
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: UK

Institute of Archaeology International Masters Student Award

Deadline: 1 March 2024
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 (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2024-2025

Got questions? Get in touch

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