Environmental Archaeology MSc

London, Bloomsbury

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.

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 – 30 Jun 2022

Applications open

Notification

Application closes at 17:00 GMT.

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

Students gain practical experience in laboratory analysis of at least one of either: identification of animal bones, identification of plant macro-remains, micromorphological and sedimentological analyses. They develop an understanding of formation processes and their implications for developing sampling strategies and are trained to collect and analyse data and report scientific results.

Who this course is for

The programme is particularly suitable for students with a first degree in archaeology (or - subject to consultation - a subject relevant to environmental archaeology, such as biology, anthropology, geography, and earth sciences) who wish to develop skills and training in research methods relevant to environmental archaeology, and to gain practical training in laboratory practice in the areas of archaeozoology, geoarchaeology or archaeobotany.

What this course will give you

The UCL Institute of Archaeology is the largest and most diverse department of archaeology in the UK, and provides a stimulating environment for postgraduate study.

The institute boasts a wide range of laboratory facilities relevant to this degree including dedicated laboratories for zooarchaeology (with a comparative collection of Near Eastern and European faunal remains), archaeobotany (with extensive comparative collections for seeds, wood, tubers, phytoliths and pollen, as well as  the ability to process phytoliths); geoarchaeology (including optical and scanning electron microscopy and a dedicated soils/sediments lab)

UCL is located in the heart of London, close to the resources of the British Museum, the British Library and the Natural History Museum.

The foundation of your career

A successfully completed dissertation for the MSc in Environmental Archaeology course, coupled with graduates' assessed participation in specifically-designed Environmental Archaeology core modules, provides a demonstration of graduates' ability to undertake hands-on research in a given specialism (zooarchaeology; archaeobotany; geoarchaeology) and equips them with significant background training to engage environmental archaeological aspects within developer-funded archaeology. 

Employability

Some graduates of the programme go on to PhD studies but others will be well-placed to pursue a wide range of professional careers both within and beyond archaeology, including employment as environmental specialists for contract archaeology units.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, presentations, laboratory sessions, practicals, and site and museum visits. Assessment is through the dissertation, and a combination of essays, coursework, presentations, practical examination and laboratory reports, depending on the options selected.

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

Optional modules


Geoarchaeology: Methods and Concepts 1



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 MSc in Environmental Archaeology.

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.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: Applying for Graduate Study at UCL

The Applying to UCL for graduate study session took place in December 2021. The session, covered by our Graduate Admissions and Student Recruitment teams, provides helpful information about the process of applying for graduate study, as well as offering an insight into what we consider to be a competitive application.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: Funding your studies

The Funding your studies session took place in December 2021. The session, covered by our Funding and Student Recruitment teams, provides information and guidance about the various scholarships and funding opportunities for graduate study at UCL.

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

The fees cover the use of the UCL Institute of Archaeology laboratories for scheduled practical sessions and MSc dissertation research.  Other expenses related to the provision of additional specialist materials, laboratory analyses undertaken outside of the Institute of Archaeology, or fieldwork are not covered. All MA/MSc students at the Institute have the possibility of taking part in the Institute of Archaeology's summer term field training course, held at a site in southern England (usually 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.

Aziz Foundation Scholarships in Social and Historical Sciences

Deadline: 11 July 2022
Value: Full tuition fees (1yr)
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: UK

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

Applicants need a general archaeological background to be eligible for direct entry onto this degree. Applicants without this will be assessed on a case-by-case basis or may wish to consider our Graduate Diploma in the first instance. 

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

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.