Skip to content

Master's Programme in Environmental Archaeology

  • Number of credits 120 Credits
  • Study time 2 years (full time)
  • Level Master’s Degree
  • Starting Autumn Term 2017

Investigate traces from the past and learn about the long-term history of people and environments. With expert knowledge of environmental archaeological methods, you can map prehistoric landscapes, climate change and understand past ways of life. Courses mix theory with practical exercises in the field and lab, and prepare you for a career as an archaeologist, environmental scientist, heritage guide or for laboratory or GIS oriented work.

Film: "The best part of the program is that you combine the natural sciences with the classical archaeological train of thought"
"The best part of the program is that you combine the natural sciences with the classical archaeological train of thought"

Whatch the interview with Mats Eriksson, student at the Masters programme of environmental archaeology.

While studying

During the degree programme you will build upon your existing knowledge of archaeology, Quaternary science, physical geography or related subjects. You will develop skills in methods for analysing environmental evidence in the form of plant and insect remains. You will also learn to read traces left in soils and sediments by studying their physical and chemical properties.

Environmental archaeology is about understanding how people have impacted on, and interacted with, environments. By studying organic and chemical remains or artefacts using methods from the natural sciences you can build a picture of the role humans have played in different ecosystems. Within the field we study long time perspectives, from the end of the Ice Age until historical times, and include farming as much as hunter gatherers.

Problem solving in real projects and excavations

When studying environmental archaeology, you mix theory with practice in the field and lab. You learn specialised methods to investigate questions such as what prehistoric people grew and ate, what the landscape looked like and how climate has changed. Teaching is mainly based around real problems, and during the programme you build up a toolbox of methods and skills for excavation, analysis, interpretation and presentation of archaeological and environmental data. You will work closely within a real life project and excavation environment.

Structure of the degree

During the first year of the programme, you will obtain a solid foundation in environmental archaeological field and lab methods, followed by more detailed theory and methods. In order to effectively map excavation sites, you will also learn Geographical Information Systems (GIS) for archaeology and environmental archaeology. The first year ends with an independent thesis (15ECTS), which allows you to apply for the degree of Magister.

During the second year, you may customize your degree according to your interests. If you choose a generalist profile, then you may take electives or traineeship for an entire term. If you choose a specialist profile, it is half a term of electives or traineeship followed by the Methodological specialisation course. The final term consists of a 30 ECTS Master's thesis.

Programme overview

Career opportunities

This degree prepares you for work as an archaeologist, environmental archaeologist, administrator or investigator at a heritage board, administrative organisation or museum. Other employment possibilities include those within landscape management and conservation, creating exhibitions, as a nature/heritage guide or museum curator.

The programme also prepares you for working with Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and various laboratory processes. Potential workplaces include administrative organisations, land survey agencies and forestry or conservation agencies. The degree is also highly appropriate for building a career in environmental archaeology, paleoecology, Quaternary science or similar research fields. You will also be eligible to apply for PhD studentships in archaeology, environmental archaeology and related subjects.

Interested in becoming a scientist?

During the degree you will develop your capacity for independent thinking and scientific writing – essential skills for moving on to a career in research. After having read the Master's degree in Environmental Archaeology, you will be eligible to apply for PhD positions in archaeology or environmental archaeology in Sweden and internationally.

Learn more about doctoral studies at Umeå University 

Degree

Master's degree

Application and eligibility

Master's Programme in Environmental Archaeology, 120 hp

Det finns inga tidigare terminer för kursen Autumn Term 2017 Det finns inga senare terminer för kursen

International admission round

Programme starts

Autumn Term 2017

Type of studies

100%, Daytime

Study location

Umeå

Language

English

Number of places

6

Eligibility

A bachelors degree or equivalent within archaeology, environmental archaeology, Quaternary geology, physical geography or comparable major, or equivalent. Proficiency in English equivalent to Swedish upper secondary course English A/5. Where the language of instruction is Swedish, applicants must prove proficiency in Swedish to the level required for basic eligibility for higher studies.

Selection

Academic credits

Application code

UMU-M8024

Application

Application deadline was 16 January 2017. The application period is closed.

Application and Tuition fees

As a citizen of a country outside the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, you are required to pay application and tuition fees for studies at Umeå University.

Application fee

SEK900

Tuition fee, first instalment

SEK45,000

Total fee

SEK180,000

Second admission round for EU/EEA citizens

Programme starts

Autumn Term 2017

Type of studies

100%, Daytime

Study location

Umeå

Language

English

Number of places

6

Eligibility

A bachelors degree or equivalent within archaeology, environmental archaeology, Quaternary geology, physical geography or comparable major, or equivalent. Proficiency in English equivalent to Swedish upper secondary course English A/5. Where the language of instruction is Swedish, applicants must prove proficiency in Swedish to the level required for basic eligibility for higher studies.

Selection

Academic credits

Application code

UMU-08024

Application

Application deadline was 18 April 2017. Please note: This application round is intended only for applicants within the EU/EEA and Switzerland. Online application service is in Swedish. Notification of admission will be sent in mid-July. Contact the department for more information.

Application and Tuition fees

As a citizen of a country outside the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, you are required to pay application and tuition fees for studies at Umeå University.

Application fee

SEK900

Tuition fee, first instalment

SEK45,000

Total fee

SEK180,000

Frequently asked questions

Contact us

Contactpersons for the programme are: Peter Lindström, Student Counsellor

Please be aware that the university is a state body and that what you write here can be included in a public document. Therefore, be careful if you are writing about sensitive or personal matters in this contact form. If you have a such an enquiry, please call us instead. All data will be treated in accordance with The Personal Data Act.