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Key information

Qualification type

MSc - Master of Science

Subject areas


Course type


Course Summary

This course is an exciting and fast-advancing field which combines archaeology with branches of the natural sciences to study key topics such as past health and well-being, diet, ecology, subsistence strategies and environmental impacts. Our MSc in Bioarchaeology aims to develop a broad understanding of these issues through the study of human remains. The programme develops advanced practical skills in skeletal analysis, making use of the department’s well-provisioned specialist laboratories and reference collections. A particular strength of our provision is that we are able to address the bioarchaeology of both the New and Old Worlds. Those completing the programme acquire the skills necessary to continue into academic research or employment, as an osteologist in field units, museums or CRM companies. It allows you to specialise in one of two named pathways: Human Osteology (physical anthropology and funerary archaeology) or Zooarchaeology (animal bones and other faunal remains). The Archaeology programmes at Exeter are designed to develop your skills of analysis, assessment and interpretation as well as the production of written and oral reports. The broad-based nature of the subject and the skills it provides give a strong grounding for a wide range of careers, not only those related to archaeology but also in the wider fields of teaching, administration and business. Some graduates combine their initial job with voluntary archaeological work or with further part time study of the subject.

Different course options

Full time | Streatham Campus | 1 year | SEP

Study mode

Full time


1 year

Start date



The dissertation is a self-contained study of 20,000 words based on your own research, counting for 60 credits. You will undertake zooarchaeological research and present the results at greater length than you have had opportunity to in other parts of your course. You will need to work out a topic to study, in conjunction with your programme director, and to establish how you will set about answering the research questions posed. The choice of topic is your own; it is important to choose something that offers good possibilities for developing an independent piece of work. We encourage students to collect and analyse their own data in the field or the laboratory, though library-based studies are also possible. In many cases, a zooarchaeological dissertation will take the form of analysing an assemblage of faunal remains, with particular research questions in mind, as this will enhance both your academic and practical competences. You will learn how to collect and collate information from a range of sources, to analyse and present data, to develop skills relating to illustration, and to create hypotheses about the data based on your analysis. The completed work should be a well-written study of the topic under discussion, with illustrations of high quality and a fully developed bibliography. This module is a core requirement of the MSc in Bioarchaeology.
ARCM602 Forensic Anthropology: Principles and Practice (15 Credits) - Core

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 an 2.1 Degree in Archaeology or a related subject (for example, Anthropology, Biology, Geography or Environmental Science) at first degree level.

University information

The University of Exeter is a public research university that is a member of the leading research- oriented UK universities, the Russell Group, The European University Association and the AMBA. As demonstrated in the REF 2014, 98% of the University of Exeter’s postgraduate research has been rated to be of international quality. Out of their 23,613 students, 4,681 of these are postgraduates. There are three main campuses to study at, with most...more

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