The Graduate Diploma in Maritime Archaeology is a 36-unit program which is part of the Graduate Program in Maritime Archaeology offered by the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. It articulates with the Graduate Certificate in Maritime Archaeology and the Master of Maritime Archaeology.  

Admission requirements

Applicants must normally hold an approved degree or equivalent qualification majoring in archaeology from an approved tertiary institution, or have completed the Graduate Certificate in Maritime Archaeology. Under exceptional circumstances and subject to specific conditions, the Dean (Education) may admit others who can show evidence of fitness for candidature.

Course aims

The course aims to meet the needs of graduates in archaeology and related disciplines who wish to specialise in maritime archaeology.

The course is designed to provide students with a theoretical and methodological grounding in maritime archaeology and underwater cultural heritage management, an understanding and appreciation of the place and role of maritime archaeology in the interpretation of maritime sub-cultures as well as cultures in the wider context, and to allow students to understand the history of the practice of maritime and underwater archaeology.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course, graduates will be able to:

  • demonstrate a high-level knowledge of the history and practice of maritime and underwater archaeology
  • understand the nature of underwater cultural heritage management practice and theory, and be able to initiate, plan, implement and evaluate it in a maritime archaeological context
  • review, synthesise and analyse major issues in maritime archaeology and underwater culture heritage and conservation, and be able to apply this knowledge to a wide range of practical situations
  • understand the requirements of undertaking maritime archaeological fieldwork and employ a wide range of advanced technical and research skills
  • communicate maritime archaeology and heritage issues appropriately to a range of audiences
  • undertake their work as independent professional archaeologists or cultural heritage managers in an ethical manner.


Students with significant prior studies in Maritime Archaeology may be granted up to 18 units of credit.

Program of study

To qualify for the Graduate Diploma in Maritime Archaeology a student must complete 36 units with a grade of P or NGP or better in each topic, according to the following program of study:

Core - Year 1 topics

 ARCH8157  Methods in Underwater Archaeology  (4.5 units)

Option- Year 1 topics

Plus 31.5 chosen from the following topics:

 ARCH8018  Introduction to Cultural Heritage Management  (4.5 units)
 ARCH8021 Introduction to Professional Archaeology  (4.5 units)
 ARCH8150  Maritime Archaeology in Australia  (4.5 units)
 ARCH8151  History, Theory and Issues in Maritime and Underwater Archaeology GE  (4.5 units)
 ARCH8152  Maritime Archaeological Field School  (4.5 units)
 ARCH8153  The Archaeology of Submerged Landscapes (4.5 units)
 ARCH8155  Seafaring in the Ancient World GE  (4.5 units)
 ARCH8156  Advanced Maritime Archaeology Practicum  (4.5 units)
 ARCH8158  Ships: Research, Recording and Reconstruction  (4.5 units)
 ARCH8159  Maritime Archaeology Practicum  (4.5 units)

which can include up to 4.5 units of the following non-Maritime Archaeology options:

 ARCH8017  Cultural Heritage and the Law  (4.5 units)
 ARCH8019  Heritage Management Planning  (4.5 units)
 ARCH8401  Historical Artefact Analysis  (4.5 units)
 ARCH8403  Directed Study in Cultural Heritage Management  (4.5 units)
 ARCH8410  Archaeology of the First Australians GE  (4.5 units)
 ARCH8801  Archaeological Field Methods  (4.5 units)
 ARCH8808  Introductory Archaeological Geophysics  (4.5 units)

OR any other topic approved by the course coordinator for the relevant maritime archaeology program.