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Durham University

Department of Archaeology

Why Archaeology at Durham?

Our taught Master's courses range from the general to the specific, allowing you to make a choice based on your individual interests and learning style. Many of our programmes have been designed with two pathways, professional or research, so you can adapt your degree to your career goals. All have a variety of module options and are led using a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials, and in some cases webinars. Several use an assortment of assessment methods such as projectwork and essays, instead of exams. Our taught Master's courses are amongst the finest in their fields; our MA in Museum and Artefact Studies , MA International Cultural Heritage Management and MA in Conservation of Archaeological and Museum Objects programmes are particularly strong for professional or vocational development, while the MSc in Bioarchaeology and all strands of the MA in Archaeology are ideal preparation for continuing your academic career. Our unique MSc in Palaeopathology is always an attractive option for students with either goal in mind. Also, as we are a large department, we can accommodate you as a MRes, MPhil, or PhD student with your own specialised research topic in mind.

Our internationally recognised research expertise can provide you with some of the best resources available for archaeological research. Our research and fieldwork stretches from Britain to South Asia and the Artic to the Nile Delta and we are keen to nurture new postgraduate talent in all areas of our research. Cross-Faculty collaboration flourish between us and History, Classics, Engineering, Mathematics, and Earth Sciences. Such connections extend the range of potential research postgraduates that we can support. The size of our department means that as well as breadth and depth of expertise, you can also benefit from a diversity of opinion.

Find out more about what makes us different and our staff.

...which is one of the largest in Europe. Our thriving group of Master's and PhD students actively contribute to the dynamic research environment we cultivate here at Durham. As a member of our community you will be encouraged to present your research both internally and externally at seminars, conferences, and to your peers, so that you can obtain important feedback on your work from a number of sources and are able to build relationships within the wider academic world. By participating in our Research Dialogues initiative you have the chance to organise your own funded seminar or workshop, which could result in a short edited publication. We support our students in their pursuit of publishing opportunities, with a significant number of Master's and doctoral dissertations recognised by international journals. Our current research students make up an integral part of departmental research projects and often accompany staff on excavations worldwide.

Find out more about our current postgraduate students, student life here at Durham, and our research projects.

Durham is home to one of only three commercial archaeology units based in university departments left in the UK, which means that you will have experts on hand for your fieldwork queries. We have relationships with the University Museums: the Old Fulling Mill Museum of Archaeology, and The Oriental Museum. The Old Fulling Mill Museum was founded in 1833 and houses a permanent exhibition concentrating on material from Durham, as well as temporary exhibitions of archaeological interest. The Museum is the venue for a number of practical classes and provides opportunities for students to gain experience of museum work. The Oriental Museum has one of the finest art and archaeology collections in the UK outside of London. These range from prehistoric Egypt and China to the work of living artists. The Museum opened in 1960 and also serves as a teaching and research resource used by university staff and students as well as researchers throughout the world.

We have close links with the main professional archaeological organisations in the region and elsewhere in Britain such as The National Trust, National Geographic, Historic Scotland, and the British Museum.

Find out more about our Archaeological Services, and the University Museums.