The University of Southampton
HumanitiesPostgraduate study

V400 MA Social Archaeology (1 year)

PLEASE NOTE: This programme is suspended for academic year 2016/17.

Since its inception by Professor Barry Cunliffe in 1967, Archaeology at Southampton has played a leading role in the development of social archaeology, and was instrumental in the development of the World Archaeological Congress during the tenure of Professor Peter Ucko and hosted the first Congress in 1986. More recently Southampton has led the field in the development of community archaeology, politics of the past, and the social context of archaeological knowledge. It remains a world-leader in social theory, feminist theory and archaeological approaches to age and the life course.

Introducing your course

The Masters in Social Archaeology degree provides students with a variety of skills and techniques that are applicable to a huge variety of scientific and archaeological disciplines. Graduates from this course will be well suited to work in a wide range of careers and professions, or enter further postgraduate study including doctoral research. Graduates will be well suited to career paths that are concerned with the relationship of social behaviour to the material world; examples include  tourism, heritage management, commercial archaeology, academic posts, museums and NGO sectors.


The Masters in Social Archaeology programme provides you with a variety of skills and techniques in archaeological practice, allowing the  undertaking of academic research into areas of your choosing, developing individual specialisms for your career ahead. Within the programme you can develop your own interests in the archaeology of any period or region. You will have the opportunity to explore current themes in social archaeology while fostering and deepening your regional and period based specialisms. The range and flexibility of this programme combine with the exceptional breadth of staff expertise to make Southampton’s MA Social Archaeology unique among programmes currently offered in the UK and abroad, and will attract a dynamic mix of international students.

View the programme specification document for this course

To Apply

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
  • Transcript
  • 2 references
  • English language (if relevant)

If you have a question or would like further information, contact our admissions team:
Tel: +44 (0)23 8059 8062

Programme Structure

This programme is divided into 180 credits. 120 credits are obtained from taught modules with the remaining 60 credits relating to the dissertation.

Key Facts

Duration: 1 year (full time); 2 years (part time)

Start date: October

Funding: AHRC Block Grant; Humanities studentships may be available

Closing date: 1st September

Dissertation Length: 20,000 words

Entry Requirements

Typical 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

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.

Selection process

Intake: 8-15

Average applications per place: 3

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.

Selection process: Online application

Interview may be required on a case by case basis to assess suitability of course

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.


Typical course content

The programme comprises six taught modules as well as a dissertation. Full-time students will take all taught modules during two semesters and complete their dissertation by the following September. Part-time students will take taught modules during four semesters, and complete their dissertation by the September of year two.


Year 1

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' in both S1 and S2 - they should contact the MA Convenor if they wish to take a non-Archaeology option.

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 or website).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

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 name.

View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this 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 for:

Printing and copyingWhere 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 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: They also provide a large format printing service, e.g. Academic posters. Details of current costs can be found here: £0.05-1.00

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

StationeryYou 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.
BooksWhere 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.
EquipmentLaboratory equipment and materials: All laboratory equipment and materials are provided.
FieldworkDuring 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).
EquipmentIT: Computer discs or USB drives Students are expected to provide their own portable data storage device.
EquipmentIT: Software licenses All software is provided.
EquipmentIT: Hardware It is advisable that students provide their own laptop or personal computer, although shared facilities are available across the University campus.
ClothingLab 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

Learning & Assessment

Study locations

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