The Palaeoanthropology and Palaeolithic Archaeology MSc, run jointly by the Institute of Archaeology and UCL Anthropology, brings together the expertise of the two departments to provide graduate students with an integrated training in the biological and archaeological aspects of human evolutionary studies.
Students gain training in research methods and a scientific grounding in the principles, content and practice of palaeoanthropology and palaeolithic archaeology, including: fossil and archaeological evidence of human evolution; temporal and spatial patterns and processes of evolutionary and environmental change; and the evolutionary background for understanding human adaptation and culture.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of one core module (30 credits) four optional modules (60 credits) and a research dissertation (90 credits).
Core modules - all students are required to take the following:
-Themes in Palaeoanthropology and Palaeolithic Archaeology
Optional modules - students will be encouraged to select options from the following list up to the value of 60 credits. Alternatively, they may choose from the wider range of Master's options available at the UCL Institute of Archaeology or the Department of Anthropology.
-Advanced Human Evolution
-Archaeology of Early Human Origins
-Archaeology of Hunter-Gatherers from the Emergence of Modern Humans
-Evolution of Human Brain and Behaviour
-Prehistoric Stone Artefact Analysis
-Zooarchaeology in Practice
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, discussions, seminars, laboratory practicals and student presentations. Assessment is through essays, practical examination and seminar presentations, (depending on the options chosen), and the dissertation.
A significant number of the graduate students from this programme have gone on to take PhDs at UCL, elsewhere in the UK and in other countries. A number of those have been awarded prestigious scholarships to cover their costs. Other graduates have gone on to work in cultural resource management and museums, and others have used their skills to pursue careers in fields such as teaching and business.
Top career destinations for this degree:
-Archaeologist, George Washington Foundation
-DPhil in Archaeology, The University of Oxford
-Senior scientist: archaeology, Tetra Tech
-Research Technician, Research Department Forensic Science.
-PhD Anthropology and Archaeology, Stockholms Universitet (Stockholm University)
The skills which students develop include the critical evaluation of scholarship across the discipline, design and management of personal research, primary data collection and analysis, and the preparation of detailed reports/dissertations up to publication standard. Although these will relate to anthropology and archaeology, they are invaluable skills for other areas of employment.
Why study this degree at UCL?
The UCL Institute of Archaeology and UCL Anthropology have considerable staff expertise in the fields of palaeoanthropology and palaeolithic archaeology. Staff and research students are currently involved in field projects as well as museum-based studies in Britain, various parts of Europe, the Middle East, and eastern and southern Africa.
Our excellent results in the recent Research Excellence Framework (2014) show that our two departments are both very highly ranked in the UK.
Situated in central London, the university is within easy access of the British Museum and Natural History Museum and their outstanding palaeontological and archaeological collections.