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Masters Degrees (Palaeolithic)

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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. Read more

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.

About this degree

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

  • Archaeology of Human Evolution in Africa
  • Advanced Human Evolution
  • Archaeology of Hunter-Gatherers from the Emergence of Modern Humans
  • Evolution of Human Brain and Behaviour
  • Geoarchaeology
  • Prehistoric Stone Artefact Analysis
  • Palaeoanthropology
  • Primate Evolution
  • Primate Socioecology
  • Zooarchaeology in Practice

Dissertation/report

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words (90 credits).

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.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Palaeoanthropology and Palaeolithic Archaeology MSc

Funding

Institute of Archaeology Master's Awards: a small number of grants up to the value of £1,000 are available for the academic year 2018/19. All UK/EU and Overseas fee-paying students with an offer to start any Master's degree offered by the IoA are eligible to apply. For an application form please email . The deadline for applications is 1 March 2018.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

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 IT, teaching and management.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Conference Producer, Global Transport Forum
  • Field Archaeologist, NPS Group (Norfolk Property Services)
  • Senior Scientist: Archaeology, Tetra Tech
  • PhD in Anthropology and Archaeology, Stockholms Universitet (Stockholm University)

Employability

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.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

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, China, East and South Africa and South America.

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.



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The Core Archaeology course introduces current debates in archaeological theory and the history of archaeological thought, as well as archaeological methods (ranging from the study of prehistoric exchange to bio-archaeological techniques to artefact studies, quantitative analyses and dating methods). Read more
The Core Archaeology course introduces current debates in archaeological theory and the history of archaeological thought, as well as archaeological methods (ranging from the study of prehistoric exchange to bio-archaeological techniques to artefact studies, quantitative analyses and dating methods). Area option courses examine the archaeology of a particular region of the world (such as South Asia or Europe) in detail. Students are encouraged to choose a third module from the range of MPhil options on offer in the Division of Archaeology to complement their specific interests (e.g., heritage, science, material culture, etc). All module choices must have the approval of the module's instructor and the MPhil in Archaeology Coordinator.

Students may choose to specialise in any of the following options:

- Archaeological Heritage and Museums
- Archaeological Science
- Archaeology of the Americas
- Egyptian Archaeology
- European Prehistory
- Medieval Archaeology
- Mesopotamian Archaeology
- Palaeolithic and Mesolithic Archaeology
- South Asian Archaeology

Visit the website: http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/hsarmpmar

Course detail

Students electing the Archaeological Heritage option will take three taught modules:
1. The Socio-politics of the Past
2. Museums: History, Theory, and Practice
3. Management of the Archaeological Heritage. This course concentrates on issues of differentiation of interpretation.

The topics are all of academic importance and the teaching focuses on a theoretical understanding of the issues involved, with practical examples used as case studies. The aim is to educate you within this expanding field and to activate further research.

Students choosing the Archaeological Science option will take:
1. Archaeological Science
2. Practical Application of Scientific Methods modules
3. One other module offered by the Division of Archaeology (chosen in consultation with the supervisor and MPhil Coordinator).

This course covers a broad range of scientific archaeological approaches with geo- and bioarchaeological foci, from theoretical, methodological and practical points of view. A series of recurrent case studies is used to introduce the questions, techniques and ideas applicable in each archaeological situation. In addition, this MPhil equips students with analytical skills in archaeological science.

Format

All MPhil students in the Division of Archaeology take a Research Skills Module and write a dissertation (15,000 words maximum). Students choosing Archaeology of the Americas, Archaeology of Egypt, European Archaeology, Medieval Archaeology, Mesopotamian Archaeology, Palaeolithic and Mesolithic Archaeology, or South Asian Archaeology take:

1. the Core Archaeology course
2. the appropriate area option course
3. any other module offered by the Division of Archaeology (in consultation with the supervisor and MPhil coordinator).

The assessed components of the three selected modules each represent 15% of the final mark. The assessed components of Research Skills module represents 5%, while the dissertation counts for 50% of the final mark.

Assessment

- The dissertation is an extended piece of independent, original research. Students work with their supervisor to formulate a dissertation project, carry out research and write it up. The topic of the dissertation has to be approved by the Faculty Degree Committee. The dissertation is of maximum 15,000 words (excluding bibliography and appendices) and is due at the end of August; it counts as 50% of the student’s final mark.

- Students taking the MPhil in Archaeology are usually required to produce between 3 and 6 assessed essays depending on their chosen course of study and the modules they select. The essays are between 3000 and 4000 words and are submitted in Michaelmas, Lent and Easter Terms.

- Students taking the MPhil in Archaeology are required to sit written examinations for some modules.

- Attendance at the relevant Research Skills Workshops is required of all MPhil students in the Division of Archaeology. MPhil students submit a 2000 word research proposal and give a presentation to teaching staff and peers which form the assessed part of the Research Skills module and are worth 5% of the overall MPhil degree.

Continuing

MPhil students wishing to continue to the PhD in Archaeology are required to achieve a High Pass mark of 68 overall and no less than 68 in their dissertation, and to obtain the support of an appropriate supervisor. In some circumstances additional academic conditions may be set to ensure appropriate skills, such as language competence, are in place prior to admittance on the PhD programme.

How to apply: http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/applying

Funding Opportunities

There are many different sources of funding available to support UK/EU and international students at the Division of Archaeology but full scholarships for MPhil students are highly competitive. The Division of Archaeology enters exceptionally strong MPhil candidates for Gates Cambridge, CHESS and AHRC scholarships and scholarship schemes administered by the Cambridge Trust. The Division of Archaeology also administers several funds which aim to support Archaeological fieldwork, Egyptology and Assyriology at MPhil level and will endeavour to support students in obtaining funding from University and external sources. For further information about funding opportunities at the Division of Archaeology consult the Division website: http://www.arch.cam.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate-funding or contact the Graduate Administrator: .

General Funding Opportunities http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/finance/funding

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The Research Master’s programme in Archaeology is the most diverse in the Netherlands. Benefit from our extensive experience and reputation in archaeological research. Read more

The Research Master’s programme in Archaeology is the most diverse in the Netherlands. Benefit from our extensive experience and reputation in archaeological research.

Choose Archaeology at Leiden University:

Our research master's programme offers interesting regional and thematic specialisation possibilities. It stimulates extra-talented and motivated students by exposing them to cutting edge research and making them part of it.

The programme helps you to find your own place in the wide world of archaeological careers, and equips you with all the 21st century professional and transferable skills you need.

Our research facilities and labs, field schools and excavation projects, experimental archaeology projects and the national research schools (ARCHON, OIKOS) offer excellent opportunities for every prospective researcher.

Research possibilities in 2018-2019:

Human Origins

Australopithecus africanus, one of our many ancestors

Interdisciplinary studies of the human past

This programme provides an in-depth interdisciplinary introduction in the European Palaeolithic record and its wider setting, from the Early Pleistocene to the Late Pleistocene.

  • Study the archaeology of Prehistoric hunter-gatherers, from the earliest stone tools in East Africa, 2.6 million years old, to the end of the last ice age.
  • Focus on Neanderthal behaviour, and explore research questions, methods of analysis and theoretical perspectives in Palaeolithic archaeology.

Prehistoric Farming Communities

A view of past communities

The programme aims to develop a detailed and coherent view of past communities.

  • Focus on the later prehistory of Europe, especially on communities bordering the North Sea (Scandinavia, the Low Countries, France, Great Britain and Ireland).
  • Explore research topics such as Beaker cultures and settlements of the Bronze and Iron Ages, cultural identity, and burial ritual and (selective) deposition.

Town and Country in the Mediterranean Region and the Near East

The cradle of civilisation

This programme focuses on a region that has enormous culture-historical significance, and is a cradle of civilisation from Prehistory up to the Early Medieval period.

  • Study various key developments, such as the origins of farming and sedentary life, as well as the emergence of complex urbanised societies and writing, as they occurred first in this region and spread subsequently.
  • Participate in current research projects. These projects focus on the Near East (modern Iraq, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and Turkey) and Egypt, as well as the Mediterranean.

Religion and Society in Native American Cultures

Leiden Archaeology researchers used high-tech imaging to reveal rare precolonial Mexican manuscript hidden from view for 500 years

Study the past in connection to the present

The programme offers an interdisciplinary context, where archaeology, anthropology, sciences, history, linguistics, landscape and heritage studies come together.

  • Gain a broad knowledge of and deep insight into Native American cultural history, focusing on the relationships between religious worldview and social agency.
  • Participate in field schools related to long-term research projects, such as excavations in the Caribbean or Nicaragua,including studies of material culture and physical anthropology.

Bioarchaeology

Fragments of a sabre-toothed cat skull where recenty excavated

Combine archaeology with hard science

Discover our four research disciplines, together covering an extensive geographical area and time range.

  • Opt for Archaeobotany and investigate changes in vegetation and environment during the past 2.6 million years, as well as the taphonomy of plant macrofossils in lacustrine and fluvial depositional settings.
  • Focus on Archaeo/Palaeozoology and dive into Eurasia in the period from the Early Pleistocene to the Holocene. Biostratigraphical studies, palaeo-ecological studies, as well as taphonomical studies are carried out.
  • Study Human Osteoarchaeology and analyse human remains from international archaeology contexts as well as behavioural and social facets of mortuary practices in past societies.
  • Explore Isope Archaeology and work on the analysis and interpretation of stable isotopes of human and faunal remains from archaeological contexts. Learn how to carry out dating projects, including radiocarbon dating as well as other dating methods.

Archaeological Heritage in a Globalising World

A new and exciting interdisciplinary approach

The programme focuses on the role of the past in the present. Explore the various aspects of recent developments in international politics, cultural tourism, the use of social media, and the revitalisation of local traditions and regional identities.

  • Develop the practical skills to translate academic research and social knowledge into strategies for heritage management, and pursue individual initiatives.
  • Benefit from our close association with the Center for Global Heritage and Development, an interdisciplinary cooperation between three high-ranking universities: Leiden University, Erasmus University Rotterdam and Delft Technical University. This allows for a partnership between archaeology, social sciences, humanities and natural sciences.

The Transformation of the Roman World

Europe on the starting blocks

This programme offers an introduction to advanced studies of Europe and the Mediterranean in Late Roman and Post-Roman times (c. 300-900 AD).

  • Analyse the economic recovery of North-Western Europe in Merovingian and Carolingian times, exchange networks in the Mediterranean, and agrarian innovation and water management in Jordan.
  • Study burial sites, the fate of Roman towns in the early Middle Ages, and centres of Christianity.

Master of Arts or Master of Science

Students who choose the Bioarchaeology track receive a Master of Science degree in Archaeology. For the other research tracks you receive a Master of Arts degree in Archaeology.



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This programme is a pathways-based research degree, with a strong emphasis on the development of skills and specialism in Palaeoanthropology. Read more

This programme is a pathways-based research degree, with a strong emphasis on the development of skills and specialism in Palaeoanthropology.

Palaeoanthropology (combining Palaeolithic archaeology, biological anthropology and genetics) is one of the fastest-changing disciplines. Beyond the headlines of “the earliest” and “the most advanced” lies a huge range of evidence to explore and master, focusing on how our early ancestors and their relatives lived their lives and responded to opportunities and setbacks. Here at Southampton we have particular strengths in social and technological responses of hominins (the species directly ancestral to our own) to changing environments and landscapes, and have been shaping the debates on these key aspects for several decades.

Introducing your degree

Palaeoanthropology is a pathway within the MSc degree, and it aims to give you a diverse and in-depth experience of the discipline’s key themes. There is a strong emphasis on the development of practical skills in the study of ancient material culture, in visiting some key Palaeolithic sites, and in reconstructing the environments and lifeways of our hominin ancestors. From seven million years ago, and Sahelanthropus tchadensis, to the molecular biology of Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans, and through to collections of beautiful American Palaeo-Indian Clovis points, this pathway master’s will prepare you for future research in human origins, or give you an in-depth understanding of our amazing evolutionary journey, depending on what you want out of your MSc.

You will acquire an expertise in looking at hominin material culture which will include a mixture of traditional techniques, as well as some of the ways of analysing artefacts that Southampton is pioneering. Students will also learn the latest theoretical issues in human evolution and engage with some of the most up to date arguments surrounding our ancient ancestors from staff actively shaping those debates. Students with an interest in general Prehistory will find many of the modules and topics available on the Palaeoanthropology Pathway of interest and relevance.

You will be based in the John Wymer Laboratory, which is CAHO’s (Centre for the Archaeology of Human Origins) nerve centre. Here you will have daily access to our extensive teaching collections of replica and real stone tools, our hominin skull collection, and a large library of original and rare offprints and books focused on our most ancient ancestors and their world as well as on modern-day primates. The Wymer is a lively research and teaching space where you will be in the company of other MSc students, as well as our Ph.D researchers. We also have an experimental knapping and ancient technology area, where you can use our equipment to test key questions. You will automatically be a member of CAHO, and can participate in all its various activities. You will also have the opportunity of taking modules in related subjects such as skeletal anatomy or evolutionary and molecular biology to broaden your knowledge base.

Through CAHO you will be linked to a huge network of Human Origins teachers and researchers who are at the forefront of their disciplines. We aim to provide an enjoyable but challenging experience and convince you that the interdisciplinary study of hominin ‘deep history’, understanding who and what we are, and how behaviours developed, is one of our greatest intellectual journeys.

Overview

You will engage with hands-on, real-world archaeological materials and situations, including opportunities to collaborate with a range of stakeholders and partners in the archaeological sector through a professional placement. By these means you will acquire skills for vocational employment or subsequent PhD research. Your programme will be embedded within Southampton Archaeology’s distinctive research culture, with world-class expertise, diverse practice, and contacts with the commercial environment and the heritage sector.

The specialism in Palaeoanthropology includes elements that familiarise you with human evolution; primatology; early tool manufacture and use; cognitive and anthropological approaches to the human past; and key debates in British and European prehistory from our earliest ancestors onwards. 

Important aspects of the programme are available across all specialisms. These include the compulsory dissertation module, which should focus on an area of your specialism, if you have chosen one. Furthermore, modules from each pathway are open to you as options, regardless of your chosen specialism. By these means you will be able to build a personalised and flexible programme tailored to your needs.

This programme includes opportunities for credit-bearing placements within organisations involved in commercial archaeology, heritage management, fieldwork projects and/or museums. The placements are typically organised by the University, and may be available to students following all specialisms, or crossing between them.

View the programme specification document for this course



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This award-winning programme combines the expertise of anthropologists and biologists to examine primate conservation biology in a broad context, with particular emphasis on the relationships between humans and wildlife in forest and woodland environments. Read more
This award-winning programme combines the expertise of anthropologists and biologists to examine primate conservation biology in a broad context, with particular emphasis on the relationships between humans and wildlife in forest and woodland environments. It provides an international and multidisciplinary forum to help understand the issues and promote effective action.

Whether working in the lab, with local conservation groups (including zoos and NGOs), or in the field, you will find yourself in a collaborative and supportive environment, working with international scholars in primate conservation and gaining first-hand experience to enact positive change.

See the website http://www.brookes.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/primate-conservation/

Why choose this course?

- A pioneering programme providing scientific, professional training and accreditation to conservation scientists

- Awarded the Queen's Anniversary Prize in 2008

- Opportunity to work alongside leading academics for example Professor Anna Nekaris, Professor Vincent Nijman and Dr Kate Hill

- Excellent learning resources both at Brookes and through Oxford’s museums and libraries including the Bodleian Library, the Radcliffe Science Library, and the Museum of Natural History

- Links with conservation organisations and NGOs, both internationally and closer to home, including Fauna and Flora International, TRAFFIC and Conservation International

- Field trips for MSc students to Apenheul Primate Park in the Netherlands as well as to sanctuaries and zoos in the UK

- A dynamic community of research scholars undertaking internationally recognised and world leading research.

Teaching and learning

Teaching is through a combination of lectures, research seminars, training workshops, tutorials, case studies, seminar presentations, site visits, computer-aided learning, independent reading and supervised research.

Each of the six modules is assessed by means of coursework assignments that reflect the individual interests and strengths of each student. Coursework assignments for six taught modules are completed and handed in at the end of the semester, and written feedback is given before the start of the following semester. A seventh module, the final project, must be handed in before the start of the first semester of the next academic year. It will be assessed during this semester with an examinations meeting at the beginning of February, after which students receive their final marks.

An important feature of the course is the contribution by each student towards an outreach project that brings primate conservation issues into a public arena. Examples include a poster, display or presentation at a scientific meeting, university society or school. Students may also choose to write their dissertation specifically for scientific publication.

Round-table discussions form a regular aspect of the course and enable closer examination of conservation issues through a sharing of perspectives by the whole group.

Careers

This unique postgraduate programme trains new generations of anthropologists, conservation biologists, captive care givers and educators concerned with the serious plight of non-human primates who seek practical solutions to their continuing survival. It provides the skills, knowledge and confidence to enable you to contribute to arresting and reversing the current devastating destruction of our tropical forests and the loss of the species that live in them.

You will be joining a supportive global network of former students working across all areas of conservation in organisations from the BBC Natural History Unit through to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and in roles from keeper and education officer in zoos across the UK and North America to paid researcher at institutes of higher education. Some of our students have even gone on to run their own conservation-related NGOs.

Free language courses for students - the Open Module

Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:
- studying at a Brookes partner college
- studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

Research highlights

Our vibrant research culture is driven by a thriving and collaborative community of academic staff and doctoral students. In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 70% of our work was judged to be of international quality in terms of originality, significance and rigour, with 5% "world leading".

Our strong performance in the RAE, along with our expanding consultancy activities, have enabled us to attract high quality staff and students and helped to generate funding for research projects.

Conservation Environment and Development, comprising several research clusters.

The Nocturnal Primate Research Group specialises in mapping the diversity of the nocturnal primates of Africa, Asia, Madagascar and Latin America through multidisciplinary teamwork that includes comparative studies of anatomy, physiology, behaviour, ecology and genetics. Field studies are helping to determine the origins and distribution of these neglected species, as well as indicating the conservation status of declining forests and woodlands. The NPRG has developed a widespread network of collaborative links with biologists, game wardens, forestry officers, wildlife societies, museums and zoos/sanctuaries.

The Human Interactions With and Constructions of the Environment Research Group develops and trains an interdisciplinary team of researchers to investigate priorities within conservation research - using an interdisciplinary framework in anthropology, primatology, rural development studies, and conservation biology.

The Oxford Wildlife Trade Research Group (OWTRG) aims to quantify all aspects of the trade in wild animals through multidisciplinary teamwork including anthropology, social sciences, natural resource management, biodiversity conservation, environmental economics, and legislation. Their strong focus is on wildlife trade in tropical countries –as this is where most of the world's biodiversity resides and where the impacts of the wildlife trade are arguably the greatest. Recognizing that the wildlife trade is a truly global enterprise they also focus on the role of consumer countries.

The Europe Japan Research Centre (EJRC) organises and disseminates the research of all Brookes staff working on Japan as well as a large number of affiliated Research Fellows.

The Human Origins and Palaeo Environments Research Cluster carries out ground-breaking interdisciplinary research, focussed on evolutionary anthropology and environmental reconstruction and change. The study published in the journal Science reports findings from an eight-year archaeological excavation at a site called Jebel Faya in the United Arab Emirates. Palaeolithic stone tools found at the Jebel Faya were similar to tools produced by early modern humans in east Africa, but very different from those produced to the north, in the Levant and the mountains of Iran. This suggested early modern humans migrated into Arabia directly from Africa and not via the Nile Valley and the Near East as is usually suggested. The new findings will reinvigorate the debate about human origins and how we became a global species.

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This course offers comprehensive and flexible postgraduate training in the established yet dynamic field of Quaternary science, with the academic emphasis being on the time-dependent processes affecting environmental change. Read more
This course offers comprehensive and flexible postgraduate training in the established yet dynamic field of Quaternary science, with the academic emphasis being on the time-dependent processes affecting environmental change.

By the end of the course you will have acquired and demonstrated specialist disciplinary knowledge and understanding of key issues pertaining to Quaternary science, in particular the core linking themes of high-resolution palaeoenvironmental records, high-precision dating, and multi-proxy approaches to the investigation of past environmental changes.

You will also be provided with advanced training in techniques used to assess the causes, scale and rapidity of past climate and environmental fluctuations; encompassing field, laboratory, statistical and computing methods used in the acquisition, interpretation and modelling of proxy climatic and environmental data.

See the website https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/geography/coursefinder/mscquaternaryscience.aspx

Why choose this course?

- The staff and facilities of the Centre for Quaternary Research (CQR) at Royal Holloway, University of London (RHUL) provide a wide range of opportunities for postgraduate training and research including participation in internationally significant research programmes in Quaternary science and links with potential employers.

- This consortium of staff constitutes the strongest teaching team in the UK for the provision of Masters' teaching in the field of non-marine Quaternary earth science and environmental change.

- The Department is one of the leading centres for international geographical research in the UK. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework our research environment was recognized as overwhelmingly world class. The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) recognizes this course as "Excellent".

- You will be provided with the temporal perspective necessary for the understanding of many contemporary environmental issues, such as climate change, biological responses to environmental change and soil erosion.

- The distinctive aspects of the research at the CQR are the emphases on high-precision dating, multiproxy palaeoenvironmental reconstruction, quantitative palaeoclimate estimates, high resolution stratigraphy/sedimentology and the influence of Quaternary climate change on early human evolution and dispersal.

Department research and industry highlights

The CQR was established in 1990 and has grown to become one of the leading international research centres in Quaternary science.

Since its inception the CQR has attracted funding from an increasingly diverse range of sources (NERC, AHRC, ESRC, Leverhulme Trust, EC Framework Programs, British Academy). Major research partnerships and initiatives have been forged (e.g. with the Natural History Museum, Museum of London, British Geological Society, English Heritage and Oxford University), which are fostering important advances in understanding Quaternary landscape evolution, quantitative palaeoclimate reconstruction, geochronology, biostratigraphy and Palaeolithic and environmental archaeology. The CQR has also benefited from recent £1.5M SRIF investment in laboratory refurbishment that has enhanced the centre’s research capabilities in OSL dating, tephrochronology, analytical chemistry and soil micromorphology.

On completion of the course graduates will have:

acquired and demonstrated specialist disciplinary knowledge and understanding of key issues pertaining to Quaternary Science, in particular the core linking themes of:
- high-resolution palaeoenvironmental records
- high-precision dating
- multi-proxy approaches to the investigation of past environmental changes.

Assessment

Assessment is carried out by a variety of methods including coursework, practical exercises, field reports and a dissertation.

Employability & career opportunities

Destinations of our graduates include the British Geological Survey, Natural England, the Environment Agency, journal publishing houses, Research Councils, environmental archaeology and museums, as well as academic positions within universities. This course also equips you with a solid foundation for continued PhD studies; around 70% of Quaternary Science graduates over the last decade have gone on to a PhD.

How to apply

Applications for entry to all our full-time postgraduate degrees can be made online https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/studyhere/postgraduate/applying/howtoapply.aspx .

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Your programme of study. Religion was recorded in the Palaeolithic period and during the Middle Ages it started to be shaped and formed. Read more

Your programme of study

Religion was recorded in the Palaeolithic period and during the Middle Ages it started to be shaped and formed. The programme draws on a rich history of religion since 1495 to understand religion in its modern context in the West. You are taught by active international researchers and practitioners.

The University of Aberdeen MSc in Religion and Society provides a unique opportunity for postgraduate study in the sociology of religion. Taught by well-known leaders in the field, the programme provides students with study in both the sociological study of religion and training in advanced sociological methods. This programme is ideally suited for anyone considering the pursuit of doctoral studies in sociology of religion, and also provides a broad-base of social-scientific skills that are both marketable and useful for those pursuing careers either in government or in the third-sector.

The University offers you very useful facilities which include a chapel from the Middle Ages on campus along with services, ceremonies and guided tours plus text and research built up since this time. The degree can be studied full time or part time and it allows you to combine it with your other work. Apart from work in the Ministry you can go on to work within Counselling, Researcher, and Teacher.

Courses listed for the programme

Semester 1

  • Qualitative Sociology: Philosophy and Methods
  • Advanced Social Theory

Semester 2

  • Religious Belief and Practice in the Modern World

Optional Course

  • The Comparative Study of European Societies
  • Dimensions of Globalisation
  • Sex. Gender, Violence: Critical Approaches
  • Quantitative Sociology: Philosophy & Methods
  • Post-Conflict Justice and Peace building
  • Global Conflict and Peace Processes

Semester 3

  • Dissertation in Religion and Society

Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page

Why study at Aberdeen?

  • Religion and Society stem from a rich heritage within Kings College dating back to 1495
  • Strong research defines excellent teaching from other disciplines

Where you study

  • University of Aberdeen
  • Full Time or Part Time
  • 12 Months or 24 Months
  • September

Find out about fees

  • International
  • Scotland and EU
  • Other UK

Find out more from the programme page

*Please be advised that some programmes have different tuition fees from those listed above and that some programmes also have additional costs.

Scholarships

View all funding options on our funding database via the programme page and the latest postgraduate opportunities

Living in Aberdeen

Find out more about:

  • Your Accommodation
  • Campus Facilities
  • Aberdeen City
  • Student Support
  • Clubs and Societies

Find out more about living in Aberdeen and living costs 



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Oxford Brookes is one of very few UK universities where social and biological anthropology are taught alongside each other. This course emphasises the holistic and comparative breadth of anthropology - studying humans from a variety of social, cultural, biological and evolutionary perspectives. Read more
Oxford Brookes is one of very few UK universities where social and biological anthropology are taught alongside each other.

This course emphasises the holistic and comparative breadth of anthropology - studying humans from a variety of social, cultural, biological and evolutionary perspectives.

See the website http://www.brookes.ac.uk/studying-at-brookes/courses/postgraduate/2015/anthropology/

Why choose this course?

- We are one of the few universities in the UK to teach social and biological anthropology side by side

- You get opportunities to work alongside leading, research-active academics such as Professor Anna Nekaris, Professor Jeremy McClancy and Professor Kate Hill.

- There are excellent learning resources, both at Oxford Brookes and at Oxford’s museums and libraries including the Bodleian Library, the Radcliffe Science Library, the Pitt Rivers Museum and the Museum of Natural History

- We have a dynamic community of research scholars undertaking internationally recognised and world-leading research

- The course flexibility in module choices enables students to follow their particular interests

- There is the option to join MSc students on a field trip to Apenhuel Primate Park in the Netherlands

- The Graduate Diploma in Anthropology enables graduates from other disciplines, and those with equivalent qualifications or work experience, to gain a qualification in anthropology at advanced undergraduate level.

Teaching and learning

We provide a broad range of learning experiences, including independent study, work in small groups, seminars and lectures.

We also use a wide range of assessment techniques, including essays, book reviews, class presentations, fieldwork reports and exams.

Field trips

You will be offered the opportunity to join MSc students on their annual trip to Apenhuel Primate Park in the Netherlands. The 3-day trip costs between £105 and £115, depending on numbers.

Careers

Many students choose the graduate diploma as a route to further study, continuing their education at master's and PhD level. However, anthropology graduates go on to a variety of careers including overseas development aid, environmental maintenance, education, eco-tourism, urban planning and the civil service.

Free language courses for students - the Open Module

Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:
- studying at a Brookes partner college
- studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

Research highlights

Professor Anna Nekaris has been awarded a prestigious Leverhulme Trust grant of over £200k to undertake research in to why and how the seemingly cute and cuddly slow loris is the only primate to produce a biological venom. Understanding the nature of slow loris venom should also have implications for the conservation of this seriously threatened primate, a popular but illegal pet that is widely traded on the black market.

An international team of scientists, including Professor Adrian Parker, have revealed that humans left Africa at least 50,000 years earlier than previously suggested and were, in fact, present in eastern Arabia as early as 125,000 years ago. The new study published in the journal Science reports findings from an eight-year archaeological excavation at a site called Jebel Faya in the United Arab Emirates. Palaeolithic stone tools found at the Jebel Faya were similar to tools produced by early modern humans in east Africa, but very different from those produced to the north, in the Levant and the mountains of Iran. This suggested early modern humans migrated into Arabia directly from Africa and not via the Nile Valley and the Near East as is usually suggested. The new findings will reinvigorate the debate about man’s origins and how we became a global species.

Professor Jeremy MacClancy's latest book Centralizing Fieldwork, critical perspectives in primatology, biological and social anthropology, was co-edited with Augustin Fuentes of Notre Dame University and is published by Berghahn.

Research areas and clusters

Research can be undertaken in the following areas:
- Anthropology of Art
- Anthropology of Food
- Anthropology of Work, and Play
- Anthropology of Gender
- Social Anthropology of Japan, South Asia and Europe
- Social Anthropology of Family, Class and Gender in Urban South Asia
- Basque studies
- Culture and landscapes
- Environmental archaeology and palaeo-anthropology
- Environmental anthropology
- Environmental reconstruction
- Human origins
- Human resource ecology
- Human–wildlife interaction and conservation
- Physical environmental processes and management
- Primate conservation
- Primatology
- Quaternary environmental change
- Urban and environmental studies.

Research centres:
- Europe Japan Research Centre
- Anthropology Centre for Conservation, Environment and Development.

Consultancy:
- Oxford Brookes Archaeology and Heritage (OBAH).

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COURSE OVERVIEW . Join a supportive, research-active department. Enhance your skills in research techniques from GIS to ceramic petrology. Read more

COURSE OVERVIEW 

  • Join a supportive, research-active department
  • Enhance your skills in research techniques from GIS to ceramic petrology
  • Develop your own research interests with full supervisory support 

Archaeology at Winchester offers an intensive research-training programme with a high level of supervisorial contact. This programme is ideal if you have a clear idea of an archaeological research topic which you may wish to follow to PhD, and need to prepare for this by acquiring new research skills or honing existing ones. It is also appropriate if you are already working in the archaeology, heritage or environment sector and wish to enhance your research experience in preparation for career progression. 

The course examines approaches and methodologies, theoretical underpinnings and practical applications in archaeological research, and some modules focus on the archaeology of a chosen period, theme or specialism. 

Staff at Winchester have the expertise to supervise projects on a wide range of themes and approaches, including geoarchaeology, geomatics, zooarchaeology and the archaeology of religion, death and gender. If your interests lie in researching a particular archaeological period, such as the palaeolithic, classical Greece, the medieval period or the Caribbean, we will facilitate and support your studies. 

Complete core modules in Research Methods and Skills, Analysing and Presenting Archaeological Data and Personal Research Methodology, and choose a further two options from a huge range including The Archaeology of Medieval Religion and Belief, Climate Change and People, Central Southern England in the Roman Period, and Mediterranean Landscape Studies. 

There’s a module that takes you through the process of producing a research paper to the expected academic standard. In your paper, you apply the research skills you’ve developed to produce a 20,000- to 25,000-word dissertation on your chosen topic, supervised by a member of staff with relevant research interests. 

MRes Archaeology is the ideal preparation for an MPhil or PhD or as a basis for a career in archaeology.

Careers

MRes Archaeology acts as a preparation for undertaking an MPhil or PhD or as a basis for an advanced career within archaeology or a related discipline.

Pre-approved for a Masters

If you study a Bachelor Honours degrees with us, you will be pre-approved to start a Masters degree at Winchester. To be eligible, you will need to apply by the end of March in the final year of your degree and meet the entry requirements of your chosen Masters degree.

ABOUT THIS COURSE

Suitable for applicants from:

UK, EU, World

Field trips

One optional module is a residential field trip for which accommodation and subsistence (but not travel) must be paid. Cost £80.

Learning and teaching

Modes of teaching include lectures, presentations, seminars and workshops. Attendance at departmental/research centre seminars enables students to share their experiences.

Start date: September

Teaching takes place: Daytime 

Taught elements of the course take place on our King Alfred Campus (Winchester) or at our West Downs Campus (Winchester). 

Please note the Postgraduate Diploma and Postgraduate Certificate exit qualifications have a different title to reflect the research element: PgDip Archaeological Research and PgCert Archaeological Research.

Assessment

Our validated courses may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams, or practical performances.

Assessment is by means of a series of essays, reports and a blog/diary. One module takes the student through the process of producing an academic standard research paper. Students apply the research skills developed in the production of a substantive piece of research of 20,000-25,000 words on a topic of their choice, supervised by a member of staff with relevant research interests.

We ensure all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used on the course you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day or Open Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.

Feedback

We are committed to providing timely and appropriate feedback to you on your academic progress and achievement in order to enable you to reflect on your progress and plan your academic and skills development effectively. You are also encouraged to seek additional feedback from your course tutors.

Further information

For more information about our regulations for this course, please see our Academic Regulations, Policies and Procedures.



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Taught at our Parkgate Road Campus in Chester, our MA in Archaeology of Death and Memory explores the complex history of death and memory from the hunter-gatherer societies of the Palaeolithic to recent times. Read more
Taught at our Parkgate Road Campus in Chester, our MA in Archaeology of Death and Memory explores the complex history of death and memory from the hunter-gatherer societies of the Palaeolithic to recent times. Our course is an exciting, cross-period postgraduate course of global application. It will allow you to study and gain advanced expertise in the study of death, burial and commemoration in the human past, shedding light on debates and concerns of our present day.

The course focuses on archaeology but is unusually cross-disciplinary. You will explore debates that connect archaeology to research themes shared across the humanities and social sciences, including studies of ritual, the body, material culture, memory and mortality. Consequently, this degree will interest those with first degrees in archaeology or history, and also those with backgrounds in other disciplines.

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Anthropology prides itself on its inclusive and interdisciplinary focus. It takes a holistic approach to human society, combining biological and social perspectives. Read more
Anthropology prides itself on its inclusive and interdisciplinary focus. It takes a holistic approach to human society, combining biological and social perspectives.

All of our Anthropology Master’s programmes are recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as having research training status, so successful completion of these courses is sufficient preparation for research in the various fields of social anthropology. Many of our students go on to do PhD research. Others use their Master’s qualification in employment ranging from research in government departments to teaching to consultancy work overseas.

We welcome students with the appropriate background for research. If you wish to study for a single year, you can do the MA or MSc by research, a 12-month independent research project.

If you are interested in registering for a research degree, you should contact the member of staff whose research is the most relevant to your interests. You should include a curriculum vitae, a short (1,000-word) research proposal, and a list of potential funding sources.

About the School of Anthropology and Conservation

Kent has pioneered the social anthropological study of Europe, Latin America, Melanesia, and Central and Southeast Asia, the use of computers in anthropological research, and environmental anthropology in its widest sense (including ethnobiology and ethnobotany).

Our regional expertise covers Europe, the Middle East, Central, Southeast and Southern Asia, Central and South America, Amazonia, Papua New Guinea, East Timor and Polynesia. Specialisation in biological anthropology includes forensics and paleopathology, osteology, evolutionary psychology and the evolutionary ecology and behaviour of great apes.

Course structure

The first year may include coursework, especially methods modules for students who need this additional training. You will work closely with one supervisor throughout your research, although you have a committee of three (including your primary supervisor) overseeing your progress. If you want to research in the area of applied computing in social anthropology, you would also have a supervisor based in the School of Computing.

Research areas

- Social Anthropology

The related themes of ethnicity, nationalism, identity, conflict, and the economics crisis form a major focus of our current work in the Middle East, the Balkans, South Asia, Amazonia and Central America, Europe (including the United Kingdom), Oceania and South-East Asia.

Our research extends to inter-communal violence, mental health, diasporas, pilgrimage, intercommunal trade, urban ethnogenesis, indigenous representation and the study of contemporary religions and their global connections.

We research issues in fieldwork and methodology more generally, with a strong and expanding interest in the field of visual anthropology. Our work on identity and locality links with growing strengths in customary law, kinship and parenthood. This is complemented by work on the language of relatedness, child health and on the cognitive bases of kinship terminologies.

A final strand of our research focuses on policy and advocacy issues and examines the connections between morality and law, legitimacy and corruption, public health policy and local healing strategies, legal pluralism and property rights, and the regulation of marine resources.

- Environmental Anthropology and Ethnobiology

Work in these areas is focused on the Centre for Biocultural Diversity. We conduct research on ethnobiological knowledge systems and other systems of environmental knowledge as well as local responses to deforestation, climate change, natural resource management, medical ethnobotany, the impacts of mobility and displacement and the interface between conservation and development. Current projects include trade in materia medica in Ladakh and Bolivia, food systems, ethno-ornithology, the development of buffer zones for protected areas and phytopharmacy among migrant diasporas.

- Digital Anthropology: Cultural Informatics, Social Invention and Computational Methods

Since 1985, we have been exploring and applying new approaches to research problems in anthropology – often, as in the case of hypermedia, electronic and internet publishing, digital media, expert systems and large-scale textual and historical databases, up to a decade before other anthropologists. Today, we are exploring cloud media, semantic networks, multi-agent modelling, dual/blended realities, data mining, smart environments and how these are mediated by people into new possibilities and capabilities.

Our major developments have included advances in kinship theory and analysis supported by new computational methods within field-based studies and as applied to detailed historical records; qualitative analysis of textual and ethnographic materials; and computer-assisted approaches to visual ethnography. We are extending our range to quantitative approaches for assessing qualitative materials, analysing social and cultural invention, the active representation of meaning, and the applications and implications of mobile computing, sensing and communications platforms and the transformation of virtual into concrete objects, institutions and structures.

- Biological Anthropology

Biological Anthropology is the newest of the University of Kent Anthropology research disciplines. We are interested in a diverse range of research topics within biological and evolutionary anthropology. These include bioarchaeology, human reproductive strategies, hominin evolution, primate behaviour and ecology, modern human variation, cultural evolution and Palaeolithic archaeology. This work takes us to many different regions of the world (Asia, Africa, Europe, the United States), and involves collaboration with international colleagues from a number of organisations. We have a dedicated research laboratory and up-to-date computing facilities to allow research in many areas of biological anthropology.

Currently, work is being undertaken in a number of these areas, and research links have been forged with colleagues at Kent in archaeology and biosciences, as well as with those at the Powell- Cotton Museum, the Budongo Forest Project (Uganda) and University College London.

Kent Osteological Research and Analysis (KORA) offers a variety of osteological services for human remains from archaeological contexts.

Careers

Higher degrees in anthropology create opportunities in many employment sectors including academia, the civil service and non-governmental organisations through work in areas such as human rights, journalism, documentary film making, environmental conservation and international finance. An anthropology degree also develops interpersonal and intercultural skills, which make our graduates highly desirable in any profession that involves working with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures.

Many of our students go on to do PhD research. Others use their Master’s qualification in employment ranging from research in government departments to teaching to consultancy work overseas.

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The Mediterranean, the world' s largest inland sea and the interface of Europe, Africa and western Asia, is one of the major crucibles of cultural, economic and political change in world history, a focus of scholarship for all periods between the Palaeolithic and the present, and a place where the past plays a critical role in the present, as well as in the creation of a viable future. Read more

The Mediterranean, the world' s largest inland sea and the interface of Europe, Africa and western Asia, is one of the major crucibles of cultural, economic and political change in world history, a focus of scholarship for all periods between the Palaeolithic and the present, and a place where the past plays a critical role in the present, as well as in the creation of a viable future.

About this degree

Students will develop an understanding of Mediterranean societies from earliest times through Classical antiquity until the early medieval period, and of major interpretative paradigms and principal investigative techniques - including fieldwork and archaeological science - applied to the Mediterranean. One or more specific regions will be analysed in depth from a comparative perspective, and Mediterranean societies will be studied holistically.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of two core modules (30 credits), four optional modules (60 credits) and a dissertation/report (90 credits).

Core modules

All students are required to take the following: 

  • Mediterranean Dynamics
  • Themes, Thought and Theory in World Archaeology: Foundations

Optional modules

From an outstanding range of Master's optional modules, students choose options to the value of 60 credits, at least one of which must be chosen from the following:

  • Mediterranean Prehistory 
  • The Mediterranean World in the Iron Age
  • The Transformation of the Roman Mediterranean. 

The remaining must be made up from the list below (Please note not all modules are available every year): 

  • Aegean Prehistory: major themes and current debates
  • Ancient Italy in the Mediterranean
  • British and European Prehistory: Neolithic to Iron Age
  • Egyptian Archaeology: An Object-Based Theoretical Approach
  • Intangible Dimensions of Museum Objects from Egypt
  • Making and Meaning in Ancient Greek Art
  • Making and Meaning in Ancient Roman Art
  • Medieval Archaeology: Selected Topics and Current Problems
  • Middle Bronze Age to the Iron Age in the Near East: City-states and Empires
  • Museum and Site Interpretation
  • Society and Culture in Ancient Egypt
  • The Neolithic and Early Bronze Age of the Near East: The Emergence of Villages and Urban Societies
  • Themes and Debates in Islamic Archaeology and Heritage
  • Themes, Thought and Theory in World Archaeology: Current Topics

Dissertation/report

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words (90 credits). Approaches that explore new connections or comparisons are strongly encouraged, and students will be able to draw on the expertise of more than 50 members of the institute's staff.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of seminars and assessed through essays and the dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Mediterranean Archaeology MA

Careers

Graduates of this programme are expected to pursue further studies at PhD level or embark on a wide range of professional careers both within and beyond archaeology.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Consultant, Archaeological Research Services (ARS) Ltd
  • PhD in Archaeology, University of Cambridge

Employability

Successful graduates will have been fully prepared to undertake research on ancient Mediterranean societies, from a comparative region/period/theme-specific perspective, and will also possess the expert background knowledge to move on to related professional work in or on the Mediterranean (subject to the particular requirements of the role). They will also have honed their transferable skills in critical analysis, debate, presentation and writing skills that are key to any future professional career.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Institute of Archaeology is the largest and most diverse department of archaeology in the UK, and provides a stimulating environment for postgraduate study. Its own outstanding library is complemented by UCL’s Main Library, University of London Senate House and other specialist libraries.

This programme deploys the institute’s unparalleled research and teaching strengths in Mediterranean archaeology, which must constitute the largest single concentration of expertise anywhere in the UK.

UCL’s own museums and collections form a resource of international importance for academic research and students may work on material from the institute’s collection as part of their assessment. Regular interaction with the British Museum, its collections and staff offers a further invaluable opportunity to add to one's learning experience. 

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Institute of Archaeology

73% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.



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COURSE OVERVIEW. Access to collections in the Novium Collections at Fishbourne and the holdings of the Hampshire Cultural Trust. Wide range of research options. Read more

COURSE OVERVIEW

  • Access to collections in the Novium Collections at Fishbourne and the holdings of the Hampshire Cultural Trust
  • Wide range of research options
  • Opportunity to take a work placement

Human Osteology and Funerary Studies at Winchester gives you the opportunity to study the practical and theoretical aspects of human remains and funerary studies in archaeology, and what they tell us about the life, health and death of past populations. The course includes taught components on a wide range of practical and theoretical aspects of the study of human remains in archaeology, with some modules focusing on the study of funerary beliefs and rituals throughout prehistory and history.

You study and undertake research from a particular archaeological period or geographical area, such as The Palaeolithic of Western Europe, The Roman Period, The Post-Medieval Period in Europe, or North America and the Caribbean. The practical teaching on the course uses skeletons from the St Mary Magdalen Leprosy Hospital, curated in the Department of Archaeology.

You complete core modules in Human Skeletal Anatomy and Fundamentals of Skeletal Analysis, Palaeopathology, Concepts of Funerary Archaeology, and Funerary Studies, along with Research Methods and Skills, which is designed to help you complete your final dissertation.

The dissertation allows you to apply your knowledge and research skills in the production of a substantive piece of research of 15,000 words on a relevant topic of your choice, supervised by a member of staff with relevant research interests. Departmental staff have expertise in themes and approaches including Medieval Hospitals, Leprosy in the Medieval Period, Skeletal Trauma, Deviant Burials, Disability in Prehistory, Commingled and Disarticulated Remains and Cremated Remains.

Collections available for dissertations include material in the Novium Collections at Fishbourne and the extensive holdings of the Hampshire Cultural Trust. You also choose a module from a wide range of options including Issues in Global Cultural Heritage, Byzantium and Beyond, The Archaeology of Africa, and The Archaeology of Buddhism.

MSc Human Osteology and Funerary Studies acts as a basis for a career within archaeology or a related discipline, or as preparation for undertaking an MRes, MPhil or PhD.

Careers

MSc Human Osteology and Funerary Studies acts as a basis for a career within archaeology, or related discipline, or as preparation for undertaking an MRes, MPhil or PhD.

Subject to Validation/ReValidation

*subject to validation

'Validation' is the process by which the University approves a new programme to ensure that it provides a distinct, high quality academic experience for students, that enables them to acquire the necessary academic knowledge, understanding, general and subject-specific skills required to pursue a graduate level career. In the unlikely event that a programme is not validated then we will do our best to find you an alternative programme within the University.

ABOUT THIS COURSE

Suitable for applicants from:

UK, EU, World

Learning and teaching

The course is taught through a combination of lectures, presentations and practical laboratory sessions, and attendance at departmental/research centre seminars enables students to share their experiences.

Collections available for dissertations include material in the Novium Collections at Fishbourne and the extensive holdings of the Hampshire Cultural Trust.

Location

Taught elements of the course take place on our King Alfred Campus (Winchester) or at our West Downs Campus (Winchester)

Assessment

Assessment is by means of a series of essays, reports and exams. The dissertation module allows students to apply the knowledge and research skills developed in the production of a substantive piece of research of 15,000 words on a Human Osteology and/or Funerary Studies topic of their choice, supervised by a member of staff with relevant research interests.

Our validated courses may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams, or practical performances.

We ensure all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used on the course you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day or Open Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.

Feedback

We are committed to providing timely and appropriate feedback to you on your academic progress and achievement in order to enable you to reflect on your progress and plan your academic and skills development effectively. You are also encouraged to seek additional feedback from your course tutors.

Further information

For more information about our regulations for this course, please see our Academic Regulations, Policies and Procedures.



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Explore what it means to be human. If you’re interested in what it means to be human, where we came from and how humans developed and adapted, the MA/MSc in Early Prehistory is for you. Read more
Explore what it means to be human

Why choose this course?

If you’re interested in what it means to be human, where we came from and how humans developed and adapted, the MA/MSc in Early Prehistory is for you. You will work alongside the UK’s foremost academics in early prehistory to delve into the origins of humanity and explore the evolution of cultures, customs, religions, art and technology. The flexible nature of the course enables you to pursue your own particular interests.

The archaeology of human origins is a fascinating and dynamic area of research, with new evidence and theories constantly changing our interpretation of who we are. The work of staff and researchers on this course regularly gains media attention, with recent studies of Neanderthal children and the origins of compassion attracting widespread coverage.
-Explore the archaeology and approaches to human origins
-Work alongside internationally renowned specialists in early prehistoric archaeology and human evolution
-Work on pioneering studies with the potential for significant media exposure
-Gain ‘hands on’ experience of museum collections at the York Museum
-Visit Upper Palaeolithic rock art on a field trip to Creswell Crags
-Choose modules to support your own research interests
-Use the latest techniques and equipment to build key practical skills
-Receive advice on developing your career and research interests from knowledgeable staff

What does the course cover?
The course addresses fascinating questions such as: what makes us ‘human’? How did early human societies work? How different were Neanderthals from ourselves and why did they die out? What was life like in the Ice Age? We debate these questions and many others within a lively research environment as you build up your knowledge and experience of early prehistoric societies from three million to 5,000 years ago.

Who is it for?
This course is designed for anyone with an interest in human origins, human evolution and what defines us as a species. Most students taking the course have a degree in archaeology or a related subject. However, people with relevant experience or a passionate interest in the subject may also be admitted to the course.

What can it lead to?
This course does not lead directly to a specific vocation, but offers a broad range of essential skills and expertise, specialist knowledge and insight, which are relevant to a wide variety of careers or further study. Many of our students go on to pursue research at PhD level while others have taken up careers in heritage, conservation, the archaeology sector and academia.

Careers

By the end of your MA/MSc in Early Prehistory you will:
-Have developed an awareness of the scope of Early Prehistory and knowledge of key early prehistoric societies
-Be able to identify key transitions in human evolution
-Be aware of the issues of interpreting archaeological evidence for early prehistoric societies
-Have developed a critical understanding of the key debates in the period
-Have developed your ability to gather and organise information and arguments in a critical and independent manner through writing essays and producing projects
-Have undertaken a piece of independent research on a topic within early prehistory
-Have developed your presentational skills through the delivery of seminar papers on a range of diverse themes

The skills, knowledge and insights gained on the course can provide a launchpad for a wide range of archaeological and heritage careers, as well as further study and research.

Course postgraduates have gone on to take up research degrees, academic posts and careers with prominent heritage, conservation and archaeological organisations.

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Study animals from the past with the techniques of the future. The MSc in Zooarchaeology at York is the UK's only dedicated programme in the archaeological study of animals. Read more
Study animals from the past with the techniques of the future

Why choose this course?

The MSc in Zooarchaeology at York is the UK's only dedicated programme in the archaeological study of animals. Any consideration of the human past is incomplete without examining the essential roles that animals have played in our economies and societies, and on this course you will study archaeological animal remains on a macro and micro scale to investigate what they tell us about how humans and other species have co-existed over the millennia.

Housed within BioArCh, York's world-leading centre for research into ancient biomolecules, the MSc in Zooarchaeology also draws heavily on the expertise of functional and comparative anatomists from the Centre for Anatomical and Human Sciences, part of the Hull York Medical School. We use the full range of available techniques, including advanced biomolecular methods and sophisticated morphometrics, to investigate and interpret animal bone data in a variety of cultural contexts.

The scope of the course is global, equipping you with the knowledge and techniques to study the roles of animals in human societies from the Palaeolithic to the present, around the world. You will learn from leading academics in both traditional and biomolecular zooarchaeology, and from dedicated specialists in evolutionary anatomy, enabling you both to master the latest analytical techniques and to examine skeletal anatomy at a level of detail not possible elsewhere.
-Study past relations between people and other animals, through the archaeological record
-Examine zooarchaeology across the entire span of human prehistory and history, right around the world
-Develop advanced skills in bone taphonomy and understand its importance to osteoarchaeological studies
-Explore biomolecular techniques, including DNA analysis, proteomics and stable isotope analysis
-Investigate skeletal anatomy in intricate detail
-Work alongside leading academics in zooarchaeological research
-Receive career and research guidance from Department of Archaeology staff with significant experience of successfully placing PhD students

What does the course cover?
This course covers the practical skills, analytical techniques, and interpretative frameworks necessary to study the roles of animals in past societies from the bones and other remains that we find on archaeological sites. Core modules and laboratory classes will provide you with a solid grounding in the essential tools of the zooarchaeologist's trade, while the option modules and dissertation allow you to explore and potentially specialise in a unique range of biomolecular and anatomical approaches.

Who is it for?
This course is aimed primarily at graduates in archaeology who want to specialise in the analysis and interpretation of animal remains, either as a basis for future research or as a practical specialism to further a career in archaeology. We are also happy to accept graduates of disciplines such as biology, zoology, ecology, and palaeontology who wish to focus on the study of animals in a human context.

What can it lead to?
The advanced skills and specialist knowledge gained on this course can provide the springboard for many varied careers or further study at PhD level. Previous graduates of the course have gone on to careers in museum services, universities, conservation organisations and commercial archaeology units around the world.

Careers

By the end of the MSc Zooarchaeology course you will have:
-Gained a thorough grounding in all aspects of vertebrate zooarchaeology, including general aspects that are applicable to invertebrate zooarchaeology
-Experienced the processes of data collection, analysis and interpretation, both in principle and in practice
-Developed a range of analytical abilities by studying and undertaking quantitative analysis of zooarchaeological data
-Gained essential critical skills through reviewing and assessing published work from throughout the world, including hunter-gatherer and agrarian sites, and socially complex societies
-Studied the vertebrate skeleton, its evolutionary origins and its adaptations
-Identified and recorded archaeological bone assemblages
-Reviewed the field of taphonomy and the practical recognition of the taphonomic ‘imprint’
-Developed independent research skills by completing a dissertation project

Many our MSc Zooarchaeology postgraduates go on to conduct further research at PhD level. Others progress into careers with archaeological units, museum services, conservation bodies and a range of other organisations.

Here’s a selection of possible destinations and careers for students of this course:
-Academia
-Professional archaeologists – field and laboratory based
-Museum outreach programmes and the heritage sector
-University/research technicians
-Commercial laboratory technicians
-US graduate school programmes

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