Direct magnetron sputtering of transition metal dichalcogenide targets is proposed as a new approach for depositing large-area two-dimensional layered materials. Bilayer to few-layer MoS 2 deposited by magnetron sputtering followed by post-deposition annealing shows superior area scalability over 20 cm2 and layer-by-layer controllability. High crystallinity of layered MoS 2 was confirmed by Raman, photo-luminescence, and transmission electron microscopy analysis. The sputtering temperature and annealing ambience were found to play an important role in the film quality. The top-gate field-effect transistor by using the layered MoS 2 channel shows typical n-type characteristics with a current on/off ratio of approximately 104. The relatively low mobility is attributed to the small grain size of 0.1 -1 m with a trap charge density in grain boundaries of the order of 1013 cm -2 .