Material culture tells the story of people and their things: allowing us insights into the significance that objects held for people in the past.
Interweaving practical and theoretical approaches to material culture, this course explores ethnoarchaeological and experimental archaeological approaches to objects, alongside functional analyses of a broad range of artefact types.
You will discover the theories underpinning our understanding of the material world while developing invaluable practical skills: from designing and executing your own experimental archaeology project, the analysis of microscopic wear and residue traces, working with objects from excavations and museum collections, to making a short documentary film for the heritage sector.
Whatever your period of interest is, this course will equip you with the skills and experience you need to begin a career in cultural heritage, academia, or commercial archaeology.
This course is also available as an MA Material Culture and Experimental Archaeology.
A very enjoyable module. It challenges your preconceptions about replicating artifacts from natural materials and you'll leave with a newfound respect for prehistoric peoples and their skills. From the outdoor lab to the enthusiastic staff you'll learn more than you ever could from simply reading about archaeology.Andrew, student on Experimental Archaeology Research and Design module
The York Experimental Archaeological Research (YEAR) centre, where you'll complete much of your practical work, is increasingly being recognised as a world-leader in experimental research. With our (BioArCh) and palaeoecology (PalaeoHub) laboratories located nearby, you'll be able to carry out outdoor experiments then take your work inside for processing and analyses.
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.
We were awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2011 in recognition of our dynamic research community and teaching excellence.
The course consists of:
You'll also complete an Essential Skills module, which will prepare you for your dissertation (this module counts towards your dissertation credits). Your dissertation topic will determine whether you are awarded an MA or an MSc.
You will study two further 20-credit modules and two 5-credit 'skills' modules from our full range of options. Examples include:
Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
You'll complete a dissertation and related assessed lecture (80 credits), carrying out a piece of original independent research using appropriate scientific or laboratory (MSc) or disciplinary (MA) skills.
You'll have regular meetings with your supervisor who is there to offer support, guidance and encouragement throughout the dissertation writing process.
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.
|Full-time (1 year)||£8,040||£18,240|
|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 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).
There may be minimal costs associated with the purchase of raw materials for experiments if this forms part of your dissertation.
UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK/EU or international student.
Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.
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.
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.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses
We're making changes to comply with rules on social distancing. We aim to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can, supported by high quality online alternatives where we must.
Find details of the measures we're planning to protect our community.
The core modules involve outdoor practical sessions, field trips, practical labs using microscopes and the handling of reference collections, as well as small seminars, roundtable discussions and lectures.
Facilities for material culture research, including Laboratories for Material Culture and Microwear analysis are located within the Department of Archaeology's new PaleoHub building, located a stone's throw away from our bioarchaeology laboratories (BioArCh) and the outdoor experimental centre (YEAR).
The Department of Archaeology is based in King's Manor, in York city centre. Your teaching will be split between the Department and the BioArCh and YEAR centres 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'll be assessed via a number of methods, including essays, oral presentations, the production of a short documentary, report writing and your dissertation.
This course will equip you for a number of careers in a diverse range of sectors, including the heritage sector, commercial archaeology, film, television and journalism. It will also give you a solid foundation for further study and research within academia.
|Undergraduate degree||2:1 or equivalent in Archaeology, Anthropology or a related field|
|Other qualifications and experience||Alternative qualifications and professional experience will also be considered.|
|Other international qualifications||Equivalent qualifications from your country|
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|
|PTE Academic||61, minimum 61 in Writing and 55 in all other components|
|C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency||176, minimum 176 in Writing and 169 in all other components|
|TOEFL||87, minimum 23 in Writing and 21 in all other components|
|Trinity ISE III||Merit in all components|
|Duolingo||Minimum overall score of 115|
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 IELTS 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
We offer a range of campus accommodation to suit you and your budget, from economy to premium.
Explore campus and city life and hear what our current students have to say about living here.
Lively, full of culture and beautiful, York is regularly voted one of the best places to live and visit in the UK.