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Postgraduate Study

Course closed:

Archaeology is no longer accepting new applications.

The MPhil in Archaeology allows students to gain a critical appreciation of archaeology, the human past, and its place in the modern world, as well as training in research and analytical skills and expertise in a chosen, specialist area. Our emphasis at the MPhil level is on research-led teaching so that staff and students interact in lectures, seminars, language classes and laboratory-based practicals with the aims of mastering the basics of theory and method, while also engaging students as participants in ongoing research projects.

Students may choose to specialise in any of the following options if available - a check should be made with the Department before application to find out which options are available that year: 

  • Archaeology of the Americas
  • Egyptian Archaeology
  • European Prehistory
  • Medieval Archaeology
  • Mesopotamian Archaeology
  • Palaeolithic and Mesolithic Archaeology
  • South Asian Archaeology
  • African Archaeology


Learning Outcomes

The overall aim of the MPhil in Archaeology is to provide Master’s-level education in archaeology at the highest standard. This involves three goals: 

  • To enable students to attain a critical appreciation of archaeology, the human past, and its place in the modern world. By the end of the course, students are expected to understand the broader context and methods of archaeology, and to be able to enter a range of archaeological professions. 
  • To train students in a particular subject of specialisation through a coherent programme of teaching focused upon a specific topic, area, or methodology, as defined in the objectives of the course. By the end of the course, students are expected to be able to pursue independent research in their field of specialisation. 
  • To give students training in a range of general, transferable skills, such as writing, presentation, research skills, and formulating and analysing arguments. By the end of the course, students are expected to be able to exercise these skills in any professional-level work which requires them.


Students taking the MPhil in Archaeology 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 on the PhD programme.

Open Days

The Postgraduate Virtual Open Day usually takes place at the end of October. 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.

See further the Postgraduate Admissions Events pages for other events relating to Postgraduate study, including study fairs, visits and international events.

School of the Humanities and Social Sciences 80

Key Information

10 months full-time

Study Mode : Taught

Master of Philosophy

Department of Archaeology

Course - related enquiries

Application - related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 4, 2023
Application deadline
April 24, 2024
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2024

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

Course Funding Deadline
Jan. 4, 2024
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 11, 2023

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2024, Lent 2025 and Easter 2025.

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