The MSc by Research in Archaeology is aimed at students who have a specific topic of interest into which they wish to conduct their own research.
The programme provides structured research training while at the same time enabling you to pursue a research project that you design yourself, in consultation with supervisors. It serves as both a self-contained research degree and a preparation for further study for the PhD degree.
Archaeology at Edinburgh has a tradition going back to the 19th century. Many aspects of that tradition are still visible in the School today: our archaeological collections were named to commemorate the great prehistorian and first holder of the Abercromby Chair Vere Gordon Childe; the annual series of Munro lectures in archaeology and anthropology were endowed in 1910 by Dr Robert Munro, a distinguished medical practitioner who, in his later life, became a keen archaeologist; and the Abercromby Chair of Prehistoric Archaeology commemorates Lord Abercromby, author of distinguished research on Bronze Age pottery.
Edinburgh’s great tradition in prehistory continues to this day, with expertise in Britain, the Mediterranean and the Near East, but we also have strengths in Classical and Byzantine archaeology, in archaeological theory, environmental archaeology, osteoarchaeology and forensic anthropology.
We are happy to supervise across the wide range of our research interests: we have particular strengths in prehistory of Europe, the Mediterranean and Near East, in classical and early medieval archaeology, as well as in archaeological theory, environmental archaeology, osteoarchaeology and forensic anthropology.
Our home is the William Robertson Wing, an A-listed building on the southern edge of Edinburgh’s Old Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Designed by the distinguished 19th-century architect Sir Robert Rowand Anderson, the building – part of the University’s Old Medical School – has recently been refurbished to an exceptional standard, providing state-of-the-art facilities for research, teaching and study.
Graduate students enjoy access to:
All of our facilities are in addition to the multiple libraries and computer labs provided across the University’s estate. Many of our rooms overlook the Meadows, one of the city’s best-loved green spaces.
Archaeology students benefit from our laboratories for artefact analysis, environmental archaeology, osteoarchaeology, bone chemistry and computing (with a wide range of software applications).
There is an extensive reference collection of archaeological materials, such as pottery, metal, stone and glass artefacts, in the V Gordon Childe teaching collection.
You can also benefit from the facilities, archives, collections and expertise of a range of heritage agencies and commercial archaeology units based in the city of Edinburgh.
A long dissertation of 30,000 words is the sole form of assessment, but you will also attend compulsory training courses and may take other relevant courses.
The programme’s focus on research under supervision makes this degree suitable for those contemplating doctoral study, whether in our own School or elsewhere, and many who take this degree follow that route. But undertaking a substantial and independent research and writing project is equally an excellent preparation for a wide variety of careers.
The MSc Forensic Genetics and Human Identification is a comprehensive course on Human Identification and Mass Fatality Incident Analysis incorporating the full methodological repertoire of Forensic Genetics and DNA analysis, Physical Anthropology, Crime Scene Investigation and Human Identification based on biometric assessment of a variety of physical characteristics.
Intensive Course Program
We deliver our masters programmes in two semesters of taught subject materials, followed by a full-time intensive research project over the summer.
Throughout the taught section of the program, current and advanced topics in Human Identification are taught by forensic scientists and practitioners in comprehensive lecture series. Lecture topics are discussed in seminars and reinforced in practical teaching sessions.
During our methods units, students learn advanced research techniques and topic related professional skills.
Subsequently, students carry out their independent research project (in one of the featured subjects) in collaboration with a member of the Forensic Science department, based upon a comprehensive literature review and project design.
The ten week full-time research project is accompanied by training in scientific writing, project design and oral presentation skills.
Student Services and Guidance
A two week orientation prior to the programme provides assistance and advice for managing the day to day life and familiarisation with the university facilities. The School of Applied Sciences also provides an optional one week transition program for international students.
If you commenced undergraduate study at any University in 2012 you may be eligible for a £10,000 bursary
Forensic Genetics, Forensic Anthropology, Human Identification from Physical Characteristics, Professional Skills in Forensic Science, Laboratory techniques, Molecular Genetics and Genomics, Research Methods and Research Project
The Masters in Forensic Genetics and Human Identification is a comprehensive course on Human Identification and Mass Fatality Incident Analysis incorporating the full methodological repertoire of Forensic Genetics and DNA Analysis, Physical Anthropology and Human Identification based on biometric assessment of physical characteristics incorporated with advanced research techniques and associated professional skills.
With reference to its structure and combination of key topics, this course is quite unique in the national as well as international market, while being designed to generate a postgraduate level of competence in an important as well as exciting area of Forensic Science.