Leicester is uniquely placed to offer one of the most exciting postgraduate programmes in the field of historical archaeology. With the largest concentration of later historical archaeologists in the UK, and our own Centre for Historical Archaeology, this is the place to study historical archaeology. Very few comparable MA programmes exist in Britain. The East Midlands itself has many exciting landscapes and buildings of this period available for field study and has easy access to the post-medieval ceramics collections in Stoke-on-Trent.
Students will be introduced to theories and approaches relevant to classical, medieval and post-medieval archaeology, but with a focus on later historical archaeology (from c. 1500) in the north American sense, exploring issues such as colonialism, globalisation and capitalism, industrialisation, slavery and identity. See the course brochure here.
Available as a one-year full time campus-based course, or part-time distance learning over two years, the programme will equip students with the skills needed to develop their career trajectories in public, private and academic sectors.
Course Structure and Modules
The unique nature of the data‐set available to archaeologists studying the recent past requires that they be familiar with a diverse range of artefacts, buildings and landscapes and the use of documents, informants and pictorial materials, which in turn require critical analysis, sensitivity to living populations and an understanding of the potential implications of archaeological research on the present. Therefore, this Masters programme provides a balance between theory and practice in the study of the recent past, through the core and optional modules.
Core modules comprise:
- Doing Historical Archaeology - Introduces the major theoretical and philosophical issues involved in historical archaeology, focusing upon specific issues and questions rather than general archaeological theory. The module also introduces some key types of evidence that historical archaeologists use, extending the study from the ancient world to the present day.
- Archaeology of the Modern World - Exploring themes such as 'colonialism', 'capitalism' or 'improvement' which characterise the period, issues include the construction of European colonial and imperial worlds, Diasporic and Creole communities in the Americas, global trade networks in Africa and India and how consumer goods structured ethnic, gender, and class identities.
- Historical Archaeology of England - This field-based module will address the themes of historical buildings, landscapes, and material culture through site visits, fieldwork, lectures, and seminars. The core of the module consists of the one week residential field school.
Our choice of options enables students the opportunity to specialise in one or more key aspects of Historical Archaeology. Current themes available comprise:
- Archaeology of Standing Buildings; Archaeology of the Modern City; Archaeology of Improvement; Industrial Archaeology; Comparative Archaeology of British Expansion
Applicants will normally possess a good first degree, upper second class or higher in Archaeology or the equivalent for overseas or European applicants. International/ EU students must have a level of English proficiency of 6.5 IELTS or 600 TOEFL.
The 120-credit Diploma lasts nine months and comprises all courses, including the intensive field-school module, but excludes the dissertation; the Diploma is also available through distance learning.
Next step: request an Information and Application Pack