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Bioarchaeology: Human Osteology MSc

Bioarchaeology: Human Osteology MSc

Key information

Qualification type

MSc - Master of Science

Subject areas

Bioarchaeology Biological Anthropology Orthopedics

Course type


Course Summary


This exciting and fast-advancing field combines archaeology with branches of the natural sciences to provide insights into past life and death from the study of human skeletal remains. Our MSc has a particular focus on exploring patterns of health, disease and traumatic injury in past populations. You might examine such issues as health and disease in the Bronze Age, battle trauma in the Middle Ages, Roman funerary practices, or gendered division of labour in the Neolithic. You will also have the choice of a wide selection of optional archaeology modules, including the opportunity to broaden your skills to include animal bone analysis.

Our bioarchaeology lab is dedicated to the study of anatomical variation, palaeopathological conditions, and the funerary context of human and animal remains. In addition to the lab we also have a designated store for our substantial collection of human remains, our facilities help researchers and students examine skeletal remains from a variety of archaeological sites. Amongst our equipment we have anatomical casts and demographic reference standards.


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.

Some destinations of graduates from Archaeology programmes are:

  • Archaeological Assistant
  • Experimental Archaeologist
  • Field Archaeologist
  • Learning Resources Coordinator
  • Museum Curator
  • PhD in Archaeology
  • Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Press Executive
  • Teacher
  • Time Team Archaeologist/Community Archaeologist
  • Web Developer
  • Laboratory technician
  • Police Officer
  • Solicitor
  • Lecturer
  • Medical doctor

Different course options

Full time | Streatham Campus | 1 year | 21-SEP-20

Study mode

Full time


1 year

Start date



The dissertation is a self-contained study based on your own research, counting for 60 credits. You will undertake research that has archaeological applications 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 question(s) 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 you to collect and analyse your own data in the field or the laboratory, though library-based studies are also possible. 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.

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

Normally a minimum 2:1 Honours degree in Archaeology or a related subject (for example, Anthropology, Biology, Geography or Environmental Science).