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University of Otago
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Master of Archaeological Practice (MArchP)

This course is available

On-Campus, Online

Level of Study

Master's Degree


1 year

Next start date

Expected Feb 2024


University of Otago


Archaeological heritage management

The management of our heritage and archaeological legacy is a growing sustainability issue. Currently, New Zealand has a need for qualified archaeologists to work in the heritage sector. This new programme responds to both an industry demand, and a desire by students and workers in the area for a high-level qualification.

The MArchP focuses on the unique landscapes, cultures and policies of New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. It addresses the following areas:

The management of New Zealand and Pacific cultural heritage places

Working with Maori and Pasifika communities

The application of archaeological approaches and methods within a heritage context

Understanding the diverse relationships between people, places and the past

Local grounding

Our academics specialise in, and are passionate about, the indigenous archaeology and heritage of New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

We are committed to working with communities, assisting with Maori research issues and informing heritage management as it relates to Maori places and values.

We work with Pacific Island organisations and communities to manage and protect heritage sites, and support staff in cultural heritage institutions and agencies.

This is done through academic research in the University of Otago’s Archaeology Programme and our research unit and consultancy, Southern Pacific Archaeological Research (SPAR).

Our goal is to develop graduates who will make an impact in archaeological heritage practice in New Zealand and the Pacific.

Flexible study options

The MArchP offers a great degree of flexibility, allowing students to tailor their learning to their personal circumstances. There are options to study full-time or part-time, and on campus or by distance.

Teaching methods are inclusive and supportive of distance learners, who will be able to connect with their cohort through field-school and online forums.

Additionally, you can tailor your study to areas that interest you through your selection of papers, the internship programme and your dissertation topic.

Career focus

During the programme, students will have the opportunity to undertake an internship, and build their skills and experience in a real-world setting.

Graduates will be able to pursue careers in archaeology, heritage and environment consultancies, government, regional and local councils, iwi organisations, infrastructure and land management agencies. Additionally, increasing synergies between heritage places, museums and the tourism industry offer opportunities for further career pathways.

The programme also provides opportunities for people already working in archaeological heritage management, and it will be valuable for professional development and career progression. Many professionals working in this sector will benefit from having a master’s degree and a broader work experience.

The MArchP offers students a route towards studying for a PhD. This could suit archaeology students or those from other disciplines wanting to transition into archaeology and heritage studies.

Entry criteria

Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities).

Every applicant shall

  • be a graduate with an ordinary bachelor’s degree in Archaeology, Anthropology or comparable major, and have an average grade of at least B+ in the 300-level papers for the degree, or;
  • be a graduate with a Masters degree in a relevant discipline acceptable to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities), or;
  • have alternative qualifications or experience acceptable to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities).

English language requirements

  • IELTS Academic - Score of 6.5 in the academic module (with no individual band below 6.0). IELTS Online is also accepted.
  • Internet-based TOEFL - Score of 90 with a minimum writing score of 21
  • Paper-based TOEFL - score of 587 (TWE 4.5)
  • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) & Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) - Minimum of 176
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic - Overall score of 58 with no communicative skills score below 50.
  • LanguageCert - International ESOL: C1 Expert (LRWS) with a high pass overall and no less than a pass in each skill OR C2 Mastery (LRWS) with a pass overall and no less than a pass in each skill
  • NZCEL - NZCEL 5 Academic endorsement
  • University of Otago Language Centre ‘English for Otago’, English for Postgraduate Academic Purposes (EPAP) - Grade C or higher
  • University of Auckland English Language Academy (ELA) pathway programmes - Successful completion of the English Pathway for Postgraduate Studies (EPPS) with a B Grade
  • University of Auckland Foundation Certificate in English for Academic Purposes (FCertEAP) - Successful completion of the certificate with a B Grade

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