Taught course

Mesolithic Studies

University of York · Department of Archaeology

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Entry requirements

A good honours degree (upper second or first class) in a relevant subject, or an equivalent qualification from an overseas institution in archaeology, anthropology, biology or related fields.

Mature students or those with less conventional qualifications but with relevant appropriate experience will also be considered.

Months of entry


Course content

The University of York is the only place in the world where you can study a Masters programme Mesolithic archaeology. Mesolithic studies have gathered huge momentum in recent years, with academics at York leading the way in uncovering significant new evidence on sites such as Howick and the internationally renowned Star Carr – not far from York.

The lack of detailed study into the Mesolithic period means there is a huge amount waiting to be discovered. Almost any project investigating the period is sure to uncover something new and previously unknown. That gives our students an incredible opportunity to become leading specialists in the period, and to get involved in truly pioneering projects.

  • Study in the globally recognised centre for Mesolithic archaeology
  • Make new discoveries in this under-researched field of study
  • Get involved in globally significant Mesolithic field projects
  • Gain ‘hands-on’ experience of experimental archaeology at our Mesolithic camp
  • Work alongside world leaders conducting pioneering research
  • Learn about cutting-edge techniques, such as ancient DNA and stable isotope analysis and climate-change reconstruction
  • Receive career and research guidance from experienced and knowledgeable staff.

The MA in Mesolithic Studies provides an important review of the European Mesolithic, exploring the ways in which the period has been interpreted from the 19th century, up to the present day. It also explores key topics such as technology, consumption practices, death and burial, plants and animals, and settlement, drawing on the research carried out in the department.

Students have the opportunity to learn about recent, cutting edge research on several Mesolithic excavation projects, including nearby Star Carr, site of the oldest house and oldest carpentry in Europe, Howick in Northumberland, and coastal shell middens in Europe, all of which have featured on TV and in the media.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    24-36 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Postgraduate Administrator
+44 (0) 1904 323963