MA Archaeology


The MA Archaeology at Sheffield offers you the opportunity to explore the potential of Archaeology to examine issues in the past while illuminating some of the key issues facing the world at present, and to gain an understanding of the relationship between humans and their environment.

On this programme, you will be guided through an extensive choice of modules covering a broad range of topics, allowing you to build a bespoke degree.  Sheffield's research-led teaching encompasing insights from archaeological science through to Humanities-based approaches.  Plus, the MA Archaeology offers you the opportunity to construct a degree which really reflects your interests and ambitions, whether you aim to specialise in depth in one particular area or gain a broader understanding of archaeology as a discipline.

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 between pursuing a dissertation or undertaking a fieldwork placement over the summer.

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Pottery class

Duration One year full-time or two years part-time.
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 2019-20 academic year: The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

Core Modules:

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

  • Reinventing Archaeology
  • Dissertation on a subject of your choice*. You can use this as a platform for the further study of topics/issues in doctoral research, or simply to advance your knowledge and understanding of a key topic in archaeology. 
  • Or Work Placement** at a location chosen in consultation with your programme director. You can gain hands on experience in a subject/technique of particular interest to you.

*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. You will be expected to cover the cost of printing and binding two copies of your dissertation/placement report.

**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 105 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. Research Design: Planning, Execution and Presentation is a prerequisite (compulsory) if you wish to complete a dissertation. 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) [on research leave Semester 2 - 2018-19)

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 (Programme Director for Semester 2 - 2018-19)

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.

Paul Halstead

Paul’s research has focused 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:

There may be additional costs associated with any laboratory work you may undertake such as purchase of laboratory coats, dissection kit (Human Anatomy). For field work you would be required to ensure you have appropriate outdoor clothing and footwear, as well as first aid and emergency equipment. You will also need to purchase books, stationery, IT accessories, etc.

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.


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

Contact us

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


T: +44 (0) 114 222 2900