Taught course

Archaeological Materials

University of Sheffield · Department of Archaeology

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 honours degree in a humanities, science or engineering subject. Some practical experience of archaeology or a science is an advantage.

Months of entry


Course content

About the course

This course focuses on the scientific techniques archaeologists use to study material culture.

You’ll learn field skills and instrumental analysis. We’ll also show you how to manage your own research, from planning and execution through to presenting your findings.

Practical work includes reconstruction and analysis of industrial debris, metal, glass and ceramics.

Our green city was once at the heart of the industrial revolution, so it’s the ideal place to study this subject. There are opportunities to take part in research projects with Sheffield City Council and Sheffield Museums Trust.

You’ll be assessed on a dissertation, which you can use as the basis for a PhD.


Our graduates work in Europe, North America, Asia and Australasia. Universities, museums, archaeological consultancies, heritage parks and government departments value their expertise. Jobs include: historic buildings projects officer, commercial field archaeologist and postdoctoral researcher.

Core modules

Analysis of Inorganic Materials; Archaeology and Ethnography of Production and Consumption; Introduction to Material Culture Studies; Reconstructing Ancient Technologies: ceramics; Reconstructing Ancient Technologies: metals; Reconstructing Ancient Technologies: vitreous materials; Dissertation in Archaeological Materials.

Optional modules

Choose one from a range of modules available across the Department or the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.

Teaching and assessment

There are seminars, lectures, practical classes and projects. Assessment is by coursework assignments and a dissertation.

Information for international students

Overall IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component, or equivalent.

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months

Course contact details

Postgraduate Admissions Tutor
+44 (0)114 222 2900