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Human Osteoarchaeology MSc

Key information

Qualification type

MSc - Master of Science

Subject areas


Course type


Course Summary

This MSc provides the skills required to understand skeletal biographies and interpret them in their cultural context at the individual and the population level. Combining theoretical learning with hands-on practice, we will provide you with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills essential to your handling and analysis of specimens recovered from archaeological sites. Human skeletal remains are the most direct evidence of past lifeways and their scientific investigation gives unique insights into human history. Bioarchaeology (the study of archaeological human remains) is an exciting field that draws on a variety of techniques, ranging from visual examination of the whole skeleton to the biomolecular analysis of small bone samples. Demographic shifts, environmental changes, migrations, the spread of diseases and the impact of violence and conflict all leave traces on the skeleton.

On successful completion of the programme, you will be able to: identify and interpret human skeletal remains from archaeological sites; develop hypothesis testing skills; carry out relevant scientific analyses, often in cooperation with experts in other disciplines; engage in theoretical and methodological discussions relevant to osteoarchaeology; design research strategies based on transferable skills providing a basis for advanced studies (PhD and beyond).

Examples of career paths available to archaeology graduates (although some may require additional training) include: higher education, heritage management and agencies, commercial archaeology, teaching, tourism industry, broadcasting and the police. An archaeology degree does not, of course, restrict you to a career in archaeology. The programme also equips you for advanced study.

Different course options

Study mode

Full time


1 year

Start date



The course focuses on research and communication skills as well as general knowledge of the academic and professional context of bioarchaeology. Seminars by speakers from the School and from the heritage sector explore topics such as dissertation writing, ethics, employment opportunities and research design. The course encourages you to learn while thinking more actively and independently about your own research and career.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK / EU students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


International fees
Course fees for non-UK / EU students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


Entry requirements

Students need to have a UK 2:1 honours degree, US GPA 3.4 or other international equivalent, in a relevant subject such as Archaeology, Anthropology, Anatomy, Medical Sciences and related fields. No previous knowledge of human osteology is required.

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