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University of Leicester

University of Leicester
School of Archaeology and Ancient History

About the Programmes

Leicester is the world-leader in the provision of archaeology by distance learning, and our MA in Archaeology and Heritage has been running since 1997. It is primarily designed for existing professionals in archaeology or related fields who wish to enhance their career prospects and improve their skills. It is also designed to train students for work in professional archaeology, related fields such as museums, government agencies, national parks and heritage sites, and also in planning, landscape management, and the heritage tourism sector. It is recognised as a top professional qualification by UK government bodies such as English Heritage, Historic Royal Palaces, and local government authorities. In the USA the MA is accepted as an eligible qualification for members of the Register of Professional Archaeologists; many of our students work for the national Forest Service or in national parks, or for the US military, as well as in a variety of CRM firms and organizations.

There are currently over 120 students registered for our postgraduate courses, and more than 100 students have now graduated with the MA, a number with distinction. The MA can be taken by students from anywhere in the world and extends over two years. There is no requirement to come to Leicester on any occasion, except, we hope, for the degree ceremony when you will receive your MA. The course is as flexible as possible, so that students can defer in between modules, if, for example, there is a sudden extra workload in one’s full-time job, or other time or financial pressures which require a break from studying.

Course structure

The MA comprises four taught modules and a 15,000-word dissertation.

For each taught module you will receive a pack which includes a course reader written by staff in the School of Archaeology & Ancient History plus a range of books, journal articles, pamphlets and CDs with data where applicable. Depending upon your background it is likely that you will need to spend between 10-15 hours a week studying. Each module lasts for 15 weeks, during which you will be required to complete two assignments. The four taught modules are: Landscape Archaeology; Planning and Management of Archaeological Projects; The Archaeology of Standing Buildings; and the Interpretation and Presentation of the Archaeological Heritage.

All these modules are also available as Postgraduate Certificates (with a shorter 7,500-word dissertation). Further details about our PhD (research) degrees by distance learning are available on request.


About the Department and the University

The Department

If you choose to read for a degree in archaeology at the University of Leicester you will be joining one of the largest and most innovative schools in the country. Our staff are internationally recognised for excellent, cutting-edge research and high quality teaching. Some of our recent accolades include:

  • ranked as the second best archaeology department in the UK in the Times Good University Guide for Small Subjects (2005), behind only the University of Cambridge;
  • maximum score of 24 out of 24 for teaching in the last national Subject Review (2001);
  • grade 5 in the latest Research Assessment Exercise (2001); excellent employment figures in survey of students six months after graduation (only one student was unemployed in 2004).

The School is Grade 5 RAE-rated in both Archaeology and Ancient History. Staff research includes field-projects across Britain, Europe, the Mediterranean region including North Africa, and beyond (e.g. Syria, Peru, Sarawak) Research in the School may be classed under three main banners which straddle and link both Archaeology and Ancient History. They comprise landscape studies, the archaeology of historical periods, and material culture & representation.

Our distance learning programmes are flexible, high-quality, recognised worldwide and focussed on you and your needs. We have been running the MA in Archaeology & Heritage for almost 10 years. The quality of the University of Leicester’s teaching has been judged by the Government’s Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) to be amongst the best in the country with 14 consecutive inspections rating provision as ‘excellent’ (i.e. at least a score of 22 out of 24. Archaeology and Ancient History’s teaching, including distance learning, was rated as 24/24.

The School is home to one of Britain's largest and most dynamic groupings of prehistoric, Classical and historical archaeologists, Classical historians and other specialists engaged in archaeological research across the world. In addition we house ULAS (University of Leicester Archaeological Services) a contracting and CRM business. This cross-disciplinary academic and professional environment is ideal for the study of all aspects of archaeology and heritage in its widest sense.

The University

Founded in 1921 and granted a Royal Charter in 1957, Leicester is one of the older universities in Britain. We are a strong, research active university with over 90% of staff actively engaged in high quality research. 13 departments gained 5 or 5* ratings in the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise.

Leicester is the UK's leading provider of taught postgraduate education. More than 18,000 students drawn from 120 countries study with us part and full-time. We are the UK’s largest provider of distance learning education after the Open University, with many years of experience in supporting distance learning students.


Address Information:

Address School of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester LE1 7RH, United Kingdom
Tel. No. +44(0)116 252 2772
Fax No. +44(0)116 223 1267
E-mail address
Courses Distance Learning – MA in Archaeology & Heritage;
Postgraduate Certificates (PGC) in Archaeology (Landscape Archaeology; Planning & Management of Archaeological Projects; Archaeology of Standing Buildings; Intepretation and Presentation of the Archaeological Heritage);
PhD by distance learning
Type of courses Part-time by distance learning
Length of courses 24 months (minimum) to 60 months (maximum) for the MA: 12 months to 36 months for the Postgraduate Certificate. PhD six years.
Date of commencement October, February and May for the MA; January and June for the Postgraduate Certificate
Class size Typically between 10 and 30 for each intake
Cost/fees MA: £5777 (UK/EU), £6616 (Other overseas);
PGC: £1657 (UK/EU), £1960 (Other overseas);
PhD: £1787 per annum (UK/EU), £3893 (Other overseas)
Student grants Grants for the MA are available through open competition from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) for UK/EU students. The British Council may be able to help in a limited number of other cases.
Admission requirements The MA course is intended for graduates in archaeology, and in cognate subjects such as history and geography with appropriate content or archaeological experience, but students from other disciplines will also be considered. Substantial full-time professional experience in a relevant field may be taken as equivalent to a first degree. If you have a degree in a subject other than those above, you can take 40 credits of our Introductory courses as bridging modules which will normally gain you entry to the MA. For the Postgraduate Certificates similar standards apply, but education and relevant professional experience may be in other appropriate fields.

English Language requirements
Acceptable evidence includes: GCSE/0- level English Language at grade C or above; an overall score of 6.5 in the British Council IELTS test; a score of 550 in TOEFL, including a satisfactory mark in the Test of Written English (TWE).
Student profile 1.Countries of origin:: Our students are primarily from the UK and other EU countries, including Ireland, Germany and Malta, and from north America (both Canada and the USA)
2. Ratio Men: Women : Equal
3. Age Range: 23- 59
4. Average Age: Information not available
5. Average Work Experience: Typically several years as a professional archaeologist
Contact for application Selina Thraves (DL Administrator)
Distance Learning Unit,
School of Archaeology & Ancient History,
University of Leicester,
Leicester, LE1 7RH, UK
Tel: +44(0)116 252 2772
Fax: +44(0)116 223 1267
Course Director Dr Mark Pluciennik

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