Archaeology (MA)

the United Kingdom

For more information about Archaeology at University of Kent, please visit the webpage using the button above.

The award

How long you will study
12 Months

Domestic course fees
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How you will study

Course starts
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International course fees
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All study options

About Archaeology at University of Kent

Location: Canterbury

Archaeology involves the material study of past human activity across a range of time periods, though a variety of techniques such as excavation and artefact examination. This MA provides you with a robust grounding in theories, methods and approaches within contemporary archaeology (covering, for instance, phenomenology and post-processualism) through a core taught module. You can then specialise in selected periods (such as later prehistory or the Roman era) and regions through a range of taught and directed study modules provided by the Department of Classical & Archaeological Studies.

The programme gives you the opportunity to engage directly with first-hand archaeological evidence, exploring areas such as the relationship of sites to their wider landscape and cultural setting, processes of continuity and change within the archaeological record, and the interpretation of material culture. The teaching is geared towards students’ interests and career needs where possible and is especially geared to skills acquisition and preparation for PhD study. In the summer, you write a 15,000-word dissertation with advice from one of our experts to demonstrate the skills that you will have gained during your MA.

This is an ideal programme for graduates of history, ancient history, classics or the wider humanities, wanting to gain practical experience in applying their expertise.

Knowledge and understanding

You will gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • the main approaches and methodologies characterising the critical study of archaeological remains in their varied forms within the overall discipline
  • previous and current theories in archaeology
  • familiarity with the archaeology of selected regions
  • examination of site and artefactual remains
  • comparative analysis of archaeological remains
  • specialised research areas chosen from within the subject area and including critical and or practical study and reporting
  • a selected research topic or theme, leading to the successful completion of a dissertation.

Intellectual Skills

You develop intellectual skills in:

  • Critical analysis and interpretation of relevant primary and secondary  resources of a wide ranging nature
  • Critical evaluation of empirical data
  • Critical assessment of alternative theories and interpretations
  • the ability to construct and defend arguments and conclusions in a coherent manner
  • the ability to conduct independent, critical research.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in:

  • sensitive and critical evaluation of various categories of archaeological information (primary and secondary) within their historical, cultural, economic and environmental contexts
  • the ability to engage with complex cultural processes developing through time and with various outcomes in different areas
  • the application of theoretical and cognitive approaches to understanding past human actions in a variety of environments
  • the utilisation of the full range of computing and IT skills and resources (word-processing, email, the internet, database searching, data management and manipulation via various software packages, etc)
  • develop strengths in practical approaches to handling, processing and presenting a variety of types of evidence from the past.

Transferable skills

You will gain the following transferable skills:

  • the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility
  • the identification of ‘problem’ areas and the ability to evaluate these and forward solutions
  • the independent learning ability required for continuing professional development
  • depth and maturity of thought in relation to specific subject-matter of research
  • the ability to communicate intelligently and clearly via different media
  • the application of classification and analytical skills in collating and categorising data
  • coherence and organisation in task management
  • the ability to work creatively and flexibly, whether on your own or with others in a group
  • the ability to manage your time and resources effectively, especially under pressure (eg in relation to fixed deadlines or within the specific constraints of a class presentation)
  • the ability to evaluate one’s own academic and communicative performance, and to learn from the responses and criticisms of your peers and teachers
  • the ability to assemble an effective project design and to implement that design successfully.

This programme aims to:

  • introduce you to the archaeology of selected periods and regions, through a distinctive and unique programme, relating this to wider spheres of evidence and understanding in archaeology
  • provide you with a robust grounding in theories, methods and approaches within contemporary archaeology (covering, for instance, phenomenology, materiality), examining too areas of controversy and differing expression
  • explore a range of types of evidence appropriate to the periods and regions studied.
  • establish the relationship of sites to their wider landscape and cultural setting
  • identify processes of continuity and change with the archaeological record and to examine explanations for such trends
  • confirm the extent of participation in broad European processes through time
  • firmly develop your  practical archaeological abilities, for instance in handling, characterising, assessing and reporting types of material culture finds (artefacts) and other classes of evidence of the past
  • enable you to engage critically with a selected theme or topic within the field of archaeology and history.
  • assist you to acquire the critical and organisational skills necessary for successful completion of research for your supervised dissertation and other project work (this work being on an approved topic/s or theme of your choice)
  • assist you to develop the necessary range of generic and subject-specific skills – in research, in data handling, in writing, and in the communication of ideas, using both traditional resources and the full range of contemporary IT resources.

Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardMAHow you will studyFull-timeHow long you will study12 months
    Course starts find outDomestic course fees find outInternational course fees find out

Notes about fees for this course

Full Time UK/EU: TBC EUR | Full Time Overseas: TBC EUR | Part Time UK/EU: TBC EUR | Part Time Overseas: N/A

Entry requirements

Contact University of Kent to find course entry requirements.

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