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.
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 organisations.
To apply for a postgraduate course please visit the How to Apply page or click on the apply button below.
Application process and required supporting documents
University online application including a personal statement
English language (if relevant)
If you have a question or would like further information, contact our admissions team: Tel: +44 (0)23 8059 8062 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
This programme is divided into 180 credits. 120 credits are obtained from taught modules with the remaining 60 credits relating to the dissertation.
Duration: 1 year (full time); 2 years (part time)
Start date: September
Closing date: 1st September (an application decision cannot be guaranteed in time unless a complete application is received by this date - students requiring a visa to study should also allow extra time for visa processes)
The Southampton pre-Masters can be taken if you have qualifications or grades that do not meet University of Southampton direct entry criteria but meet the minimum entry criteria for the pre-Masters further details). You will be guaranteed a place on your chosen masters degree programme subject to successfully completing the pre-Masters. Visit our pre-Masters Programme to find out more about these degree programmes.
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
IELTS 6.5 overall, with minimum 6.5 in reading and writing, 6.0 in listening and speaking, or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University.
Average applications per place:
Academic 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.
English language entry requirements:IELTS 6.5 overall, with minimum of 6.5 in reading and writing, 6.0 in listening and speaking, or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University in other approved English language test.
Selection process: Online application
Interview may be required on a case by case basis to assess suitability of course
The programme includes six taught modules and a 25,000 word dissertation. Two modules are core and compulsory and cover the theory and methodology of maritime archaeology. The core module, Maritime Aspects of Culture, is thematic and deals with the development and scope of the subject, current research, theoretical perspectives and central issues.
Practical training: Most of the taught modules include practical modules of between one and three days. Over the course of the year these comprise the equivalent of a three week fieldschool. Our rationale is to teach each technique in its optimum environment, providing the fastest possible learning curve. In addition, students have the opportunity to participate in ongoing field projects run by members of staff and associated organisations.
Subject to approval by the programme convenor, students with a strong interest in a particular research area may elect to take an Individually Negotiated Topic ARCH6123 in either semester 1 or semester 2 worth 15 credits, and/or ARCH6108 in semester 1 worth 30 credits
Students may consider taking a 'free elective' as an option in both S1 and S2 - they should contact the MA Convenor if they wish to take a non-Archaeology module.
Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the
programme and the learning outcomes that a typical
student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage
of the learning opportunities that are provided.
More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide
Fees & funding
Fees for postgraduate taught courses vary across the University. All fees are
listed for UK,
EU and international full-time and part-time students alphabetically by course
Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such
essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the
academic requirements for each programme of study.
In addition to this, students registered for this programme typically also have to pay
Printing and copying
Where possible, coursework such as essays, projects and dissertations is likely to be submitted on line. However, there are some items where it is not possible to submit on line and students will be asked to provide a printed copy. The University printing costs are currently:
A4 - 5p per side (black and white) or 25p per side (colour) A3 - 10p per side (black and white) or 50p per side (colour).
Please note: Paper sizes not recognised by the printing devices will prompt you to select the size and then charge a minimum of 50p per black and white copy and a maximum of £1 per colour copy.
You can pay for your printing by using the money loaders or by using print copy payment service by going to www.printcopypayments.soton.ac.uk
Please remember that we are unable to refund any credit that has not been used by the end of your course, so please consider this when topping up your printing/copy account.
You will be given a printing allowance of £1 per 7.5 ECTS ARCH towards the costs of printing lecture handouts and/or practical scripts.
The University Print Centre also offers a printing and copying service as well as a dissertation/binding service. Current printing and copying costs can be found here: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/printcentre/copyrooms/service.page
They also provide a large format printing service, e.g. Academic posters. Details of current costs can be found here: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/printcentre/exhibition/academicposters.page
There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the
You will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
Where a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source.
Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
Laboratory equipment and materials:
All laboratory equipment and materials are provided.
Equipment and materials:
During your degree you are likely to go on a number of fieldtrips and to take part in fieldwork. The exact number and nature of these trips will depend on your module and fieldwork choices. However, wherever and whatever you do, you are likely to need access to waterproofs, sturdy shoes or boots, a sun hat and a small rucksack. For some sites you may be asked to have steel toed boots.
For those qualified to do so, you may become involved in diving projects. In these circumstances you would normally be required to bring/hire your own mask, fins, snorkel, knife, exposure suit and dive watch (and if possible, dive computer).
IT: Computer discs or USB drives
Students are expected to provide their own portable data storage device.
IT: Software licenses
All software is provided.
It is advisable that students provide their own laptop or personal computer, although shared facilities are available across the University campus.
Lab coats and safety spectacles:
One laboratory coat and a pair of safety spectacles are provided at the start of the programme to each student.
In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated
with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also
ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and
Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.
Learning & Assessment
A postgraduate degree from Humanities at Southampton offers you the wide and varied learning experience you should expect from a leading research university. We are committed to providing a relevant, modern and above all enjoyable experience which will ensure you graduate with the additional skills and understanding you need to start a career in any number of areas or to go on to further research.
How will you learn?
On a postgraduate taught programme teaching is led by academic staff, allowing you to engage with, and contribute to, the world-leading research carried out in Humanities at Southampton. You will complete a core programme of research skills development in tandem with a series of modules which you select according to your personal aims and objectives. Each programme offers a wide and fascinating range of modules related to our specialisms led by academics who are experts in their chosen fields of research and who wish to engage you with their experience.
Activities are designed to enhance your intellectual and research skills and include tutor-led and student-led lectures, seminars, tutorials, the design and execution of group projects (both desk-based and in the field), oral presentations and the design of your dissertation project.
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.
A masters degree will enable you to further develop the key skills employers seek such as: time management; problem solving; team work; deadline and project management; cultural awareness; working independently; using your initiative; relationship-building; critical thinking and research analysis. Above all, you will learn to communicate your ideas and enthusiasm to a wide range of audiences.