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MA Digital and Computational Archaeology

Digital and Computational Archaeology is concerned with the development and application of digital technologies and computational methods in archaeology. The Master of Arts in Digital and Computational Archaeology is designed to equip archaeology graduates with practical, theoretical and critical skills in a variety of established and emerging digital technologies, and support a career in academia, cultural resource management, museums as well as public and private cultural heritage organisations. Students of this programme will develop skills in Data Science, Web technologies, data modelling and database design, 2D and 3D digital documentation, GIS, spatial analysis, statistics, programming and computational modelling.  They will also be offered the opportunity to use the facilities of the Cologne Digital Archaeology Laboratory (CoDArchLab), which is equipped with teaching, research and study spaces, numerous workstations, a variety of commercial and open source software programs, as well as specialised computational imaging equipment.

Students of the MA Digital and Computational Archaeology will have the opportunity to:

  • Develop core computing skills in Data Science, database theory and design, data visualisation and representation, Web technologies and programming (Python, R), and become acquainted with current issues in archaeological data management and policy.
  • Familiarise themselves with the use of state-of-the-art 3D technologies and media and learn which techniques are best suited for data capture, documentation and analysis in different situations and contexts (e.g. fieldwork, museum, research projects).
  • Think critically on the application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), spatial analysis, spatial statistics and computational modelling in archaeology, and learn how to best apply computational methods using a variety of commercial and open source software programmes to gain insights into the economic and socio-political organisation of past societies. 
  • Learn to identify current issues, problems and developments in the field of Digital Humanities and gain practical experience in the application and development of methods and tools that can benefit Humanities research more broadly.
  • Take work placements (Praktika) in excavations, museums, or cultural heritage management organisations and test their practical skills in real life situations.

Admission requirements

Applicants for the MA Digital and Computational Archaeolgy should hold a bachelor’s degree (with at least 180 CP) in archeology or an archaeological sub-discipline, such as Prehistoric Archaeology, Classical Archaeology, Ancient West Asian Studies, Archaeology of Roman Provinces, Egyptology or similar. Bachelor graduates of neighboring subjects may also be admitted after case-by-case-review, if at least 60 CP have been obtained in an archaeological sub-discipline during the BA studies. A decision upon the admission of students will be made by the Admissions Committee.

The MA Digital and Computational Archaeology is fully taught in English. Knowledge of English needs to be certified at the C1 level in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Knowledge of German is not required for admission or the completion of the Master programme, but students will have the opportunity to choose from a number of German electoral courses, should they wish to.

*The Advanced and Complementary modules include further optional courses in archaeology, digital humanities, archaeological sciences or cultural/historical studies.

Career prospects

Nowadays, the use of digital and computational methods pervades every aspect of archaeological knowledge production, especially data capture, documentation, visualisation and analysis. Graduates with a specialisation in digital and computational archaeology will be offered a wide range of opportunities for an academic career in Archaeology and Digital Humanities, and will be well-suited for positions in cultural resource management, museums, and public and private cultural heritage organisations. Furthermore, they will have completed relevant work placements and gained valuable real life working experience, which is very much appreciated by employers. The skills acquired in this study programme are highly transferrable to fields outside archaeology, including the public and private sector.


Duration 4 semesters (full-time)
Begin winter semester - October each year
Application deadline the deadline for applications is mid-July each year - documents for the VPD examination should be submitted to uni-assist by June, 30 at the latest. It is advised to submit them earlier however.
Degree MA Digital and Computational Archaeology
Requirements BA in Archaeology or a neighbouring subject with at least 60CP in archaeology
Language Requirements C1 in English

Because of the limited number of places, if you intend to apply for the MA Digital and Computational Archaeology, please contact us beforehand at