MA Archaeology


postcard MA Archaeology

An intensive 1-year (or 2-year part-time) postgraduate taught degree with both research and vocational pathways

Explore the diversity of human history on a global scale through the material remains of the past.

Address significant questions for the past and present, including those relating to global migrations, competition in social groups, the origins of agriculture, and the development of complex societies.

Learn to analyse and interpret archaeological evidence from artefacts, landscapes, architecture, written texts, as well as human, animal and plant remains.

Critically examine the archaeological process through both the theoretical and practical areas of the discipline.

At Sheffield, we are committed to the position that archaeology should inspire those who study it and those who explore the results of that study. Archaeology offers the widest perspective possible on the diversity of human history at a world scale and it asks fundamental questions concerning the nature of humanity and the processes that brought about significant changes in human history, including the earliest global migrations, the origins of agriculture, and the nature and development of complex societies. Archaeology employs all sources of relevant information, such as artefacts, architecture, written texts (where available), and animal and plant remains, and draws its inspiration from dialogue with a wide range of disciplines. You'll develop skills to evaluate critically different sources of information and to work between the theoretical and practical demands of the discipline.

Sheffield is the ideal place to study archaeology. Our staff are research leaders across the discipline - from science-based archaeology to archaeological theory, and from the archaeology of earliest humans to the archaeology of the early modern world. We harness this diversity within the unity of a discipline devoted to understanding past humanity, and use it to provide you with the opportunity to work between and across different view points and approaches, and to make your own mind up about their strengths and weaknesses. What we will ask of you, as a member of our lively academic community, is that you develop your own answers to the questions raised.

MA Archaeology image

The course is ideal whether you:

  • have a degree in another subject and now wish to take a higher degree in archaeology
  • have an archaeology degree and want the opportunity to rethink your understanding of the discipline
  • wish to gain an understanding of the ways in which archaeologists have sought, over the last 25 years, to engage with contemporary society.

You can choose to pursue either a Research or Vocational pathway: the former involves completing a dissertation, the latter involves undertaking a fieldwork placement over the summer.

Duration Full-time (one year) or Part-time (two years).
Semesters The teaching component of the programme will commence late September and is based on semesters (Autumn/Spring). Semester dates Over the summer you will undertake your independent research/placement in consultation with an academic supervisor. Part-time students will commence this aspect of the programme in the summer of their second year.
Qualification This programme is offered as a MA (180 credits), Diploma (120 credits) or a Certificate (60 credits).
Assessment Typical forms of assessment include essays, presentations and completion of a research-led dissertation* or placement report**.

Information relates to 2017-18 academic year: The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it is current and relevant. Individual modules may be updated or withdrawn in response to discoveries through our world-leading research, funding changes, professional accreditation requirements, student or employer feedback, curriculum review, staff availability, and variations in student numbers. In the event of a material change the University will inform students in good time and will take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

Core Modules:

These compulsory modules will provide you with the key knowledge and understanding for research in archaeology.

*While the majority of dissertation projects do not involve any additional cost to the student, you may incur some expenses if you choose a topic that is not resourced by the department.

**Depending on a student's choice of placement, this may involve additional travel or other costs.

Optional Modules:

You will chose modules worth a total of 90 credits, which can also include a module up to the value of 15 credits in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities OR an MLTC language unit. For information on modules in Archaeology which could be taken please see module list. Availability varies from year to year.

Full programme specifications are also available.


Core teaching staff:

Peter Day

Prof Peter Day (Programme Director)

Peter is a specialist in material culture, with particular emphasis on ceramics and the Aegean. His research interests include archaeological material culture, The technology of ceramics, Ethnographies of craft, The archaeology of the Aegean.

Gianna Ayala

Dr Gianna Ayala

Gianna’s research interests are wide reaching and focus on the integration of different analytical methods. She works predominately in the Mediterranean but has worked all over the world, including Britain, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Turkey and Argentina.

Maureen Carroll

Prof Maureen Carroll

Maureen has conducted numerous archaeological fieldwork projects in Italy (most recently at Pompeii and at Vagnari in Puglia), Germany, Britain, North Africa and Cyprus. Her research interests are varied and include, Roman death, burial and commemoration, Latin funerary epigraphy, Infancy and earliest childhood in the Roman world, Clothing, identity and self-presentation in the Roman empire, The archaeology and history of ancient Greek and Roman gardens.

Dawn Hadley

Prof Dawn Hadley

Dawn is currently the Head of Department. Her research includes the society and culture of Anglo-Saxon and medieval England, the impact of the Vikings on Britain, yhe construction of gender, especially masculinity, in Anglo-Saxon and medieval England, Funerary archaeology, the antiquarian Thomas Bateman (1821-61), The Tudor hunting lodge and working-class community at Sheffield Manor Lodge, the archaeology of nineteenth-century working-class communities, the archaeology of childhood.

Paul Halstead

Prof Paul Halstead

Paul’s research has focussed chronologically and geographically on the later prehistory (Neolithic and Bronze Age) of Greece, thematically on the relationship between farming economies and social change, and methodologically on the contributions of zooarchaeology and ethnoarchaeology to the study of past animal and crop husbandry. He has participated in archaeological fieldwork projects in Greece, Cyprus, Israel, Bulgaria and Britain and in ethnoarchaeological projects in Greece, France and Spain.

Jane Rempel

Dr Jane Rempel

Jane’s research interests focus on Greek archaeology, specifically issues surrounding colonisation and social interaction at the margins of the ancient Greek world, especially the Black Sea region. Other areas of interest include the Hellenistic east and the question of `hellenisation,´ landscape archaeology and funerary commemoration. She has done fieldwork in Italy, Greece, Ukraine and Russia and Armenia.


Academic requirements:

A minimum of a 2:1 honours degree (GPA 3.0) in an arts, humanities or science subject is usually required. Your interest in and knowledge of archaeological matters are more important than the specific discipline of your undergraduate degree. EU and international student entry requirements can be found using the link below:

English Language Requirements:

For applicants whose first language is not English, IELTS is the preferred test of language. You need an IELTS score of 6.5, with at least 5.5 in all the component tests. Further information can be obtained from the following link:


Funding options, instalment plans and tuition fee information are located at:

How to Apply:

Applications forms are completed on-line at the following link:

Visit Us:

If you’re considering doing a postgraduate programme at Sheffield, you are very welcome to visit us. You can attend an open day or a visit afternoon, which will include a tour of the University campus and the department, or contact the department directly ( to arrange a personal visit to meet with the director of your chosen programme.

Further Information:

If you'd like to know more about any aspect of this course please contact, Dr Gianna Ayala,

For any other queries please contact: E:, T: +44 (0)114 222 2900

Frequently Asked Questions:

The link below contains questions most commonly asked about the application process:


We are truly international in our scope and ethos. Our students come to us from countries all over Europe, Asia and America. Their vibrancy, pursuit of knowledge and divergent experience informs our debates and provokes lively discussion. We encourage applicants to visit the following webpages aimed specifically at our EU and international students.

We also have a departmental page for our international applicants:

Prospective EU Students