MA Roman Archaeology

Duration Full time 1 year
Part time 2 years
  • Archaeology
  • Classics and Ancient History
LocationExeter (Streatham)
Start date September


Our collaborative programme, led by our department of Archaeology and department of Classics and Ancient History gives you advanced grounding in the main themes and methods in Roman Archaeology and is ideal preparation for a PhD on the subject.

Balancing core elements that bring together theoretical sophistication with cutting-edge digital methodologies, from the ‘big data’ of Roman artefacts to high-resolution LiDAR imaging, we offer a wide choice of specialist topics to suit your own requirements and aspirations, including the possibility to tailor genuinely interdisciplinary training through modules offered by world leading experts in Archaeology, Ancient History, and Classics.

Additionally, by choosing to study at the University of Exeter you will not only be joining a vibrant and active postgraduate community, but you will also benefit from Exeter’s origins as a Roman city with a wealth of excavated material currently housed by the local Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM) as well as the ongoing research at the nearby rural settlement of Ipplepen.

Programme structure

The MA in Roman Archaeology programme is a one year full-time programme of study at National Qualification Framework level 7. The programme can also be studied part time.

The programme includes 120 compulsory credits, including 30 credits of general archaeology modules (Research Design and Themes in Archaeological Theory and Practice), 30 credits of specialist modules and 60 credits of Dissertation. You must also choose 60 credits of optional modules from those available from the Masters Programmes within the Department of Archaeology or the Department of Classics and Ancient History.

Interim awards

After successful completion of 60 Masters Level credits, you are eligible for a Postgraduate Certificate in Roman Archaeology. After successful completion of 120 Masters Level credits, you are eligible for a Postgraduate Diploma in Roman Archaeology.

You may take optional modules of 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.

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

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.

Through a range of optional modules you will learn and understand advanced techniques for methodological study in modern archaeology applied to the Roman World, appreciate their major advantages and disadvantages, understand the main strands of current thinking in Roman archaeological method and theory and demonstrate an advanced understanding of specific areas and assemblages from the Roman Empire.

You will have a wider choice in the acquisition of practical skills in collecting and analysing relevant evidence in the field, laboratory, archives and libraries both formally in the class room and informally through fieldwork and/or access to other facilities.

The assessment of these skills is through a combination of essays, other written reports/projects, oral presentations, visual presentations, and you will be given an opportunity to develop your own study skills through a piece of individual research, a dissertation.


Our programme develops your specific competences and research skills required in Roman Archaeology at an advanced level through extensive engagement with primary evidence. You will also acquire advanced competence in core academic, personal and key skills, to provide a solid basis for career progression in the academic world of doctoral research or for a specialist career.

Of course doctoral study is not the only option available to you, you will graduate with a full range of skills that will make you competitive in the job market. You will be encouraged to become a productive, useful and questioning member of society.

You will be well placed to go onto work in either Archaeology or the wider Heritage Sector.

Careers and employment support

While studying at Exeter you can also access a range of activities, advice and practical help to give you the best chance of following your chosen career path. For more information visit our Careers pages.

Research areas

Drawing directly on the internationally-recognised research and teaching expertise located in the Departments of Archaeology and in that of Classics and Ancient History, within the College of Humanities. In particular, this MA programme will build on the recent success of the vibrant cross-departmental Centre for Connectivity in the Roman World, which has a strong archaeological emphasis in its research activity, as well as drawing upon recent developments in Digital Humanities.

The research culture in the Department of Archaeology and of Classics and Ancient History at Exeter is characterised by world-leading and internationally excellent research projects and publications in a wide range of sub-disciplinary fields. Interdisciplinary work is an increasingly important part of funded research and we regularly work with colleagues from across the College of Humanities and wider University.

You will be also welcome to join our Centre for Hellenistic and Romano-Greek Culture and Society, where academic staff and Postgraduate students work together to develop cutting-edge research in this area.

Find out more about our research on the Classics and Ancient History and Archaeology websites.


As member and key part of our Postgraduate community you will have full access to the exceptional, modern facilities available in the Archaeology Department. We have dedicated Experimental Archaeology laboratories and workshop spaces. We have a clean lab with fume cupboards for chemical work, wet labs for sample processing, a kiln room and a microscope room equipped with high specification microscopes and image processing facilities.

We have a landscape archaeology project office with a giant scanner for maps and plans, market-leading software for processing and mapping aerial photographs and satellite imagery, and we have state of the art surveying equipment which includes resistivity equipment, magnetometers, differential and hand-held GPS, and a total station theodolite; a drone can also be provided by the Digital Humanities team.

On top of all that, we also have extensive reference collections of artefacts.

You will also have access to the wider resources of the University too, including the Library and Special Collections.

We have also invested £1.2 million into Digital Humanities to create a new lab and research space for the examination and preservation of important historical, literary and visual artefacts. The lab will allow you to use high-tech equipment to find out more about our cultural heritage, examine items in greater detail and share discoveries with the public. For more information visit our Digital Humanities Lab page.

Entry requirements

Normally a minimum 2:1 Honours degree in Archaeology or a related subject (for example, Classical Studies, Anthropology, Biology, Geography or Environmental Science). 

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.

Other accepted tests

Information about other acceptable tests of linguistic ability can be found on our English language requirements page.

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 2020/21

  • UK/EU: £8,750 full-time; £4,375 part-time
  • International: £18,500 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.

UK government postgraduate loan scheme

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,609 are now available for Masters degrees. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

Global Excellence Scholarship

We are delighted to offer Global Excellence Scholarships for students of outstanding academic quality applying to postgraduate Taught programmes starting in autumn 2020.
Please note that this scholarship isn't offered for all our masters programmes.

Contact us

Admissions Office - Exeter

Web: Enquire online

Phone: 0300 555 6060 (UK callers)
+44 (0)1392 723044 (EU/International callers)

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Fieldwork at Ipplepen

In 2010 the University of Exeter, the British Museum and Devon County Council started a survey and excavation that aimed to explore the nature of this Roman and early medieval British site. In this short video, Danielle Wootton explains the origins of the dig, and the unique features of Ipplepen.

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