1st Trowel of Christmas

Help us unwrap our exciting new masters degree next year


The School of Archaeology is delighted to offer an exciting new masters degree MSc in Archaeology which will begin in the Academic Year 2020/21. The next deadline for applications is Friday 24 January 2020 and the final application deadline for entry in 2020-21 is Tuesday 3 March 2020. Apply now 


The 11-month MSc in Archaeology provides an opportunity for students to build on their knowledge from undergraduate studies and to specialise in a particular area of archaeology, while also offering an excellent foundation for those wishing to continue towards research at doctoral level. It also offers transferable skills which are beneficial to a range of professional roles.



 During the 11-month taught degree you will specialise in a particular area of archaeology, and will follow one of a number of subject streams:

  • Archaeology of Asia
  • Medieval Archaeology
  • Prehistory and Pre-colonial Archaeology
  • Environmental Archaeology
  • Landscape Archaeology
  • Maritime Archaeology
  • Theoretical Archaeology

Each stream comprises four modules and a dissertation.

The core module ‘Archaeological Principles: Data and Theory’, which all students take in the first term, is designed to prepare you with necessary archaeological knowledge, research and practical skills to support your other modules and dissertation.

You will take two core modules offered within your stream, one taught in the first term, and the other taught in the second term.

The fourth module is your option module, also taught in the second term. This is chosen from all available modules in any stream, or an option from the MSt in Classical Archaeology. In some circumstances a subject taught in the MSc in Archaeological Science may be taken as your option module and is taught over two terms.

You will complete a dissertation of 15,000 words on an approved topic relevant to your stream subject, chosen in consultation with a supervisor. Most of the dissertation research and writing takes place in the third term and into the summer.

The MSc in Archaeology allows subject specialisation, but also flexibility, by combining core modules with your option module, and topics chosen for your dissertation and summative pre-set essays. The dissertation allows you to develop a larger piece of research in which you can more fully explore a topic. It will allow you to develop your research skills and undertake self-directed and independent research that is a necessary basis for future doctoral research, and highly desirable in non-academic employment.

School of Archaeology Bursary

All candidates offered a place on the MSc in Archaeology will be considered for one of our departmental bursaries. All Home/EU and Overseas status applicants are eligible.

Five bursaries of £7,000 each are available for the year 2020-21. To be eligible you need to apply to the MSc in Archaeology programme through the usual application system in the preceding November or January application round. There is no separate application form for the bursary.

If you are offered a place on the programme you will be automatically considered for shortlisting for one of the bursaries. 

Shortlisted applicants may be invited for an interview in March 2020 (face-to-face or via Skype). Bursaries will be awarded to the strongest applicants who demonstrate

  • motivation for and understanding of the proposed area of study,
  • sound reasons for applying to the School of Archaeology, the MSc in Archaeology and your chosen stream, and
  • evidence that your academic ability and focus are suited to the demands and nature of the degree.

Applicants will be notified if they have been successful by the start of April. At this point an acceptance of the bursary is expected within a couple of weeks.

Successful applicants are asked to inform the School of Archaeology of any other offers of financial support for the purpose of their studies at Oxford. Adjustments to the value of the bursary may be made to take account of these.