Research Methods for Archaeology MA

London, Bloomsbury

This MA offers a tailor-made programme of study designed as a preparation for an MPhil or PhD research project. Students develop a detailed understanding of archaeological data and its interpretation to serve as a basis for independent research, and the ability to develop original research questions and explore them effectively.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2023/24)
£14,100
£7,050
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
£29,000
£14,500
Duration
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2023
Applications accepted
All applicants: 17 Oct 2022 – 30 Jun 2023

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.

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: 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. 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

This MA offers a wide-ranging and challenging introduction to theoretical issues involved in modern 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 through the development of a research project.

Who this course is for

The programme is aimed at students who have already chosen a research topic, but need to acquire research skills before embarking on a higher degree. Students without a clearly defined research project in mind would normally find one of the other Master's programmes at the Institute of Archaeology more suitable.

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. It is one of the very few departments of archaeology in the world actively pursuing research on a truly global scale. Its degree programmes offer an unrivalled variety of modules on a diverse range of topics. 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 staff, students and visitors. 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.

The institute's outstanding archaeological library is complemented by UCL's main library, University of London Senate House and other specialist libraries.

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

The foundation of your career

This programme is designed specifically to develop research skills to enable students to design and carry through an independent archaeological research project. In addition to general research skills, more specific experience and skills identified as essential for the proposed research will be developed through optional modules and training. In addition, students acquire a detailed understanding of recent theoretical debates and the critical skills to evaluate existing arguments and interpretations and to develop their own.

Employability

Most graduates of the programme go on to MPhil or PhD studies. Others pursue a wide range of professional careers both within and beyond archaeology.

Teaching and learning

The core programme is taught within a seminar framework based on set readings. A tailor-made programme of other work is designed in consultation with the student's research supervisor. Student performance is assessed on the basis of the core module assessments, a research proposal and a piece of research writing (dissertation).

The two theory core courses each involve two contact hours per week during the teaching weeks. Skills courses will also involve a number of contact hours, depending on what is chosen. Students will also have regular meetings with their supervisor. However, the vast majority of the time on this degree will be spent in self-study, following a programme agreed with the supervisor.

Modules

You will undertake two compulsory theory modules and any modules you need to gain relevant skills for your project, e.g. quantitative methods.  All these take place in the first two terms. At the same time you start working with your supervisor to develop your research proposal. 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 colleagues to obtain feedback.

The emphasis on developing a specific research proposal right from the beginning distinguishes this MA from the Institute's other Master's degrees remits and provides a much narrower focus.

Teaching takes place during terms one and two. Those who undertake part-time study will discuss their pathway through the degree with the degree co-ordinator. 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 is 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 Research Methods for 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: UCL 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.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2023/24) £14,100 £7,050
Tuition fees (2023/24) £29,000 £14,500

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

There are no additional costs for this programme.

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

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

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 Research Methods for Archaeology at graduate level
  • why you want to study Research Methods for 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
  • your proposed area of research

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: 2023-2024

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.