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Different course options

Study mode

Full time


11 months

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

MSc - Master of Science

Subject areas


Course type


Course Summary

About the course

The MSc in Archaeology provides an opportunity for students to build on their knowledge from undergraduate studies and to specialise in a particular area of archaeology, while also offering an excellent foundation for those wishing to continue towards research at doctoral level. It also offers transferable skills which are beneficial to a range of professional roles.

During the 11-month taught master's degree you will specialise in a particular area of archaeology, and will follow one the subject streams listed below.

  • Archaeology of Asia
  • Medieval Archaeology
  • Prehistory and Pre-colonial Archaeology
  • Environmental Archaeology
  • Landscape Archaeology
  • Maritime Archaeology
  • Theoretical Archaeology

Teaching and learning

Teaching of stream modules is mainly through a combination of lectures and tutorials which are normally taught in small-groups. Other teaching methods may also include seminars, museum-based classes, laboratory work or other practicals, depending on your stream and module choices. You will usually prepare formative assignments on a weekly or fortnightly basis for your modules. The core Archaeological Principles module is taught by lectures and seminars and will include group work; the assignments given in this module will form the basis of an assessed portfolio.

The teaching methods provide you with the opportunity to debate and discuss essays and topics on a regular basis with other students and teachers. Your assignments will also allow you to develop your writing and presentation skills. The seminars, museum-based classes, laboratory work and practicals provide an arena for you to engage with and develop techniques of analysis and evaluation.


The 'Archaeological Principles' option is assessed by a portfolio of work.

Subject stream core option 1 is assessed by a three-hour written examination in the second term.

Subject stream core option 2 is assessed by two 5,000-word pre-set essays submitted in the third term.

The option course is assessed by two 5,000-word pre-set essays submitted in the third term.

A dissertation of 15,000 words is submitted in late August.

Graduate destinations

It is anticipated that graduates from the MSc in Archaeology will continue to further degree programmes in Archaeology either at Oxford or at leading universities elsewhere. Others may find careers in education, museums, commercial archaeology and the heritage industry.


Archaeological Principles: Data and Theory?, which all students take in the first term, is designed to prepare you with necessary archaeological knowledge, research and practical skills to support your other modules and dissertation.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

For this course (overall cost)


International fees
Course fees for EU and international students

For this course (overall cost)


Entry requirements

As a minimum, applicants should hold or be predicted to achieve the equivalent of the following UK qualifications: a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours in Archaeology or a related subject¹. Under the UK system, applicants should have a minimum of 65% in their degree. However, entrance is very competitive and most successful applicants have a first-class degree (> 70%) or the equivalent. For applicants with a degree from the USA in archaeology or a related subject, the minimum overall GPA sought is 3.5 out of 4.0. However, most successful applicants have an overall GPA of 3.7 or above.