Students and graduates

The experience of our Masters students in their own words

Current Students

Lorna Gosling

From: UKLorna Gosling

Studying: MA Archaeology of the Classical Mediterranean (Part-time)

Why I chose Sheffield

I graduated with my Bachelor of Arts from Sheffield in 2014, with a degree in Classical and Historical Archaeology. Based on my undergraduate experience I then chose to return to Sheffield for my Masters of Arts programme. Experiencing first-hand the expertise and support on offer from the academic and support staff helped to make my decision.

My course at Sheffield

The MA Archaeology of the Classical Mediterranean here at Sheffield offered me the opportunity to pursue my own research interests while studying part-time. The course is a mixture of lectures and seminars, extending my skills and knowledge, while preparing me for my dissertation and future goals. Support is available throughout the course with friendly and approachable staff on hand.  In addition, the archaeology department also put on a number of talks and activities on throughout the academic year and there are various ways to get involved.

Living and studying in Sheffield

The University of Sheffield is an international community that is very much part of the wider community, both having a great relationship.

Sheffield is a vibrant city, which has much to offer students including history, culture, leisure, entertainment and night-life. Among the highlights of living in Sheffield is its greenspaces. The many large woodland areas, public parks and its quick access to the Peak District are great for escaping city life or taking a well-earned break from studies.

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David Inglis

From: UKDavid Inglis

Studying: MA Landscape Archaeology

Why I chose Sheffield

I graduated from Sheffield last year with a BA in Prehistoric Archaeology. Sheffield was my only choice for both undergraduate and postgraduate study because of the support and advice offered to me by both the university and Department of Archaeology. From the minute I first contacted them, and despite not having the relevant qualifications for entry, they helped guide me through attaining those qualifications before signposting a range of initiatives designed to make the transition to study easier for mature students. This attention to my personal circumstances was something I did not receive from any other university I contacted before application. Sheffield’s other advantage to me was that the Department of Archaeology has a world renowned influence within archaeological research and the opportunities granted to me at undergraduate level, from working on a pioneering research project at the Minoan Palace at Knossos to excavating in the Peak District in December, have been second to none. The input from staff to not only my academic learning but my future career prospects has been exceptional throughout my time at Sheffield. In addition, my undergraduate dissertation research was community and Sheffield based and will be continued at Masters level.

My course at Sheffield

My undergraduate degree had been tailored towards a career and possible future study in landscape archaeology. I am not what you would call a natural academic and the possibilities of Masters level study was something I grew into over my three years at Sheffield. The balance of both theoretical and field techniques offered within the MA Landscape Archaeology course greatly influenced my decision. The course matter itself, from field survey in Wales to modules based around Geographic Information Systems and Geoarchaeology, has allowed me to specialise in areas pertinent to my personal research. As a part-time student, I combine my studies with work in professional and community archaeology. This provides me with a greater understanding of the discipline and the differences that exist between the practical work place and academic theory.

Living and studying in Sheffield

As someone who lived locally before entering university, the ability to be involved with the Sheffield community in local discoveries has been the most enjoyable part of my time at university. Sheffield offers a fantastic range of archaeology, from the Bronze age to the industrial revolution, where students can become involved at a local level. In addition, the university offers a huge range of activities and societies to become involved in. Sheffield is an energetic place to live, work and play and offers unrivalled access to the Peak District National Park and the North of England.

More about the MA Landscape Archaeology

Sally PurvisSally Purvis

From: Ireland

Studying: MA Aegean Archaeology

Why I chose Sheffield

I graduated from University College Dublin, Ireland, in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in Greek & Roman Civilisation and Archaeology. I knew quite early on that I wanted to pursue an academic career in the archaeology of Bronze Age Greece. Based on the high-profile staff within the Department of Archaeology at Sheffield, and its strong reputation as a university, both within the UK and on a global scale, I knew it was the best choice for me.

My course at Sheffield

The MA Aegean Archaeology programme provides a strong introduction to current theories and research agendas within the field of Aegean archaeology, as well the option to explore practical fields of study. Since starting at Sheffield, I have had opportunities to explore a wide range of sub disciplines within archaeology, including Archaeozoology, Archaeobotany, and Material Culture studies.

Learning is conducted through a series of both lectures and seminars. This has been extremely useful as it provides opportunities to engage with material and contribute to discussion. Staff are always very approachable, and do not hesitate to help or point you in the right direction.

There are always ways to get involved in the department too, with frequent activities such as lunchtime and evening lectures, as well as field trips and other activities.

Living and studying in Sheffield

Sheffield is a friendly and welcoming city, both within university areas and the wider community. There is always something to do, whether through university organised events or just exploring the city itself. Almost everything is a within reasonable distance, but there are also opportunities to explore further afield, such as the nearby Peak District.

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Rosalind MacDonaldRosalind MacDonald

From: Canada

Studying: MA Cultural Heritage Management

Why I chose Sheffield

I chose Sheffield because I wanted a program that allowed me to do heritage studies within archaeology. I also really liked that the Cultural Heritage Management MA was split between the archaeology and management schools. I also had the chance to visit before I applied and I was really impressed by the school and the course director, as well as Sheffield in general.

My course at Sheffield

The MA in Cultural Heritage Management is split between the archaeology and management schools and is a mix of lectures and seminars. The mix of archaeology and management means that I am able learning about the specific concerns of archaeology and heritage, as well as, the wider heritage industry. There are also a number of fieldtrips for some of the modules, which have allowed me to see different approaches to heritage management and to see places I wouldn’t have gone to on my own!

Living and studying in Sheffield

Sheffield is a great place to live and study (a bit clichéd to say but very true)! There are some amazing areas to just wander around (like Hunters Bar, Division Street, Broomhall and Kelham Island) as well as great cafés, pubs, museums etc. The Student’s Union always has something on and the Peak District is also only a short train ride away with loads of great hikes and walks.

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Tom MaltasTom Maltas

From: UK

Studying: MSc Environmental Archaeology and Palaeoeconomy

Why I chose Sheffield

I completed a B.Sc. in Archaeology at Sheffield in 2016. Alongside the contents of the M.Sc., I chose to continue studying here due to the world class expertise of the academic staff and the close knit nature of the department. Sheffield is renowned for its research into environmental and economic archaeology and the Master’s programme has fostered academics at the forefront of the field. At the same time, the department has a relaxed and friendly atmosphere that allows great working relationships between staff and students.

My course at Sheffield

The M.Sc. contains an eclectic mix of modules that cover both practical and theoretical disciplines. Essential analytical techniques in core subjects such as Archaeobotany and Zooarchaeology are balanced with classes on archaeological and economic theory. The optional modules have also allowed me to tailor the course to my own career plans and interests by choosing where to learn advanced specialist skills (Advanced Archaeobotany) and where to incorporate broader topics (Current Issues in Aegean Prehistory).

Living and studying at Sheffield

Living in Sheffield has been a great experience. The people here are immensely friendly and give the sense that the university is very much a part of the wider community. Studying archaeology has been important in this regard as I have taken part in numerous projects within and around Sheffield that have incorporated local history and people. Within the university itself, particularly at Master’s level, I have had the excellent experience of meeting people from very diverse backgrounds.

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Niamh Cartonniamh carton

From: UK

Studying: MA Medieval Archaeology

Why I chose Sheffield

I did my undergraduate degree in Archaeology at the department and chose to stay on for an MA Medieval Archaeology. I was originally attracted by the wide range of subjects covered by the undergraduate degree and the fantastic reputation of the course and its academic staff. I stayed on because the atmosphere in the department is warm and welcoming with staff who are passionate and supportive.

My course at Sheffield

The MA Medieval Archaeology offers the opportunity to study and research the medieval period with different geographical focuses. There is a wide range of modules available, with a combination of seminars and lectures, allowing for different learning environments. It offers practical placement experiences and a variety of assessment methods. The lecturers are very supportive and happy to help.

Living and studying in Sheffield

The Department is just one aspect of the wider university and local communities. The city is lovely, with loads to do - whether organised by the award winning student’s union or the city itself. Its just a short journey into the Peak District, and you just need to get used to the hills everywhere!

The university offers lots of ways to get involved and take part in different aspects of university life, whether in one of the hundreds of clubs and societies, as an academic representative or course representative within the department.

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Kate Fitzpatrick

From: UKKate Fitzpatrick

Studying: MA Cultural Materials (Material Culture Studies pathway)

Why I chose Sheffield

I chose Sheffield for a Master’s degree due to the international reputation of the Archaeology department. The university’s overall dedication to internationality was also a factor in my decision.

My course at Sheffield

I am studying MA Cultural Materials, on the Material Culture studies pathway.

Living and studying in Sheffield

The archaeology department at Sheffield is a wonderful place to study, the interactions between students and staff members is so constructive and this reflects throughout the successes of the department. As a city, Sheffield is a wonderful place to live, a vibrant and inclusive city that lacks nothing in terms of extra-curricular events and opportunities.

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James DanterJames Danter

From: UK

Studying: MA Archaeology

Why I chose Sheffield

I completed my undergraduate degree here at Sheffield in 2016 and decided to stay on to study for my masters. I did so due to the fantastic quality of teaching and support I received during my undergraduate degree as well as the range of modules being offered. Furthermore, the passion of both students and staff for archaeology is incredible and as such the warm, friendly and dedicated atmosphere of the department was a significant factor in why I decided to choose Sheffield.

My course at Sheffield

The MA Archaeology course is an excellent course as it allows the flexibility to diversify which modules I can study in order to pursue multiple interests. Learning comes in the form of lectures, seminars, fieldtrips, workshops and independent study. All of these methods contribute to a dynamic range of teaching and understanding and provide the basis for meaningful research by students.

Living and studying in Sheffield

Having lived in Sheffield for over three years now I am amazed almost daily that there is always something new to discover; be that a small pub nestled away in a street or a new path to walk in the Peak District. For me, living in Sheffield has been an opportunity to learn as much about myself as well as archaeology and I plan on remaining here after the conclusion of my studies.

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Charlotte Cawthorne

Charlotte CawthorneFrom: UK

Studying: MSc Human Osteology and Funerary Archaeology

Why I chose Sheffield

Even before obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in Forensic Anthropology from Liverpool John Moores in 2015 I knew I was going to continue my academic journey at the University of Sheffield. When people asked why it was simple to answer. I had experienced modern aspects of anthropology, so now I wanted to explore the unknown of the archaeological world and Sheffield was one of the best places to dive in, a past lecturer who had attended the university during their own studies, said only positive things about the high quality of teaching and the extensive facilities available to students.

My course at Sheffield

The MSc Human Osteology and Funerary Archaeology programme offers a lot to offer for those who have an interest in human osteology and burial practices of the past. The course is composed of a diverse mixture of hands-on practicals, seminars and lectures, with each format teaching different skills such as discussing ideas, improving observation and encouraging independent critical thinking. I have found the course also hammers home one very important skill and that is widening views of problems and topics within the field. It is one thing to learn different facts and traits of bones but adding depth such as why were certain mortuary practices used allows you to put things in perspective and see the wider picture which will certainly come in handy later on in life, whether choosing to continue research into a PhD level or begin putting knowledge to use within an occupation. The staff members of the archaeology department are always on hand to help if needed and provide bonuses such as weekly lunch-time lectures from staff and guest speakers to providing chances to volunteer with post-excavation processing of material.

Living and studying in Sheffield

Being a local from Chesterfield I thought I knew all the city had to offer. However upon becoming a student I soon realised how wrong I was. Being a student of the University gave me a new perspective of the city and showed me wonders I didn’t know were present at my own front door. The city is well known for its’ great history, friendly diverse community and the only way to get a full student experience is to explore the city, try new experiences and create memories with people on your course who soon become friends for life.

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Katherine JensenKatherine Jensen

From: United States

Studying: MA Cultural Materials

Why I chose Sheffield

I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, United States, in 2011 with a BA in Anthropology. I chose Sheffield because I knew I wanted to pursue my academic career in archaeology and material culture in European contexts, and I wanted to do my Masters degree outside the US. The strong academic reputation and internationality of the university were also a factor for me. Most importantly, Sheffield is one of the few universities world-wide that has my masters program.

My course at Sheffield

The MA Cultural Materials program provides a very specific study of the material artefacts (glass, ceramic, and metal) found in the archaeological record. The variety of modules for the MA cover theory, ethnographic case studies, and experimental approaches to cultural material, in the form of lectures, seminars, and practical work. There are three tracks in the program-theoretical, studies, and experimental-allowing for a wide range of research and projects to be conducted in the degree.

Living and studying in Sheffield

One is never bored in Sheffield. Within the Archaeology department, the staff are readily available, and students of all levels are around talking about their projects or organizing events. Outside the department, there is always something happening at the university, such as sports events, society gatherings, quiz nights, excursions outside Sheffield, and Give-it-a-go sessions to try something new. The city of Sheffield is friendly, fun and energetic. It is a great place to explore as it has something to offer everyone (gardens, museums, biking trails, night life, etc.).

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Madeleine MetzMadeleine Metz

From: United States

Studying: MSc Osteoarchaeology

Why I chose Sheffield

I am from the United States, so choosing Sheffield was no accident. I had been reading articles by the professors here since I first became aware of this field, and jumped at the opportunity to learn from these experts.

At my home university, I studied classics and biology, and decided classical zooarchaeology could be the perfect area to combine my interest in the natural world while maintaining my connection to classical studies. Sheffield was the ideal university for me because of its overlap of a strong zooarchaeology department with an active classical civilization research community.

My course at Sheffield

I am in the MSc Osteoarchaeology program, which incorporates both human and animal remains. Though I remain primarily interested in the animal world, I realize the importance of understanding the human body as a complement to the animal one, and am glad to gain this background in human osteology.

This semester we are allowed more freedom to choose our modules, and I am presently in a module on Roman Italy and its hinterland. I am thrilled to return to examining the classical world, as I intend to write my dissertation about wild animals used as status symbols in ancient Roman society.

Living and studying in Sheffield

Sheffield is very welcoming city, and has easy access to lots of green spaces. I love my walk home, since I can go through the botanical gardens or continue onward to the lovely Endcliffe Park. Living in England was a bit of an adjustment at the start, and being able to go outside and walk through England’s famous moors or mossy woodlands helped me unwind.

The professors here are phenomenal, and are genuinely invested in helping us succeed. I was intimidated before arriving because suddenly I would be meeting the people I had admired from afar, but the professors are approachable and encourage questions.

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Ruben Tablada JuarezRuben Tablada, alumnus

From: Mexico

Studied: Msc Human Osteology and Funerary Archaeology

"I especially enjoyed the laboratory sessions, it was the perfect time to put the knowledge I has acquired in lectures and seminars into practice and develop my osteological skills. [The course provided the] challenge to improve myself, which prepared me to face many situations in my job. Also, I got the opportunity to meet amazing people with different backgrounds, making studying more interesting, rich and fun."

Ruben now works as a bioarchaeologist on a research project at Cerro La Yaqui in the northwestern Mexican desert where he is in charge of all the human remains of the project.

Aryel RiganoAryel Rigano, HOFA alumnus

From United States

Studied: MSc Human Osteology and Funerary Archaeology

"One aspect that really sets the Sheffield archaeology department apart is the technology available for research. Completing my master’s degree at Sheffield brought me many research opportunities and allowed me to expand and develop skill sets in cutting edge technologies. For my dissertation, I completed an analysis of fracture patterns in the West Midlands before and after the onset of the Industrial Revolution. Because Sheffield has a wealth of study collections I was able, like many students, to do most of my data collection at the department during the summer. With the archaeology department’s equipment, I had the opportunity to use x rays of fractured bones to enhance the findings of my project. Because I had access to Sheffield’s skeletal collections I was able to build a larger comparative project that included me visiting Museums Worcestershire to conduct research using additional skeletal material. The staff in the archaeology department here are phenomenal and offered wonderful support to me through the dissertation process.

After I completed my dissertation, Museums Worcestershire, in conjunction with Ossafreelance, offered me the opportunity to complete several 3D scans for their Worcester infirmary assemblage at Sheffield. This was only possible because of Sheffield’s cutting edge 3D scanning equipment. In an increasingly competitive job market, having the opportunity to develop these kinds of skills and conduct these research projects really sets Sheffield students apart. Being at Sheffield opened up many research opportunities for me and helped me a build a stronger and more comprehensive CV. Upon the completion of my degree I was offered a position as a field archaeologist in Maryland where I now currently work."

Sole Bassante

From: Ecuador

Studied: MA Cultural Heritage Management

"I enjoyed the Cultural Heritage Management program from the first minute to the last one. I would do it all over again if I could, just for the pleasure of enjoying the
lectures, the knowledge sharing at the seminars and being challenged with the assessments. The program joins theory and practice, local and global perspectives, historic and innovative points of view”

Greer DewdneyGreer Dewdney

From: UK

Msc Human Osteology and Funerary Archaeology

"The Human Osteology and Funerary Archaeology MSc provides a really thorough grounding in all the essential components of the discipline, meaning that going forward into forensics, biological anthropology or cultural archaeology are all viable options that I feel my time at Sheffield has prepared me for. The course is rigourous and internationally respected, and fosters a great learning environment of discussion and debate, making each module a great opportunity to benefit from the experience of staff and fellow students."


MA Material Culture Studies

Katlin Barnes

Having support at all times has made my masters a wonderful experience.


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MSc Osteology and Funerary Archaeology

Alison Atkin

I originally decided to study in Sheffield because I had heard amazing reviews of the university and the city – both from UK and international ranking systems and from professors and students.


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MA European Historical Archaeology

Margaret James

My MA in European Historical Archaeology from Sheffield really was a deciding factor in going into my career in museum education.


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