MA Antiquity: Classical Archaeology pathway

The Antiquity MA: Classical Archaeology pathway gives you a grounding in the advanced study of Greek and Roman civilisation through its physical remains, from the earliest times to the Byzantine period. Working with experts currently engaged in excavations from all regions and periods of classical antiquity, you will receive training in the theory and practice of archaeology and in the application of scientific and environmental methods.

You will also have the opportunity to work with our own collection of Greek and Roman artefacts housed in the Archaeology Museum. The Classical Archaeology pathway provides an excellent foundation for further archaeological research in any period of antiquity: Minoan and Mycenaean palace societies, archaic and classical Greece, the Hellenistic age, Republican and Imperial Rome, Late Antiquity or Byzantium. This is one of several pathways available on the Antiquity MA.

Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology at the University of Birmingham has been ranked among the top five Russell Group departments of Classics in the Research Excellence Framework 2014.

Course fact file

Type of Course: Taught

Study Options: Full time, part time

Duration: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

Start date: September

Details

This is the degree for you if you enjoyed studying the ancient world as an undergraduate, and would now like to study Classical Archaeology in greater depth and at a higher level; or if you want to explore this aspect of antiquity and it wasn’t included in your first degree. It allows you to specialise, but also encourages you to branch out into related disciplines and to consider interdisciplinary approaches.

You will choose two core Archaeology modules, at least one in Classical Archaeology. You will also study a third core module in Research and Scholarship

You will also choose three optional modules, at least two of which should relate to Classical Archaeology. Options available may include:

  • Byzantine Archaeology and Material Culture
  • Funerary Archaeology
  • Greek Material Culture

Full module descriptions are available below.

You will also complete a 15,000-word dissertation on a subject of your choice, with one-to-one expert supervision.  

Why study this course

Classical antiquity has been studied at the University of Birmingham for over a hundred years. Current research strengths include: Minoan and Mycenaean archaeology; Greek colonisation; the ancient city, especially Rome and Pompeii; the archaeology of death, burial and of human remains; environmental archaeology; the archaeology of landscape; and the archaeological application of advanced imaging and remote sensing techniques.

With such a range of expertise available, you will be supported to explore your specific interests, particularly through the dissertation.

Modules

You will choose two core Archaeology modules, at least one in Classical Archaeology.

You will also study a third core module:

Research and Scholarship

This module ensures that students across the range of sub-disciplines in Classics and Ancient History acquire the necessary generic and specific skills needed for further research. These will include advanced bibliographic skills, familiarity with theoretical and critical approaches and schools of thought, technical skills such as techniques of epigraphy or numismatics where appropriate. Delivery will take place in seminar formats, with sub-disciplines offering different break-out sessions as needed.

You will also choose three optional modules, at least two of which should relate to Classical Archaeology pathway. Options available may include:

Byzantine Archaeology and Material Culture

This course offers a framework, partly empirical, partly conceptual, whereby to engage with the problems of investigating and interpreting Late Roman and Byzantine archaeology. It introduces all the major types of evidence (artefactual, topographical, monumental, environmental), deploying them to test reassessments of major debates in Late Roman and Byzantine Studies. Tutorial reading develop introduction to archaeology as an intellectual practice within Late Roman and Byzantine historical enquiry, focusing upon archaeology's developing contributions to economic, cultural and politico-administrative history, and evaluation of best practice in excavation, survey, recording and publication.

Funerary Archaeology

This module presents a critical review of theoretical approaches and interpretative themes in contemporary funerary archaeology, and examines the central significance of this field of study in current debates in world archaeology. As a core module for the Cultural Archaeology pathway, it uses this evidence-rich field of study to explore the relationships between cultural ideals, values, social agency and symbolic representation. There will be particular focus on a range of interpretative themes, including social interpretation, cultural identity and personhood, ritual practice, and past belief systems. It will draw widely on cross-cultural and inter-disciplinary case studies in archaeology and cognate disciplines such as anthropology and history, and will be available to students on the other MA/MSc Archaeology pathways and other CAL PGT programmes as an option.

Greek Material Culture 

Fees and funding

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2015/16 are as follows:

  • Home / EU: £6,210 full-time; £3,105 part-time
  • Overseas: £14,140 full-time

For part-time students, the above fee quoted is for year one only and tuition fees will also be payable in year two of your programme.

Eligibility for Home/EU or Overseas fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students

Tuition fees can either be paid in full or by instalments. Learn more about postgraduate tuition fees and funding

Scholarships and studentships

Scholarships to cover fees and/or maintenance costs may be available. To discover whether you are eligible for any award across the University, and to start your funding application, please visit the University's Postgraduate Funding Database.

International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.

Birmingham Masters Scholarship Scheme

For 2015 entry the University has 224 new £10,000 scholarships available for Masters students from under-represented groups. These scholarships have been jointly funded by the British Government; the allocation of the awards, which is the fourth highest in the UK, further cements Birmingham?s place amongst the very best higher education institutions for postgraduate study. The application deadline is 31 July 2015.

Entry requirements

Learn more about entry requirements

International students

Academic requirements

We accept a range of qualifications; our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

How to apply

Before you make your application

You may wish to register your interest with us to receive regular news and updates on postgraduate life within this Department and the wider University.

Making your application

Learn more about applying

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

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Learning and teaching

The research modules will train you to a professional level in bibliographic research, project development, information management and retrieval, oral presentation, active listening, and a range of subject-specific skills tailored to this pathway.

You will also become part of, and contribute to, the vibrant international community of the College of Arts and Law Graduate School, which offers dedicated research resources and a supportive working environment. Our team of academic and operational staff are on hand to offer support and advice to all postgraduate students within the College.

Support with academic writing

As a postgraduate student in the College of Arts and Law, you have access to the Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) which aims to help your transition from undergraduate to taught Masters level, or back into academia after time away. The service offers guidance on writing assignments and dissertations for your MA/MSc programme with individual support from an academic writing advisor via tutorials, email and the provision of online materials.

International students can access support through the English for International Students Unit (EISU).

Employability

The University of Birmingham has been ranked 8th in the UK and 60th in the world for post-qualification employability in the latest global survey of universities commissioned by the International Herald Tribune.

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by the employability skills training offered through the College of Arts and Law Graduate School.

Birmingham's Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology graduates develop a broad range of transferable skills including: familiarity with research methods; the ability to manage large quantities of information from diverse sources; the ability to organise information in a logical and coherent manner; the expertise to write clearly and concisely and to tight deadlines; critical and analytical ability; the capacity for argument, debate and speculation; and the ability to base conclusions on statistical research.

In 2013, over 92% of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology postgraduates were in work and/or further study six months after graduation. Many of our postgraduates enter roles for which their programme has especially prepared them, such as museum and heritage activities and archaeological posts. Elsewhere, a range of professions are undertaken by our graduates, from librarianship and teaching to accountancy. Employers that our graduates have gone on to work for include: AOC Archaeology Group; Blakesley Hall Museum; City and Borough Councils; English Heritage; KPMG; National Trust; and Sotheby?s.