MSc Human Osteology and Funerary Archaeology

University of Sheffield    Department of Archaeology

Full time September MSc 1 year full time 05 September 2024 Award winner
Anthropology (2) History & Archaeology (19)

FindAMasters summary

Embark on a fascinating journey into the world of human osteology and funerary archaeology with the MSc programme offered by the School of Biosciences. Delve into the analysis of human remains through advanced anatomy practicals using plastinated prosections, gaining a profound understanding of skeletal and soft tissue anatomy. Engage in lectures on funerary archaeology to contextualize your studies. Develop essential research skills and statistical data analysis capabilities, culminating in an independent research project. Graduates have pursued diverse careers in academia, commercial archaeology, and museums, with many progressing to PhDs. The programme welcomes applicants from arts, humanities, or science backgrounds, prioritizing a keen interest in archaeology. Benefit from a vibrant research community, access to specialist labs, and world-class reference collections. Challenge your critical thinking and practical skills while exploring different viewpoints. Join a dynamic academic community that encourages questioning and exploration.

About the course

Working in specialist labs, you’ll get advanced training in the analysis of human remains. Through advanced anatomy practicals using plastinated prosections (preserved limbs and other human body parts), you'll gain a detailed understanding of skeletal and soft tissue anatomy. Lectures in funerary archaeology put the subject in context.

As a member of a vibrant research community, you will also develop core skills in research project development and statistical data analysis. You’ll put these skills to work over the summer on an original, independent research project.

Graduates from this course have pursued careers in academia, commercial archaeology, heritage management and museums. Many go on to PhDs.

Read more about this course

Entry Requirements

Minimum 2:1 undergraduate honours degree in an arts, humanities or science subject.

Your interest in and understanding of archaeology is more important than what you studied at undergraduate level: we may consider degrees in other subjects if you display an interest in archaeology in your application.

 Course Content

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Student Profiles

Nicoletta Moca

I find my MSc exciting mostly because it lies between the scientific and humanistic fields of research, therefore it invites the students to learn how to think outside the box and link all the information together to solve a greater puzzle.

Rhianna Sullivan

What do you enjoy most about your course and the subject you are studying?

I love how hands-on the coursework is and the fact that we don’t just read and talk about methods, we actually learn how to execute them properly.

What attracted you to the University of Sheffield?

The diverse research interests of the professors, especially those of my advisor, and the city itself.

What made you want to study in the UK?

The culture of graduate/postgraduate study outside of the US is very different, and I’ve found the change to be very positive.

What is it like to be a postgraduate student in the Department of Archaeology?

It’s fantastic! My professors are all very engaged and excited to teach, plus being a postgraduate student makes everything more personal and you really get to know everyone. I’ve also made a lot of great friends!

What do you plan to do when you finish your degree at Sheffield?

I plan to pursue work in the field for a year or two while I decide what specific subject I would like to study for my PhD.

How has the department and/or University helped you to work towards reaching your goals after graduation?

I’ve been given so much advice and encouragement, and the faculty here has shown a great interest in my future success.

What do you like most about living in Sheffield?

I love the city itself, especially because it’s so pedestrian friendly. I also love how dedicated to the arts Sheffield is, and the accessibility to local history is very exciting.

What has been the most difficult thing to get used to whilst living in a different country?

Missing friends and family back home.

Do you have any advice for students from your home country thinking about studying a postgraduate course in archaeology at Sheffield?

Don’t be afraid! While things may take time to become accustomed to, there will always be people to help and you’ll make amazing friends here. Additionally, this is a world renowned department with friendly and engaged faculty and studying here will be very advantageous to your future career.


The University of Sheffield is offering a number of Postgraduate Taught Scholarships to self funded full and part time students who are liable to pay fees at the home rate and starting their studies in 2023. You do not need to wait for your undergraduate degree classification to apply for a scholarship. These scholarships aren’t course-specific. All taught postgraduate courses are eligible. The money can be used towards tuition fees and living costs.

Value of Scholarship(s)



You must meet all four criteria:

You'll be studying a taught postgraduate course full-time or part-time for up to four years.
You're paying the 'home' rate of fees.
You're not already qualified at masters level or higher.
You're self funded.

And one or both of the following:

You're from a group that is evidentially under-represented among the institution's taught masters population
You've already achieved or currently predicted a first class undergraduate degree

Application Procedure

If you have an offer to study at the University you should use your Applicant MUSE details to log in and make your scholarship application. If you do not have an offer to study with us please log in to the application form by creating an external account. The deadline to submit your application was 1.00pm Tuesday 9 May 2023.

Please note the scholarship application is a separate process to applying for a course. Being awarded a scholarship does not guarantee you will be made an academic offer. To apply for a course please use our Postgraduate Online Application Form available at:-.

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