Archaeology: Prehistoric Britain (MA)
1 year (full-time) / 2 years (part-time) / n/a (distance / e-Learning)
This is one of four pathways for the MA Archaeology programme. For details other pathway options please see the MA Archaeology course.
The Prehistoric Britain pathway offers the opportunity to develop a critical understanding of the archaeological evidence for social development of British society in Prehistory from the agricultural colonisation of the early Neolithic, through the periods of ritual monument use in the Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age and their transformation into the domesticated landscapes of the later Bronze Age. It culminates with an exploration of the regional diversification that occurred in the Iron Age and that the Romans encountered in the first century AD.
- Training in research methods and skills
- Expert supervision of dissertation on Prehistoric Britain topics by research-active staff.
The MA in Prehistoric Britain is designed to introduce students to the prehistory of Britain through a detailed examination of the archaeological record from Shetland to Cornwall and Kent. Cardiff has long been a centre for research into British Prehistory. In the past staff and students from Cardiff University were involved in the iconic excavation at Stonehenge and Silbury Hill. Current staff have been involved in excavations throughout the country including at Avebury, Maiden Castle, Cladh Hallan and Skara Brae and students are currently involved in excavations at Ham Hill in Somerset, the largest hillfort in Britain. Research themes in the recent past has included the chronology of early agricultural communities, the nature of monumentality in the first millennium BC, the domestic wild dichotomy and animal life ways and the spatial organisation of settlements.
As a result of our history of research in British Prehistory the library is well stocked and includes long runs of national, regional and local journals which are invaluable research tool for staff and students. Students are taught in small groups and are expected to contribute to seminar based learning by leading discussion and help with the organisation of conferences which occur on a regular basis.
The MA in Prehistoric Britain is an interdisciplinary degree which is suitable for students from a wide range of backgrounds. All students take a series of core modules which aim to develop research skills, an understanding of the archaeological record, and methods of written and oral presentation appropriate to the subject. These core modules are run in conjunction with other MA and MSc degrees in the School of History, Archaeology and Religion.
Students take a total of 180 credits of modules, consisting of:
- 40 credits of core skills modules
- 80 credits of option modules selected by the student
- 60 credit dissertation (topic or theme chosen by the student in consultation with academic staff).
Upon completion of the MA in Archaeology (and all other MA and MScs offered in Archaeology and Conservation at Cardiff), students will have acquired the following skills.
Intellectual skills, including the ability to critically evaluate evidence and its interpretation and to be tolerant of differing interpretations; to sustain a logical argument and reach a conclusion that can be defended; to synthesise and analyse information; to compare and contrast theoretical explanations and to integrate different methodologies.
Communication skills, including the ability to communicate orally in an appropriate professional medium; to make presentations both as an individual and as part of a group; to write effectively at an advanced level. Numeracy skills, including the ability to display and present numerical data in appropriate formats; and to analyse numerical data and solve basic mathematical and statistical problems.
Information technology skills, including the ability to produce and calculate values using a spreadsheet; to produce and query databases; to use e-mail, the Internet and the World Wide Web; to find, manage and utilise information and data.
Personal skills, including the ability to manage workloads; to adapt and apply skills to new contexts; to assess and formulate priorities, constraints and goals and to adapt to changing circumstances.
The experience gained on this course will prove valuable in acquiring work in commercial archaeology in Britain.
1st or upper 2nd class UK Honours degree in an appropriate subject. Suitable for graduates in Archaeology and related humanities and social science disciplines.
Students whose first language is not English will be required to pass an IELTS test (minimum 6.5) or equivalent.
Note: International students pursuing part-time programmes of study are not eligible for Tier 4 (General Student) visas and must have alternative leave to remain in the UK if they intend to study at the University in person.
How to Apply
Applications can be made for this course via our Online Application Service. Applicants should select the MA Archaeology option from the list.
Applicants should use the Personal Statement section of the form to outline their area of interest and, if possible, the topic that they hope to research for their dissertation.
For information on funding available for Masters students at the School of History, Archaeology and Religion please see the school's funding information.
Next intake: September each year
Name: Dr Steve Mills
Telephone: +44 (0)29 2087 5655