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Full time | Streatham Campus | 2 years | APR-23

Study mode

Full time


2 years

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

MPhil - Master of Philosophy

Subject areas


Course type


Course Summary

Research overview

This Research in the Archaeology Department covers human origins through to the recent past, and is characterised by theoretically informed field-based approaches and a strong commitment to methodological innovation.

Our staff and research students work in Britain, mainland Europe, Asia, Africa, and North and South America, and in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework the Department was ranked 3rd in the UK for world-leading and internationally excellent research.

We offer supervision across a wide variety of research specialisms.

Archaeology of the Americas

  • Archaeobotany
  • Experimental archaeology
  • Lithic analysis
  • Provenance studies
  • Zooarchaeology


  • The origins and development of social inequality, violence and warfare
  • Morphological alteration in response to physical activity and labour in the rise of craft specialists and elites across political, social and economic transitions
  • Changing patterns of resource exploitation of plants and animals

Experimental archaeology

  • The origins and development of complex stone flaking technologies in the Upper Palaeolithic of south-western Europe and North America
  • Identification of tool uses in relation to changing land use patterns
  • Exploration of bone flaking technologies in relation to Late Pleistocene technologies
  • Iron smelting technologies and their relationships to Iron Age interactions across Europe and South Asia

Landscape archaeology

  • The origins and development of historic landscapes, uncovering where our landscapes of today came from
  • Exploring ancient landscapes through remote sensing techniques
  • Understanding the changing patterns in the exploitation of resources such as salt, obsidian clays and metals

Material culture and social agency

  • Organic and inorganic materials and technologies
  • The sensory worlds of prehistoric societies
  • The acquisition and transmission of technical skills and craft traditions
  • The circulation and exchange of artefacts and materials in ancient societies
  • Identity, representation, and material culture

Wetlands, coastal and maritime landscapes

  • The wetlands of Britain, with particular involvement in fieldwork in the Somerset Levels, the Humber Wetlands, the Gwent Levels and the Essex Marshes, but also further afield, for example the Irish Midlands


Graduates of Archaeology postgraduate programmes have successfully progressed to wide range of roles, examples of which are listed below.

Our taught programmes offer professional skills modules enabling you to learn a particular skill or group of skills within your own area of interest through project or work placement, while our links with industry, museums and independent establishments provide further opportunities to engage in practical work. These experiences have proved valuable for many of our graduates, helping them move into or develop archaeological or heritage careers.

Tuition fees

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International fees
Course fees for EU and international students

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Entry requirements

Students applying to enter directly into the MPhil/PhD programme would normally be expected to have a Masters degree with Merit or equivalent in Archaeology, or other relevant qualifications such as a doctorate in another subject.

University information

The University of Exeter is a global university and a member of the leading research-oriented UK universities, The Russell Group, The European University Association and the AMBA. As demonstrated in the REF 2014, 98% of the University of Exeter’s postgraduate research has been rated to be of international quality. Out of its 27,000 students from over 150 countries, 5,600 of these are postgraduates, studying across the university’s three main...more

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