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Key information

Qualification type

MSc - Master of Science

Subject areas

Marine Archaeology

Course type


Course Summary

Investigation of the maritime past has gathered rapid momentum in recent years, becoming a dynamic and focused field of archaeology. As well as investigating submerged landscapes, settlements and shipwrecks, the whole 'coastal zone' is now being acknowledged as a priority in terms of protection, management and research.

Introducing your course

Archaeology graduates can develop an exciting specialism through studying this Masters in Maritime Archaeology degree. Explore the changing relationship people have had with the world’s oceans and seas through the technologies of seafaring, histories of environmental change, the record from submerged landscapes and coastal sites. You will receive either an MA or MSc certificate on successful completion of this course, depending on the research and focus of your dissertation.

The Masters course in Maritime Archaeology course provides archaeology graduates with a fascinating specialism. Achieved through a variety of theoretical classroom learning and practicing archaeology in seas, rivers, lakes and intertidal environments. The in depth study of past societies and their relationship with the water, provides you with the opportunity to observe shipwrecks and the exhumed artefacts. The course is taught in six modules and whether graduates receive am Ma or MSc certificate is dependant upon the research undertaken and the focus of the dissertation. Most modules include a practical aspect of field work that lasts between one and three days. Over the year long course, this accumulates to three weeks worth of field school. Our emphasis on the practical element of the course means you learn and understand archaeological technique fast. All students are given the opportunity to participate in additional academic fieldwork and excavations ran by staff and associated organisation.


Your knowledge and understanding will be assessed through written work, project work, reports and formal oral presentations. At each stage of assessment feedback will be provided to identify your progress and additional areas to consider, develop and concentrate upon. You will also manage a large independent research project: the masters dissertation. The 25,000 word dissertation is a core element in establishing the acquisition of appropriate skills and the application of research techniques. Your masters tutor will be available to provide regular and supportive advice, guidance and feedback on your progress.

Different course options

Full time | Avenue Campus | 1 year | SEP-20

Study mode

Full time


1 year

Start date



This fifteen credit module will introduce you to the theoretical, ethical, logistic, technical and legislative issues that have to be addressed if the theory and practice of archaeology are to be successfully applied in the investigation of sites underwater and/or in the coastal zone. Case studies will be used to demonstrate the logistic aspects of excavation strategy, as well as the equipment and techniques necessary for search, survey, excavation and recording underwater and/or in the inter-tidal/coastal zone. The course includes practical sessions on excavation and aspects of recording (see below). Non divers can participate on an equal footing to divers through alternative or associated activities related to recording and project supervision. This module is designed to underpin practical training and fieldwork, thereby complementing the more thematic approach explored in the first Semester Core Unit: Maritime Aspects of Culture. Assessment involves designing and carrying out a field survey project and producing a report in the manner in which you would have to do so in a professional context. The following practical components will act as supplementary elements of the module of between one half day and two days. They are designed to introduce key methodologies. They include pool sessions for those with appropriate diving qualifications as well as intertidal work.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK / EU students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


International fees
Course fees for non-UK / EU students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


Entry requirements

First or upper second class honours degree, or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University in archaeology, anthropology, history or a cognate discipline. All applicants must demonstrate they possess at least a minimum standard of English language proficiency. Applicants requiring a visa to study in the UK who do not offer GCSE English language (or GCSE English) at the required level will need to meet the following English language proficiency requirement.

University information

The University of Southampton has a long history of tradition, prestige and success, having just celebrated 100 years of its Highfield Campus. A founding member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities, the University is ranked in the Top 20 UK universities in the Complete University Guide, 2020 and is also a three-times winner of the Queen's Anniversary Prize. The University is spread across five campuses in Southampton,...more

Similar courses at this uni

Maritime Archaeology MA

Full time | 1 year | SEP-20