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This course offers the ideal preparation for a PhD in archaeological science.
You will develop an advanced knowledge and understanding of specific areas, such as ancient materials, zooarchaeology and osteoarchaeology. You can then enjoy the flexibility to follow your own specialist pathway, supported by our expert staff.
We offer a diverse range of expertise, with particular strengths including:
You are also welcome to join the activities and events of our research centres, in the:
This course is made up of 180 credits.
Two ‘Special Topic’ modules provide advanced knowledge and understanding of specific areas of archaeology. This may be by period or theme and/or archaeological science (as appropriate). The Director of Postgraduate Studies, Postgraduate Admissions Tutor and your principal supervisor will support you to choose your topics.
Topics will be taught individually or in small groups through seminars, tutorials or laboratory sessions. You will be assessed through a combination of written essays and assignments, or practical lab tests and reports, as appropriate to the subject.
You might also be taught by participation in undergraduate lectures or practicals, in addition to following a course of guided reading and study under the supervision of a member of academic staff.
Potential topics can include:
Additional topics can often be created to suit your individual needs and interests. Please contact the department before making your application to discuss your specific requirements, and the topics that might be offered in any particular year.
Each Special Topic module is worth 20 credits.
This module has been developed to introduce you to a range of research techniques and methodologies. It will also help you develop a variety of valuable transferable skills for your future career.
You will achieve:
We build on the research skills you have already developed during both your undergraduate degree and discipline-specific MA modules. The emphasis is on:
You will have the chance to consider topics as varied as:
You will also have the opportunity to hear academics from across the Faculty talk about the problems they have confronted and how they overcame them.
This module is worth 20 credits.
Mastering the Arts introductory video
We will help you to apply your arts MA across society to enhance your career and contribute to wider society.
We'll demonstrate how the arts can be used to:
You'll be able to explore, explain and then detail how your disciplinary skills can impact upon wider issues to emphasise the applicability of the arts and humanities. From the role of the scholar activist to understanding ‘knowledge transfer’ and ‘public engagement’, you'll develop professional skills in preparation for a career within academia or across a range of sectors.
Full-time students complete a 120-credit, 25,000 word dissertation during the summer. This will include a major scientific analysis of archaeological evidence, and will be supervised by two academic members of staff with expertise in your chosen field.
Part-time students are expected to complete the 25,000 word dissertation during the second year of their study.
All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2022 entry.
2:1 (or international equivalent) in archaeology
Students with other relevant qualifications (i.e. a science degree) or experience will be considered on an individual basis
We accept a wide range of qualifications from all over the world.
For information on entry requirements from your country, see our country pages.
As well as IELTS (listed above), we also accept other English language qualifications.
This includes TOEFL iBT, Pearson PTE, GCSE, IB and O level English.
If you need support to meet the required level, you may be able to attend a presessional English course. Presessional courses teach you academic skills in addition to English language. Our Centre for English Language Education is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK.
If you successfully complete your presessional course to the required level, you can then progress to your degree course. This means that you won't need to retake IELTS or equivalent.
For on-campus presessional English courses, you must take IELTS for UKVI to meet visa regulations. For online presessional courses, see our CELE webpages for guidance.
We recognise that applicants have a variety of experiences and follow different pathways to postgraduate study.
We treat all applicants with alternative qualifications on an individual basis. We may also consider relevant work experience.
If you are unsure whether your qualifications or work experience are relevant, contact us.
Our areas of teaching and research expertise include:
Our members of staff research and teach in many different fields of Old World prehistory, ranging from human evolution in Africa and Europe, to the development of more complex societies in later prehistory. Members of staff have particular strengths in early hominin palaeoecology, the study of Neolithic to Iron Age societies in the Mediterranean, and Iron Age communities in Atlantic Europe, and Scandinavia.
You can study many different aspects of the archaeology of Mediterranean society. We have particular strengths in prehistoric Mediterranean archaeology, from prehistoric Italy (Neolithic to Iron Age), to Bronze Age Aegean (Minoan and Mycenaean archaeology) and the Early Iron Age of Greece. Specialists in this field work with landscape archaeology, burials, and material culture. Nottingham is also the world’s centre of excellence for the study of the archaeology and history of Sparta and the Peloponnese, Greece. We also have specialists in the archaeology of the classical Mediterranean and the Roman Empire, and the period of Late Antiquity and the transition to the early medieval world. Students will be able to study a range of different types of archaeological evidence including burials, monuments, landscapes, cities, forts and material culture.
You can study many different aspects of the archaeology of the Roman World, from the Mediterranean world and the City of Rome, to Britain and the North-Western provinces, to the Balkans and the eastern Empire. Our teaching and research ranges from the high point of the Roman Empire in the 1st and 2nd centuries, to the transformation of the late Roman Empire and the period of Late Antiquity. Students studying the City of Rome topic (20 credits) have the opportunity to apply to spend one semester at the British School in Rome.
Medieval and post-medieval archaeology
Nottingham has one of the UK’s largest concentrations of specialists in medieval archaeology. We have members of staff researching and teaching in the periods of both early medieval (Anglo-Saxon and Viking) and later medieval and post-medieval (from the Norman Conquest to the Renaissance), and students can study topics across this range or choose to specialise in one period. We have expertise in the study of landscape and settlement archaeology, the archaeology of standing buildings, and medieval topics in bioarchaeology.
Social bioarchaeology – people, plants and animals
Our department is a recognised centre of excellence in the innovative study of social bioarchaeology and the interaction of humans, plants and animals in their wider landscape and environmental context. Staff members specialise in palaeoanthropology and zooarchaeology across regions and time-periods ranging from the Palaeolithic to Roman to Post-Medieval Europe. You are provided with a practical, methodological and theoretical grounding in bioarchaeology, allowing you to develop core practical and analytical skills to enable you to undertake independent study of environmental evidence for their dissertation and to pursue a career as a specialist in the field.
You have the opportunity to combine archaeology and science in the investigation of ancient materials and pyrotechnologies. You can study the archaeological, ethnographic and scientific aspects of materials – primarily glass – choosing to specialise in particular methods and techniques or taking a broader comparative approach. To undertake an independent research project in archaeological materials, you will be taught core practical and analytical skills to enable you to undertake primary scientific analysis using a wide range of techniques and approaches.
Visit the Department of Classics and Archaeology website to find out more about our research and teaching profile.
We encourage you to get in touch with a member of academic staff about your research proposal before submitting an application. They may be able to help you with your proposal and offer support to find funding opportunities in your area.
Details of academic staff.
Our step-by-step guide contains everything you need to know about applying for postgraduate research.
UK fees are set in line with the national UKRI maximum fee limit. We expect fees for 2022 entry to be confirmed in February 2022.
If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you will pay international tuition fees in most cases. If you are resident in the UK and have 'settled' or 'pre-settled' status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you will be entitled to 'home' fee status.
Irish students will be charged tuition fees at the same rate as UK students. UK nationals living in the EU, EEA and Switzerland will also continue to be eligible for 'home' fee status at UK universities until 31 December 2027.
For further guidance, check our information for applicants from the EU.
These fees are for full-time study. If you are studying part-time, you will be charged a proportion of this fee each year (subject to inflation).
You'll be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to buy your own copies of core texts. The Blackwell's bookshop on campus offers a year-round price match against any of the main retailers (i.e. Amazon, Waterstones, WH Smith).
There are many ways to fund your research degree, from scholarships to government loans.
Check our guide to find out more about funding your postgraduate degree.
As teaching is largely undertaken through individual tutorials or small groups, there is a great deal of flexibility to organise your time around existing commitments.
Every week you will attend lectures and participate in small group seminars. During the year, you will have regular meetings (at least 10 recorded ones) with your supervisors to discuss your dissertation.
The Researcher Academy is the network for researchers, and staff who support them. We work together to promote a healthy research culture, to cultivate researcher excellence, and develop creative partnerships that enable researchers to flourish.
Postgraduate researchers at Nottingham have access to our online Members’ area, which includes a wealth of resources, access to training courses and award-winning postgraduate placements.
Our graduate centres are dedicated community spaces on campus for postgraduates.
Each space has areas for:
You will have access to a range of support services, including:
Our Students' Union represents all students. You can join the Postgraduate Students’ Network or contact the dedicated Postgraduate Officer.
There are also a range of support networks, including groups for:
SU Advice provides free, independent and confidential advice on issues such as accommodation, financial and academic difficulties.
Benefit from Hallward Library's extensive collection of physical books and journals, online repositories of ebooks and ejournals, and study spaces, meeting rooms and computer labs.
Take advantage of our five research laboratories, the large collection of ancient coins and the in-house Digital Transformations Hub.
A fascinating collection of archaeological artefacts from Nottinghamshire and the wider East Midlands.
University Park Campus covers 300 acres, with green spaces, wildlife, period buildings and modern facilities. It is one of the UK's most beautiful and sustainable campuses, winning a national Green Flag award every year since 2003.
Most schools and departments are based here. You will have access to libraries, shops, cafes, the Students’ Union, sports village and a health centre.
You can walk or cycle around campus. Free hopper buses connect you to our other campuses. Nottingham city centre is 15 minutes away by public bus or tram.
Whether you are considering a career in academia, industry or haven't yet decided, we’re here to support you every step of the way.
Expert staff will work with you to explore PhD career options and apply for vacancies, develop your interview skills and meet employers. You can book a one-to-one appointment, take an online course or attend a workshop.
International students who complete an eligible degree programme in the UK on a student visa can apply to stay and work in the UK after their course under the Graduate immigration route. Eligible courses at the University of Nottingham include bachelors, masters and research degrees, and PGCE courses.
This course will develop key transferable skills, including:
It is ideal preparation for a research career in Archaeology, following the suggested model of one year research training plus 3-year PhD favoured by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).
See our career opportunities webpage for more.
78.4 % of postgraduates from the Faculty of Arts secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary was £23,045*
*HESA Graduate Outcomes 2020. The Graduate Outcomes % is derived using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.
We are ranked 8th in the UK for research power (2014). The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the system used by UK higher education funding bodies to assess research quality in universities.
This content was last updated on 15 July 2021. Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but changes are likely to occur between the date of publishing and course start date. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply.