MA Archaeology

Duration Full time 1 year
  • Archaeology
LocationExeter (Streatham)
Start date September


Our MA Archaeology is designed to offer a range of opportunities for postgraduate study in Archaeology and all variants can serve either as training for doctoral work (to suit the requirements of the Arts and Humanities Research Council) or as a stand-alone means of training and research within Archaeology.  The programme can be tailored to suit both those with a first degree in Archaeology and those coming from a different specialism.

While studying this programme you will be able to study modules covering our full range of staff expertise which may include: material culture studies, landscape archaeology, experimental archaeology, and bio- and osteoarchaeology.  This will give you greater flexibility in your studies, as you will have the opportunity to gain a broader knowledge and understanding of the different fields that exist within Archaeology, or to focus your studies in a particular field that interests you. 

Programme structure

You may take optional modules up to 30 credits outside of the programme as long as any necessary prerequisites have been satisfied, where the timetable allows and if you have not already taken the module in question or an equivalent module.  

Your programme includes 135 credits of compulsory modules: 30 credits of research methods, 45 credits of specialist modules and 60 credits of dissertation.

You must also choose 45 credits of optional modules from those available from other Masters programmes within the department of Archaeology, or other Masters programmes within the University, or from Level 3 undergraduate modules in Archaeology (as appropriate and subject to the agreement of the programme director.)

It is also possible to take an extended dissertation module, for 90 credits, in place of ARCM004.

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

Learning and teaching

We seek to educate students in stimulating ways so as to develop intellectual skills for life and employment in the contemporary world, and provide a sound appreciation of archaeology.

Most of the formal classes that you attend will be based on a mixture of lectures, seminars, and workshops. The precise mix will vary between modules. These aim to outline the principal issues of the module, to explore some detailed issues, and, where relevant, to give you experience of working with a particular technique or data set.

All members of staff are actively engaged in research, both in Britain and abroad, and regularly attend conferences, symposia and workshops. It is through this active engagement in the discipline that we are able to supply top quality teaching by experts in their field and as a result we have a 24/24 grading for our teaching from the Quality Assurance Agency.

We have a range of specialist equipment and excellent facilities including laboratories, kiln room, and spaces for experimental archaeology. Visit our facilities web page to find out more.

The assessment for the MA Archaeology is through a combination of essays, other written reports and projects, oral or electronic presentations, visual presentations, and a dissertation. The dissertation is an original piece of research on a topic of your choice, subject to the approval of your supervisor.


The Archaeology programmes at Exeter are designed to develop your skills of analysis, assessment and interpretation as well as the production of written and oral reports. The broad-based nature of the subject and the skills it provides give a strong grounding for a wide range of careers, not only those related to archaeology but also in the wider fields of teaching, administration and business. Some graduates combine their initial job with voluntary archaeological work or with further part time study of the subject.

Some destinations of graduates from Archaeology programmes are:

  • Archaeological Assistant
  • Experimental Archaeologist
  • Field Archaeologist
  • Learning Resources Coordinator
  • Museum Curator
  • PhD in Archaeology
  • Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Press Executive
  • Teacher
  • Time Team Archaeologist/Community Archaeologist
  • Web Developer

Research areas

The research culture in the Department of Archaeology at Exeter is characterised by world-leading and internationally excellent research projects and publications in a wide range of sub-disciplinary fields, including bioarchaeology, landscape and environmental archaeology as well as material culture and social agency. It encompasses period interests from earliest prehistory through to the post-medieval period and includes geographic specialisations that stretch from the Americas (especially North and South America), the British Isles, Northern, Western, Central and Eastern Europe, to the Eurasia steppes, South Asia and North Africa.

Primarily, our research focuses on three key themes:

In the Research Evaluation Framework 2014, the excellence of research in Archaeology was underlined by its ranking of 3rd in the UK for world-leading and internationally excellent research1, with 78% classified as world-leading or internationally excellent2.

1Research Excellence Framework 2014 based on the percentage of research in Archaeology categorised as 4* and 3*.
2Research Excellence Framework 2014 based on the percentage of research categorised as 4* and 3*.


We have outstanding facilities that include:

  • experimental archaeology laboratories
  • clean lab with fume cupboards for chemical work
  • a landscape archaeology project office, complete with giant scanner for maps and plans
  • microscope room equipped with highspec microscopes and image processing facilities
  • a kiln room for ceramics and other experimental purposes
  • wet labs for artefact and environmental sample processing
  • sets of high and low-power teaching microscopes
  • state-of-the-art surveying equipment (including resistivity equipment, magnetometer, differential and hand-held GPS and total station theodolite).

We also have extensive reference collections of artefacts, animal bones and plant remains. Find out more about our facilities on the Archaeology website.

Entry requirements 2016

Entry requirements

An appropriate degree in Archaeology or a related subject (for example, Archaeology, Geography, Anthropology, Environmental Science, History, Ancient History or Classics.), normally at 2:1 level or above. Applicants with non-standard qualifications should contact the College of Humanities Postgraduate Administrator to discuss admission.

If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements. 

Requirements for international students

If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

Overall score 6.5. No less than 6.0 in any section.


Overall score 90 with minimum scores of 21 for writing, 21 for listening, 22 for reading and 23 for speaking.

Pearson Test of English (Academic)

58 with no less than 55 in all communicative skills.

Cambridge English: Advanced & Proficiency

Overall score 176. No less than 169 in any section.

Pre-sessional English

Applicants with lower English language test scores may be able to take pre-sessional English at INTO University of Exeter prior to commencing their programme. See our English language requirements page for more information.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees per year 2016/17

  • UK/EU: £6,900 full-time; £3,450 part-time
  • International: £15,950 full-time

Fee information

Fees can normally be paid by two termly instalments and may be paid online. You will also be required to pay a tuition fee deposit to secure your offer of a place, unless you qualify for exemption. For further information about paying fees see our Student Fees pages.

Scholarships and other funding

Find out about funding opportunities available to students on our taught Masters programmes in Archaeology.

Contact us

College of Humanities
Postgraduate Administrator
Phone: +44 (0)1392 725306

Department of Archaeology
Phone: +44 (0) 1392 724350