Bournemouth University

Archaeology

If you have a first degree in an associated subject and want to convert your skills to pursue a career in archaeology this course will appeal to you - particularly if you have some practical experience. This course offers you the opportunity to build on your first degree to make yourself more marketable in the archaeological sector, while allowing you to tailor your studies to meet your personal needs and interests.

The many optional units on this degree will allow you to broaden your skills and knowledge in areas including maritime archaeology, forensic archaeology, zooarchaeology and the core area of field archaeology.

You will be taught by some of the UK’s leading practitioners in the sector, and under the guidance of this dedicated and enthusiastic team you can expect to develop your archaeological skills to reach your full potential.

Entry requirements

The normal requirements for embarking on this course are:

  • Possession of a 2:2 degree or equivalent in a relevant discipline, and/or relevant comprehensive professional experience
  • For post-experience and professional qualifications, there may be additional entry requirements set by the association or institute that ultimately administers the qualification in question. The qualification description on the course information pages should tell you what these are but please get in touch with the AskBU Enquiry Service if you are in doubt.

If you lack the formal academic qualifications needed to enter a postgraduate or post-experience degree, there are several alternative routes to follow - some based on experience. Contact the AskBU Enquiry Service for more information.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally IELTS (Academic) 6.5 with minimum 5.5 in each component or equivalent.

Course modules

Core units

  • Techniques of Archaeological Recovery & Recording: Taking part in field work exercises and practical demonstrations gives you grounding in the methods involved in archaeological field recording and recovery.  You'll learn about the principles of location, survey, excavation and the planning and recording of archaeological finds and features. You'll also learn about planning field projects, which covers health & safety and budgeting.
  • Research Project: Develop your expertise in research methods, data collection, analysis, interpretation and synthesis and explore in detail core aspects of your subject area, with a view to generating new practical or theoretical insights. You will develop methodological, research, presentation skills and advanced communication skills by producing an extensive dissertation or report on your research.

Option units

  • Applied Field Investigation: You will have the opportunity to plan, monitor, record and report on an element of an archaeological field project, in which you have taken a responsible role using the methods, practices and skills typically used within professional archaeological projects and research. Before undertaking the fieldwork, you will gain an understanding of how to plan field projects and produce an appropriate project design, including health and safety and budgeting aspects. Having completed a supervisory field project, you will produce a report to industry standards. A minimum of four weeks experience of working on an archaeological field project would normally be expected to undertake this unit.
  • Bodies of Evidence - Skeletal Changes Before & After Death: This unit focuses on skeletonised remains and interpreting material from forensic contexts, although the content will also be relevant to archaeological material and some consideration will be given to soft tissue remains. The unit will consider changes that take place during an individual’s life and after death that produce variations in the nature and appearance of the skeleton. Variation sources during life include disease processes and injuries affecting bone, whilst post-mortem events include the decomposition processes, changes in the burial environment and alteration by burning. You'll also consider the ways skeletal samples can be investigated statistically at the level of populations. Professional frameworks relating to forensic casework and procedures and methods of report writing will also be taught.
  • Forensic Archaeology: This lecture-based unit explores the principles, techniques and methodologies of traditional archaeological practices when they are adapted to use in forensic contexts. Theoretical and practical concepts of archaeology such as stratigraphy, remote sensing, geophysical survey, search, location, recovery and dating techniques are covered. The application of these methods to forensic scenes is demonstrated through a series of domestic and international case studies. Techniques employed in the excavation of single and mass graves are also explored.
  • Management of Archaeological Material: The aim of this unit is to provide you with the basic principles and understanding behind caring for, treating and curating artefacts from archaeological sites, with particular attention on finds from wet sites like marine or freshwater. Learning and teaching methods include introductory lectures on the problems and issues related to material from archaeological excavations, with a particular focus on waterlogged material. You'll also be given practical experience of stabilisation, excavation, in situ protection and recovering finds.
  • Maritime Archaeology: Gain an understanding of the principles and history of maritime archaeology. You'll gain knowledge of materials and site types in the maritime archaeological record and the principles and scope of maritime studies.
  • Principles & Methods in Human Osteology: An introduction to the basic principles of analysis and interpretation involved in studying skeletal remains of modern humans from archaeological and forensic contexts. This covers the principles and application of biological profiling from the skeleton. Characteristics covered include age-at death, biological sex, stature and metric and non-metric variation. You'll also get a general introduction to skeletal anatomy, the sub-adult skeleton and the dentition and differences between human and non-human animal bone. The unit functions as a self-contained introduction to human osteology at Master's level which can stand alone or form the foundation for more advanced study of human skeletal remains.
  • Principles & Methods in Zooarchaeology: This unit will provide you with a solid basis in the principles of identification of mammals, birds and fish and the recording and analytical methods currently employed in the study of animal bones from archaeological sites. It will also provide you with an appreciation of how animal bone studies are integrated with other aspects of archaeology. You will learn mainly through practical workshops, in which you will further your familiarity with zoo archaeological assemblages and techniques, through the handling of material and by practical exercises based on that material. Case studies will explore how investigations of faunal remains can be integrated within the wider discipline of archaeology.
  • Marine Environment, Heritage & Spatial Planning: Environmental changes in the marine environment have affected the degradation and preservation of underwater heritage. This unit, which may involve field trips, will help you understand the effect of physical, chemical and biological damage to the historic environment and natural hazards to historical and archaeological sites in coastal and shallow marine environments. After completing this unit, you'll be able to manage in situ degradation and the protection of underwater archaeological sites, and appraise mitigation methods for preserving our underwater cultural heritage in situ
  • Archaeology of Human Remains: An introduction to the basic principles of analysis and interpretation involved in studying skeletal remains of modern humans from archaeological and forensic contexts. This covers the principles and application of biological profiling from the skeleton. Characteristics covered include age-at death, biological sex, stature and metric and non-metric variation. You'll also get a general introduction to skeletal anatomy, the sub-adult skeleton and the dentition and differences between human and non-human animal bone. The unit functions as a self-contained introduction to human osteology at Master's level which can stand alone or form the foundation for more advanced study of human skeletal remains.
  • Advanced Zooarchaeology: Your identification skills will be put to practice during this explorative unit of a diverse range of skeletal remains. You will evaluate the potential of archaeological data and consider ways in which you can put together an appropriate programme of post-excavation analysis and design a suitable recording scheme for a selected body of material.
  • Human Evolution: The global record of human evolution from seven million - twelve thousand years ago. You'll explore the many lines of evidence which contribute to our understanding of this period including archaeological material, fossil anatomy, geochronology, landscape change and ancient DNA. There will be much emphasis the Old World, although the global dispersal of humans will also be covered. You'll develop a critical understanding of theories underpinning the study of human evolution, including evolutionary theory, adaptive ecological strategies and behavioural and biological change. The overarching aim is for you to achieve a deep understanding of the interdisciplinary basis of human evolution, and to develop the skills for navigating expanding and rapidly changing field independently. Unit delivery will be aimed at developing expertise in analytical and critical thinking, and confidence in communication and presentation.
  • Humans, Animals & Diet: Gain a detailed understanding of the history of animal exploitation for food and the inter-relationships between humans and animals in different periods and regions. This unit aims to provide you with knowledge of the major developments in animal exploitation in Britain. A number of central themes in zoo archaeological studies will be explored that can be applied to the study of human diets in European, Asian and New World contexts. You will also be developing critical awareness of the range of cultural attitudes towards animals, in different human societies.
  • Applied Maritime Archaeology: This unit is designed to take advantage of any maritime archaeological projects that Bournemouth University may run in the future. Students will need at least CMAS 2 Star diving qualifications to participate.
  • Please note that option units require minimum numbers in order to run and may only be available on a semester by semester basis. They may also change from year to year.

Fees

Part-time students: You will be charged a proportion of the full-time fee according to how much you study during the year.

Qualifications

Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
MSc Full-time September 2018 GBP 14,500 per Whole course (International) 1 years
MSc Full-time September 2018 GBP 6,250 per Whole course (home fees) 1 years
MSc Full-time September 2018 GBP 6,250 per Whole course (EU fees) 1 years
MSc Part-time September 2018 - 2 years

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Talbot Campus Poole BH12 5BB South West

Get in touch

Remember to mention TARGETpostgrad when contacting universities.

Key information

Contact: 
AskBU Enquiries
Telephone number: 
01202 961916