Past societies responded to and treated their dead in a range of diverse ways, providing archaeologists with crucial insights into their workings.
Funerary archaeology combines analysis of human remains with their archaeological context to take a truly interdisciplinary approach to studying both life and death in the past.
Our course will enable you to use the latest techniques and equipment to build key, practical knowledge and explore the varied archaeological and methodological approaches to funerary archaeology. You'll have the chance to develop your skills in a range of different methods and techniques, but all centred on learning how to investigate death and burial in the past.
The flexible nature of the course enables you to pursue your own particular period or methodological interests by selecting modules that appeal to your research interests. You'll work alongside internationally renowned specialists and gain 'hands on' experience of the analysis of human remains. You'll get the chance to learn through field trips to local museums and relevant sites, such as the prehistoric monuments in the Yorkshire Wolds.
This interdisciplinary course is available as either an MSc or as the MA Funerary Archaeology.
York is the UK's archaeological capital. You'll study in King's Manor, a beautiful Medieval building in the centre of the historic city.
Informality is one of our distinctive qualities - the atmosphere in our department is friendly, supportive and enthusiastic. We want you to develop your potential and thrive at York.
Ranked 6th overall for our research according to the Times Higher Education’s ranking of the latest REF results (2021).
We're proud to announce that we've been shortlisted for two prestigious University of the Year awards.
You will study 180 credits over the duration of your course. You'll study a variety of modules and then hone your research skills by producing a dissertation and presenting an assessed lecture on your dissertation topic.
Your core modules will cover topics such as:
You'll choose from a range of option modules. Examples may include:
One of these option modules must come from an MSc course which is ideal if you wish to specialise in a particular methodology, eg by taking Ancient Biomolecules or one of the modules offered by the Centre for Anatomical and Human Sciences, based at Hull York Medical School.
Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
Our course structures are changing in September 2023. Find out more about how this course may be affected.
You will carry out a piece of original independent research, using appropriate disciplinary skills in an imaginative way. You'll be assessed with a dissertation and assessed lecture on your research.
You will have regular meetings with your supervisor who will offer support, guidance and encouragement throughout the dissertation writing process.
Examples of recent dissertation titles have included:
Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there.
|Study mode||UK (home)||International and EU|
|Full-time (1 year)||£9,290||£19,950|
|Part-time (2 years)
This is the year 1 fee. Fees for future years are subject to confirmation.
|Part-time (3 years)
This is the year 1 fee. Fees for future years are subject to confirmation.
Students on a Student Visa (formerly Tier 4 Visa) are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.
For courses which are longer than one year, the tuition fees quoted are for the first year of study.
UK (home) or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status
Find out more information about tuition fees and how to pay them.
We don't anticipate there being any additional fees associated with this course. All books and resources you need will be available in the library or online and it isn't mandatory that you buy your own copies. You may wish to set aside a small budget for photocopying, depending on how you like to work.
Field trips are funded by the Department.
Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.
We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2022/23 throughout the year.
If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.
We have a variety of available within the department.
You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.
You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace.
You will be taught through a combination of lectures and seminars, with an emphasis on student led-discussion and presentations. Both core modules have a field trip, with the chance to explore a relevant excavation, museum exhibition or site visit. The core skills modules are hands-on, practical classes, lasting four hours each. These are taught in small groups of 12, so there is plenty of one-on-one guidance from staff.
The Department of Archaeology is based in King's Manor, in York city centre. The majority of your teaching will take place there within the Department, with the osteology teaching taking place in the PalaeoHub on Campus West.
Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.
You will be assessed by a variety of methods. Depending on which modules you opt to take, these could include:
This course will prepare you for roles in a range of sectors, including heritage, commercial archaeology, film/television, journalism and academia. You'll also develop transferable skills that are applicable to a multitude of careers beyond archaeology and heritage.
|Undergraduate degree||2:1 or equivalent in Archaeology, Anthropology or a related field. We also consider applicants who have a 2:2 degree and relevant work experience.|
|Other international qualifications||Equivalent qualifications from your country|
You will need to submit examples of written work with your application. Please see our guidance on submitting written work.
If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:
|IELTS||6.5, minimum 6.5 in Writing and 6.0 in all other components|
|C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency||176, minimum 176 in Writing and 169 in all other components|
|Duolingo||110, minimum 110 in production and 100 in all other components|
|LanguageCert||B2 Communicator High Pass with 33/50 in each component|
|PTE Academic||61, minimum 61 in Writing and 55 in all other components|
|TOEFL||87, minimum 23 in Writing and 21 in all other components|
|Trinity ISE III||Merit in all components|
For more information see our postgraduate English language requirements.
You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.
The length of course you need to take depends on your current English language test scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.
After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.
Get in touch if you have any questions
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