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Archaeology (MA)


Course Aims

The Masters degree in Archaeology offers students the opportunity to study a range of regions, periods and specialist topics in detail. The programme of study is based on Cardiff's particular teaching and research expertise. A major aim of the degree is to prepare students for further postgraduate and professional work. From the MA many students proceed directly to the PhD, either at Cardiff or at other UK universities. Many students complete the MA and then enter employment, either in archaeology units, in museums or in completely unrelated fields.

Course Description

Students can choose to follow the general MA Archaeology degree and select any of the optional modules on offer, or enrol on one of three specialised pathways. These currently include:

 A particular strength of the Cardiff MA in Archaeology is the preparation it provides for students wishing to pursue non-archaeological careers. Thus, in addition to helping students obtain a detailed and critical archaeological knowledge, the Cardiff MA offers students the chance to acquire and perfect valuable skills critical to careers in many different fields. Often referred to as transferable or generic skills, these skills expand students' individual capabilities and make it easier for students to obtain employment and enter their careers with abilities that are widely considered essential for professional success.

Above all, by the end of the Cardiff Masters degree, students will be able to critically assess the work of others and of their own, to engage effectively in debate at an advanced level, to plan, design and carry out a coherent research strategy, and to produce detailed and coherent reports and presentations.

Available Modules

Students on the MA select a total of 180 credits of modules, consisting of:

  • 40 credits of core skills modules (Group 1)
  • 80 credits of option modules selected by the student (Group 2)
  • 60 credit dissertation (topic or theme chosen by the student in consultation with academic staff)

Core modules (Group 1):

  • Skills and Methods for Postgraduate Study
  • Postgraduate skills in Archaeology and Conservation

Option modules (Group 2):

  • Themes in the Neolithic
  • Western Europe in the Neolithic
  • Britain and Ireland in the Neolithic
  • Central Europe in the Neolithic
  • Later Prehistory of Britain
  • Post-Roman Britain and Ireland
  • The Early Celts
  • Celtic Mythology and Religion
  • Viking Britain and Ireland
  • England and the North Sea Region
  • The Romanisation of Italy
  • Themes in Classical Archaeology
  • Domestic Space in Classical Antiquity
  • Approaches to Ancient Art
  • The Archaeology of Death and Commemoration

Dissertation (Summer): After successful completion of the taught element of the degree scheme, students carry out research and write this up as a dissertation (maximum length 20,000 words). This presents an opportunity for further specialisation and allows students to demonstrate their command of research skills.

Special Features

  • Training in research methods and skills including writing and public speaking, interpreting and presenting data, and designing research projects.
  • Wide choice of topic, region, period and method-based optional modules.
  • Advanced research seminars tailored to specific student interests.
  • Opportunities to participate in excavations run by the School.

Skills Acquired

In addition to helping students obtain a detailed and critical knowledge of their chosen area of Archaeology, the MA provides the opportunity to acquire and perfect valuable skills that are applicable to careers in many different fields. Often referred to as transferable or generic skills, these skills expand students' individual capabilities and make it easier for them to obtain employment and enter their careers with abilities that are widely considered essential for professional success.

Upon completion of the MA in Archaeology (and all other MA and MScs offered in Archaeology and Conservation at Cardiff), students will have acquired the following skills.

Intellectual skills, including the ability to critically evaluate evidence and its interpretation and to be tolerant of differing interpretations; to sustain a logical argument and reach a conclusion that can be defended; to synthesise and analyse information; to compare and contrast theoretical explanations and to integrate different methodologies.

Communication skills, including the ability to communicate orally in an appropriate professional medium; to make presentations both as an individual and as part of a group; to write effectively at an advanced level.

Numeracy skills, including the ability to display and present numerical data in appropriate formats; and to analyse numerical data and solve basic mathematical and statistical problems.

Information technology skills, including the ability to produce and calculate values using a spreadsheet; to produce and query databases; to use e-mail, the Internet and the World Wide Web; to find, manage and utilise information and data.

Personal skills, including the ability to manage workloads; to adapt and apply skills to new contexts; to assess and formulate priorities, constraints and goals and to adapt to changing circumstances.

Entry Requirements

1st or upper 2nd class UK Honours degree in an appropriate subject.

Suitable for graduates in Archaeology and related humanities and social science disciplines.

Students whose first language is not English will be required to pass an IELTS test (minimum 6.5) or equivalent.

Note: International students pursuing part-time programmes of study are not eligible for Tier 4 (General Student) visas and must have alternative leave to remain in the UK if they intend to study at the University in person.

Contact Information

Dr Steve Mills

Position:Lecturer in IT Applications
Dr Steve Mills
Telephone: +44 (0)29 208 75655Extension: 75655
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