MSc Archaeological & Heritage Practice
Our past is all around us. This dynamic programme is about the discovery, investigation, recording and interpretation of that past. The course is designed to provide you with the knowledge and skills to work effectively in applied Archaeology and Heritage across the commercial, charitable and governmental heritage sector.
Designed in collaboration with professional archaeologists and heritage managers, and with tutors drawn from across industry and academia, this course provides a distinctive and balanced insight into the operation of the heritage sector while helping you identify and gain the knowledge and transferable skills which will boost your career.
You will benefit from a programme that critically considers contemporary issues, challenges and developments in archaeology and heritage, providing you with a robust philosophical, theoretical and ethical framework. You will gain a toolbox of skills from project management to remote sensing to the recording and analysis of historic buildings. This will help you to engage with the practice of archaeology in the UK and Internationally and adapt to rapid social, economic and environmental change.
Overall the programme will prepare you for, or further develop, a career in archaeology and applied heritage through reflective practice, the growth of intellectual skills and an ethos of life-long learning. You will be able to demonstrate adaptability, initiative and originality alongside accountability, integrity and ethical judgement.
Applicants should usually possess a degree in subject areas related to heritage, archaeology, history, land management, planning or geography at Lower Second (2.2) or higher. If you have no formal qualifications it may also be possible to join the programme based on extensive relevant work experience corresponding in level to a relevant undergraduate honours degree. In all cases entry is subject to a satisfactory interview either in person or via Skype/Zoom or similar platforms.
This programme is delivered by a blend of intensive tuition in Swindon interspersed with online learning, tutorials and the opportunity to collaborate with tutors and other students. It is a highly flexible programme designed to fit around your working life.
The CHI emphasises an exciting hands-on collaborative learning style where you are encouraged and enabled to contribute to knowledge generation and communication. The goal is to grow confidence and support your transition to a professional role.
There will be plenty of academic support with face-to-face live lectures, seminars and studio sessions where you will discuss, challenge and create. The tutors are all heritage professionals with considerable experience in both academia and the heritage sector. You will also work with, and be mentored by, our Professional Fellows who are embedded in archaeological and heritage organisations.
The programme consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation or professional product.
The taught modules include four which are a compulsory core and four selected from a further eight options. Students have the choice of replacing one option module with a work-based learning project which has an agreed outcome or product. Assessments are very varied but all involve different forms of course work.
In addition to the taught modules you will produce either an academic dissertation focusing on a particular research topic of interest to you or a professional product of comparable standard and complexity such as a site report, landscape study or a conservation management plan. In either case your dissertation allows you to showcase the skills acquired and can provide springboard to further research or employment.
You will be encouraged to take a wide, contextual, view of Archaeological & Heritage Practice and will be aware of a wide range of pervasive issues which are expected to re-occur throughout the programme. These include sustainability, diversity, innovation, creativity, enterprise, knowledge management and risk management.
The programme is built around four core modules and a dissertation or professional product:
- Archaeology from the Earth: A Pragmatic Approach to Practice
- The Challenge of Change: Planning Law and Integrated Historic Environment Management
- Historic Environment Research: Design, Methodology & Management
- Project Management & Leadership in the Heritage Sector
- Dissertation or a Professional Product such as a consultancy report.
To that students will add a further four modules from the following:
- Understanding Context & Significance: Desk Based Assessment
- Archaeological Landscape Investigation, Survey & Recording
- Direction & Management of Archaeological Excavations
- Archaeological Field-Data and Post-Excavation Analysis
- Remote Sensing, Geophysics and the Digital Landscape
- Geoarchaeology: Earth Surface Processes & Environmental Change
- Exploring Artefacts and Materialities
- Recording and Analysis of Historic Buildings
Students may choose to substitute an agreed programme of work based learning (either in their own role or as a placement with one of our partners) for one of the option modules.
The availability of electives to individual students will be dependent on timetabling considerations and on sufficient students electing to take part.
* Optional additions to the course will incur additional charges
The programme is undertaken in partnership with Wessex Archaeology.
Wessex Archaeology have been closely involved in the design of the programme and several of their staff are CHI Professional Fellows.
Tuition fees cover the cost of a student’s academic studies. This usually includes teaching costs, registration and examination fees (not repeat or trailing module fees, re-sit fees or dissertation extensions).
For the academic year 2020-21 the tuition fees for this course are:
|Full-time||£8,160 per year||£12,240 per year|
|Part-time||Fees are calculated on a pro-rata basis depending on the number of modules taken. Please refer to Tuition Fees webpage||Fees are calculated on a pro-rata basis depending on the number of modules taken. Please refer to Tuition Fees webpage|
**Please note: International students can study on a part-time basis only if they are in the UK with a different type of visa (other than Tier 4 Child/General) that allows them to undertake part-time study and their visa does not expire prior to the end date of the proposed course of study.
Please contact email@example.com before you apply to confirm your egibility.
Tuition fees may be subject to an inflationary increase each year as set out in our Access and Participation Plan 2019/20.
For full details, please visit the fees and funding webpage.
Residential blocks full-board costs 2019/20**
|Full-time student, full-board basis||£900*|
|Part-time student, full-board basis||£450*|
*Costs are subject to an increase in 2020/21.
**For part-time study residential block fees are quoted per year.
The University offers a range of generous fee waivers and bursaries. To find out more about the scholarships, awards and bursaries available, please visit the scholarships webpage.
Career prospects include:
- Archaeological, heritage and environmental consultancy
- Governmental heritage agencies such as Historic England, Historic Scotland and Cadw
- Charitable trusts such as the National Trust, English Heritage and the Canal & River Trust
- Local Government heritage roles
- Heritage based regeneration and tourism
Applications to study for postgraduate degrees need to be made directly through the University.
You can now apply via our website, using the online application form.
Alternatively, if you are unable access the online form you can call Admissions on +44 (0)1285 889 912, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We recommend that you keep a copy of the completed form for your records.