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Specialisation Archaeoinformatics

Degree summary

The new branch of study "Archaeoinformatics" aims at introducing the field in breadth and depth. It is designed to equip students with practical, theoretical and critical skills in established and emerging digital technologies in Archaeology, and support a career in academia, cultural resource management, museums, as well as public and private cultural heritage organisations. Students will have the opportunity to use the facilities of the Cologne Digital Archaeology Lab (CoDArchLab), which is equipped with teaching and study spaces, numerous workstations (PCs and Macs), commercial and open source software, as well as specialised computational imaging equipment. Some modules of the degree are taught in German and some in English.
Students will have the opportunity to:

  • Develop core computing skills in Data Science (database theory and design, data visualisation and representation, network science) and Web technologies and become acquainted with current issues in archaeological data management and policy in Germany.
  • 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 and statistics, and computational modelling in Archaeology and learn how to best apply these methods to gain insights into past human behaviour and socio-political organisation in natural and built environments.
  • Take work placements (Praktika) in excavations, museums, or cultural heritage management organisations and test their practical skills in real life situations.
  • Combine their study in Archaeoinformatics with a specialisation in Classical Archaeology, Archaeology of the Roman Provinces, Prehistoric Archaeology, or Egyptology.

Entry requirements

  • Degree: Bachelor degree in Archaeology (Prehistory, Classical Archaeology, Archaeology of the Roman Provinces, Egyptology or other Archaeologies) with an amount of at least 180 CP, respectively a comparable degree of another university of the same scope. Alternatively, a Bachelor degree can be accepted, if at least 60 CP were achieved in Archaeology.
  • Language skills: For non-native German speakers the language requirement of DSH 2 in German needs to be fulfilled. Student work can be submitted in German or English.
  • Master thesis requirement: For the registration of a Master thesis a language level of CEFR B1 in English is required.
  • Modules in Archaeoinformatics are also offered to Erasmus students (non-native German speakers must prove sufficient language skills in German or English).

Degree Structure

Within the MA Archäologie students that wish to specialise in Archaeoinformatics have the option to choose between study profile A and B:

Studienprofil A Studienprofil B
includes 4 compulsory modules in Archaeoinformatics includes 2 compulsory modules in Archaeoinformatics
SM 1: Core computing module SM 1: Core computing module
SM 2: 3D documentation, modelling and reconstruction SM 3a: 3D documentation modelling and reconstruction or
SM 4: GIS and spatial analysis SM 3b: GIS and spatial analysis
SM 5: Placements and independent study SM 1 and SM 3 modules of another subject: Classical Archaeology, Prehistoric Archaeology, Archaeology of the Roman Provinces, or Egyptology

Additional modules

BM: Foundation module (Basismodul) in Archaeological Theory
AM*: Advanced module (Aufbaumodul)
EM*: Supplementary module (Ergänzungsmodul)
*These modules include further optional courses in Archaeology, Digital Humanities, Natural Sciences (incl. archaeological prospection) or Archaeoinformatics.

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 Archaeoinformatics 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)
  • start date: every winter or summer semester
  • language: English, German
  • degree options: MA Archäologie-Archaeoinformatics (study profile A or B), dual-subject Master degree (in combination with a discipline other than Archaeology)
  • application deadline: usually middle of July for the coming winter semester and middle of January for the coming summer semester
  • more information on studying in Cologne for international students
  • Co-ordinator of the MA Archäologie-Archaeoinformatics: Prof. Dr. Eleftheria Paliou

Because of a limited number of places students who apply at the University to Cologne with the aim to study Archaeoinformatics are asked to also inform Anja Wutte about their preferred study profile in advance.