Dr Dianna Spencer introduces the postgraduate opportunities available in the Institute of Archaeology and Antiquity.
I’m Diana Spencer, a Classicist in the Institute of Archaeology and Antiquity. To me, the words that sum up the graduate student experience in the Institute are ‘lively’, ‘collaborative’, and ‘challenging’. Our international faculty and student body are at the forefront of research in areas from the literature and culture of ancient Greece, Rome, the Near East and Egypt, through to archaeology—discovering new worlds underwater, as recently happened at Doggerland under the North Sea—and the management of cultural and heritage sites worldwide, using the latest technology. We are interested too, in the reception of the ancient world and its continuing significance, not just movies such as Gladiator, but in national arts, heritage and education policy and practice, and study of social, cultural and political trends across history over four millennia.
We offer a range of graduate programmes, taught and research, giving you the opportunity to tackle the past imaginatively, to develop expertise in specific subject areas, and of course to enhance your skills. Masters qualifications can be a direct gateway to a professional career, but can also give you the ability to think creatively about how your passion and high-level knowledge might send you in complementary but unexpected directions. As a graduate student, here, you will be working closely in small groups with faculty, and sharing in an academic community which meets regularly and informally at our weekly Research Seminars, at graduate-student led seminars, such as the IAA Forum, and even perhaps as part of the student-led editorial team for our online academic journal Rosetta.
Graduate study with us gives you a broader but also a deeper understanding than a BA allows time for.
Our taught graduate programmes all have particular flavours and core modules, but all also offer you the chance to get involved with a uniquely broad community engaged in radically expanding what ‘study of the past’ means. If you can’t study on campus or full-time, many programmes are available on a part-time or Distance Learning model, including our Heritage management suite, based at the World Heritage ‘Ironbridge Gorge’ Site. Moreover, all our students benefit from our Institute’s Museum and regular archaeological digs, the University’s excellent research library, its special collections (including the Alma Tadema Archive, and classical papyri) and the Barber Institute’s outstanding collection of ancient coins.
All our Masters programmes give you the chance to work with an expert to design a dissertation which exploits your fascination with the past, and defines your position as a scholar. If you have not yet studied an ancient language, and would like to, you have the chance to learn a classical language, or to study the languages of the Ancient Near East, or Egypt; but not all our programmes of study require this kind of expertise.
Our graduate research programmes put your Masters or Doctoral dissertation centre stage. We find it exciting, as academics, to see new generations of scholars finding out, and arguing for, what the big trends in academic research will be in the future: if you have an idea for a research project at Masters or Doctoral level, contact one of our experts, whether in ancient history, archaeology, Classics, Byzantine studies, Museum or Heritage Management, or the study of East Mediterranean history. Our masters and doctoral students have an excellent employment record, and are continuing to shape our disciplines internationally: we hope you might like to find out more.