The Complex Societies MA pathway is a unique and exciting postgraduate programme which presents a unified theoretical approach to pre-modern societies with complex social, political, religious and economic institutions. To achieve this aim, it explicitly combines theoretical and ethnographic approaches to social complexity within a globally focused core course. Drawing upon our research strengths in the Near East ( Dr Stuart Campbell), the Mediterranean ( Dr Ina Berg, Dr Lindy Crewe, Dr Maria Kostoglou, Dr Tom Rasmussen) and Northern Europe ( Dr Melanie Giles), students will engage with key aspects of complex societies, including identity, political legitimacy, ritual and ceremonialism, cultural interaction and exchange. Successful students will gain an understanding of the major archaeological and anthropological approaches to complex societies, and develop the ability to apply them to the interpretation of archaeological remains. They will also acquire the necessary research skills to undertake a larger piece of independent research.
We recommend this MA to those who have an interest in this aspect of archaeology in and of itself, and to those considering further research (PhD) in this or a related area.
Research training is an important part of the MA programme. There are two components:
-SAGE (Skills Awareness for Graduate Education): This course addresses broad research skills and trains students in areas such as formulating research questions, developing analytical strategies, and critical use of sources. Students also undertake a skills audit to identify specific training needs and relevant training courses.
-Research skills in Archaeology: theory, interpretation, practice: This course delivers essential intellectual and cognitive skills relevant to archaeology. Particular emphasis is placed on the interrelationships between theory, interpretation and practice within the history of the discipline, as well as connections between archaeology and other disciplines (such as anthropology, art history, geography, literary theory, sociology). At the end of the course there is a 'student conference', which forms part of the assessment in conjunction with a work folder encouraging self-reflection with respect to modes of learning and research.
Option course units for the Complex Societies MA include:
-People, Place and Power: Northern Europe, Britain and Ireland in the 1st Millennium
-Reconstructing Prehistoric Society in the Near East
-Reconstructing Prehistoric Society in the Bronze Age Aegean
-The Archaeology of Artefacts
-One optional course may be drawn from Ancient History or Anthropology upon special application if the student can demonstrate its relevance to his/her research interests.
(course units are subject to change according to the commitments of individual staff).