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European Neolithic (MA)

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  • Objectives
    To offer knowledge and expertise to pursue a career in archaeology research, academia, heritage, museums, contract work and consultancy, and for study at doctoral level.
  • Entry requirements
    Entry Requirements:

    1st or Upper 2nd class UK Honours degree in an appropriate subject. Suitable for graduates in archaeology and related disciplines.
  • Academic Title
    European Neolithic (MA)
  • Course description
    Course Description:

    The Neolithic encompasses some of the most important transformations in prehistory: people settling down, adopting and developing agriculture and animal husbandry, taking on new forms of material culture, extending networks of exchange, establishing long-lived sites and building monuments. These new practices were not just the result of new technologies or subsistence economies; they were deep rearrangements of the ways in which people lived their lives and how they structured their communities. The Neolithic therefore sets a series of unanswered questions about origins and identity, what people believed about the world, their past and themselves, the nature of their relations with others, and the rate and kind of change through several millennia.

    The Neolithic is at the forefront of research in many European countries; its academic profile is very high indeed. As an academic theme, it provides excellent material for postgraduate study at Masters level, either as a challenging end in itself, or as a stepping stone towards PhD research and a career as a specialist in European prehistory. Studying Cardiff's MA in the European Neolithic, you will also acquire valuable transferable skills, from research methods and the handling and presentation of data to public speaking and writing for professional audiences.

    Special Features:

        * Training in research methods and skills
        * Wide choice of regional options for detailed study (covering Greece and the Balkans; central Europe; Western Europe; and Britain and Ireland).
        * Expert supervision of dissertation on European topics by research-active staff.

    European Neolithic (MA)

    The Neolithic encompasses some of the most important transformations in prehistory: people settling down, adopting and developing agriculture and animal husbandry, taking on new forms of material culture, extending networks of exchange, establishing long-lived sites and building monuments. These new practices were not just the result of new technologies or subsistence economies; they were deep rearrangements of the ways in which people lived their lives and how they structured their communities. The Neolithic therefore sets a series of unanswered questions about origins and identity, what people believed about the world, their past and themselves, the nature of their relations with others, and the rate and kind of change through several millennia.

    The Neolithic is at the forefront of research in many European countries; its academic profile has never been higher. As an academic theme, it provides excellent material for post-graduate study at Masters level, either as a challenging end in itself, or as a steppingstone towards PhD research and a career as a specialist in European prehistory. Studying Cardiff's MA in the European Neolithic, you will also acquire valuable transferable skills, from research methods to public speaking to writing for a professional audience and on to data presentation.

    The Masters degree in the European Neolithic offers students a focused programme study based on Cardiff's deep teaching and research expertise in this area. Students take 180 credits of modules over one or two years (i.e., full- or part-time). Of these 40 credits come from core skills modules, 20 come from the required Themes in the Neolithic module, and 60 from the dissertation module. Students acquire the remaining 60 credits from a choice of focused region-specific modules.
    Skills Modules (40 credits)

        * Writing Archaeology - 10 credits (HST300)

        * Research Methods - 10 credits (HST301)

        * Speaking Archaeology - 10 credits (HST302)

        * Data Presentation and Interpretation - 10 credits (HST303)

    Required Neolithic Modules (80 credits)

        * Themes in the Neolithic - 20 credits (HST405)

    (and 60 credits selected from the following)

        * Western Europe in the Neolithic - 20 credits (HST410)

        * Britain and Ireland in the Neolithic - 20 credits (HST420)

        * Central Europe in the Neolithic - 20 credits (HST430)

        * Greece and the Balkans in the Neolithic - 20 credits (HST440)

    Dissertation (60 credits)

        * The MA Dissertation - 60 credits (HST590)

    Preparatory Reading

    The following books offer an introduction to the types of approaches and the range of material contained in the Cardiff MA in the European Neolithic. Prospective students should consider this list as required preliminary reading.

    Bailey, D.W. 2000. Balkan prehistory: exclusion, incorporation and identity. London: Routledge.
    Bailey, D.W., Whittle, A., and Cummings, V. (eds) 2005. (un)settling the Neolithic. Oxford: Oxbow.
    Bradley, R. 1998. The significance of monuments. London: Routledge.
    Hodder, I. 1990. The domestication of Europe. Oxford: Blackwell.
    Thomas, J. 1999. Understanding the Neolithic. London: Routledge.
    Whittle, A. 1996. Europe in the Neolithic. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    Whittle, A. 2003. The archaeology of people: dimensions of Neolithic life. London: Routledge.
    Learning Outcomes and Career Preparation

    A particular strength of the Cardiff MA in the European Neolithic is the preparation it provides for students wishing to pursue non-archaeological careers. Thus, in addition to helping students obtain a detailed and critical archaeological knowledge, the Cardiff MA offers students the chance to acquire and perfect valuable skills critical to careers in many different fields. Often referred to as transferable or generic skills, these skills expand students' individual capabilities and make it easier for students to obtain employment and enter their careers with abilities that are widely considered essential for professional success.

    Upon completion of the MA in the European Neolithic (and all other MA and MScs offered in Archaeology and Conservation at Cardiff), students will have acquired the following skills.

    Intellectual skills, including the ability to critically evaluate evidence and its interpretation and to be tolerant of differing interpretations; to sustain a logical argument and reach a conclusion that can be defended; to synthesise and analyse information; to compare and contrast theoretical explanations and to integrate different methodologies.

    Communication skills, including the ability to communicate orally in an appropriate professional medium; to make presentations both as an individual and as part of a group; to write effectively at an advanced level.

    Numeracy skills, including the ability to display and present numerical data in appropriate formats; and to analyse numerical data and solve basic mathematical and statistical problems.

    Information technology skills, including the ability to produce and calculate values using a spreadsheet; to produce and query databases; to use e-mail, the Internet and the World Wide Web; to find, manage and utilise information and data.

    Personal skills, including the ability to manage workloads; to adapt and apply skills to new contexts; to assess and formulate priorities, constraints and goals and to adapt to changing circumstances.

    Above all, by the end of the Cardiff Masters degree, students will be able to critically assess the work of others and of their own, to engage effectively in debate at an advanced level, to plan, design and carry out a coherent research strategy, and to produce detailed and coherent reports and presentations.

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