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Postgraduate Study

This MPhil aims to introduce students to the main theories and research approaches in archaeological science, particularly within the fields of archaeological materials science, geoarchaeology, zooarchaeology, archaeobotany, genetics and isotopic and biomolecular archaeology. The aims include:

  • to provide a wide-ranging and challenging introduction to the theoretical issues involved in archaeological science;
  • to provide an in-depth understanding of approaches to scientific analysis and interpretation in the context of archaeological research;
  • to foster the ability to develop original research questions and to explore them effectively using scientific methods;
  • to provide training relevant to a professional and/or research career in archaeological science.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this MPhil, students should have:

  • Gained a detailed understanding of current theoretical and practical perspectives in archaeological science.
  • Developed their critical faculties in a discussion, debate, and evaluation of alternative interpretations and perspectives on scientific data.
  • Developed transferable skills such as writing, presentation, data analysis and laboratory protocols
  • Carried through a substantial programme of independent research embodied in a dissertation on a topic that demonstrates theoretical understanding and practical competence in science-based archaeological analysis and interpretation.


Students taking the MPhil in Archaeological Science who wish to continue to the PhD in Archaeology are required to
achieve a mark of at least 68 overall and no less than 68 in their dissertation. They must obtain the support of an
appropriate supervisor before making an application
. In some circumstances, additional academic conditions
may be set to ensure appropriate skills are in place prior to admittance to the PhD programme.

Open Days

The Postgraduate Virtual Open Day usually takes place at the beginning of November. It’s a great opportunity to ask questions to admissions staff and academics, explore the Colleges virtually, and to find out more about courses, the application process and funding opportunities. Visit the Postgraduate Open Day page for more details.

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Key Information

10 months full-time

Master of Philosophy

Department of Archaeology

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Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Michaelmas 2023

Applications open
Sept. 15, 2022
Application deadline
April 26, 2023
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2023

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Course Funding Deadline
Jan. 5, 2023
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 12, 2022

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2023, Lent 2024 and Easter 2024.

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