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MA in Material Culture Studies Material culture is the product

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					                                                                MA in
                                                                Material
                                                                Culture
                                                                Studies.




‘Material culture is the product of human creativity and lies at
the heart of the discipline of archaeology.’

About the Programme                                               The programme offers a range of closely integrated core
                                                                  modules which enable you to develop your experience
This is an advanced programme available over                      and understanding of the method and theory of material
one year (full-time) or two years (part-time).                    culture studies. Our focus ranges from earliest prehistory
                                                                  through to the material culture of the present day.
Material culture lies at the heart of the discipline of
archaeology. Material culture is the product of human             Students with specific interests may also specialise in
creativity. It was one of the means through which people          the analysis of ceramics, glass or metals. You will learn to
engaged with each other and with the social and natural           think critically and we will train you in a range of problem
worlds in which they lived. It was integral to their creation     solving and analytical skills. There is a strong emphasis
as individuals and as communities. It also survives to the        on developing your skills and knowledge in practice – we
present day, and is the principal means through which we          encourage a hands-on approach.
access people’s past and reconstruct their ways of life,
beliefs and behaviour.                                            Sheffield is the ideal place to undertake advanced training
                                                                  in material culture studies. The programme draws upon
Our MA in Material Culture Studies provides you with the          the department’s research strengths in artifact studies,
knowledge and skills needed to carry out investigations           archaeological science and the integration of textual
of the material dimensions of human social and cultural           and material evidence. You will have access to our well-
life. We place a very strong emphasis on the ‘materiality’        equipped materials laboratories.
of materials – on finding out what things were made from,
on reconstructing the technological and social processes          The programme’s teaching staff are active in generating
involved in their making, and on understanding the                new knowledge about humanity’s relationship with, and
implications of their materiality for the worlds in which         creation of, the material world - knowledge that feeds
they operated.                                                    directly into their teaching. As in all our programmes,
                                                                  we stress an integrated treatment of ‘humanities’
The programme will appeal to all those who want to                and ‘science-based’ approaches to produce a deeper
further their understanding and appreciation of the               understanding of past humanity. Throughout the
material evidence that is so central to archaeological            programme we provide you with opportunities to work
endeavour. We have created a Research Track pathway for           between and across different viewpoints and approaches,
those who wish to use the programme as a platform for             and to decide for yourself about their strengths and
advanced independent research at doctoral level, and a            weaknesses. In return we ask you, as a member of our
Vocational Track pathway for those who wish to use it as          lively academic community, to learn, think and develop
training for a future career in archaeology or to enhance         your own answers to the questions raised.
their existing skills.


Department of Archaeology.
                                                                                       MA in Material Culture Studies.


Programme Structure
The Core Modules                                                  Assemblage Study
                                                                  This module offers hands-on experience in applying the
Four core modules, each worth 15 credits, provide you             practical and theoretical skills necessary to investigate,
with a theoretical and practical introduction to Material         interpret and communicate the results of material culture
Culture Studies.                                                  research. It involves the in-depth analysis of a coherent
                                                                  material culture assemblage.
Introduction to Material Culture Studies
This module offers a critical examination of past and             Optional Modules
present trends in material culture research; introduces
key concepts (including technology as social practice,            You then choose optional modules worth a total of 60
buildings and interiors as material culture, concepts of          credits. Optional modules are normally 15 credits, though
landscape, and object biographies); and outlines the              some have 30 credit variants. Availability varies from year
means archaeologists use to investigate the diverse forms         to year but the following gives you a flavour of
of material information they regularly encounter.                 the kind of specialised modules we will offer1.

Archaeology and Ethnography of Production and                         • Archaeological Practice
Consumption                                                           • Ethnohistory and Anthropology of Modern Hunter
Drawing on case studies of a range of materials from                    Gatherers
basketry to pottery, this module provides a thorough                  • From the Age of Migrations to the Age of Discovery
appraisal of the potential of ethnographic and                        • Funerary Archaeology
archaeological theory and practice to enhance our                     • Greeks, Romans and ‘Others’ in the Ancient World
understanding of the material aspects of production and               • Iron Age Europe
consumption.                                                          • Material Life and Culture in the Medieval and Early
                                                                        Modern World
Practical Approaches to Material Culture                              • The Archaeology of Neolithic and Bronze Age Britain
This module provides a broad understanding of ceramic,                • The Archaeology of Classical Athens
glass or metal technologies, and the basic steps involved in          • Viking-Age Europe
their manufacture. It includes training in laboratory-based
experimentation and replication of archaeological objects.

                                                                  Programme Requirements
                                                                  If you are on the research track you finish your
                                                                  programme with a 60 credit dissertation on a subject of
                                                                  your choice. You can use this as a platform for the further
                                                                  study of topics or issues in your doctoral research, or
                                                                  simply to advance your knowledge and understanding of a
                                                                  key topic or material type in Material Culture Studies.

                                                                  If you are on the vocational track you undertake a work
                                                                  placement, also worth 60 credits, of approximately eight
                                                                  weeks’ duration. This is designed to allow you to work
                                                                  alongside practitioners ‘in the field’ and get hands-on
                                                                  experience in a subject or technique of particular interest
                                                                  to you. Placements can be in a commercial, curatorial or
                                                                  academic environment, but must have a specific emphasis
                                                                  on material culture.


                                                                  Entry Requirements2
                                                                  We welcome applications from candidates with a good
                                                                  honours degree (2.1 or better) in archaeology, history or a
                                                                  related subject.

                                                                  1
                                                                    See the Options at Sheffield page for further details of
                                                                  these modules.
                                                                  2
                                                                    See also the Applying to Sheffield page for details of
                                                                  University entry and language requirements.


                                                               This publication is available in alternative formats. To request a
Department of Archaeology.                                                    different format please telephone 0114 222 1303.

				
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Description: MA in Material Culture Studies Material culture is the product