MA/MSc Maritime Archaeology

General information

Investigation of the maritime past has gathered rapid momentum in recent years, becoming a dynamic and focused field of archaeology. As well as investigating submerged landscapes, settlements and shipwrecks, the whole 'coastal zone' is now being acknowledged as a priority in terms of protection, management and research.

This MA/MSc Maritime Archaeology aims to provide graduates in archaeology or closely related disciplines with a thorough grounding in the theory and practice of applying archaeology in seas, rivers, lakes and intertidal environments. Intensive practical instruction in specific research skills and field techniques will be an integral part of many of the programme modules. The difference between the MA and MSc lies in the option units chosen and the focus of the dissertation (NB. A diving qualification is not a prerequisite for the programme).

The programme has been designed to allow rapid development of the diverse academic knowledge and practical skills required to work in this field; from cutting edge methods for data acquisition and integration, through academic research and dissemination, to archaeological fieldwork. As such, this course speaks to all aspects of maritime archaeology, from those who wish to focus on field based activities through to laboratory or library based research. 

This programme is divided into 180 credits. 105 credits are obtained from six taught modules with the remaining 75 credits relating to the dissertation (25.000 words).Two modules are core and compulsory and cover the theory and methodology of maritime archaeology. The core module, Maritime Aspects of Culture, is thematic and deals with the development and scope of the subject, current research, theoretical perspectives and central issues. The compulsory-core modules are:

  • Archaeology Masters Dissertation Preparation (S1)
  • Applied Maritime Archaeology (S2)
  • Archaeology Masters Dissertation Preparation (S2)

Given the diversity of material covered, the MA/MScmaritime archaeology modules employ the full rangeof teaching and learning methods; from didactic lectures and computer laboratories, through discussion groups to field based practical instruction. This sees a mixof indoor and outdoor instruction, in classrooms, on boats and underwater. 

Learning outcome:

A masters degree will enable you to further develop the key skills employers seek such as: time management; problem solving; team work; deadline and project management; cultural awareness; working independently; using your initiative; relationship-building; critical thinking and research analysis. Above all, you will learn to communicate your ideas and enthusiasm to a wide range of audiences.

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The highlighted icons, represent the fields of education (in compliance with ISCED Classification) engaged during this course/programme.

0222 - Marine archaeology


Venue: University of Southampton
Southampton, United Kingdom

Faculty of Humanities
Avenue campus



Tuition fees

  Full-time Part-time
UK/EU £7.500   £3.750
Channel Islands & Isle of Man £16990  £8495
International £16990   £8495


Degree: First- or upper second-class honours degree or equivalent in Archaeology, Anthropology, History, or related subject. 

English Language: IELTS 6.5, or equivalent in other approved English language test.

Application Procedure:

To apply for postgraduate study you will need to complete and submit an online application form and provided the relevant supporting documentation (by upload or email). If you are applying for Humanities funding you should also submit a Humanities PG funding application form. Humanities Masters application requirements are:

  • A completed online application form
  • Copies of supporting degree transcripts (listing your subjects taken and grades achieved) and certificates awarded from all universities other than the University of Southampton.
  • Two academic references
  • Personal Statements/Samples of Work  
  • English language (if applicable)

Application Deadline: 1 September

Late applications may be considered, but it is not guaranteed that a decision can be made in time for entry in October. If you are applying for funding you will need to submit your application for the programme much earlier in the year. 

Grant Opportunities:

Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

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Academic level: Master


Your knowledge and understanding will be assessed through written work, project work, reports and formal oral presentations. At each stage of assessment feedback will be provided to identify your progress and additional areas to consider, develop and concentrate upon. You will also manage a large independent research project: the masters dissertation. The 25.000 word dissertation is a core element in establishing the acquisition of appropriate skills and the application of research techniques. Your masters tutor will be available to provide regular and supportive advice, guidance and feedback on your progress.

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