Social Archaeology, M.A.

  • Application Deadline
  • 12 months
  • Tuition
    Tuition (Year)
    Tuition (Year)
  • English (take IELTS)
The Masters in Social Archaeology programme from University of Southampton 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.
  • Overview
  • Programme outline
  • Key facts
  • Admission requirements
  • Fees and funding


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 Social Archaeology programme from the University of Southampton 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.

A postgraduate degree from Humanities at Southampton offers you the wide and varied learning experience you should expect from a leading research university. They 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.

Programme Structure

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
  • 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
  • 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

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Full-time duration 12 months
  • Study intensity Part-time, Full-time
    • Intensity Flexible
    • Duration part-time 24 months
    • Part-time variant
  • Credits
    180 alternative credits
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Test Scores

StudyPortals Tip: The UK government has confirmed new English-language testing requirements for visa and immigration purposes. Learn more

Check Your Qualification.
  • The qualification check gives you an indication of your eligibility.
  • This personalized information will be visible for each programme result.

Academic 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.

Tuition Fee Per Year

  • GBP 17500 International
  • GBP 7725 EU/EEA
  • UK/EU fees: £3,863
  • International fees: £8,750


AHRC Block Grant; Humanities studentships may be available.

StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships Students can that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

The Global Study Awards: Expand Your Horizons

The award recognises studying abroad as a positively life changing experience for many students as well as promoting intercultural understanding and tolerance. Successful candidates will receive up to £10,000 to be applied toward the cost of tuition fees.

Testimonial Registration Module

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, StudyPortals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.