MA Archaeology of the Classical Mediterranean

  • Archaeological evidence for life in the Classical Mediterranean and neighbouring regions.
  • Integration of ‘humanities’ and ‘science-based’ approaches.
  • Application of material, textual, and iconographic sources.
  • Landscape change, material remains and identity, cultural interaction.

This course is ideal if you want to deepen your understanding of the archaeology and cultures of the Mediterranean by systematically exploring the full range of archaeological data that sometimes complement and sometimes contradict the rich and diverse record of ancient texts.

The course focuses not only on the Greek and Roman worlds, but also on the peoples and cultures of regions neighbouring on the Mediterranean which often are neglected as ‘others’. Themes such as cultural interaction, the creation and negotiation of identities, and ancient mobility are explored through the study of material remains from diverse archaeological contexts. In particular, we emphasise the complementary strengths of textual, iconographic, and other material sources and the potential for harnessing modern field archaeology and archaeological science to exploring problems arising in ancient history. We encourage a diachronic perspective and a broad range of innovative approaches from late prehistory through to the Roman period (ca. 1000 B.C.-A.D.300).

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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 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*.

Course Structure

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 Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn.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.

These compulsory modules will provide you with the key knowledge and understanding for research in the early historical Mediterranean:

*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.

Optional Modules:

You must take 60 credits of option modules. Availability varies from year to year but the following gives a flavour of the kind of specialised modules we will offer:

For information on other modules in Archaeology which may be available please see module list

Full programme specifications are also available.

I've always loved the Classical world and archaeology so I liked the fact the course blends the two subjects. It's also nice that the scope of optional modules is so wide, allowing me to study Zooarchaeology and Archaeobotany alongside the more traditional Ancient economy and Greeks, Romans and others. This allows you to really develop on a research area, rather than simply following a set path.

Otis Gilbert – MA Archaeology of the CLASSICAL MEDITERRANEAN 2016


Maureen CarrollProf 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.

Peter DayProf Peter Day

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.

Roger DoonanDr Roger Doonan

Roger’s areas of interest include Material Culture Studies, Archaeological theory, Community archaeology, and Experimental Archaeology.

Paul HalsteadProf 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 RempelDr Jane Rempel (Programme Director)

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.

Sue SherrattDr Susan Sherratt

Sue’s research interests are in the Bronze and Early Iron Ages of the Aegean, Cyprus and the wider eastern Mediterranean, particularly in all aspects of trade and interaction within and beyond these regions. She is also interested in exploring the ways in which the Homeric epics and the archaeological record can most usefully be combined.


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:

Fees and Funding:

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

The Ian Sanders Occasional Postgraduate Bursary is worth between £500 and £1,000, and is open to students researching in the fields of Classical or Mediterranean Archaeology.

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:

Applying to start in over 12 months time?

Please feel free to submit your application via our online system, however please note that we will not be able to process your application for this course until 12 months before your proposed start date.

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

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


T: +44 (0) 114 222 2900