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Archaeology - European Neolithic Pathway (MA)


Course Aims

The Neolithic is at the forefront of research in many European countries; its academic profile is very high indeed. As an academic theme, it provides excellent material for postgraduate study at Masters level, either as a challenging end in itself, or as a stepping-stone towards PhD research and a career as a specialist in European prehistory.

Course Description

The Neolithic encompasses some of the most important transformations in prehistory: people settling down, adopting and developing agriculture and animal husbandry, taking on new forms of material culture, extending networks of exchange, establishing long-lived sites and building monuments. These new practices were not just the result of new technologies or subsistence economies; they were deep rearrangements of the ways in which people lived their lives and how they structured their communities. The Neolithic therefore sets a series of unanswered questions about origins and identity, what people believed about the world, their past and themselves, the nature of their relations with others, and the rate and kind of change over several millennia.

Studying Cardiff's MA pathway in the European Neolithic, you will also acquire valuable transferable skills, from research methods and the handling and presentation of data to public speaking and writing for professional audiences.

Available Modules

Students on the MA select a total of 180 credits of modules, consisting of:

  • 40 credits of core skills modules (Group 1)
  • 80 credits of option modules selected by the student (Group 2)
  • 60 credit dissertation (topic or theme chosen by the student in consultation with academic staff)

Core modules (Group 1):

  • Skills and Methods for Postgraduate Study
  • Postgraduate skills in Archaeology and Conservation

Option modules (Group 2):

  • Themes in the Neolithic
  • Western Europe in the Neolithic
  • Britain and Ireland in the Neolithic
  • Central Europe in the Neolithic

Dissertation (Summer): After successful completion of the taught element of the degree scheme, students carry out research and write this up as a dissertation (maximum length 20,000 words). This presents an opportunity for further specialisation and allows students to demonstrate their command of research skills.

Special Features

  • Training in research methods and skills
  • Wide choice of regional options for detailed study (covering Greece and the Balkans; central Europe; western Europe; and Britain and Ireland).
  • Expert supervision of dissertation on European topics by research-active staff.

Skills Acquired

In addition to helping students obtain a detailed and critical knowledge of their chosen area of Archaeology, the MA provides the opportunity to acquire and perfect valuable skills that are applicable to careers in many different fields. Often referred to as transferable or generic skills, these skills expand students' individual capabilities and make it easier for them to obtain employment and enter their careers with abilities that are widely considered essential for professional success.

Upon completion of the MA in Archaeology (and all other MA and MScs offered in Archaeology and Conservation at Cardiff), students will have acquired the following skills.

Intellectual skills, including the ability to critically evaluate evidence and its interpretation and to be tolerant of differing interpretations; to sustain a logical argument and reach a conclusion that can be defended; to synthesise and analyse information; to compare and contrast theoretical explanations and to integrate different methodologies.

Communication skills, including the ability to communicate orally in an appropriate professional medium; to make presentations both as an individual and as part of a group; to write effectively at an advanced level.

Numeracy skills, including the ability to display and present numerical data in appropriate formats; and to analyse numerical data and solve basic mathematical and statistical problems.

Information technology skills, including the ability to produce and calculate values using a spreadsheet; to produce and query databases; to use e-mail, the Internet and the World Wide Web; to find, manage and utilise information and data.

Personal skills, including the ability to manage workloads; to adapt and apply skills to new contexts; to assess and formulate priorities, constraints and goals and to adapt to changing circumstances.

Entry Requirements

1st or upper 2nd class UK Honours degree in an appropriate subject.

Suitable for graduates in Archaeology and related humanities and social science disciplines.

Students whose first language is not English will be required to pass an IELTS test (minimum 6.5) or equivalent.

Note: International students pursuing part-time programmes of study are not eligible for Tier 4 (General Student) visas and must have alternative leave to remain in the UK if they intend to study at the University in person.

Contact Information

Dr Steve Mills

Position:Lecturer in IT Applications
Dr Steve Mills
Telephone: +44 (0)29 208 75655Extension: 75655
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