The University of Southampton

V405 MArc Archaeology Integrated Master (4 years)

A new and highly innovative course! Combine an undergraduate degree with an integrated Masters!

A degree in archaeology will open up new worlds! Whether in the laboratory or in the library, you will develop a wide variety of transferable skills whilst exploring questions about people in the past and in the present. The Integrated Masters in Archaeology is a four year first degree in Archaeology suitable for those who wish to study archaeology in greater depth than in a three-year BA.

Introducing your degree

Take a journey into the past and discover one of the most exciting subjects available! Archaeology at Southampton takes you on a journey from the earliest human ancestors to the reception of the past in the modern world, via the development of agriculture, the origins of civilisation, the Aztecs and Maya, Ancient Egypt, the Roman Empire and the medieval world. Southampton is home to world-leading scholars in Archaeology and Anthropology, and we have special interests in maritime archaeology, human origins and human evolution, bioarchaeology and museums. We are passionate about sharing our enthusiasm in our teaching, and our Faculty provides a stimulating and engaging environment in which you will thrive and develop skills in debate, critical thought and analysis.

Your first three years will follow the track of the BA in Archaeology, but the fourth year gives you the chance to develop your strengths and interests with an integrated Masters degree. During this final year, you can either focus on a particular interest or you can opt to maintain a broad and diverse curriculum. These modules you take will allow you to develop the enhanced skills and knowledge that may be required for entering specific workplace settings, and provide the appropriate skills for the wider job market or for your progression to a research degree.


Study for a degree in Archaeology and gain valuable understanding of the defining events of the past, recognise their impact upon the present, and develop an insight into the future. Explore contested narratives and develop your own interpretations using a very wide range of primary evidence while cultivating a highly transferable skillset. Studying Archaeology at Southampton will enable you to gain invaluable skills and study ideas about which both you and staff are passionate.

Archaeology is a little like studying history in three dimensions! It combines aspects of both the humanities and the sciences. Archaeology works both with historical texts and with the actual objects from the past. As a result, Archaeology students acquire a greater selection of transferable skills than many other subjects, and for that reason, employers like archaeology graduates.

View the programme specification document for this course

Programme Structure

This programme covers a wide range of world archaeology, from the first appearance of humans two million years ago. You will also learn more about the methods used to find out about the past. The MArc programme normally is studied over four years full-time, but may also be taken on a part-time basis. The programme is divided into modules.

In your first year, you will take core modules on the development of archaeological and anthropological thought and the major methods for working with archaeological data. You will also select modules from options ranging from human origins to the foundations of the modern world. Period-based and practical modules introduce the breadth of the subject in year one, with more specialised modules and research being developed in the second and final years.

Studying Archaeology also means you will be able to attend a weeklong field school at the end of your first year, and then participate in a minimum of three weeks of fieldwork as part of an active research project. This is undertaken usually during the summer vacation of your first or second year of study, and may be in the UK or overseas. Opportunities for undertaking further fieldwork, including participation in overseas research projects, are also available.

In your second year, you will develop your understanding of the relevance of archaeology to the modern world and choose modules from a wide range of approaches and periods (including Maritime archaeology & seafaring; Bones, bodies & burials).

In your third year, you will develop your own specialist interest with a dissertation on a research topic of your choice, and will take a further 6 modules from a wide range of options. Options typically range from Museums, through human evolution and Neolithic Britain (including Stonehenge and Skara Brae), to the Roman world and beyond.

In your final year, you will undertake a further detailed longer piece of research on a topic of your choice and will take 6 more higher level modules from our wide range of options. You may choose to focus on Human Origins, whilst keeping some interests in later prehistory. Or you may prefer to concentrate on our archaeological practice modules, such as digital imaging, or maintain a wide range of subjects. The choice is yours!

The Integrated Masters in Archaeology therefore offers a unique perspective on the human past in a broad geographic and temporal context, providing you with an understanding of how the human species evolved, how human societies came into being, and how and why they changed over time. This course enables you to discover different periods and different peoples, expanding your knowledge of humans from their first appearance some two million years ago up to the present day. It will provide a wide range of transferable skills, but also has the flexibility to enable you to focus on specific key skills or approaches.

At all stages in your degree, you can add breadth to your studies and pursue other varied interests by taking the option to complete 25 per cent of your programme in another subject (such as in modern languages or in ancient history).

Key Facts

Archaeology at Southampton was rated third in the UK for the impact of its archaeology research (2014 Research Excellence Framework).

We benefit from being located in a £3m purpose-built archaeology building, with excellent laboratory facilities and a large dedicated undergraduate teaching lab. We also have access to very high-end equipment across the university, such as to enable isotope research and CT-scanning.

Work placements

Wessex Archaeology is one of the largest archaeological units in the UK. Through their Student Bursary scheme, which they operate exclusively with the University of Southampton, they offer a six-month contract as a Project Assistant to one of our third year students. The post is a means of providing an important first step for recent graduates interested in a field-based career by giving an opportunity to gain skills and experience and to advance their careers by working in a professional environment.

Travel Abroad

Archaeology students can choose to go abroad for part or all of their second year. Students can choose to study in Europe or beyond. In Europe, our Erasmus partners include Prague (Czech Republic); Crete and Thessaly (Greece); Cyprus; Malta; Wroclaw (Poland); Barcelona (Spain). Our non-European partners for Study Abroad are based in the United States, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, and Australia. More details on these destinations can be found on

The interdisciplinary and varied nature of Archaeology means that a range of further special modules and features are available to you. Depending on the optional modules you choose, you can gain experience of laboratory work, additional archaeological fieldwork, fieldtrips and/or take part in study tours.

Fieldwork opportunities

The course includes three weeks' fieldwork in the UK or abroad and there are opportunities for more fieldwork or placements. Many of the fieldwork projects, which are a required element of the degree course, are overseas. Current research-based field projects include Szazhalombatta (Hungary), Portus (Italy), Andalucia (Spain) and Cruz de Cepos (Portugal).

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

A Levels:
GCE A-level

AAB to ABB from three A levels.


Applicants taking the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) will also be made an alternative offer one grade below the standard offer, conditional on an A grade in the EPQ.


We accept all A levels except General Studies.


International Baccalaureate34 to 32 points, 17 to 16 at higher level
International applications

We welcome applications from international students. Helpful information on applying, meeting a University representative in your country, or improving your English language levels can be found on the International Office website. If English is not your first language you will be required to pass an approved English test. We normally ask for an overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.5 in writing and Reading and 6.0 in Listening and Speaking.


Alternative qualifications


We welcome applications from candidates offering qualifications other than A and AS levels (including BTEC, European Baccalaureate, International Baccalaureate, Irish Leaving Certificate and Scottish Highers). You will be expected to attain an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University to an A level applicant. Contact us for further information on equivalencies for these qualifications and others not listed here


Contextual Offers


The University of Southampton is committed to widening participation and ensuring that all students with the potential to succeed, regardless of their background, are encouraged to apply to study with us. The additional information gained through contextual data supports our admissions teams to recognise a student’s potential to succeed in the context of their background and experience. Students who flagged in this way will be made an offer which is lower than the typical offer for that programme.


A typical contextual offer is ABB - BBB from three A levels or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University.


Please see our contextual admission pages for more information.

Selection process:

Selection is normally based on actual or predicted grades plus the reference and personal statement on your UCAS application. Applicants will be interviewed before an offer is made.

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 is divided into courses (modules), eight being taken at each level. Usually four courses are taken in each semester but a 3/5 split is possible if agreed between a student and their tutor. Single modules have a credit value of 15, while double modules have a value of 30. Each part has a total credit value of 120.

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Year 1

The following is an indicative list of available optional modules, which are subject to change each academic year. Please note in some instances modules have limited spaces available.

You will also be registered for a module to represent your fieldwork project (ARCH2037 Archaeological Method) – but this module is not credit bearing. This fieldwork is normally taken at the end of your first year.

Year 2

The following is an indicative list of available optional modules, which are subject to change each academic year. Please note in some instances modules have limited spaces available.

You may also choose to substitute up to two (i.e. 30 credits) of the non-compulsory modules for selected alternate modules of equivalent value from across the University.

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

NameYear of entryMode of studyUK/EUInternational
MArc Archaeology (Combined Masters)2018Full-time£9,250£16,536
View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries 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.

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 stationary 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.
EquipmentAll laboratory equipment and materials are provided. Computer Discs or USB drives- Students are expected to provide their own portable data storage device. Software Licenses- All software is provided Hardware- It is advisable that students provide their own laptop or personal computer, although shared facilities are available across the University campus.
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, 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).
ClothingOne laboratory coat and a pair of safety spectacles are provided at the start of the programme to each student.
Printing and copyingWhere possible, coursework such as essays; projects; 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 The University Print Centre also offer a printing and copying service as well as a dissertation/binding service.
PlacementsStudents on placement programmes can expect to cover costs for health and travel insurance, accommodation and living expenses; travel costs; visa costs. This will vary depending on which country you are travelling to. Specific details on what additional costs there will be are detailed in the individual module profiles which can be found under the modules tab of the programmes details of your programme.

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

Career Opportunities

An Archaeology degree is excellent preparation for future employment, offering a balance of sciences and arts and providing a range of both practical and intellectual components. These allow graduates to demonstrate many of the abilities that employers are known to look for such as working as part of a team, presentation skills, evidence-based reasoning, problem solving, project management, report writing and independent critical thinking.

A high proportion of our graduates find full-time employment within six months of completing their degree (94% in 2012 compared with the national average for all graduates of 91%) and they follow a very wide range of career paths. Recently, our graduates have found jobs in such diverse areas as accountancy, administration, civil service, cartography and aerial photography, computer engineering and animation, geographic information systems, graphic design, life-guarding, nursing, the police, the armed services, environmental health, countryside management, engineering management, marketing, business, retailing and entertainment management.

The Integrated Masters in Archaeology is also an ideal preparation for a subject-related career in professional Archaeology, heritage management, digital heritage, museums, archaeological research , teaching (in subjects such as geography, history or archaeology), geophysical survey, or heritage tourism.


Archaeology graduates have a wide range of skills that are valuable to employers, with confident computing, numeracy and data analysis skills, associated with a humanities grounding in the development and construction of arguments. Archaeology graduates are respected for their presentation and group working skills, as exemplified by fieldwork and the development of museum displays. Examples of well-known people with archaeology degrees include Sandi Toksvig (writer & broadcaster) Lord Mark Price (formerly Managing Director of Waitrose, appointed Minister of State for Trade & Investment in April 2016), Sir Tim Smit (responsible for the Lost Gardens of Heligan and creator of the Eden Project), Hugh Laurie (writer & actor), Iestyn Davies (singer), Paul Crake (Executive Director of the International Psychoanalytical Association, formerly British Film Institute), and Stephanie Swainston (author). Recent Southampton Archaeology graduates include Stephanie Porter (forensics, Thames Valley Police) and Jasmine Brighouse (video editor, Sky TV).

Learning & Assessment

Learning and teaching

You will develop your knowledge and understanding through lectures; tutor-led and student-led seminars and tutorials, laboratory practicals, group projects, individual and group presentations, field visits, field work and independent research. In year one the emphasis is on discovering the nature of archaeology and its methods, and a basic outline of the development of the human species. In year two you will consolidate and enhance your knowledge of the human past and of archaeological methodology. In year three you will begin to specialise in the study of selected periods, regions and themes, as well as carrying out a piece of independent research for your dissertation, while in year four you will have the opportunity to further specialise in a particular area of archaeological work and extend your third year dissertation into a longer piece of work or undertake a second dissertation.  


Assessments of your knowledge and understanding are very varied, including examinations, essays, shorter pieces of assessed coursework, practical assignments in both the laboratory and the field, presentations, portfolios and the dissertation. Progression is recognised in the assessment scheme, which tests the breadth and complexity of knowledge and understanding through to consolidation and application.

Breakdown of study time and assessment



Within the integrated masters programme there is the option to further focus your study on a particular specialism via well-defined curriculum pathways. These pathways include: 

  1. Ancient Civilization
  2. Maritime Archaeology
  3. Human Origins
  4. Later European Prehistory>

These pathways will allow you to develop the enhanced skills and knowledge that may be required for entering specific workplace settings. All route ways, including the more general Integrated Masters in Archaeology (with no defined sub-specialty) will provide appropriate skills for progression onto a research degree and transfer out into the wider job market.

Study Locations

Student life

Avenue campus

Only a few minutes walk from Highfield Campus, Avenue provides a purpo...Find out more

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