M.A. Social Archaeology

University of Southampton | Southampton , United Kingdom
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.



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 Southamptonís MA Social Archaeology unique among programmes currently offered in the UK and abroad, and will attract a dynamic mix of international students.

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.
  • A range of student-centred teaching and learning activities including lectures, seminars, classes, as appropriate, will introduce you to the material and approaches relevant to this module. However, development of these intellectual skills will primarily take place during seminars, presentations and group work, in the course of independent study. You will find yourself challenged intellectually and exposed to new ideas, approaches and perspectives.
  • The assessments employed in each module are tailored to the specific learning outcomes of individual modules. However, they include essays, portfolios, seminars, presentations, and projects. You will also manage a large independent research project: the masters dissertation. The dissertation is a core element in establishing the acquisition of appropriate skills and the application of research techniques. Your supervisor will be available to provide regular and supportive advice, guidance and feedback on your progress.
Professional development
  • 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.

Detailed Course Facts

Application deadline September
Tuition fee
  • GBP 15160 Year (Non-EEA)
  • GBP 7300 Year (EEA)
Start date
Credits (ECTS) 60 ECTS
Duration full-time 12 months
Delivery mode On Campus
Educational variant Part-time, Full-time
Intensity Flexible
Duration part-time 24 months
Part-time variant Flexible

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.
Semester One
  • Archaeology Masters Dissertation Preparation
  • Zooarchaeology
  • Materials, Technology and Social Life
  • Maritime Aspects of Culture
  • Human Skeletal Studies
  • Advanced GIS and Spatial Technologies for Archaeological Landscapes
  • The Analysis and Interpretation of Palaeolithic Stone Tools
  • Bioarchaeology of Human Remains
  • Analysis of archaeological faunal remains
  • GIS and Spatial Technologies for Archaeology
  • Archaeologies of the Senses
  • Web Technologies and the Humanities
  • Social Archaeology
Semester Two
  • Archaeology Masters Dissertation Preparation
  • Osteoarchaeology & Palaeopathology in Context
  • Materials, Technology and Social Life
  • 3D Recording, Modelling and Interpretation
  • Applied Maritime Archaeology
  • Maritime Museums and Heritage Management
  • Contexts for Human Origins Research
  • Ancient Mediterranean Seafaring
  • Archaeology Masters Dissertation

English Language Requirements

TOEFL paper-based test score (read more)
TOEFL iBT® test (read more)

IMPORTANT NOTE: The UK government confirmed new requirements for secure English language testing for visa and immigration purposes. Learn more


Typical entry requirements
  • First- or upper second-class honours degree or equivalent in Archeaology, Anthropology, History, or related subject
English Language
  • IELTS 6.5, or equivalent in other approved English language test.
Selection process:
  • Intake: 8-15
  • Average applicants per place: 3
  • University application with transcripts and a sample of written work.

Work Experience

No work experience is required.

More Information

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University of Southampton, United Kingdom

United Kingdom The University of Southampton was originally the Hartley Institute, founded in 1862. In 1952 the Hartley Institute was granted a Royal Charter and became the University of Southampton. Today the University is a top UK research university, ranked 86th in the world - among only 18 UK universities to make the top 100 (The Times Higher Education Supplement World University Rankings 2013).

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