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Masters Degrees (Zooarchaeology)

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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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Bioarchaeology 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. Read more
Bioarchaeology 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.

The MSc in Bioarchaeology aims to develop a broad understanding of these issues through the study of human remains. Students on this programme will also have the opportunity to study animal remains, as well as floral and faunal evidence.

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 Course acquire the skills necessary to continue into academic research or employment, as an osteologist in field units, museums or Cultural Resources Managament companies.

The programme allows you to specialise in one of two named pathways: Human Osteoarchaeology (physical anthropology and funerary archaeology) or Zooarchaeology (animal bones and other faunal remains).

Learning and teaching

Most of the formal classes that you attend will be based on a mixture of lectures, seminars, and workshops. The precise mix will vary between modules. These aim to outline the principal issues of the module, to explore some detailed issues, and, where relevant, to give you experience of working with a particular technique or data set.
All members of staff are actively engaged in research, both in Britain and abroad, and regularly attend conferences, symposia and workshops. It is through this active engagement in the discipline that we are able to supply top quality teaching by experts in their field and as a result we have a 24/24 grading for our teaching from the Quality Assurance Agency.
In addition to our established palaeobotany, experimental archaeology, and microscopy laboratories, we have a new bioarchaeology lab dedicated to the study of anatomical variation, palaeopathological conditions, and the funerary context of human and animal remains. The laboratory, accompanied by a designated store for the Department's collection of human remains, provides facilities for use by researchers and students for examining skeletal remains recovered from archaeological sites. Equipment includes anatomical casts and demographic reference standards used to determine the sex, age-at-death, stature and body proportions from human remains.

Research areas

Bioarchaeological research at Exeter combines the study of archaeology with branches of the natural and physical sciences to address questions of health and well-being, diet, ecology, subsistence strategies and natural and human-induced environmental impacts in the past.

Our approach is holistic and inter-disciplinary, drawing its inspiration from both definitions of ‘bioarchaeology’: as a study applied to human remains (human osteoarchaeology) and, as originally defined by Grahame Clark, as related to the integration of environmental archaeology, floral and faunal evidence – archaeobotany and zooarchaeology – in archaeological research.
Active field research programmes in North and South America and Eurasia link with extensive laboratory research to address questions of social structure and social organisation, the process of animal and plant domestication, the development of social inequality and power relations, violence and warfare, the rise of élites and craft specialists, and division of labour.

Programme Structure

This programme includes 135 credits of compulsory modules and 45 credits of optional modules.

Pathways

The two available pathways are; Human Osteology (http://www.exeter.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/archaeology/bioarch/humanosteology/) and Zooarchaeology
(http://www.exeter.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/archaeology/bioarch/zooarchaeology/)

Compulsory modules

The compulsory modules for each of the pathways can include the following; Research Methods and Archaeological Theory; Musculo-skeletal Anatomy; Advanced Zooarchaeology; Advanced Human Osteology; Zooarchaeology (Masters level); Bioarchaeology Dissertation and Bioarchaeology Dissertation Zooarchaeology.

Optional modules

The following is a list of the possible optional modules; Advanced Project; Experimental Archaeology in Practice; Field Study; Landscape Archaeology: Understanding the historic environment; Material Culture; Advanced Human Osteology; ;Zooarchaeology (Masters level); Palaeobotany (Masters level); Funerary Osteoarchaeology (Masters level); Musculo-skeletal Anatomy and Researching the Historic Environment Online.

The modules listed here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand

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This programme combines the study of human and animal bones from archaeological sites, generally known as ‘human osteology’ and ‘zooarchaeology’ or ‘archaeozoology’. Read more

About the course

This programme combines the study of human and animal bones from archaeological sites, generally known as ‘human osteology’ and ‘zooarchaeology’ or ‘archaeozoology’. Teaching is centred on the explanation of methods and approaches that can be used to address many different types of archaeological questions, regardless of the period or geographic area. Students play an active part in the shaping of their own programme of study and have the opportunity to develop their own original research.

Your future

Each of our masters courses is designed to equip you with valuable employment skills and prepare you for your future career. If you’re seeking to move into an archaeology-related field from a different academic or employment background, our courses and supportive staff will help you to realise your ambitions and develop professionally.

Graduates from our MA and MSc courses successfully compete for some of the most sought-after archaeological posts in the world. Our courses help students to develop essential transferable skills, and upon graduation they are also in demand by a wide variety of employers outside of the sector.Many of our graduates decide to continue their studies, carrying out doctoral research in their chosen specialist field, equipped with a solid theoretical and practical grounding from which to develop their research.

World-leading expertise

The character and strength of research carried out by Sheffield’s Archaeology department is captured under the following broad themes. These reflect the range of our research and its cross-disciplinary, embedded nature:

Funerary Archaeology
Landscape Archaeology
Bioarchaeology
Medieval Archaeology
Cultural Materials
Mediterranean Archaeology

Specialist facilities

The Archaeology department is situated on the edge of the main campus, near to Sheffield’s city centre. The department houses world-class reference collections and facilities to support teaching, learning and research in a range of archaeological disciplines. Facilities include specialist lab space dedicated to teaching and research, dedicated study spaces, and a student common room.

Fieldwork opportunities

We offer you the opportunity to get involved in our research projects in the UK, Europe and further afield.

How we will teach and assess you

Our students come from all around the world and the content of our courses reflects this. You can expect a balanced timetable of lectures, seminars and practicals. Many of our masters courses also include a fieldwork or project work component. Our teaching staff are leading scholars in their field. Through their research and field projects they are active in generating new knowledge that feeds directly into their teaching.

Funding, scholarships and bursaries

If you accept a place on one of our courses, you may be eligible to apply for WRoCAH and University of Sheffield studentships. There are also a number of departmental and programme-specific scholarships available each year. See our website for details.

Core modules

Advanced Zooarchaeology; The History of the Human Animal Relationship; Zooarchaeological Assemblage Analysis; Archaeozoology; Biological Anthropology I; Biological Anthropology II; Human Osteology; Dissertation in either Human Osteoarchaeology or Zooarchaeology.

Indicative optional modules

A 15 credit module can be selected from a range across the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.

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If you choose to study our MA in Archaeology then you will be joining a vibrant, active Postgraduate community in a setting surrounded by sites of archaeological interest. Read more
If you choose to study our MA in Archaeology then you will be joining a vibrant, active Postgraduate community in a setting surrounded by sites of archaeological interest. We are lucky in the West Country to have prehistoric Dartmoor on our doorstep, where the recent Whitehorse Hill burial was uncovered. Exeter itself is a city built on Roman foundations and the nearby Ipplepen dig is shedding further light on Romano-British history. The Anglo-Saxons too were active in our part of the world and we have excellent interdisciplinary ties with the History Department and Centre for Medieval Studies. In the past there have been opportunities for Exeter students to participate in fieldwork and outreach activities in as diverse locations as Argentina, Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan, South Dakota and Texas. In some cases, fieldwork may consist of archaeological work in a museum rather than excavation.

The MA Archaeology programme is flexible, so you can choose the modules that interest you – including those on Experimental Archaeology, Human Osteoarchaeology and Zooarchaeology. If you’re interested in going on to doctoral study then our MA will give you the right training and our academic staff will be happy to support you through the process of funding applications.

Programme Structure

The programme is divided into units of study called 'modules' .

Compulsory modules

The compulsory modules can include; Research Methods and Archaeological Theory; Field Study; Landscape Archaeology: Understanding the historic environment; Material Culture and Dissertation

Optional modules

You can choose from a variety of modules on offer within our other Masters, some examples of these are; Advanced Project; Experimental Archaeology in Practice; Advanced Human Osteology; Zooarchaeology; Funerary Osteoarchaeology and Musculo-skeletal Anatomy

The modules listed here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

Learning and teaching

Most of our teaching is done collaboratively in small groups because we feel this is the best way to help you develop. Your classes will be a mix of lectures, seminars and workshops where you will learn the methodology and practical skills you need. We have a range of specialist equipment and excellent facilities including laboratories, kiln room, and spaces for experimental archaeology.

Research areas

Our research at Exeter is world-leading and all our academic staff are actively engaged in both Britain and further afield. We are particularly unique for our expertise in the fields of Bioarchaeology and Experimental Archaeology. Our interests run from early prehistory through to the post-medieval period. Our geographic specialisations include the Americas, the British Isles, Europe, South Asia and North Africa.

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Forensic Archaeology involves the use of archaeological principles and techniques for the location, recovery, and interpretation of evidence for past events within the constraints of the criminal justice system. Read more
Forensic Archaeology involves the use of archaeological principles and techniques for the location, recovery, and interpretation of evidence for past events within the constraints of the criminal justice system. It utilises both field and laboratory skills in the investigation of serious crime, missing persons, human rights and mass disasters. These skills range from searching for and excavating clandestine graves to the international investigation of crimes against humanity.

The course provides invaluable background knowledge in archaeological and forensic sciences required for criminal and human identification cases, integrating archaeological, anthropological and investigative disciplines. The course is delivered by leading practitioners who will develop and enhance your employability.

Our forensic archaeology course is unique in that it provides you with the opportunity to work with specialist equipment independently and provides you with a wealth of practical exercises simulating forensic scenarios, such as locating graves and managing an airplane crash. The course is also supported by a crime scene house, analytical labs, with extensive osteological rooms, skeletal collections, survey, excavation and geophysical equipment, geographic information systems (GIS), spatial information and cartographic suite.

Core units:
Forensic Archaeology
Advanced Forensic Archaeology
Principles & Methods in Human Osteology
Professional Practice in Forensic Science
Research Project

Optional units (1 of):
Human Functional Anatomy
Marine Environment, Heritage & Spatial Planning
Principles & Methods in Zooarchaeology
Techniques of Archaeological Recovery & Recording

And 1 of:
Advanced Zooarchaeology
Crime Scene Management
Humans, Animals & Diet

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Biological Anthropology is the study of evolution and variation in human populations and of the interactions between human biology and environment. Read more
Biological Anthropology is the study of evolution and variation in human populations and of the interactions between human biology and environment. This combines our international reputation for anthropology, archaeology and biology, specifically including studies in primatology, evolutionary anthropology, human osteology, zooarchaeology, but also (paeleo-) ecology and behaviour.

This exciting course gives a core grounding in human evolution, primate behaviour and ecology, the origins of human behaviour and how hominines adapted to their environment, as well as human and animal skeletal analysis. Ultimately this course offers a uniquely wide range of suitable project topics that can prepare you for a career in a variety of aligned fields.

Core units:

Human Evolution
Human Functional Anatomy
Primate Behaviour & Ecology
Principles & Methods in Zooarchaeology
Research Project

Optional units (choose one of):
Principles & Methods in Human Osteology
Techniques of Archaeological Recovery & Recording

And one of:
Archaeology of Human Remains
Bodies of Evidence - Skeletal Changes Before & After Death
Humans, Animals & Diet

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This programme explores experimental archaeology's potential as a powerful research method, an effective educational tool and an excellent medium for public outreach. Read more
This programme explores experimental archaeology's potential as a powerful research method, an effective educational tool and an excellent medium for public outreach.

You will receive a sound practical and theoretical grounding in scientific use of experiments in archaeological research. The programme will give you practical experience of experiments related to archaeological and taphonomic processes and the production of a range of material culture types including ceramics, stone tools, metals and a range of organic materials.

The role of experiments and ‘reconstructions’ in education and public outreach is investigated through classes, practical activities, and field visits. Links with professionals, such as museums and independent establishments, provide opportunities for practical work based on a sound appreciation of theory.

The University has established an outdoor centre on its Streatham Campus to provide a location for both short- and long-term experimental archaeology research. The programmes involve practical work and field trips.

Programme Structure

The programme is divided into units of study(modules).

Compulsory modules

The compulsory modules can include; Research Methods and Archaeological Theory; Experimental Archaeology; Material Culture and Dissertation

Optional modules

You can choose from a variety of modules on offer, some examples of these are; Advanced Project; Field Study; Landscape Archaeology: Understanding the historic environment; Advanced Human Osteology; Zooarchaeology and Funerary Osteoarchaeology.

The modules listed here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand

Learning and teaching

This programme involves a high degree of learning through practice and experiments. Most of the formal classes that you attend will be based on a mixture of lectures, seminars, and workshops. The precise mix will vary between modules.

All members of staff are actively engaged in research, both in Britain and abroad, and regularly attend conferences, symposia and workshops. It is through this active engagement in the discipline that we are able to supply top quality teaching by experts in their field and as a result we have a 24/24 grading for our teaching from the Quality Assurance Agency.

We have excellent facilities for experimental archaeology including:
• experimental archaeology lab - this flexible laboratory space is the epicentre of our students' experimental activity and is a hard- wearing practical space in which we can carry out the unusual projects that only experimental archaeologists can dream up!
• material stocks - including sinew, feathers, hides, bones, antlers, wood, different stone types and plant materials
• pottery and kiln room, where students can work with clay, equipped with a potter's wheel and a large programmable electric kiln that can reach 1300 degrees Celsius
• workshop equipped with all the tools necessary to prepare materials for experiments
• knapping area - an outdoor space reserved for flintknapping and other activities best done in the fresh air
• experimental land - a substantial area of land on campus for long-term outdoor experiments.

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This course provides a grounding in the analytical approaches to human and faunal bone identification, and to the wider social, cultural and economic issues raised through the interpretation of archaeological bone assemblages; students receive training in bone identification, palaeopathology and analysis, and explore the associated intrinsic problems and potential. Read more

Summary

This course provides a grounding in the analytical approaches to human and faunal bone identification, and to the wider social, cultural and economic issues raised through the interpretation of archaeological bone assemblages; students receive training in bone identification, palaeopathology and analysis, and explore the associated intrinsic problems and potential.

Modules

Core module: Osteoarchaeology and Palaeopathology in Context Compulsory modules: Human Skeletal Studies; Zooarchaeology; Dissertation Preparation
Typical optional modules: Palaeolithic modules; social archaeology modules; other archaeology or University modules

Visit our website for further information...



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This programme delivers both intensive training in environmental and economic archaeology and an understanding of how these skills might be applied to advance our knowledge of the relationship between people and nature in the making of human history. Read more

About the course

This programme delivers both intensive training in environmental and economic archaeology and an understanding of how these skills might be applied to advance our knowledge of the relationship between people and nature in the making of human history. Studies of contemporary ecology and economy are emphasised as a basis for investigating the past. The ability to reconstruct and understand past environments and economies is critical to both professional and academic archaeology.

Your future

Each of our masters courses is designed to equip you with valuable employment skills and prepare you for your future career. If you’re seeking to move into an archaeology-related field from a different academic or employment background, our courses and supportive staff will help you to realise your ambitions and develop professionally.

Graduates from our MA and MSc courses successfully compete for some of the most sought-after archaeological posts in the world. Our courses help students to develop essential transferable skills, and upon graduation they are also in demand by a wide variety of employers outside of the sector.Many of our graduates decide to continue their studies, carrying out doctoral research in their chosen specialist field, equipped with a solid theoretical and practical grounding from which to develop their research.

World-leading expertise

The character and strength of research carried out by Sheffield’s Archaeology department is captured under the following broad themes. These reflect the range of our research and its cross-disciplinary, embedded nature:

Funerary Archaeology
Landscape Archaeology
Bioarchaeology
Medieval Archaeology
Cultural Materials
Mediterranean Archaeology

Specialist facilities

The Archaeology department is situated on the edge of the main campus, near to Sheffield’s city centre. The department houses world-class reference collections and facilities to support teaching, learning and research in a range of archaeological disciplines. Facilities include specialist lab space dedicated to teaching and research, dedicated study spaces, and a student common room.

Fieldwork opportunities

We offer you the opportunity to get involved in our research projects in the UK, Europe and further afield.

How we will teach and assess you

Our students come from all around the world and the content of our courses reflects this. You can expect a balanced timetable of lectures, seminars and practicals. Many of our masters courses also include a fieldwork or project work component. Our teaching staff are leading scholars in their field. Through their research and field projects they are active in generating new knowledge that feeds directly into their teaching.

Funding, scholarships and bursaries

If you accept a place on one of our courses, you may be eligible to apply for WRoCAH and University of Sheffield studentships. There are also a number of departmental and programme-specific scholarships available each year. See our website for details.

Core modules

Rethinking the Ancient Economy; Reinventing Archaeology; Dynamic Landscapes: investigating ancient environments; Research Design: planning, execution and presentation; Archaeobotany; Archaeozoology; Dissertation.

Indicative optional modules

Advanced Zooarchaeology; GIS for Archaeologists; Advanced Archaeobotany.

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If you have a first degree in an associated subject and want to convert your skills to pursue a career in archaeology this course will appeal to you - particularly if you have some practical experience. Read more
If you have a first degree in an associated subject and want to convert your skills to pursue a career in archaeology this course will appeal to you - particularly if you have some practical experience. Archaeology is an exciting and ever-evolving profession that requires a high level of skill and dedication. This course offers you the opportunity to build on your first degree to make yourself more marketable in the archaeological sector, while allowing you to tailor your studies to meet your personal needs and interests.

According to a report published in May 2016 by Historic England, there is an urgent need in the UK for more archaeologists following a surge in infrastructure projects, such as HS2, Crossrail 2 and major road upgrades. The report emphasises the importance of archaeological field schools to produce specifically trained graduates. Participation in the Big Dig allows you to gain a wide range of field archaeological skills.

The many optional units on this degree will allow you to broaden your skills and knowledge in areas including maritime archaeology, forensic archaeology, zooarchaeology and the core area of field archaeology. You will be taught by some of the UK’s leading practitioners in the sector, and under the guidance of this dedicated and enthusiastic team you can expect to develop your archaeological skills to reach your full potential.

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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.

Degree information

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
-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.

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.

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 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)

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.

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.

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This MSc provides participants with a theoretical understanding of research questions and methodologies in the study of past human-environment interactions, including subsistence and subsistence change. Read more
This MSc provides participants with a theoretical understanding of research questions and methodologies in the study of past human-environment interactions, including subsistence and subsistence change. The Institute of Archaeology has a long research and training tradition in environmental archaeology, and has well-established laboratory facilities and reference collections as a result.

Degree information

Students gain practical experience in laboratory analysis of at least one of either: identification of animal bones, identification of plant macro-remains, sedimentological analyses. They develop an understanding of stratigraphic formation processes and their implications for developing sampling strategies, and are trained to collect and analyse data and report scientific results.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of three core modules (45 credits), optional modules (45 credits) and a research dissertation (90 credits).

Core modules - students are required to take the following:
-Environmental Archaeology in Practice
-Resources and Subsistence

Optional modules
-Archaeology of the Late Pleistocene and Holocene Hunter Gatherers
-British and European Prehistory: Neolithic to Iron Age
-Funerary Archaeology
-Middle Bronze Age to the Iron Age in the Near East: City-States and Empires
-The Aegean from First Farmers to Minoan States
-The Mediterranean World in the Iron Age
-The Neolithic and Early Bronze Age of the Near East: The emergence of villages and urban societies

Dissertation/report
All students undertake an independent research project, normally based on practical laboratory-based research, which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, presentations, laboratory sessions, practicals, and site and museum visits. Assessment is through the dissertation, and a combination of essays, coursework, presentations, practical examination and laboratory reports, depending on the options selected.

Careers

Some graduates of the programme go on to PhD studies but others will be well-placed to pursue a wide range of professional careers both within and beyond archaeology, including employment as environmental specialists for contract archaeology units.

Top career destinations for this degree:
-Archeology in South Asia, University of Barcelona.
-Archaeological Technician, Southeast Archeological Center.
-PhD Archaeology, University of Exeter.

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.

The institute boasts a wide range of laboratory facilities relevant to this degree including dedicated laboratories for zooarchaeology (with a comparative collection of Near Eastern and European faunal remains), archaeobotany (with extensive comparative collections for seeds, wood, tubers, phytoliths and pollen); phytolith processing, sedimentology and scanning electron microscopy.

UCL is located in central London, close to the resources of the British Museum, the British Library and the Natural History Museum.

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The MSc by Research Archaeological Science programme is an exciting opportunity to develop advanced knowledge and understanding of specific areas of archaeological science by following a personalised, individual study pathway, in close collaboration with our staff. Read more
The MSc by Research Archaeological Science programme is an exciting opportunity to develop advanced knowledge and understanding of specific areas of archaeological science by following a personalised, individual study pathway, in close collaboration with our staff. You will further your own intellectual development and enhance your independent research skills by completing a substantial archaeological research project.

It is ideal preparation for students wishing to undertake a PhD in archaeology, and follows the research model (1 year research training MA plus three years research) suggested by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. It also provides a wide range of highly sought-after skills in research, critical thinking, data analysis, and communication which will provide the foundation for a future career in archaeology and heritage, as well as many other sectors.

This course offers you the flexibility to tailor the content to reflect your personal interests and research topic. Our teaching draws on the extensive and world-leading research expertise of staff within the Department of Archaeology. We have internationally-renowned expertise in Bioarchaeology (palaeoanthropology, archaeobotany and zooarchaeology) and Archaeological Materials (ceramics, glass and metals), with staff members who work across regions and chronological periods ranging from Old-World Prehistory, to the ancient Mediterranean and the Roman world, and Medieval and Post-Medieval Europe. Students can follow a specialist pathway focusing on specific areas of environmental or materials science, gaining advanced training in practical and analytical techniques, and can combine this with an in-depth study of a specific period or region. You will undertake independent research on a topic of your choice, supervised by a member of staff, which will include a major component of primary scientific analysis of archaeological evidence.

For those in current employment, the MSc by Research can be studied over two years on a part-time basis. As teaching is largely undertaken through individual tutorials or small groups, there is a great deal of flexibility to organise your time around existing commitments.
Visit the Department of Archaeology website to explore the Department's research and teaching profile.

Key facts

The department offers excellent facilities for teaching and research, including a suite of new, fully-equipped laboratories for both bioarchaeology and archaeological materials.
The department has established a Next Generation fund, to which our postgraduate students can apply for awards to help them undertake exciting new research projects or work placements at the end of their degree. Every year we run a Next Generation Archaeology conference which our staff and students organise together.
This course is taught within a thriving department that attracts academic and research staff from around the world, and which has a friendly and vibrant atmosphere.

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This MSc provides students with a foundation in the analysis of human remains, both in archaeological and modern forensic settings. Read more
This MSc provides students with a foundation in the analysis of human remains, both in archaeological and modern forensic settings. With a solid grounding in skeletal and dental anatomy, students learn about morphological variation, development, methods for biological profiling, human disease and forensic approaches to trauma and taphonomy.

Degree information

Students will learn procedures for interpretation and analysis of human skeletal remains - considering both archaeological and modern forensic contexts. There is a unique opportunity to analyse recently excavated human remains, utilising methods and techniques learned during the programme. While the focus of this programme is primarily on modern humans, late Pleistocene hominids are also considered.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of five core modules (75 credits), one optional module (15 credits) and a research dissertation (90 credits).

Core modules
-Dental Anthropology
-Forensic Anthropology
-Methodology and Issues in Bioarchaeology and Palaeoepidemiology
-Morphology and Palaeopathology of the Human Skeleton
-Variation and Evolution of the Human Skull

Optional modules
-Anthropological and Archaeological Genetics
-Archaeology of Early Modern Humans
-Forensic Archaeology
-Forensic Geoscience (by arrangement with the Jill Dando Centre for Forensic Sciences)
-Funerary Archaeology
-Human Evolution (by arrangement with the Department of Anthropology)
-Palaeoanthropology (by arrangement with the Department of Anthropology)
-Zooarchaeology in Practice
-Other Master's options available at the Institute of Archaeology.

Dissertation/report
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, seminars and practical classes. This MSc has strong links with the Forensic Archaeological Science MSc which gives individual programmes an interesting mix of participants and provides many opportunities for discussion. Assessment is through essays, class tests, reports and the dissertation.

Careers

Some graduates of the programme go on to PhD studies, while others go on to work in a range of archaeological and non-archaeological organisations as osteoarchaeological specialists, the police, curators and political researchers.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Institute of Archaeology is the largest and most diverse archaeology department in the UK, offering students a range of opportunities.

This particular MSc is unique, offering a combination of bioarchaeological and forensic principles for the study of human remains unlike anything else available in the UK. Students further benefit from access to a large collection of skeletal material for study, including dental and palaeopathology reference collections. Access to sophisticated equipment and techniques (laser scanner, SEM, thin sectioning, CT) is also available.

Some lectures will take place at the Royal College of Surgeons and students have access to their teaching collections and museums, including the Wellcome Museum of Anatomy and Pathology.

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Study at the frontiers of archaeological science. Like a handful of comparable courses, the York MSc in Bioarchaeology provides training in the advanced osteoarchaeological analysis of skeletal remains. Read more
Study at the frontiers of archaeological science

Why choose this course?

Like a handful of comparable courses, the York MSc in Bioarchaeology provides training in the advanced osteoarchaeological analysis of skeletal remains. Uniquely, however, it is the only course in the UK to combine this discipline with the molecular analysis of human remains. Nowhere else can you immerse yourself in the study of stable isotopes, lipid residue analysis, palaeoproteomics and ancient DNA – and play an active role in the development of new techniques in this constantly evolving branch of archaeology. In 2014, seven of the top 100 discoveries in science were in archaeology, and BioArCh staff were involved in three of these.
-Advanced training in human osteoarchaeology, delivered by the UK’s leading practitioners
-Study ancient biomolecules in world-class facilities at the BioArch centre and Department of Biology
-Unique opportunity to combine bioarchaeology with complementary subjects and tailor a course to suit your interests
-Access an incredible range of in-house analytical equipment
-Take part in cutting-edge science and build essential practical skills
-Work alongside leading researchers and academics in a diverse range of specialisms
-Work on diverse material that is often ‘fresh out of the ground’ and make valuable contributions to live projects Receive career and research guidance from staff with significant experience in the sector and a track record of successfully placing PhD students

What does the course cover?

Through a combination of academic studies, practical training and dissertation research, this course provides a thorough grounding in all aspects of bioarchaeology theory, investigation and practice.

Uniquely, you can combine bioarchaeology with a range of subjects and tailor your degree to your own interests. You could adopt a ‘period’ focus, for example, to specialise in the bioarchaeology of the Medieval, Viking, Mesolithic or early prehistoric periods. You could combine human bioarchaeology with zooarchaeology and orientate your course towards more advanced studies of bone function and anatomy. Or you could focus on skills such as GIS modelling and field archaeology.

Who is it for?

This course is designed for students with a passionate interest in the future of archaeology, who want to work at the frontiers of archaeological science. The degree is primarily aimed at those whose previous experience is in archaeology, anthropology, biology or related fields, but we do accept students from diverse backgrounds. The common factor among our student intake is a keen interest in science and in human remains at a biomolecular or bone level.

What can it lead to?

Molecular analysis is used increasingly widely in archaeology, but the range of osteological and molecular skills offered by the course provide valuable training and expertise for a wide range of careers and further study.

Many students go on to take PhDs at York and other institutions around the world. Others pursue a wide range of professional careers, from osteoarchaeology and environmental archaeology to the medical humanities and laboratory technician work.

Careers

By the end of the MSc Bioarchaeology course you will be able to:
-Identify and record human bone assemblages
-Age, sex and assess pathologies from human bones
-Understand advanced methods for analysing bone tissues, including biomolecular methods
-Apply chemical and biomolecular methods to skeletal material
-Understand the processes of decay and diagenesis of bone tissue
-Critically evaluate published research and datasets
-Orally present knowledge and concepts
-Work effectively within a laboratory environment
-Plan, design and undertake a piece of independent research

These skills and techniques are deployed widely in the field of archaeological research and exploration, but they are also valuable for a wide range of careers and further studies.

Many our MSc Bioarchaeology postgraduates go on to further research in bioarchaeological and environmental fields. The BioArch department has a successful track record of placing students on PhD courses in York and institutions worldwide.

Here’s a selection of the career and research destinations of some of our recent students: US graduate school programmes
-Archaeological field units
-Environmental archaeology
-Professional archaeologists – field and laboratory based
-Laboratory technicians
-Demonstrators
-University/research technicians
-Academia
-On-site osteoarchaeologists
-Medical humanities

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