Historical Archaeology explores the emergence of the modern world, from the end of the Middle Ages to the 21st century. It is one of the fastest growing areas of archaeology, dealing with many exciting issues that shape the world we have inherited today.
Drawing together a rich and diverse range of material, documentary and landscape sources, you will have the chance to explore dynamic and globally significant themes, from capitalism to colonialism. You'll gain practical training in analysing and interpreting evidence, from excavations and standing buildings to designed landscapes and artefacts.
The knowledge and skills you'll develop on this course will provide an unrivalled insight into the past and present, giving you a head start in many heritage or historic careers and research, as well as a range of other sectors.
I loved studying Historical Archaeology at York. The MA course was an inspiration! It provided the foundation for my PhD and I was able to turn an interest into a passion, and the encouragement and support I received from my tutors gave me the confidence to turn that into a career.Annie, MA Historical 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.
In the Times Higher Education's ranking of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework results, the Department was in the top five for research impact.
You'll examine themes such as the development of consumption and capitalism, colonialism and globalisation from British and international perspectives. The subject spans from the unique experience of Britain in the 17th and 18th centuries to consider the global impact of changing economic, political and cultural values as the modern world took shape.
You'll examine data sources including excavated material alongside material culture from museums and collections, standing buildings, landscapes and documentary sources of all kinds which relate to the UK, its former colonies and the wider world.
You will study a total of 180 credits over the course, including two core modules, two option modules and four shorter skills modules of your choice. In the final term, you will develop your research skills by producing a dissertation and presenting an assessed lecture.
You will study two further 20-credit modules and four 5-credit 'skills' modules from our full range of options. Examples include:
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.
In your final term of study, you will carry out research for your dissertation and give an assessed lecture on your dissertation topic (worth a total of 80 credits).
Recent examples of previous dissertation topics include:
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)||£8,440||£18,700|
|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. Fees for subsequent years are subject to increase (no more than 2% each year).
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 to buy your own copies. You may wish to set aside a small budget for photocopying, depending on how you like to work.
Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.
We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2021/22 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 funding options 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.
The course has a real focus on the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries which is matched by the staff expertise and this means that your seminars are often at the forefront of contemporary archaeological thinking. The members of staff are so passionate about the subject and their enthusiasm is infectious.Max, MA Historical Archaeology
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.
We've made some changes to the way our courses are delivered to minimise potential disruption from the ongoing global pandemic.
You'll be taught via a combination of lectures, workshops and tutorials. In the Summer Term you will develop your research and presentation skills by producing a dissertation and giving an assessed lecture.
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 a small amount taking place in various locations 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:
Over the course of the year, you'll develop highly valued and transferable skills, knowledge and experience essential for a wide variety of careers. Many students go on to further study or take up employment with a range of organisations both within and outside the heritage sector, including the civil service and law firms, heritage consultancies and museums.
Graduates have gone on to work with many organisations relating to archaeology, including:
Others have used the skills gained to pursue careers in other sectors, including:
|Undergraduate degree||2:1 or equivalent in Archaeology or a related field such as History, History of Art, Geography or English Literature. We also consider applicants who have a 2:2 degree and relevant work experience.|
|Other qualifications and experience||Non-graduate applications will be considered from those with three years practical or professional experience, broadly related to the topics within historical archaeology or those disciplines listed above. Applicants are normally interviewed before an offer is made.|
|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|
|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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