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Birkbeck, University of London: Archaeology and Heritage

Institution Birkbeck, University of London View institution profile
Department School of Historical Studies
Telephone 0203 907 0700
Study type Taught


This MA Archaeology and Heritage offers you hands-on training grounded in the latest theories and techniques. It meets the need for work-based professional training in archaeology and will help you understand how contemporary archaeologists think, draw and write about archaeology and heritage. You can take advantage of the expertise of our world-leading academics who draw directly on ethical and inclusive research and work practices in archaeology and heritage studies.

We will introduce you to the major techniques, principal bodies of evidence, research themes and concepts of archaeology and heritage studies. We explore the perceived divide between theory and practice in archaeological fieldwork and cultural resource management. This course aims to develop a new kind of professional: one who is theoretically aware but also grounded in the craft. In doing so, the course will also develop your capacity for interdisciplinary, innovative research, based on the critical, integrated study of landscape, architecture and material culture.

Our MA Archaeology and Heritage provides you with a variety of option modules from the ancient to the contemporary, and from Europe to Asia and beyond. We offer an archaeological field school on the Thames foreshore, with Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA), and the potential of a supervised work placement in a museum. You will also develop the research skills and knowledge needed to design and write a dissertation on a specialist subject, under the supervision of one of our academic experts, in order to best prepare you for the next step in your academic career, or a profession in the heritage sector and beyond.


  • Birkbeck was ranked in the top eight universities in the UK for its History research in the most recent 2021 Research Excellence Framework.

  • All Master’s students are eligible to apply for our prestigious Eric Hobsbawm Scholarships, subject to availability. One of the most influential historians of the twentieth century, Eric Hobsbawm taught at Birkbeck for over five decades and embodied what is central to our teaching and research: a continued commitment to critical enquiry and public engagement.

  • The School of Historical Studies at Birkbeck is home to thriving student societies and a number of affiliated research centres that actively run seminars, conferences and other events where some of the world's best scholars present their latest research. These include the Birkbeck Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, the Raphael Samuel History Centre and the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities.

  • We are also at the heart of academic London with access to world-class research resources. We are five minutes' walk from the British Museum and the British Library, and the Institute of Historical Research - with its internationally renowned library collection and seminars that you can attend - is nearby. The Museum of London is a short tube ride away.

  • Birkbeck Library has an extensive history collection, including the major specialist journals, and access to online materials.

Careers and employability

This course is ideal if you are fascinated by archaeology or heritage and people’s engagement with their past. It will develop your knowledge, experience and professional networks in the heritage sector and will help you prepare for a career path in archaeology, museology, education or heritage management.

Possible professions include:

  • archaeologist

  • researcher/social researcher

  • heritage manager

  • historic buildings inspector

  • conservation officer

  • higher education lecturer

  • tourism officer.

We offer a comprehensive careers service - Careers and Enterprise - your career partner during your time at Birkbeck and beyond. At every stage of your career journey, we empower you to take ownership of your future, helping you to make the connection between your experience, education and future ambitions.


Birkbeck, part of the University of London, offers nearly 300 taught and research postgraduate programmes across arts and humanities, business and economics, law, science and social science. As an evening teaching specialist, Birkbeck offers its taught postgraduate courses between 6-9pm, with some courses available through distance learning. As with undergraduate courses, postgraduates can study full-time or part-time.

Home to 44 research and specialist institutes, Birkbeck is the sixth largest provider of taught postgrad courses for UK and EU students - some 44% of its 11,000-plus students are on postgrad programmes. Around 90% of its academics are active in research, and …

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