MRes Archaeology

Start date
September
Duration
Full-time: 1 year
Course Type
Postgraduate, Combined research and taught
Fees

Annual tuition fee for 2020/21: £6,120
International: £17,880
More detail.

This versatile programme provides a basis both for doctoral study and for career development in archaeology and in heritage and cultural environment professions.

It comprises a major individual research project, supervised by a specialist in the field of study, and a taught component that develops research and analytical skills. Potential research projects can be on any archaeological subject, as agreed with the supervisor, and there is a wide range of choice for the taught component, enabling students to build their own unique programme of study.

College of Arts and Law postgraduate scholarships available

The College of Arts and Law is offering a range of scholarships for our postgraduate taught and research programmes to ensure that the very best talent is nurtured and supported.

Learn more about our scholarships

The best things about my course is the close and meticulous support I am receiving from my supervisors, as well as the sense of connection with the local research community. Life is exciting as a student at the University of Birmingham with lots of events, conferences and presentations by renowned scholars.”

Ioannis

Why Study this Course?

  • The MRes Archaeology programme provides a foundation for doctoral study, for developing research skills and capabilities applicable in all professional fields in Archaeology and Heritage, and for demonstrating expertise in chosen aspects of archaeological method and interpretation. Moreover, the course structure combines the advantages of training in technical and methodological areas, gaining in-depth knowledge of particular thematic, period-based and/or geographical fields of archaeological study, with the freedom to pursue your own research interests in a highly flexible and targeted manner. 
  • Birmingham's Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology graduates develop a broad range of transferable skills. These include 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; confident oral presentation; the capacity for argument, debate and speculation; and the ability to base conclusions on statistical research.
  • We have a vibrant and productive postgraduate community and students are encouraged to enter fully into the life of the Department and the University. We enable advanced research students to broaden their skills through appropriate training in teaching skills and, where possible, through offering the chance to gain experience in teaching.

The postgraduate experience

The College of Arts and Law offers excellent support to its postgraduates, from libraries and research spaces, to careers support and funding opportunities. Learn more about your postgraduate experience.

Modules

The principal element of the programme, and of assessment, is the 20,000-word research thesis on a subject agreed by you and a member of staff with appropriate research interests.

This research project also forms the core of your application to study, and we recommend that you discuss your proposed research project with a potential supervisor in advance of applying. The thesis can be regarded as an independent piece of research or a foundation for doctoral-level study.

The potential areas for research are very diverse and include British and European prehistory, the archaeology of the Roman World, Late Antiquity and Greece, and thematic areas relevant to all periods and regions of archaeological study such as environment, landscape, material culture, death and burial, age and gender, warfare, ritual and religion, and archaeological theory and method.

Alongside the thesis, you take three taught modules to complement your research topic. Modules typically available include:

  • Archaeological Theory, Method and Interpretation
  • Archaeology of Greece
  • Archaeology of the Late Roman and Dark-Age East
  • Archaeology of the Byzantine and Crusader World
  • Creating Europe: Complex Societies 1000 BC – AD 1000
  • Empire and Identity
  • Field Survey
  • Funerary Archaeology
  • GIS and Spatial Analysis
  • Landscape Archaeology
  • Material Culture

For more information, see our Archaeology module descriptions.


Please note that the optional module information listed on the website for this programme is intended to be indicative, and the availability of optional modules may vary from year to year. Where a module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you to make other choices.

Fees

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2020/21 are as follows:

  • UK/EU: £6,120 full-time; £3,060 part-time
  • International: £17,880 full-time

The above fees quoted are for one year only; for those studying over two or more years, tuition fees will also be payable in subsequent years of your programme.

Fee status

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


For EU students applying for the 2020/21 academic year

The UK Government has confirmed that EU students will continue to be eligible for 'home fee status' for entry in September 2020, and will continue to have access to financial support available via student loans for the duration of their course. For more information take a look at the gov.uk website.

Paying your fees

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.

How To Apply

Application deadlines

The deadline for International students to apply is Wednesday 1 July 2020. The deadline for UK/EU students is Thursday 10 September 2020.

Before you make your application

Please refer to our six step process on applying for PhD, MA by Research and MRes opportunities for Arts subject areas, which includes detailed advice on research proposals and how to write them.

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

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

Apply now

Our Standard Requirements

Our requirements for postgraduate research are dependent on the type of programme you are applying for:

  • For MRes and MA by Research programmes, entry to our programmes usually requires a good (normally a 2:1 or above) Honours degree, or an equivalent qualification if you were educated outside the UK, usually in a relevant area.
  • Applicants for a PhD will also need to hold a Masters qualification at Merit level or above (or its international equivalent), usually in a relevant area.

Any academic and professional qualifications or relevant professional experience you may have are normally taken into account, and in some cases, form an integral part of the entrance requirements.

If you are applying for distance learning research programmes, you will also be required to demonstrate that you have the time, commitment, facilities and experience to study by distance learning.

If your qualifications are non-standard or different from the entry requirements stated here, please contact the admissions tutor.

International students

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries - use our handy guide below to see what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements: standard language requirements apply for this course - IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any band. If you are made an offer of a place to study and you do not meet the language requirement, you have the option to enrol on our English for Academic Purposes Presessional Course - if you successfully complete the course, you will be able to fulfil the language requirement without retaking a language qualification.

IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any band is equivalent to:

  • TOEFL: 88 overall with no less than 21 in Reading, 21 Listening, 22 Speaking and 21 in Writing
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE): Academic 59 in all four skills
  • Cambridge English (exams taken from 2015): Advanced - minimum overall score of 176, with no less than 169 in any component

Learn more about international entry requirements

International Requirements


Academic staff in Archaeology are undertaking research in a variety of areas, from exploring the earliest settlements to unravelling the complex archaeology of modern industrial societies, utilising both traditional applied techniques and cutting edge technologies to reconstruct the past in imaginative and innovative ways.

Please contact a staff member working in your area of interest in the first instance. Research interests in archaeology include: 

Phenomenology of landscapes; battlefield archaeology; archaeological approaches to warfare and violence
Contact: Dr John Carman
Email: j.carman@bham.ac.uk 

Prehistoric landscape archaeology; digital archaeology; cultural heritage; GIS; remote sensing
Contact: Professor Henry Chapman
Email: h.chapman@bham.ac.uk

European prehistory; Neolithic and Bronze Age Britain; archaeology of ritual and religion; funerary archaeology; landscape archaeology
Contact: Paul Garwood
Email: p.j.garwood@bham.ac.uk

Environmental archaeology and palaeonentomology, use of insect remains to examine the development of the Holocene landscape of the Trent Valley and the Severn Estuary; insect faunas from both urban and rural human habitation sites and their use in the interpretation of archaeological contexts and ultimately human behaviour
Contact: Dr David Smith
Email: d.n.smith@bham.ac.uk

Classical archaeology; Greek prehistory; Bronze Age Macedonia; current research at Mycenae, Knossos, Assiros and Servia
Contact: Dr Ken Wardle
Email: k.a.wardle@bham.ac.uk

Late prehistoric, Romano-British and Dark Age British archaeology; industrial archaeology; research projects include the Wroxeter Hinterland Project
Contact: Dr Roger White
Email: r.h.white@bham.ac.uk

Byzantine archaeology; urban and rural economy
Contact: Dr Archie Dunn
Email: a.w.dunn@bham.ac.uk

MRes Archaeology students attend a wide range of seminars, lectures, and training classes as part of the taught components of their courses, potentially including computer suite-based classes, a survey field school, and study visits, depending on the modules selected. Thesis research is conducted independently, guided by a supervisory team (usually a lead supervisor and co-supervisor) selected for their expertise and experience relevant to the student's research project, with supervisory meetings taking place on a regular basis. The course benefits from excellent library resources for archaeological study, housed within the new University Library situated close to the department, and MRes students join the wider, dynamic community of Archaeology staff and students at the University with opportunities to attend seminar series, public lectures, social events, and potentially participate in departmental field projects. 

You will also become part of, and contribute to, the lively 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.

 

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for your future career, but this can also be enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University and the College of Arts and Law.

The University's Careers Network provides expert guidance and activities especially for postgraduates, which will help you achieve your career goals. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated  careers and employability team who offer tailored advice and a programme of College-specific careers events.

You will be encouraged to make the most of your postgraduate experience and will have the opportunity to:

  • Receive one-to-one careers advice, including guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique, whether you are looking for a career inside or outside of academia
  • Meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs and employer presentations
  • Attend an annual programme of careers fairs, skills workshops and conferences, including bespoke events for postgraduates in the College of Arts and Law
  • Take part in a range of activities to demonstrate your knowledge and skills to potential employers and enhance your CV

What’s more, you will be able to access our full range of careers support for up to 2 years after graduation.

Postgraduate employability: Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology

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.

Many of our postgraduates enter roles for which their programme has especially prepared them, such as museum, heritage and archaeological posts. Elsewhere, a range of professions are undertaken by our graduates, including fundraising, publishing, teaching and accountancy. Over the past 5 years, 82% of Arts and Law postgraduates were in work and/or further study 6 months after graduation (DLHE 2012 - 2017).