Birkbeck, University of London

Degree level: Postgraduate
Awarded by: University of London

Archaeological Practice (Taught)

Course options

There are other course options available which may have a different vacancy status or entry requirements – view the full list of options

Make sure you check on the university, college or conservatoire website for any updates about course changes as a result of COVID-19.

Course summary

Birkbeck’s MA Archaeological Practice offers hands-on postgraduate training that is grounded in the latest theories and techniques. The course meets the need for work-based professional training in archaeology and it will help you understand how contemporary archaeologists think, draw and write about archaeology. You can take advantage of the expertise of world-leading academics across the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology. We will introduce you to the major techniques, principal bodies of evidence, research themes and concepts of archaeology. The curriculum addresses the perceived divide between theory and practice in archaeological fieldwork and cultural resource management. It aims to produce a new kind of professional: one who is theoretically aware but also grounded in the craft of archaeology. In doing so, the course will also develop your capacity for interdisciplinary, innovative research, based on the critical, integrated study of landscape, architecture and material culture. Context, and an engagement with its material and historical conditions, is crucial to this training. Highlights

  • Birkbeck was ranked in the top eight universities in the UK for its History research in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework.
  • All master’s students are eligible to apply for our prestigious Eric Hobsbawm Scholarships, subject to availability. One of the most influential historians of the twentieth century, Eric Hobsbawm taught at Birkbeck for over five decades and embodied what is central to our teaching and research: a continued commitment to critical enquiry and public engagement.
  • Our department is home to thriving student societies and a number of affiliated research centres that actively run seminars, conferences and other events where some of the world's best scholars present their latest research. These include the Birkbeck Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, the Raphael Samuel History Centre and the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities.
  • We are also at the heart of academic London with access to world-class research resources. We are five minutes' walk from the British Museum and the British Library, and the Institute of Historical Research - with its internationally renowned library collection and seminars that you can attend - is nearby. The Museum of London is a short tube ride away.
  • Birkbeck Library has an extensive history collection, including the major specialist journals, and access to online materials.

Course details

Modules

For information about course structure and the modules you will be studying, please visit Birkbeck’s online prospectus.

Assessment method

Entirely by coursework: a 5000-5500-word essay for each option module and a 15,000-16,000-word dissertation.


How to apply

International applicants

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests. If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

Entry requirements

A second-class honours degree (2:2 or above) in a humanities subject and references. We offer a one-year Graduate Certificate in History, which can be used as a conversion course if you want to study at postgraduate level but have a degree in a significantly different discipline. Applications are reviewed on their individual merits and your professional qualifications and/or relevant work experience will be taken into consideration positively. We actively support and encourage applications from mature learners.


English language requirements


Fees and funding

Tuition fees

England £4515 Year 1
Northern Ireland £4515 Year 1
Scotland £4515 Year 1
Wales £4515 Year 1
International £8190 Year 1

Additional fee information

Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their programme. Tuition fees for students continuing on their programme in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases. As well as fees, you should expect to pay other study-related expenses, for travel to and from College, books, stationery, etc. Birkbeck provides advice and financial support for students who experience hardship in meeting the travel costs of essential fieldwork or study visits. The one-week field trip to Peterborough is an optional element of this course. If you choose to undertake this module, you will have to pay for your own transport to and from Peterborough and for any accommodation costs, should you choose to stay in Peterborough. You will be transported to the site from Peterborough station daily, at no additional cost, for the duration of the field trip.
Archaeological Practice at Birkbeck, University of London - UCAS