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Course content

The MPhil in Human Evolutionary Studies is a full-time interdisciplinary course, taken over a period of ten months, and involving teaching in evolutionary anthropology, human and hominin morphology, primate behaviour and evolution, archaeology and genetics. The lecturers are primarily involved in research and teaching within the Division of Biological Anthropology, in the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology.

See the website http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/hsbamphes

Course detail

This taught MPhil recruits students who are prepared for graduate work and wish to receive interdisciplinary training, but who do not have sufficient education in human evolutionary studies in their background to be considered for the research MPhil or doctoral work. This is a demanding course which enables students to obtain interdisciplinary training and specialist knowledge in an area of human evolutionary studies over a relatively short time frame. The course prepares students to undertake an advanced degree, subject to performance in the examination.


All students will write a thesis of not more than 20,000 words in length, excluding tables, appendices, and references, on a subject approved by the Degree Committee for the Faculty of Human, Social, and Political Science. This is worth 50% of the final mark.

All students will undertake a quantitative exercise on statistical analysis and interpretation, worth 10% of the final mark.

All students will write two essays of each not more than 2,500 words in length, excluding tables and references, based upon material from the core courses, as well as a 'News and Views' type of essay no longer than 1500 words. These are each worth 10% each of the final mark.

Finally, students will undertake a lab report based on one of the two lab practicals that will be carried out. The lab practicals will be based on hormones and genetics. These will contribute to 10% of the final mark.

Formative feedback is provided in written comments on essays for lecture papers and,when appropriate, for practical work. Verbal feedback is also given at the end of each term.


MPhil students often apply to do a PhD following their masters degree and the department provides all students with the facilities and opportunities to do so.

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

Funding Opportunities

There are opportunities to apply for funding through the application process, as well as from external sources that applicants may wish to investigate.

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

Visit the MPhil in Human Evolutionary Studies page on the University of Cambridge website for more details!




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