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This MSc provides students with fundamental skills and knowledge to study human remains in both bioarchaeological and forensic anthropological context. This degree provides students with a solid grounding in all aspects of skeletal and dental anatomy, methods and procedures for assessing human skeletal material, identifying disease in the skeleton, and the legal context when dealing with modern forensic human remains.

About this degree

Students will learn how to identify, analyse and report on skeletonised human remains, both from archaeological and forensic contexts. Students will learn basic and advanced skeletal and dental anatomy, how to create a biological profile, trauma analysis, disease analysis (palaeopathology), skeletal biomechanics, bone metabolism, and palaeoepidemiology. Core critical thinking and research skills will be developed. 

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).

Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MSc in Bioarchaeological and Forensic Anthropology.

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. Students also benefit from a close proximity to the British Museum and the Natural History Museum (NHM), where the course instructors have strong research links. We also have links with the Department of Security and Crime Science.

This particular MSc is unique, offering a combination of bioarchaeological and forensic anthropology 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, radiography) is also available.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, practical classes and field trips. Assessment is through essays, class tests, reports and the dissertation.

While there are some minor differences between terms, students enrolled on this MSc can expect to spend around 20% of their time in lectures, 30% of their time in practical sessions, and around 50% of their time independently working/revising in the laboratory and undertaking research.

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Bioarchaeology and Forensic Anthropology at graduate level
  • why you want to study Bioarchaeology and Forensic Anthropology at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your personal, academic and professional background meets the demands of a challenging academic environment
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

Applicants must have studied at least one Human Remains module. 

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 roles as osteoarchaeological specialists, members of the police, curators and political researchers.


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

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