Archaeology MA, PGDip, 9 months-2 years, full- or part-time

The more we critically engage with archaeology, the more we can understand both its potential and limitations. This Masters in archaeology takes your learning up a notch, and builds a strong foundation for independent PhD research.

Archaeology and Ancient History

Course description

Course description

This degree will provide you with a strong foundation in the more advanced theory and methods as well as period-based and thematic specialisms. You may also acquire more practical skills in areas of archaeological science, as well as those necessary for independent research in archaeology.

You will have the opportunity to develop a critical understanding of the potential and limitations of different forms of archaeological evidence. You will deepen your understanding of the themes and periods of the past and engage more critically with current archaeological issues and debates. Teaching will combine seminars, presentations and projects and well as lectures, encouraging you to play an active role in your learning and developing your skills for independent study. You will be assessed through various forms of coursework and a dissertation. During your time here, you will have access to more one-to-one contact with staff than you would have had at undergraduate level and you are encouraged to actively participate in and contribute to our vibrant graduate community.

This Masters degree develops your research and analytical skills, providing you with an excellent foundation for further study or career progression. There is also the option of doing an extended dissertation, giving you more research experience if you are considering going on to undertake PhD research.

We have internationally recognised strengths in research and teaching in all fields of archaeology, with research strengths in prehistory, Classical/Roman studies, medieval as well as historical archaeology, and the theory and practice of landscape archaeology.

What's the difference?

You will do four modules on both the Masters (MA) and Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) courses. If you go on to complete a dissertation you will get a Master's Degree. Alternatively you can just complete the four modules in order to get a PGDip.

Download a prospectus (PDF, 950KB)

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

2:1 degree in Archaeology, or the equivalent for overseas or European applicants.

English Language Requirements

IELTS 6.5 or equivalent. If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. If you do not yet meet our requirements, our English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU) offers a range of courses to help you to improve your English to the necessary standard.

International Qualifications

Find your country in this list to check equivalent qualifications, scholarships and additional requirements.

Countries list

Fees and funding

Fees and funding

UK and EU Students

This is the total course fee.

Starting in September 2019

  • MA/PGDip: £7,835

Find out more about scholarships and funding.

Did you know you can apply for a Government Postgraduate Loan? Find out if you’re eligible.

International Students

This is the total course fee.

Starting in September 2019

  • MA/PGDip: £16,100

You will need to pay a deposit of £2,000 to secure your place. This will be subtracted from your total tuition fee.

Find out more about scholarships and funding.

Careers and employability

Careers and employability

As well as providing an excellent foundation for doctoral research, our MA courses are highly valued by employers for the detailed thematic knowledge and key transferable skills that they provide. They enable you to develop a detailed, critical understanding of your particular area of interest, allowing effective career progression in archaeology, ancient history, the heritage sector and beyond.

Our Career Development Service is here to support you, with advice on interviews, CVs, work experience, volunteering and more. From Freshers’ Week to Graduation and beyond, they are here to help you reach your professional goals.

Related courses

Related courses

Course structure

Core modules

Core modules

When you first arrive you will complete an induction week giving you a great opportunity to get to know your peers and tutors. Then, over the course of the MA you will take one core module, three option modules and a dissertation.

Core module

This module explores advanced theoretical issues in archaeology through close consideration of illustrative case studies involving the analysis and interpretation of archaeological materials. You will be challenged to embrace critically the embedded nature of theory and practice in archaeology, and to assess the connections between particular archaeological paradigms and methodological approaches to the analysis and interrogation of archaeological evidence.

Plus your Dissertation (MA only)

You also have the flexibility to choose to do a longer dissertation and just two option modules rather than three. Choosing to do a longer dissertation and focusing on research can be excellent preparation if you're intending to do a PhD.

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Option modules

Why Leicester?

Archaeology and Ancient History at Leicester is ranked in the top 100 in the world by the QS University Rankings. Our academic staff are active in research on every continent, with research interests from early prehistory to the recent past.

Our courses cross the traditional academic boundary of archaeology and ancient history, letting you gain a wider knowledge in your chosen area.

We have dedicated research laboratories for ceramics, human and animal bones, archaeobotanical studies and GIS, plus a drawing office.

We maintain close relationships with commercial/contract archaeology through ULAS (University of Leicester Archaeological Services), who were involved with the discovery of Richard III.

Archaeology at Leicester

Georgina's Masters lets her explore further the areas of research that fascinate her.

Teaching and learning

You will be taught by a combination of seminars and lectures, laboratory work (if chosen) and individual research.

Assessment is through essays and project work. You will write a 15,000-word dissertation between May and September. Students may elect to do an extended, 90-credit dissertation where doctoral study is the main target.

Apply now

Course Qualification Duration Start Dates Availability
Course Archaeology Qualification MA Duration 1 year full-time Start Dates September each year Availability Apply Now
Course Archaeology Qualification MA Duration 2 years part-time Start Dates September each year Availability Apply Now
Course Archaeology Qualification PGDip Duration 9 months full-time Start Dates September each year Availability Apply Now