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UCD School of Archaeology is the foremost archaeological research institution in Ireland and our teaching programme focuses on archaeology in Ireland and overseas. Our aim is to equip graduates to contribute to archaeology across the globe, with key concepts developed from understanding the internationally acclaimed Irish archaeological record. In the MA programme, this will include fieldtrips to iconic Irish sites and landscapes. Perspectives and practices from archaeological landscapes across the globe will be developed through the programme, and specialisation in different geographical areas strongly encouraged. Students will execute a variety of approaches to archaeological practice including desktop, experimental work in the UCD Centre for Experimental Archaeology and Ancient Technologies, field and lab-based techniques.

The MA is structured around dedicated Level 4 modules with a core and option framework. A small number of Level 3 (Advanced Undergraduate) modules may be taken as part of the MA.

Core modules include training on researching archaeology in an Irish context, field and laboratory skills, thesis skills and a major 30-credit dissertation or research placement. Optional Level 4 modules include GIS and geospatial analysis, heritage management, aspects of experimental archaeology, archaeological landscapes and high-level discussion-led modules on prehistoric archaeology and historical archaeology. Students can also take up to 10 credits from the School's existing Level 3 modules.

A variety of assessment strategies are utilised, including classroom and field presentations, book reviews, review articles and essays. Level 4 modules are assessed through continuous assessment only; however, most Level 3 modules include an examination.

Who should apply?

Full Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

Part Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. No

The MA Archaeology in UCD is a Level 9, 90 credit programme which will provide students with a high level of competency in conducting independent archaeological research in a variety of contexts, from the academic through to the professional. Students will develop critical perspectives on different forms of archaeological practice including the archaeological sciences, theoretical perspectives on the past and the views of heritage stakeholders.

Being located in Dublin places us in close proximity to key cultural and archaeological institutions including the National Museum of Ireland, National Monuments Service and the Discovery Programme.

Programme outcomes
-Understand and critique the latest archaeological practice and research in a global context
-Critically evaluate changes in human populations from prehistory to the present day, and evaluate their connection the modern world
-Reflect and articulate the roles of archaeology and the past in modern society, the tangible and intangible value of heritage, and the context of appropriate legislation
-Develop a comprehensive and nuanced knowledge of Ireland's internationally renowned archaeological record within its European and global context
-Appropriately select and apply discipline-specific archaeological skills and approaches, including archaeological fieldwork or laboratory techniques
- Gather, evaluate and critically assess diverse archaeological datasets, transforming them into knowledge
- Design and implement small-scale field or laboratory-based research projects, using appropriate professional methodologies and equipment
-Design and implement small-scale field or laboratory-based research projects, using appropriate professional methodologies and equipment
-Work within large or small teams and independently, leading and being led as appropriate
-Design, structure, research and implement a significant piece of original archaeological research, in the form of an MA research thesis or placement comprising 15,000 words
-Effectively manage projects and deadlines over the course of a year of intensive study, providing an excellent grounding for real-world archaeological project management

Entry requirements

This programme is intended for applicants with a background in Archaeology, Anthropology, History, Geography, Environmental Studies or other cognate disciplines. An upper second class honours degree, or the international equivalent, is required.
-Applicants whose first language is not English must also demonstrate English language proficiency of IELTS 6.5 (no band less than 6.0 in each element), or equivalent.


Z040: 1 year full-time or Z104: 2 years part-time.

Number of credits


Careers or further progression

Career Opportunities:
Archaeology graduates work in a wide range of fields, from cultural heritage, to media, to creative industries and archaeological companies, museums, and the state sector. Many also go on to PhD scholarships, postdoctoral fellowships and academia.

MA students will gain considerable transferable skills and develop high employability: this will include the completion of substantial independent research projects or placements; field/lab work; essay, project, report and portfolio writing; experience in making presentations orally and via posters; group work; leadership roles; and experience of working in the field. The MA in Archaeology is a recognised qualification for the Archaeological profession. An MA in archaeology or a cognate discipline is a requirement for entry into the UCD structured PhD programme.

Further enquiries

Contact Name: Angela McAteer
Contact Number:+353 (0)1 716 8312

Subjects taught

Stage 1 - Core

How to Research Archaeology ARCH40760

Archaeological Field & Laboratory Techniques ARCH40770

Research Project Skills ARCH40860

Stage 1 - Option

Combat Archaeology ARCH30170

Human Osteology ARCH30340

Archaeology of Food ARCH30360

Heritage Management ARCH30510

Archaeology and the Public: Past Meets Present ARCH30520

Early Medieval Europe: Social identity and Belonging AD 400-1100

Wetland Archaeology ARCH30540

Archaeology of Minoan Crete ARCH30550

Adoption of Agriculture ARCH30560

Feudal castles and Gothic cathedrals: building medieval Europe, AD1000-1500 ARCH30600

New perspectives on the Historical Archaeology of Ireland ARCH40720

Research Prehistoric Archaeol. ARCH40730

Irish Archaeolog. Landscapes ARCH40780

Irish landscapes; future views ARCH40790

MA Dissertation ARCH40800

MA Research Placement ARCH40810

Investigating Materials & Objects ARCH40820

Communicating Heritage ARCH40830

Expt Arch: Principles & Practice ARCH40840

Practical Experimental Archaeology ARCH40850

Introduction to GIS and Spatial Methods in Archaeology ARCH40870

Advanced GIS in Archaeology and Heritage ARCH40880

Heritage Marketing, Market Research & Management ARCH41010

World Heritage and Sustainable Development ARCH41020

Conflict Resolution & Conservation ARCH41030

Remote Sensing ARCH41070

Historic Urban Landscapes ARCH41080

Assessment method

Teaching Learning and Assessment Approach
The MA emphasizes small class sizes, seminar-based learning and original research – be this in the field, the lab or the UCD Centre for Experimental Archaeology and Ancient Technologies. The programme strongly relies on continuous assessment, including varied projects and thesis writing. No Level 4 modules include an exam.

Beyond your archaeological training, we will provide you with advanced academic and practical training in a wide range of key transferable skills, including: how to make effective presentations; report and essay writing; designing and managing research projects; working collaboratively in research groups.

Application date

MA Archaeology FT (Z040)
Duration 1 Years
Attendance Full Time
Deadline Rolling *

MA Archaeology PT (Z104)
Duration 2 Years
Attendance Part Time
Deadline Rolling *

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised

Course fee

MA Archaeology (Z040) Full Time
EU fee per year - € 6885
nonEU fee per year - € 18700

MA Archaeology (Z104) Part Time
EU fee per year - € 4130
nonEU fee per year - € 9350

***Fees are subject to change

Enrolment and start dates

Next Intake: 2018/2019 September.

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