University of York

University of York

Historical Archaeology

Historical Archaeology is the study of relatively recent documented periods, from the end of the Middle Ages to the 21st Century. The course examines themes such as the development of consumption and capitalism, colonialism and globalisation from British and international perspectives. It builds out from the unique experience of Britain in the 17th and 18th Centuries to consider the global impact of changing economic, political and cultural values as the modern world took shape. We examine data sources including excavated material alongside material culture from museums and collections, standing buildings, landscapes and documentary sources of all kinds, which relate to both the UK, its former colonies and the wider world. The skills you develop working with material culture, landscapes and archival sources, as well as presenting short papers and writing essays and your dissertation, will provide an unrivalled insight into the past and present and prepare you for a wide range of jobs and careers, as well as further research. The course appeals to anyone interested in the material culture and landscapes of the post-medieval period.

Entry requirements

A good Honours degree (upper 2nd or 1st Class) or an equivalent qualification from an overseas institution in Archaeology or a related field, such as History, Art History, Geography or English Literature. Non-graduate applications will be considered from those with 3 years practical or professional experience, broadly related to the topics within historical archaeology or those disciplines listed above. If you're a non-native English speaking applicant you must provide evidence of your English language ability. You need to show enough fluency in all aspects of English (reading, writing, speaking and listening) to the required level of the course you're applying to.

Course modules

There are 2 core modules: Making of the modern nation (issues in historical archaeology 1); global connections (issues in historical archaeology 2), research for dissertation. 2 further module choices: Analysing historic buildings; concepts of landscape; cultural heritage management 1 (concepts principles and practice); cultural heritage management 2 (museums audiences and interpretation); interpreting historic buildings; medieval settlement and communities; narrating our pasts. 4 shorter skills modules choices: Topographical survey; artefacts; artefacts from excavation; buildings survey; geophysical survey; geographical information systems; perspectives in landscape research.

Sponsorship information

A range of scholarships and studentships are available at postgraduate level. Some scholarships are funded by the University (such as the York Master's Opportunity Scholarship) and some are funded by Research Councils, alumni, businesses and charities. Please check with the provider for details.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
MA Full-time September 2016 - 1 years
MA Part-time September 2016 - 2 years
PgCert Part-time September 2016 - 1 years
PgCert Full-time September 2016 - 1 years
PgDip Full-time September 2016 - 1 years
PgDip Part-time September 2016 - 2 years

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
University of York York YO10 5DD Yorkshire and the Humber

Get in touch

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Key information

Postgraduate Administrator
Telephone number: 
01904 323963