MScR in Archaeology


Program Description

The MSc (by Research) in Archaeology supports your interest in this field to an advanced academic and professional in independent research.

The MScR in Archaeology provides a unique experience in graduate education and research. This one-year degree (or 2 years part-time) provides a solid grounding in the methods and techniques of research while enabling you to pursue your own project and complete an extended thesis with the guidance of supervisors who are experts in the field.

We welcome applications from anyone keen to work in areas or on topics in which we have expertise. These include aspects of Science-based archaeology, Osteoarchaeology, Forensic Anthropology, GIS projects, late hunter-gatherers and the spread of farming in Europe, megalithic monuments, early civilisations and urban societies in the Mediterranean and Europe, Near Eastern Archaeology and Egyptology, later European prehistory, the archaeology of Scotland, the Byzantine world.

International reputation

Studying in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology you will benefit from small-group individual supervision from nationally- and internationally-renowned archaeologists.

Programme structure

The programme introduces you to the theory and practice of independent research.

You will be allocated two expert supervisors with whom you will work closely throughout the year.

All students take one prescribed course, Research Sources and Strategies in Archaeology, during the year of study and may attend other classes by agreement with the programme director.

Specific additional skills that may be required in order to undertake the research will be assessed jointly by student and supervisors before the programme starts. Training in transferable research and professional skills is also available, both within the School of History, Classics and Archaeology and through the Institute for Academic Development (IAD).


You will undertake a research project and produce a dissertation which is submitted on an assigned date in August.

Entry requirements

Find out about the admission criteria and required qualifications for the MSc (by Research) in Archaeology.

Degree Requirements

You will need a UK 2:1 honours degree, US GPA 3.4 or another international equivalent, in a subject related to your programme.

Relevant experience or professional or other qualifications will also be considered.

Guidance on the equivalency of international qualifications is provided by Edinburgh Global. If you are unsure of the equivalency of your degree, Edinburgh Global provides information by country.

English language requirements

If you do not come from a majority English-speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English.

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 20 in each module)
  • PTE(A): total 67 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module)
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Your English language qualification must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.

Alternatively, we may also be able to accept a degree  that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country for entry (as defined by UK Visas & Immigration), provided the degree is no more than three years old at the beginning of your degree programme. In such cases, we may additionally require you to take the University’s Test of English at Matriculation (TEAM). This test is designed to highlight any weaknesses you may have with your English and tuition will be provided for you free of charge.


The programme equips you to go on to advanced study, and also provides a solid foundation for a career.

You will gain practical as well as academic experience, team-working and analytical skills, and will be able to work in a variety of contexts.

Examples of career paths available to archaeology graduates (although some may require additional training) include: higher education, heritage management and agencies, commercial archaeology, environmental assessment, schools (if combined with another subject), tourism/travel.

An archaeology degree does not, of course, restrict you to a career in archaeology. You may develop your own career pathway in unusual ways or branch into related fields while maintaining a lifelong interest and involvement in archaeological work and research.

Last updated Nov 2018

About the School

The School of History, Classics and Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh is one of the great world centres for the study of the human past. The School comprises the three subject areas of Histor ... Read More

The School of History, Classics and Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh is one of the great world centres for the study of the human past. The School comprises the three subject areas of History, Classics and Archaeology, together with the Centre for the Study of Modern Conflict, the Scottish Centre for Diaspora Studies and the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Read less