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The Graduate Program in Maritime Archaeology (GPMA) was established in 2002. It is now the largest and most active program of its kind in Australia. The program has two academic staff, a technical officer and research associates, as well as PhD students (on scholarships) who also work part-time in the program. The Graduate Program currently has approximately 30-40 graduate students drawn students countries (including Australia, New Zealand, UK, USA, Canada, South Africa, the Netherlands and Japan). Graduates of the program are now working for underwater cultural heritage management agencies, museums and consultancy companies as well as studying and teaching at universities, both in Australia and overseas.
The Graduate Program is designed both to meet the needs of students who have a four year degree in archaeology or anthropology who wish to specialize in maritime archaeology, as well as those who come from a different academic background (such as history) and wish to move to a different career path.
The program is built on the premise that a maritime archaeologist needs to be more than an archaeologist who can SCUBA dive. Therefore, in addition to practical fieldwork-based training, the program provides students with a strong academic and theoretical grounding across a wide range of areas in maritime archaeology and underwater archaeology.
Students can choose to study on-campus in Adelaide, where both full-time and part-time studies are available or to study externally (currently only available part-time). External studies are available through on-campus, distance learning and online (E-learning) topics. This flexibility means that students can study in their own time while still living and working at home.