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.