Postgraduate study

European Archaeology MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: European Archaeology

This programme lets you explore the richness of European archaeology, a region that presents innumerable opportunities for archaeological research, through examination of a wide range of periods, geographical areas and themes. The flexible programme lets you tailor your individual studies to suit your interests and take advantage of the experience of our staff, as well as those in related programmes in history, classics and geography.

You will develop an understanding of European archaeology, with an emphasis on European prehistory, and a knowledge of topics including contemporary theoretical perspectives, methodologies and practice.

This programme incorporates transferable skills and training, while preparing you for a professional role in archaeology or further study at doctoral level. The School has excellent facilities: dedicated study space, archaeological and computing laboratories, teaching and reference collections.

The city of Edinburgh is ideal for archaeological study and research, allowing you to benefit from national and local institutions and heritage agencies, such as the excellent archaeological collections of the National Museum, the archival and bibliographic resources of Historic Environment Scotland, and the expertise and practical advice of staff in several commercial archaeology companies.

You will combine lectures, seminars, practicals, essays, research projects and one-to-one meetings in all areas of archaeology. You will complete one compulsory course and select a further five options from a wide range on offer. You will then complete a dissertation on an approved subject of your choice.

The compulsory course is:

  • Research Sources and Strategies in Archaeology

Option courses previously offered include those listed below. Option courses change from year to year and those available when you start your studies may be different from those shown in the list:

  • Frontiers in Archaeology: Research Seminars
  • Archaeological Illustration
  • Bronze Age Civilisations of the Near East and Greece
  • Byzantine Archaeology: The archaeology of the Byzantine empire and its neighbours AD 500-850.
  • Theoretical Archaeology
  • Principles of GIS for Archaeologists
  • Space, Place and Time: the archaeology of built environments
  • Archaeology of the Roman Economy
  • Etruscan Italy, 1000 - 300 BC
  • From Foraging to Farming: the Beginnings of Agriculture in the Mediterranean and Europe
  • Gallia from the Third Century BC to Augustus
  • Human Evolution
  • Ritual and Monumentality in North-West Europe: Mid-6th to Mid-3rd Millennium
  • Conflict archaeology: materialities of violence
  • Constantinople: The History of a Medieval Megalopolis from Constantine the Great to Suleyman the Magnificent

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScEuropean Archaeology1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2019/20
MScEuropean Archaeology2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2019/20

You will acquire:

  • a good understanding of the distinctive nature of archaeology and its contribution to a critical and informed understanding of the past
  • a good understanding of theoretical and methodological debates within archaeology
  • a familiarity with a number of important fieldwork studies
  • a broad knowledge of archaeological methods, techniques and practices in current use

Archaeology graduates can follow a variety of career options. The programme equips you to go on to advanced study, and also provides a solid foundation for a career.

You will gain practical as well as academic experience, teamworking and analytical skills, and will be able to work in a variety of contexts. Examples of career paths available to archaeology graduates (although some may require additional training) include: higher education, heritage management and agencies, commercial archaeology, teaching, tourism industry, broadcasting and the police. An archaeology degree does not restrict you to a career in archaeology.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, a minimum US 3.25 GPA or international equivalent, in a subject related to this programme, preferably Archaeology or Classical Archaeology, or another degree or combined degree in which archaeology figures prominently (such as Anthropology in the case of applicants from the USA).*

Relevant experience, or professional or other qualifications will also be considered.

(*Revised 8 November 2019 to include GPA requirement)

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 20 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: total 67 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)

  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScEuropean Archaeology1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MScEuropean Archaeology2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

Featured funding

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments. The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on your programme, the duration of your studies, and your residency status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • School of History, Classics & Archaeology
  • Graduate School Office, Room 2.29, William Robertson Wing
  • Teviot Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AG
Programme start date Application deadline
14 September 2020 3 August 2020

If you are applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

You must submit one reference with your application.

Please read the application guidance for more information:

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • School of History, Classics & Archaeology
  • Graduate School Office, Room 2.29, William Robertson Wing
  • Teviot Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AG