Undergraduate study - 2025 entry
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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 will give you an understanding of architecture's formal qualities and theoretical frameworks.

You will:

  • study architecture's relationship to the cultural, social, economic, and political contexts it was 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 discover works of architecture and archaeological artefacts and remains

Year 1

In Year 1 you will:

  • study a combination of the survey courses in architectural history and Year 1 courses in archaeology
  • be able to take optional courses from other academic areas across the University
  • complete three weeks of fieldwork over the long vacation at the end of the academic year

Year 2

Year 2 focuses on the city as a social and cultural phenomenon.

In this year, you will:

  • take a course dealing specifically with techniques and practices concerning heritage management and conservation
  • study an archaeology course on Scotland 'before history' and archaeology in action
  • be able to take optional courses from other academic areas across the University

Year 3

In Year 3 you will study:

  • Texts and Theories in Western Architecture
  • Archaeology in Practice
  • Theoretical Archaeology

You will also choose optional courses in architectural history and have the opportunity to take a work placement.

Year 4

In 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 (2024/25)

Our facilities

Teaching in this programme takes place across a range of facilities, all located in the Central Area. This includes lecture theatres and seminar rooms. You will also learn on site at city locations.

You will have access to the University's libraries, which have many resources for studying the history of art and architecture.

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.

You can 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:

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

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through:

  • coursework
  • exams
  • presentations

You will also complete a dissertation in Year 4.

Our graduates go on to careers in:

  • conservation
  • land management
  • heritage or historical consultancy
  • education
  • a wide range of other areas, where they can use the research and communication skills they learn with this degree

As a student, you can visit the University's Careers Service for help and advice about your future.

Careers Service

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

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


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
  • GCSE at C or 4
  • Level 2 Certificate at 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: total 6.5 with at least 5.5 in each component.We do not accept IELTS One Skill Retake to meet our English language requirements.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 176 with at least 162 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 65 with at least 54 in each component. We do not accept PTE Academic Online.*

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

Unless you are a national of a majority English speaking country, your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start of the month in which the degree you are applying to study begins. If you are using an IELTS, PTE Academic, TOEFL or Trinity ISE test, it must be no more than two years old on the first of the month in which the degree begins, regardless of your nationality.

English language requirements

(*Revised 24 May 2024 to change PTE Academic requirement from total 62 with at least 54 in each component, and to clarify that we do not accept PTE Academic online.)

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 can make a contribution to your mandatory fieldwork fee but the overall cost is dependent on the type of work and location you choose.

You can also complete 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