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Course content

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.

Visit the Bioarchaeological and Forensic Anthropology - MSc page on the University College London website for more details!

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