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Graduate Admissions

Course closed:

Heritage Studies is no longer accepting new applications.


All MPhil students in the Department of Archaeology take a Research Skills module and write a dissertation
(15,000 words maximum). Students taking the MPhil in Heritage studies will also select either three modules from a list of modules in Heritage Studies, or two modules from this list and either a two-term option module or two one-term option modules from a list of modules offered by the department of Archaeology.  Average class hours are variable according to programme.

One to one supervision

Supervisions with module coordinators or their regular supervisor give the student the opportunity to discuss general and specific issues in the conduct of the course. A supervisor, possibly but not necessarily the same one, will also be appointed for the dissertation, to help with the choice of topic and monitor the progress of the student’s research for the dissertation throughout the year. Supervisions provide the student with an opportunity to seek academic information and advice and they provide a forum to monitor the student's progress.

Students can normally expect to have around eight supervision sessions per year depending on the nature of
their course and dissertation.

The University of Cambridge publishes an annual Code of Practice which sets out the University’s expectations regarding supervision.

Seminars & classes

Seminars are designed to provide students with intensive engagement with academic staff across a wide range of specialisms relevant to the courses selected. Seminars are designed to be interactive and preparation and participation in seminars is expected of all students. In all taught modules, students may be required to give seminar-style presentations from time to time. Most modules include a number of seminars during Michaelmas and Lent terms. The amount of time dedicated to seminars and classes will vary depending on the student's module choices.


Lectures are designed to present and discuss the major academic disciplines covered in each module. Most modules are structured around lecture-based teaching. The amount of time spent in lectures will vary depending on the student's module choices.

Small group teaching

MPhil class sizes tend to be small for most modules and a significant portion of teaching is therefore delivered
in small groups.

Journal clubs

Students are encouraged to involve themselves in the department's graduate-run journal, the 'Archaeological
Review from Cambridge' and/or contribute to the Heritage Research Group’s Bulletin.


All MPhil students are usually required to make a presentation to staff and peers as part of the assessed
component of their research skills module.


Students receive written feedback on their research paper and assessed elements of the research skills module
from internal markers via the Graduate Administrator. Final coursework and exam marks are made available to
students following the final examiners' meeting in September.

Students are invited to group meetings throughout the year to discuss progress and concerns in order to
address issues as and when they arise.

All students will undergo regular supervision sessions with their dissertation supervisor.



The dissertation is an extended piece of independent, original research. Students work with their supervisor to
formulate a dissertation project, carry out research and write it up. The topic of the dissertation has to be
approved by the Faculty Degree Committee. The dissertation is of maximum 15,000 words (exclusive of tables,
figures, footnotes, bibliography, and appendices) and is due at the end of August; it counts for 50% of the
student’s final mark.


Students taking the MPhil in Heritage studies are usually required to produce between three and five assessed
essays depending on their chosen course of study and the modules they select. The essays are usually
between 3000 and 4000 words in length.

Written examination

Students taking the MPhil in Heritage studies are required to sit written examinations for some modules. Details will be given in the graduate handbook for the appropriate year.


Attendance at the relevant Research Skills workshops is required of all MPhil students in the Department of Archaeology. The Research Skills module is worth 5% of the student's overall mark. Its mode of assessment may include a research proposal and an oral presentation (supported by visual aids) to teaching staff and peers.

Key Information

11 months full-time

Master of Philosophy

Division of Archaeology


Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 3, 2018
Application deadline
April 26, 2019
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2019

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Graduate Funding Competition
Jan. 3, 2019
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 10, 2018

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