2022 entry

MA Architectural History and Archaeology

UCAS code: VVH4

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Edinburgh College of Art

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing MA Architectural History and Archaeology

This programme aims to give you an understanding of architecture's formal qualities and theoretical frameworks.

You will:

  • study architecture's relationship to the wider cultural, social, economic and political contexts art and architecture were created in
  • gain an understanding of historical and archaeological methods
  • develop a sensitivity to issues of historical and cultural difference
  • use documents and historical sources to illuminate works of architecture and archaeological artefacts and remains

Year 1

You will combine the survey courses in Architectural History with Year 1 courses in Archaeology.

The programme's flexible structure allows you to take option courses from other academic areas across the University.

Over the long vacation at the end of Year 1, we require you to complete three weeks of fieldwork.

Year 2

This year you will focus on the city as a social and cultural phenomenon.

You will also take a course dealing specifically with techniques and practices concerning heritage management and conservation.

You combine this with archaeology courses on Scotland 'before history' and archaeology in action.

The programme's flexible structure allows you to take option courses from other academic areas across the University.

Year 3

You will study:

  • Texts and Theories in Western Architecture
  • Archaeology in Practice

You will also choose option courses in architectural history.

This year you have the option of a work placement.

Year 4

You will choose specialist honours courses on the same basis as Year 3.

You will also complete a dissertation.

Programme structure

Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.

To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme structure (2021/22)

Our facilities

Teaching takes place across a range of facilities all located in the Central Area.

You have access to:

  • design studios
  • well-equipped workshops
  • computer labs
  • libraries

Investing in our learning environment

The University is investing in the Edinburgh College of Art estate and facilities. This will further develop our supportive, stimulating and sustainable learning and research environment.

Find out more on the ECA website.

Facilities and resources at ECA

Study abroad

Study abroad options are available. We organise these with the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA) Exchanges Coordinator. They vary according to timing and location.

What are my options for going abroad?

How will I learn?

Courses are taught through a mix of:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • projects
  • study trips
  • practical experience

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed by a mix of:

  • coursework
  • exams
  • presentations

You will also submit a dissertation in Year 4.

Our graduates have a variety of career options, including:

  • conservation
  • land management
  • heritage or historical consultancy

The University Careers Service offers effective help and advice.

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S5 or AABB/ABBBB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 34 points with 655 at HL.

Minimum entry requirement

The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 34 points with 655 at HL.

More information for widening access applicants

Required subjects

The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:

  • SQA: Highers: no specific Higher subjects required. National 5s: English at C.
  • A Levels: no specific A Level subjects required. GCSEs: English at C or 4.
  • IB: HL: no specific subjects required. SL: English at 5.

Find out more about entry requirements

International applicants

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

International Foundation Programme

If you are an international student and your school qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to the University you may be eligible for admission to this degree programme through our International Foundation Programme.

International Foundation Programme

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.

Mature applicant qualifications

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.


For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 at C
  • SQA Standard Grade at 3
  • SQA Intermediate 1 at A
  • SQA Intermediate 2 at C
  • GCSE/IGSCE at C or 4
  • Level 2 Certificate Grade C
  • IB Standard Level at 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)

English language tests

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

  • IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition) 92 or above with 20 in each section. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components.

We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.

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

English language requirements

This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

Please note that some programmes do not have Discover Uni data available.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for MA Architectural History and Archaeology

Additional costs

In Year 1 we expect you to participate in an archaeological fieldwork project. Normally, the minimum requirement is three weeks of field experience. Archaeological projects often charge a participation fee.

We are able to make a contribution towards your mandatory fieldwork. However, the overall cost to you will depend on the type of work chosen and the location.

You can undertake extra practical archaeological work in the vacations following Years 2 and 3.


For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding