Ewch i’r prif gynnwys

Gwyddoniaeth Archaeolegol (MSc) Rhan-amser

Bydd yr MSc mewn Gwyddoniaeth Archaeolegol yn rhoi sylfaen gadarn i chi yn theori a chymhwysiad egwyddorion a thechnegau gwyddonol ym maes archaeoleg.

The MSc Archaeological Science aims to provide you with a solid grounding in the theory and application of scientific principles and techniques within archaeology. It will prepare you for further research or for a career in the exciting and rapidly advancing area of archaeological science whilst developing other critical, analytical and transferable skills that will be appropriate for careers in non-cognate fields.

The programme places the study of the human past at the centre of Archaeological Science. This is achieved through a combination of science and self-selected thematic or period-based modules. This allows you to situate your scientific training within the archaeological context(s) of your choice. The programme provides you with an excellent understanding of the foundations of analytical techniques, practical experience in their application and data processing, as well as the ability to design research projects that employ scientific analyses to address archaeological questions. Upon graduation you will be well equipped to launch your career as a practising archaeological scientist.

Nodweddion unigryw

The MSc Archaeological Science at Cardiff University gives you access to:

  • A flexible and responsive programme that combines training in scientific enquiry, expertise and vocational skills with thematic and period-focused archaeology.  
  • Materials, equipment, library resources and funding to undertake meaningful research in partnership with a wide range of key heritage organisations across an international stage.
  • A programme with core strengths in key fields of archaeological science, tailored to launch your career in the discipline or to progress to doctoral research.
  • A department where the science, theory and practice of archaeology and conservation converge to create a unique environment for exploring the human past. 
  • Staff with extensive professional experience in researching, promoting, publishing, and integrating archaeological science across academic and commercial archaeology and the wider heritage sector.

·An energetic team responsible for insights into iconic sites (e.g. Stonehenge, Çatalhöyük), tackling key issues in human history (e.g. hunting, farming, food, and feasts) through the development and application of innovative science (e.g. isotopes, residue analysis, DNA, proteomics)

  • A unique training in science communication at every level - from preparing conference presentations and journal articles, to project reports, press releases and public engagement, our training ensures you can transmit the excitement of scientific enquiry to diverse audiences.
  • Support for your future career ambitions. From further study to science advisors to specialists  – our graduates work across the entire spectrum of archaeological science as well as moving into other successful careers.

Ffeithiau allweddol

Nifer Myfyrwyr newydd nesafMedi 2019
Hyd2 blwyddyn
Ffyrdd eraill i astudio cwrs hwn

Meini prawf derbyn

The Programme is suitable for Archaeology BSc, BA and other BSc graduates interested in acquiring multidisciplinary skills in this expanding area of Archaeological Science research.

  • Applicants are required to have a minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline and may come from either archaeological or related programmes (e.g. conservation, heritage, biology, chemistry, geography) will also be considered. Student with a high 2:2 (57+) will only be considered in exceptional circumstances when they have relevant experience (e.g. field or laboratory work).

Typical offers for other qualifications: applicants without the usual formal qualifications but extensive relevant experience, for example, working in archaeological fieldwork or post- excavation may be considered for entry to the diploma scheme.

The Archaeology and Conservation section is already familiar with considering potential students from non-traditional backgrounds with a range of other experience rather than formal academic qualifications. Such potential students will normally make an enquiry prior to application; however, they can then apply in the normal way, but are required to submit evidence of their relevant work, and are interviewed in relation to this.

The principal concerns of the admissions panel will be that their experience is up-to-date and sufficiently substantial to support their admission to a master's scheme; the interview tests their personal understanding both subject area and the practical structure of this level of postgraduate work.

Admissions appeals can be made following established protocol, starting with informal feedback and if necessary progressing to a formal appeal

Rhagor o wybodaeth am ofynion Iaith Saesneg.

Mae'n rhaid i ymgeiswyr sydd angen fisa Haen 4 i astudio yn y DU gyflwyno cymhwyster iaith Saesneg derbyniol er mwyn bodloni gofynion UKVI (Fisâu a Mewnfudo y DU).

The structure of the part-time MSc will allow you to complete the taught requirements (Stage 1) of the programme over 2 years. On completing Stage 1, you apply and further develop advanced skills and expert knowledge by undertaking a research project between (Stage 2). Projects are chosen by students and culminates in the submission of an MSc Dissertation, based on MSc Project findings by the end of year 3.

Stage 1 is taught almost entirely at a small group teaching level, supported by laboratory sessions, interactive workshops and tutorials.

Stage 1 is made up of:

  • 40 credits of Core Skills and Discipline-Specific Research Training modules for Archaeology and Conservation Master's students
  • A minimum of 40 credits of Archaeological Science modules
  • An additional 40 credits of Archaeological Science or Archaeology modules offered to MA and MSc students across the Archaeology and Conservation department;

To aid in planning you will be advised on the purpose, aims and outcomes of each of the modules by their Advisor of Studies/Tutor during the enrolment process. Stage 1 will equip you with a range of methodological, discipline-specific and transferable skills, including communication and scientific data handling skills. You will progress from graduate standard at entry to a research base level by completion of Stage 1, and will be tasked with increasingly complex challenges with which to test your emerging skills.

Stage 1 also provides you with discipline-specific knowledge in preparation for the research stage in Stage 2. The two Core Skills modules develop skills in planning, data acquisition, analysis and presentation of research results to a professional level.  Teaching and assessment is structured to allow you to develop their own specialised interests. For example, the module HST 900 provides support for the development and presentation of student research ideas. This becomes the foundation of their Archaeological Science Dissertation culminating in an assessed research design that incorporates both transferable skills, such as time and resource management, with discipline specific skills. 

Stage 2 comprises

  • 60 credit Archaeological Science Dissertation (topic or theme chosen in consultation with academic staff)

Topics can range from entirely theoretical evaluations of archaeological science values, through assessment of materials, to a case study based project related to an object, assemblage, collection or site. Hence, the differentiation from graduate-based learning develops systematically into research-based learning as the programme progresses.

You will complete one Core Skills module and a further 40 taught credits in each year, either from Science modules or other Master's level modules, but a minimum of 40 credits of taught Science modules must be completed. Part time students have a deadline for completion of the dissertation on the last working day of June twelve months from when they entered the dissertation period* (please note that the graduation ceremony would be the following academic year).

*On successful completion of the taught modules students will enter the dissertation period. The results for taught modules will be agreed at an Exam board set for the latter part of June and students will be notified of this date.

Please note: as many of our part-time postgraduate programmes are over three years in duration, you will need to check your postgraduate loan eligibility status

Mae'r modiwlau a ddangosir yn esiampl o'r cwricwlwm arferol. Byddant yn cael eu hadolygu cyn blwyddyn academaidd 2019/20. Bydd y modiwlau terfynol yn cael eu cyhoeddi erbyn mis Medi 2019.

Blwyddyn un

Year One comprises Stage 1a and you will study a total of 60 credits. Stage 1a runs from autumn to spring.

Stage 1a

This part of the programme has a flexible structure. You will need to complete at least 20 credits of archaeological science as well as a 20 credit compulsory module on Archaeology and Conservation specific training (covering quantification, communication, employment and independent research skills) that runs during the spring semester.  For your final 20 credits you can chose to either study an additional archaeological science module or from the wide range of period (from prehistory to medieval), thematic (e.g. Celts), skills (such as illustration, computing and GIS) and heritage science optional modules. The 20 credits of archaeological science and archaeology optional modules can be selected in either semester and some run across both.

Modules are delivered through laboratory/practical activities, seminars, lectures and fieldtrips and draw on digital learning technologies.  You will have access to designated laboratory/desk space for your archaeological science training and will be encouraged to practise new skills and develop your own dissertation research. Assessments strategies differ across modules but are tailored to provide students with a balanced workload throughout the term.

Blwyddyn dau

Year Two comprises Stage 1b where you will complete a further 60 credits of taught modules and Stage 2 where you begin your dissertation.  Stage 1b runs from Autumn to Spring and Stage 2 commences in the summer.  Stage 2 has a completion date of June (see Year Three).

Stage 1b

This part of the programme has a flexible structure. In Year Two you will take a 20 credit compulsory core study skills module provides essential training in Master’s level research, presentation and planning skills in the Autumn semester. During stage 1b you can take a further archaeological science modules to meet the required minimum of 40 science credits but if you have already met this requirement you can then chose an additional archaeological science module or select from the wide range of period, thematic, skills and heritage science optional modules. These optional modules can be selected in either semester and some run across both. Modules are delivered as for the previous year.

On successful completion of the taught stage of the programme (Stage 1a and 1b), you will progress to your dissertation (Stage 2).

Stage 2 focuses on the application of the knowledge of skills gained in Stage 1 through research, culminating in the submission of a 16-20,000 word 60 credit dissertation. Your supervisor will guide, support and encourage you throughout this process. From the outset, you will be embedded within our vibrant postgraduate community giving you the opportunity to take advantage of our many research groups, seminars, projects, professional, networking and social events to create the archaeological community of the future. 

Mae'r Brifysgol wedi ymrwymo i ddarparu amrywiaeth eang o opsiynau modiwl lle’n bosibl. Ond byddwch yn ymwybodol er y byddwn yn gwneud pob ymdrech i gynnig dewis, gall hyn gael ei gyfyngu mewn rhai amgylchiadau. Y rheswm am hyn yw'r ffaith mai dim ond nifer cyfyngedig o leoedd sydd ar gael ar rai modiwlau, a gaiff eu dyrannu ar sail y cyntaf i'r felin. Mae'n ofynnol i fodiwlau eraill sicrhau isafswm nifer o fyfyrwyr cyn gallu eu cynnal, er mwyn gwneud yn siŵr y gellir cyflwyno addysg o ansawdd priodol. Gall modiwlau gael eu cyfyngu oherwydd gwrthdaro yn yr amserlen hefyd, ac er bod y Brifysgol yn ymdrechu i amharu cyn lleied â phosibl ar eich dewis, byddai'n syniad da i chi ofyn am gyngor gan yr Ysgol berthnasol am y dewisiadau modiwl sydd ar gael.

Sut y caf fy addysgu?

Teaching is delivered via lectures, laboratory sessions, interactive workshops and tutorials, in addition to visits to relevant local resources such as the National Museum Wales and local heritage organisations.

Lectures take a range of forms but generally provide a broad structure for each subject, an introduction to key concepts and relevant up-to-date information. The Archaeological Science Master's provides student with bespoke training in scientific techniques during laboratory sessions. This includes developing practical skills in the identification, recording and analysis of archaeological materials during hands on laboratory sessions. These range from macroscopic e.g. bone identification, to microscopic e.g. material identification or status with light based or scanning electron microscopy, to sample selection, preparation and analysis e.g. isotopic or aDNA and include health and safety and laboratory management skills. Students will be able to develop specialist practical skills in at least one area of study. In workshops and seminars, you will have the opportunity to discuss themes or topics, to receive and consolidate feedback on your individual learning and to develop skills in oral presentation.

This programme is based within the School of History, Archaeology and Religion and taught by academic staff from across Cardiff University and by external speakers.

All taught modules within the programme are compulsory and you are expected to attend all lectures, laboratory sessions and other timetabled sessions. Students will receive supervision to help them complete the dissertation, but are also expected to engage in considerable independent study.

Sut y caf fy nghefnogi?

All Modules within the Programme make extensive use of Cardiff University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) Blackboard, on which students will find course materials and links to related materials. Students will be supervised when undertaking their dissertation. Supervision will include scheduled regular meetings to discuss progress, provide advice and guidance; and provide written feedback on draft dissertation contents.

Students will receive written feedback on all assessments, in addition to oral feedback on assessed oral/poster presentations, provided within a maximum of four weeks from submission.

Personal Tutor

We offer one-to-one time in set office hours during teaching weeks, and welcome email contact. Additionally, you can make appointments to see your personal tutor on a one-to-one basis about any issue.  Our professional services team is also available for advice and support. Your personal tutor is your contact point to discuss any problems arising from the course. Further queries should be addressed to the School’s Director of Postgraduate Taught Students.

Research Community

An active research seminar programme in Archaeology and Conservation, along with interdisciplinary postgraduate research seminars provide opportunities for discussion across the School and the University, and provides a creative environment in which you will be encouraged to develop your own ideas.


You will be provided with laboratory coats and access to our bioarchaeology and bioanalytical laboratories. These house a large collection of skeletal, molluscan and botanical material from modern samples, which is used as a comparative source for the identification of archaeological specimens. These also provide a full suite of equipment for bioarchaeological sample preparation and analysis, for example freeze-driers, drilling equipment, air abrasion, extraction hoods, ovens and hot blocks. 

There are separate X-Ray and microscopy laboratories which boast an excellent collection of analytical equipment (e.g. FTIR) in addition to SEM and light microscopy. Visualisation of materials and results is enhanced by our photographic equipment, computing facilities and digital illustration suite. Our collections also include a range of 3D printed resources, such as macro versions of microscopic pollen grains. A postgraduate room offers a dedicated space for individual work and informal contact with other students.

Outside the school, you will have access to a range of resources within Cardiff University, this includes aDNA preparation and analysis, Mass spectroscopy, TEM, MicroCT and more. A range of isotope analyses are undertaken in collaboration with School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, including carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and strontium. Finally, Cardiff University libraries hold over 1.3 million printed books and 775k online books and journals including an extensive, established and wide ranging archaeological collection.

Sut y caf fy asesu?

The 120 credits of taught Modules within Stage 1 of the Programme are assessed through in-course assessments, including:

  • Extended essays
  • Oral presentations
  • Poster presentations
  • Statistical assignments
  • Critical appraisals
  • Practical skills tests
  • Data reports
  • Research designs

You must successfully complete the taught component of the programme before progressing to Stage 2 where assessment is:

  • Dissertation (16-20,000 words)

Pa sgiliau y byddaf yn eu hymarfer a’u datblygu?

You will acquire and develop a range of valuable skills specific to archaeological science as well as generic ‘employability skills’. Through the programme, you will develop technical laboratory skills and be presented with opportunities to extend your communication and presentation skills, both written and orally. You will acquire specific skills, such as the ability to collect, analyse and interpret a range of complex quantitative and qualitative data. You will also develop valuable laboratory research-based skills, through the completion of a dissertation.

Graduates from this Programme will be able to:

  • Independently generate and analyse primary scientific research data in a laboratory context
  • Explain and critique the principles and methods of the major modes of analysis in archaeological science
  • Synthesise archaeological science research in investigating past societies
  • Debate the core principles, current themes and controversial issues in archaeological science
  • Formulate archaeological science research plans using a range of techniques
  • Critically evaluate knowledge at the forefront of a range of archaeological science
  • Undertake and accurately perform various laboratory-based methodologies relevant to archaeological science research.
  • Collect, evaluate, synthesise and interpret qualitative and quantitative data in a variety of ways; and assess means to gather new data where required.

Beth yw deilliannau dysgu’r cwrs/rhaglen?

Knowledge & Understanding:

On successful completion of this programme you will demonstrate:

  • The ability to judge and critique the interpretative potential and limits of a suite of analyses in archaeological science
  • The ability to appraise scientific methods, data and formulate an interpretation based on this
  • The ability to produce, recommend and defend programmes of scientific analysis in academic and commercial archaeology

Intellectual Skills:

On successful completion of this programme you will demonstrate:

  • A critical awareness of practical, analytical and interpretative approaches in archaeological science
  • Independent analysis and interpretation
  • The ability to devise analytical strategies considering materials, stakeholders, finance, ethics and cultural context
  • The ability to synthesise wide-ranging information pertaining to archaeological science to verify interpretation

Professional Practical Skills:

On successful completion of this programme you will demonstrate:

  • The ability to source, synthesise and critically assess data from subject specific journals and books, including research and advanced scholarship
  • Advanced laboratory and/or field skills in the study of archaeological artefacts, materials and/or ecofacts
  • Proficiency in a selected range of methods and techniques within archaeological science
  • The ability to produce and critically analyse original scientific datasets using statistical and graphical approaches to inform interpretation
  • The ability to compose research designs for programmes of analysis in academic and commercial archaeology

Transferable/Key Skills:

On successful completion of this programme you will demonstrate:

  • The ability to use bibliographic and other research techniques to interrogate specialist topics in detail
  • Clear, concise and persuasive oral and written presentations to suit a range of audiences
  • The ability to produce independent analysis and interpretation drawing on primary source material
  • The ability to operate safely in laboratory environments; to understand, produce and follow standards and H&S procedures such as Risk Assessments
  • Critical self-awareness: self-reflection; self-management; time management; and the ability to continue to learn through reflection on practice and experience
  • The ability to act autonomously in planning, defending, implementing and analysing work

After successfully completing this MSc, you should have a broad spectrum of knowledge and a variety of skills, making you highly attractive both to potential employers and research establishments. You will be able to pursue a wide range of professional careers, within commercial and academic archaeology and the wider heritage sector. Career paths will generally be specialist and will depend on the choice of modules. Graduates will be well placed to pursue careers as a specialist in isotope analysis, zooarchaeological analysis or human osteoarchaeology. They will also be in a position to apply for general laboratory based work and archaeological fieldwork. Working within science communication and management are other options. Potential employers include archaeological units, museums, universities, heritage institutions, Historic England and Cadw. Freelance or self-employment career routes are also common for animal and human bone analysts with postgraduate qualifications.

The archaeology department has strong links and collaborations across the heritage sector and beyond. Organisations that staff currently work with include Cadw, Historic England, English Heritage, Historic Scotland, National Museum Wales, the British Museum, all of the Welsh archaeological trusts and a range of other archaeology units (e.g. Wessex Archaeology, Oxford Archaeology, Cambridge Archaeology Unit, Archaeology Wales, Brython Archaeology). In addition, staff work on many high profile archaeological sites globally. There may be opportunities for students to take part in these projects and to foster links and take placements with these organisations, thus maximising employability.

As this programme is three years or over in duration and has a one year full time equivalent you will not be eligible for a postgraduate loan. The UK Government has more information about eligibility for postgraduate loans.

Ffioedd dysgu

Myfyrwyr y DU ac UE (2019/20)

Ffioedd DysguBlaendalNodiadau

Rhagor o wybodaeth am ffioedd dysgu a blaendaliadau, gan gynnwys ar gyfer myfyrwyr rhan-amser a pharhaus.

Bydd myfyrwyr yr UE sy'n dechrau yn 2019/20 yn talu'r un ffioedd dysgu â myfyrwyr y DU drwy gydol eu cyrsiau. Gallai ffioedd godi'n flynyddol yn unol â chwyddiant. Nid oes penderfyniadau wedi’u gwneud eto ynglŷn â ffioedd a benthyciadau i fyfyrwyr yr UE sy'n dechrau yn 2020/21. Caiff y rhain eu gwneud yn rhan o drafodaethau'r DU ynglŷn â’' haelodaeth o'r UE, a byddwn yn rhoi rhagor o fanylion i chi cyn gynted ag y bo modd.

Myfyrwyr tu allan i'r UE (2019/20)

Ffioedd DysguBlaendalNodiadau

Rhagor o wybodaeth am ffioedd dysgu a blaendaliadau, gan gynnwys ar gyfer myfyrwyr rhan-amser a pharhaus.

A fydd angen unrhyw gyfarpar penodol arnaf I astudio’r cwrs hwn?

What the student should provide:


What the University will provide:

Access to School resources and equipment.

There are no formal placement or study abroad opportunities associated with this Programme. However, such opportunities could be facilitated, particularly as part of the dissertation research.