Birkbeck, University of London

Course Introduction

This programme will introduce you to the major techniques, principal bodies of evidence, and central research themes and concepts deployed in archaeological practice. From this, you will develop a critical understanding of how contemporary archaeologists think, draw and write about material evidence. Context, and an engagement with material and historical conditions, is crucial to this work'based training. This programme explores the history of archaeology in Britain, from public demand for archaeological intervention when bomb damage from the Second World War was cleared, to modern developer'funded archaeology. Practice'based teaching will focus on the archives of the Museum of London and the British Museum's collections. You will further your learning through practical experience on field'trips and a tailor'made Birkbeck excavation programme, 'Buried Humanities'. The curriculum of this module is linked directly to the prehistoric past and will extend outwards from the city in order to compare and contrast the detailed accounts of the Thames Valley with the archaeology of the East Anglian fens. You will examine the different types of knowledge of prehistory found in site reports, the regional knowledge found in monographs and the works of synthesis more popular in the academy.

Course Modules

The core module taken in the first year familiarises you with the principal themes and concepts of current research in archaeology practice, and addresses the perceived divide between theory and practice in archaeological fieldwork and cultural resource management. You study 3 option modules (2 modules in your first year and 1 in your second) from a diverse range of subjects; you also write a dissertation on a subject of your choice, under the guidance of experienced academic staff.

Course Additional Entry

At least a 2nd'Class Honours BA. We also offer a 1'year Graduate Certificate in history, which can be used as a conversion course if you want to study at postgraduate level, but have a degree in a significantly different discipline. If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English: IELTS Academic Test score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub'tests.

Duration & Attendance Qualification Tuition fees
1 year
Full Time
MA (Postgraduate) £14,450  Academic year. First year overseas fees
1 year
Full Time
MA (Postgraduate) £7,950  Academic year. First year home fees
2 years
Part Time
MA (Postgraduate) £7,225  Academic year. First year overseas fees
2 years
Part Time
MA (Postgraduate) £3,975  Academic year. First year home fees