Archaeology (MSc)

Master of Science
Typical Offer
2:1 degree View full entry requirements
1 year
Course Type
Next course starts
September 2024

About this course

Build the skills you need for a career in archaeological research or the heritage industry with this flexible archaeology master’s. You’ll gain practical experience and benefit from our close ties with museums and organisations involved in commercial archaeology, heritage management and fieldwork.

We're ranked 7th in the UK for archaeology (QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2022).

With this MSc in Archaeology you can personalise your studies to areas that interest you, without having to specialise in a particular area. We bring expertise together from across the University, including the National Oceanography Centre, Humanities, Medicine, Engineering and Winchester School of Art, to help you gain both scientific skills and cultural understanding through a range of optional modules.

This master's in archaeology enables you to develop your skills in a practical way, whilst learning from theoretical and period-based insights. You’ll have full access to a wide range of dedicated facilities and specialist teachers.

These include:

  • a dedicated library
  • a large collection of stone tools and hominin skulls
  • specialist isotope labs and a scanning, imaging and micro-CT suite
  • an extensive collection of human and animal skeletons

We have relationships with a number of leading heritage institutions and companies. You’ll have the opportunity to spend 4 weeks on placement with one of these institutions, where you’ll gain valuable real-world experience of the archaeology sector and heritage industry. Previous placements have included Historic England, Wessex Archaeology and The Nautical Archaeology Society.

In addition to your vocational training, you'll develop advanced research skills. When you write your dissertation you’ll be able to embed with one of our research groups to undertake original research on a topic that you choose. There is the possibility that this work will be published.

Southampton is close to the World Heritage sites of Stonehenge and Avebury and we have research projects engaged with both sites, as well as a range of other archaeological projects across the globe.

We offer 4 pathways on our MSc Archaeology degree. If you’re not sure which area of archaeology you want to specialise in, then this general pathway gives you the chance to explore a number of different areas.

Your other Archaeology MSc pathway options are:

  • Archaeology Bioarchaeology - Gain specialist skills in human anatomy and faunal analysis to make sense of the past. Benefit from dedicated archaeology laboratories and specialist research.
  • Archaeology Higher Archaeological Practice - Discover our Archaeological Practice master's degree at the University of Southampton. Learn how to get a job in archaeology and commercial archaeology.
  • Archaeology Palaeoanthropology - Discover our Palaeoanthropology master's degree at the University of Southampton. Learn to analyse stone tools and hominin skulls to understand our evolution.

Flexible study

If you prefer, you can apply to study this course as:

  • a part-time master's - study the same course content over 2 or more years

Your modules and fees may vary if you choose a different study option.

We regularly review our courses to ensure and improve quality. This course may be revised as a result of this. Any revision will be balanced against the requirement that the student should receive the educational service expected. Find out why, when, and how we might make changes.

Our courses are regulated in England by the Office for Students (OfS).

Course lead

Professor Joanna Sofaer (FSA PFHEA) engages in advocacy for the Arts and Humanities at the highest levels and is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. She is internationally known for her research focusing on the European Bronze Age, creativity, craft and innovation in material culture, the past as inspiration for contemporary creative practice, archaeologies of social identity, and archaeology for social benefit.

She has also developed highly successful, novel archaeology-based Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for the creative and cultural sectors. View Joanna's staff profile for more information.

Course location

This course is based at Avenue.

Awarding body

This qualification is awarded by the University of Southampton.