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Master of Arts [MA] (Archaeology) - Course Overview




    2 YEARS




    Post Graduation

Updated On - January 2nd 2019 By SAKSHI GUPTA

Master of Arts in Archaeology Eligibility, Institutes and Career options

Master of Arts in Archaeology is a 2-year post-graduate program offered by universities/institutes in the field of archaeology. Candidates who have successfully completed an undergraduate degree in archaeology or similar field can apply for this course.

Direct admission to the program can be obtained on the basis of undergraduate degree score. Some of the institutes conduct their own entrance examinations specially for students who wish to apply from streams other than humanities. The average fee of the course is INR 3000/annum.

The Master of Arts degree is awarded after completing the course and passing examinations and/or after doing a research. The program comprises of the study of subjects such as paleography and epigraphy. This program provides the right tools to study archaeology in depth.

MA Colleges in MAHARASHTRAMA Colleges in WEST BENGALMA Colleges in KARNATAKAMA Colleges in KERALA

Employment opportunities for graduating candidates are available in various domains such as museums and art galleries, universities and colleges, education boards, exhibit design companies, history based journalism etc. Average salary of the graduates in this field is INR 3,00,000/annum.

Highlight Table for Master of Arts in Archaeology

Name of the courseMaster of Arts in Archaeology
Course LevelPostgraduate
Duration2 years, full time
StreamArchaeology, Ancient History
EligibilityBachelor’s Degree in Archaeology or Ancient History, Minimum 55% U.G degree score
Admission ProcessAdmission Tests inducted by individual institutes, Direct Admission in some cases
Average Course FeeINR 7000- INR 9000 per annum
Average Starting SalaryINR 2 Lakh to 12 Lakh
Job DescriptionProfessor, Museum Curator, Archaeologist
Average entry level salaryINR 3,20,000/annum

Who should opt for M.A in Archaeology

For anyone who has a lot of interest in ancient history and culture of various civilizations that existed in India and intends to gain vast knowledge in the field should opt for this course after completing undergraduate education. Achieving this degree requires candidates to have a high dedication towards the subject and excellent management skills to take on research projects.

Eligibility and Admission Process for M.A in Archaeology

Candidates who have successfully completed an undergraduate education in archaeology or similar field are eligible to apply for this course. For example, candidates after completing a bachelor’s degree (Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science) in Archaeology or Ancient History and such similar field can opt for this course.

Almost all the institutes provide admission on the basis of undergraduate degree score. Candidates are required to fill an application form as a part of the admission process. Along with the application form candidates are required to attach S.S.C., H.S.C. and UG degree qualifying mark-sheets. The minimum aggregate score requirement for the UG degree is 55%. The institute/university then displays a cut-off list and list of the candidates who have been accepted.

Direct admission:

Direct admission through management quota is also available in a few of the private colleges. Government colleges do not provide direct admissions through management quota.



Master of Arts in Archaeology is a 2-year program. It comprises of total 4 semesters and an examination is held at the end of each semester.  

Institutes offering M.A in Archaeology

Universities and colleges providing M.A. in Archaeology and M.A. in History and Archaeology are listed below: 

University/InstituteCityAvg. Fee/Annum
Acharya Nagarjuna UniversityGuntur, Andhra PradeshINR 1,600
Bharati Vidyapeeth UniversityPune, MaharashtraINR 2,500
University of CalcuttaKolkata, West BengalINR 3,180
University of KeralaThiruvananthapuram, KeralaINR 1,600
Annamalai UniversityChidambaram, Tamil NaduINR 1,500
Mysore UniversityMysore, KarnatakaINR 2,500
Nagaland UniversityKohima, NagalandINR 2,000
Tamil UniversityThanjavur, Tamil NaduINR 1,500

Career Prospect for M.A in Archaeology

Archaeology as a field of study refers to the scientific and orderly study of the ancestral tree, life style and culture of past generations. It mainly takes into account various seals, inscriptions, monuments, edifices and other related materials which over the decades, have been buried in the past.

Archaeology has a very broad career scope. There are three main areas of employment for an Archaeologist, i.e., teaching, research and working in museums. Employment sectors for archaeologists are given below:

  • Museums and art galleries
  • Universities and colleges
  • Boards of education
  • Parks, nature centers and world heritage sites
  • Preservation boards and historical societies
  • Cultural organizations

What can you become?

The job of a Archeologist is a tough one because most of it required extensive field work. It can be fascinating for people who love history. State government are the main source of employment and one gets to work in museums and galleries. Following is a list of job descriptions related to archeology:


M.A in Archeology

Job Job DescriptionSalary/annum
Museum curatorMuseum curators assemble, catalogue, manage and help with presenting and displaying artistic and cultural collection. They are also in charge of a collection of exhibits in the museum.INR 3,50,000
ArcheologistArchaeologists study human history by means of artifacts that range from prehistoric tools and buildings to animal bones and small organisms. Organized excavations are a useful way of gaining experience.INR 3,60,000
Professor/ResearcherOne can teach in schools and colleges. Researchers can conduct research in private organizations or in university departments. The archeologists conduct research about a number of topics related to a particular ancient history. Upon completion of the research, they can continue as an independent researcher or work as a professor in colleges or universities. They can also join as project leader or research director and lead or assist in government funded excavations.INR 5,45,000
Heritage ManagerHeritage managers conserve, manage and develop access to heritage locations such as historic buildings, landscapes, museums and ancient monuments.INR 4,80,000

Course Structure for M.A in Archeology

Master of Arts in Archeology is a post-graduate degree program that requires total two years for completion. This course allows candidates to obtain a sound grounding in understanding the various vistas of archaeology. Archaeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material obtained from the past.

This program includes rigorous and thorough study of archaeology which comprises of ancient Indian iconography, epigraphy and paleography, proto-history etc. Master of Arts in Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archaeology and M.A. in history and archeology are a few courses similar to this one.

This is the generalized format for 2-year program; the structure may vary institute wise. Each candidate must submit a dissertation at the end of the curriculum for completion of the course.

Semester I
Political History of India (up to 1200 A.D.)Core Subject
Social and Economic History of India (up to 1200 A.D.)Core Subject
Introduction to ArchaeologyCore Subject
Prehistory of South Asia: Paleolithic and MesolithicCore Subject
Semester II
Religious History of IndiaCore Subject
Methods in ArchaeologyCore Subject
Proto-history of South AsiaCore Subject
Science in ArchaeologyCore Subject
Semester III
Ancient Indian Iconography/ Art and Architecture of India-I (300 B.C. to 600 A.D.)Elective Subjects
Ancient Indian Paleography and Epigraphy/ Archaeology and LiteratureElective Subjects
An Outline of World Prehistory/ Environmental Archaeology (Bio archaeology)Elective Subjects
Biological Anthropology/ Advanced Archaeological Theory and Research MethodologyElective Subjects
Semester IV
DissertationProposal and submission



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