MA/MSc in Maritime Archaeology

Our masters programme is a world leading postgraduate course designed to give students the best possible instruction, supervision and support in order to further their careers and develop their research interests.  Graduates are trained in a wide range of skills to equip them for maritime archaeology in the 21st century. This includes the 3D recording and modelling of complex structures, geophysical and geotechnical analysis of submerged landscape deposits, a developed understanding of the conception and construction of watercraft, and the development of clear, concise and professional communication skills.

As well as taught components, our postgraduate students develop their own research, honing both specialist and transferable skills from across the discipline. This process takes place across the length of their MS/MSc study, but is primarily focused upon their dissertation, which allows extended and in-depth research to take place, both desk-based and fieldwork-led.

Practical and Fieldwork Opportunities

Practical instruction and fieldwork opportunities are at the heart of our teaching, and are integrated throughout the course. Work includes the collection of geophsyical data, survey projects in the intertidal zone, traditional boat recording, and of course diving. In addition, a range of bespoke fieldtrips and site visits will allow you to meet experts from a wide range of institutions and partner organisations as a means to further your own career. In addition, you will have the chance to take part in research-led fieldwork projects that take place across the Archaeology Department and which encompass most periods and areas of study. More locally, all postgraduate students are encouraged to get involved with the Southampton based Maritime Archaeology Trust, and the Nautical Archaeology Society, based at Portsmouth.

CMA student excavating the 'Axe Boat', Devon, England.
CMA student excavating the ‘Axe Boat’, Devon, England.

Research Degrees

The CMA has a large and vibrant community of MRes and Doctoral researchers, who along with early career post-doctoral research fellows, provide the freshness of perspective and dynamic energy required of any successful research institute.  As a researcher within the CMA, students not only benefit from direct supervision from world leading experts, but also gain access to the broader depth of experience held within one of the UK’s largest and most successful archaeology departments. Within the University of Southampton, there is opportunity for cross-faculty collaboration through the Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute. Recent/Current doctoral research topics include:

  • Maritime cultural landscapes of the River Po, Italy.
  • Engineering analysis of 19th century merchant ships.
  • Analysis of maritime space in the Bronze Age Levant.
  • 3D Computational ship reconstruction techniques.
  • In-situ conservation of maritime archaeological material.
  • Colonial shipwrecks of Bermuda.
  • Mapping potential wreck sites with seafloor data.
  • Sculptural material from the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Ethnographic studies of traditional River Nile watercraft.

Further information on applying for Doctoral research in Archaeology at the University of Southampton is available here