MRes Archaeology

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

Annual tuition fee 2021/22:
UK: £6,120 full-time; £3,150 part-time
International: £18,810 full-time
More detail.

Uncover the past by carrying out your own independent research project in Archaeology, while developing your knowledge and skills through our wide range of taught modules.

You can complete your research project on any archaeological subject, as agreed with your supervisor, and there is a wide range of choice for the taught component, enabling you to build your own unique programme of study.

What is an MRes?

An MRes is a programme that will help you develop the skills for both doctoral study and a future career. You will complete a major individual research project, supervised by a specialist in the field of study, and a taught component that develops research and analytical skills.

COVID-19

Please rest assured that we will make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities described. However, it may be necessary to make changes due to significant disruption, for example in response to COVID-19.

Information for future students and applicants

The best things about my course is the close and meticulous support I receive 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.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest updates and FAQs for future students and offer-holders

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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 2021/22 are as follows:

  • UK: £6,120 full-time; £3,150 part-time
  • International: £18,810 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 or international fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students

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. 

Archaeology staff research supervision areas

As an MRes Archaeology student, you will 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 you select. You will conduct your thesis research independently, guided by a supervisory team (usually a lead supervisor and co-supervisor) selected for their expertise and experience relevant to your 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 you will 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).

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