Archaeology, M.A. | Durham University | Durham, United Kingdom
12 months
24250 GBP/year
10700 GBP/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


The Archaeology MA course offered by Durham University an be studied on a full-time and part-time basis. Through sets of specialist modules, skills-oriented classes and workshops, and dissertation research it provides the opportunity to advance your skills and knowledge in archaeology.


Course Learning and Teaching

The Archaeology MA course offered by Durham University is delivered through a mixture of lectures, seminars, workshops and practical classes. Typically lectures provide key information on a particular area and identify the main areas for discussion and debate among archaeologists on a particular theme. Seminars then provide opportunities for smaller groups to discuss and debate particular issues or areas, based on the knowledge gained through lectures and through reading. Practical classes and workshops allow you to gain direct experience of practical and interpretative skills in archaeology. Finally, independent supervised study enables you to develop and undertake a research project to an advanced level with the dissertation. Throughout the course emphasis is placed on working independently and developing critical and analytical skills to an advanced level.

The balance of activities changes throughout the course as you develop your knowledge and abilities as researchers, in order to prepare for work or advanced study once having completed the course. In the first two terms you will attend around four hours of lectures, workshops or practical classes, and two one-hour seminars per week. Practical work complements desk-based analytical skills, and is intended to develop skills applicable within and outside the field of archaeology. Outside timetabled contact hours, you are also expected to undertake your own independent study to prepare effectively for your classes,  enhance your subject knowledge and develop a research agenda. During these first two terms, you have the opportunity to do one or two formative (non-assessed) essays or presentations in preparation for summative (assessed) work. Typically you will submit around three or four pieces of summative work per term, consisting of essays (c. 2,000 or 3,000 words) or practical projects such as posters.

Over term 2 and into term 3 the balance shifts as you develop your abilities as an independent researcher. The lectures and workshops will introduce you to archaeological research methods in specific fields of study and allow you to practice them. You will also engage with academic issues, archaeological datasets and their interpretation. The dissertation is regarded as the capstone of the MA and as an indicator of advanced research potential, which could be developed further in a professional or academic field. Under the close supervision of a specialist member of academic staff you will undertake independent, detailed study of a particular theme, area or research problem, and produce a substantial piece of academic written work of around 20,000 words.

Throughout the course you will also have access to an academic adviser, who will provide you with academic support and guidance. In addition, all members of teaching staff have weekly office hours when they are available to meet on a ‘drop-in’ basis. The department also has a vibrant programme of research seminars and research and impact group activities, which you are strongly encouraged to attend.

Programme Structure

Courses included:

  • Research and Study Skills in Social Archaeology
  • Practical Research and Study Skills
  • Research Topics
  • MA Archaeology
  • MA Archaeology Prehistoric
  • MA Archaeology Egypt, Near East and Asia

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 12 months
  • Part-time
    • 24 months
    • Flexible

Start dates & application deadlines


180 alternative credits


On Campus

Academic requirements

GPA admission requirements GPA
Upper Second Class

Other requirements

General requirements

  • Subject requirements, level and grade

Typically applicants will have: ideally a degree in archaeology or a related subject entailing experience in historical, material culture and/or visual culture (e.g. Anthropology, Cultural Studies, Art History and Theory, History, Classics, Oriental Studies), although a wider range of backgrounds is acceptable, with 2.1 honours or higher for UK degrees, or international equivalent (please consult the department on international equivalents).

For mature students, relevant employment experience or other qualifications are taken into consideration (again, you are welcome to consult with the department on this). Prior knowledge of specialist areas is not mandatory, but an ability to prove previous interest or experience would be an advantage.

Reference Requirements: One satisfactory reference is required, a further may be requested.

Tuition Fee

To alway see correct tuition fees
  • International

    24250 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 24250 GBP per year during 12 months.
  • National

    10700 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 10700 GBP per year during 12 months.

Part Time Fees

  • EU students: £5,885  per year
  • Island students students: £13,340 per year

Living costs for Durham

660 - 1140 GBP /month
Living costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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