MA Landscape Archaeology


Landscape archaeology explores the relationship between humans, the natural worlds they inhibit and the places that they make.

Landscape archaeologists investigate and record the cultural landscape, the natural landscape, and our archaeological heritage.

You will be trained in analytical techniques such as GIS, earthwork survey, geophysical survey and air photo interpretation; developing your digital and field skills and knowledge.

Working with employers we have identified these as key skills that meet the demands of the heritage sector; our graduates have gone on to work for national parks, the National Trust, Historic England, Historic Environment Scotland, English Heritage, commercial contractors and many other archaeological organisations.

You can choose between completing a dissertation* or undertaking a fieldwork placement** over the summer.

Student and graduate profiles

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Landscape image


The 9 day survey was intensive, fun, informative and well organised. Covering a range of survey methods from geophysics to measured survey, we were kept busy in what ever conditions Wales could throw at us. The landscape was stunning and the archaeology abundant (in most places). We came away knowing a lot more before we left Sheffield. A great experience!

Andrea Goodinson, MA Landscape Archaeology student

*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.

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/work placement report 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/work 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 compulsory modules will provide you with the key knowledge and understanding for research or a profession in landscape archaeology.

Plus either:

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 Landscape Archaeology.  To be taken during the summer months.


Work Placement ** where you will be given the chance to work alongside practitioners 'in the field'.  To be taken over the summer months.

*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.  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 30 credits, which can also include a module up to the value of 15 credits in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.  For information on the optional 15 credits module which could be taken in Archaeology please see the module list.  Availability varies from year to year.

Full programme specifications are also available.


Core Teaching Staff:

Gianna AyalaDr 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.

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.

Bob JohnstonDr Bob Johnston

Bob’s research interests include landscape archaeology, Bronze Age Britain and Ireland, the archaeology of upland landscapes, particularly in western Britain, Prehistoric land enclosure in north-west Europe.

Colin MerronyColin Merrony (Programme Director)

Colin’s research interests include the economy and landscape impact of Medieval Premonstratensian Abbeys in Britain. Landscape change in southern Yorkshire and the North-east Midlands. The development and application of field techniques for investigating historic landscapes. The use of archaeology as a mechanism for basic skills education and for enhancing social cohesion. The geochemistry of New Zealand greenstone.


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:

Students researching in the field of landscape archaeology are automatically considered for the Robert Kiln bursary of £1000

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

Contact us

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


T: +44 (0) 114 222 2900