Sven and John at Nunalleq with figurines


Welcome to the Archaeology of the North – the only programme of its type in the world!

The archaeology of the circumpolar North is at the centre of this one-year MSc degree programme. Through lectures, seminars and fieldtrips, students will develop their knowledge of northern cultures, and the research skills required to investigate the material culture and heritage of the far northern hemisphere. Working with staff members in the department, who are experts in their fields, you will be navigating Scotland, Scandinavia and the Baltic, and the circumpolar region through Siberia to Asia, the North Pacific and high-latitude North America.

With an emphasis on human interaction with the environment, lifeways and worldviews, colonisation and culture contact, you are provided with a thorough knowledge of the theories and practices that form the foundations of northern archaeology.

In addition you will develop detailed competence in a  methodological, regional or chronological specialty within the world of northern archaeology.

This degree can be taken as preparation for higher research, as a professional qualification, or purely out of interest.

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Video Introduction

Programme Details

The programme is offered full time over one year or part time over two years. The modules offered are:

AY5001 Northern Worlds (core module)

AY5002 Theory and Method in Research*

AY5501 Northern Cultures and Peoples (core module)

AY5504 Advanced Archaeological Approaches*

AY5902 Dissertation

*AY5002 & AY5502 can be substituted with modules from Archaeology and other disciplines, including AY5005 Viking Archaeology, and modules from Museum Studies and Anthropology.


Special funding opportunity for international students coming for a taught masters in Archaeology 2017-18!

A range of funding opportunities can be found by searching the University of Aberdeen's central funding database.

General information about funding sources available can also be found on the University of Aberdeen website.

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The processing of applications for a Taught Masters Programme is dealt with by the Graduate School. The unit works closely with Academic Selectors from Archaeology, one for each of the taught programmes, who decide if an offer of a place should be made.

The Graduate School can give you advice up to the point that you start your studies, including queries about:

  • entry requirements for the MSc programmes and for undertaking research degrees in Archaeology
  • the application process and other procedural matters
  • the availability of funding

How to Apply

Note: It is important when submitting an application to the University that you ensure you have completed all the necessary sections and enclosed all the relevant documentation to ensure that your application can be processed as quickly as possible.

Application Materials

To apply for any of our programmes you must submit:

  • A completed Postgraduate Application Form
  • Full details of your academic achievements to date
  • Proof of proficiency in English
    Even if you have been educated in the medium of English you must meet our English Language requirements. These are located at This programme requires that you meet the 'Postgraduate Standard' level of English proficiency. If you are in doubt about your proficiency in English, contact the British Council office or its equivalent in your country. If your first language is not English, it is important that your proficiency in English is good in order for you to study successfully at the University of Aberdeen . Without this ability you will find great difficulty in understanding lectures, producing written work and sitting examinations.
  • Academic References
    People applying for a Taught Programme (MSc, PgDip, PgCert, etc) are required to submit one reference only; unless you are applying with a degree from a UK institution in which case you are not required to supply references.