MA Medieval Archaeology

Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Arts and Humanities

We draw on the humanities and the sciences to explore our relationship with the world.

We're reinventing archaeology. New perspectives, new methods, new ways to help communities understand and celebrate their heritage. Thinking about the future is part of the discipline.

A masters with us is perfect preparation for a PhD and a research career. We also run courses with an optional vocational track, so you can train for specific jobs. Everyone gets the chance to take part in fieldwork - in the UK, mainland Europe, Asia and Africa.

The question we ask all our students is: "What kind of archaeologist do you want to be?"

Jobs include Historic Buildings Projects Officer, Commercial Field Archaeologist and Postdoctoral Researcher.

About the course

Sheffield has one of the biggest communities of medieval archaeologists in the UK. This course draws heavily on their extensive research.

The MA examines European societies from the end of the classical period to the early modern period.

You'll get hands-on experience with a field placement on a medieval project.

Core modules

  • Heritage, Museum and Field: Archaeology in Practice
  • Ethnicity and Identity in the Early Middle Ages
  • Society and Culture in the Later Middle Ages
  • Reinventing Archaeology
  • Research Design: planning, execution and presentation
  • Dissertation

Optional modules

Choose from a range including:

  • Viking-Age Britain
  • Wars of the Roses to Elizabeth, The Archaeology of England 1455–1603
  • Imagining the Unseen in the Middle Ages
  • Introduction to Human Osteology
  • Archaeozoology
  • The Dawn of Modernity in the Late Middle Ages
  • Unit in the Faculty Arts and Humanities or Modern Languages Teaching Centre language to the value of 15 credits


  • Seminars
  • Lectures
  • Practical classes
  • Field placement on a medieval project.

Some optional modules (see above) are taught by the Department of History.


  • Coursework assignments
  • Dissertation

Part-time study

This course can be taken full-time or part-time.

If you study part-time, you'll take two 15-credit modules in each semester during Year 1 and Year 2, and either a dissertation or placement module over the summer of Year 2. We arrange for you to attend two days a week but we try to be as flexible as possible.

Apply now

Margaret James, postgraduate student of the Department of Archeology

I love the mix of both theoretical and practical teaching we get. We have seminars but we also get to handle the materials, which is fun and interesting.

Margaret James, postgraduate student in Department of Archaeology

Key facts

Course duration

  • 1 year full-time
  • 2 years part-time

Entry requirements

2:1 honours degree in a relevant subject such as archaeology, history, classics or anthropology.

English language requirements

Overall IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component, or equivalent.

Entry requirements for international students

Fees and funding

If you accept a place on one of our courses, you may be eligible to apply for WRoCAH and University of Sheffield studentships. If you're considering applying for funding, we recommend you contact us as soon as possible.

Financial information for postgraduate taught courses

Specialist facilities

You'll have everything you need to explore your ideas. We have a complex of laboratories, imaging and GIS resources and storage facilities.

There are labs for research and teaching in environmental archaeology, human and animal skeletal analysis, landscape and aerial archaeology, and materials sciences.

World-leading expertise

Publications by our staff have become standard texts on their respective subjects. Our research is organised into six areas: Landscape Archaeology; Material Culture Studies; Medieval Archaeology; Funerary Archaeology; The Archaeology of the Mediterranean and Bioarchaeology.

There are several specialised research centres here: Sheffield Centre for Aegean Archaeology, Sheffield Centre for Archaeobotany and Ancient Land-Use, and Zooarchaeology Laboratory. Their projects, conferences and seminars all add to the quality of your course.

Your career

Any one of our courses will prepare you for a PhD and a research career. Some courses have an optional vocational track that trains you for specific types of jobs.

Sheffield graduates hold archaeological posts in Europe, North America, Asia and Australasia. They use their expertise in universities, museums, archaeological consultancies, heritage parks and government. Jobs include Historic Buildings Projects Officer, Commercial Field Archaeologist and Postdoctoral Researcher.

Global fieldwork

We offer the opportunity for you to get involved in our research projects in the UK, mainland Europe, Asia and Africa.

How we teach

Our students come from all around the world. The content of our courses reflects this. You can expect a balanced timetable of lectures, seminars and practicals. Fieldwork is an important part of all our courses.

Apply now

You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It is a quick and easy process.

Postgraduate Online Application Form

Any questions?

If you'd like to know more about any aspect of our courses, contact us:

T: +44 (0)114 222 2900