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Full time & Part time September MSc 1 year full time, 2 years part time

About the course

Study human and animal remains from all over the world, specialising in either one or both disciplines.

Using a combination of established and cutting-edge methods, this course focuses on the study of bones from archaeological sites. You’ll get training in the analysis of both animal and human bones, but you may decide to specialise in one or the other. 

The course is taught through lectures, seminars and lab-based practicals. We use case studies from all over the world and we explore all phases of human history. You’ll have access to labs and some of the best collections of human and animal remains in the world.

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Entry Requirements

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

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


Home (2022 annual fee) : £10,800
Overseas (2022 annual fee) : £24,400

 Course Content

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Where will I study?

Where is University of Sheffield


Student Profile(s)

Sofia Tecce

My MSc in Osteoarchaeology has been fundamental in developing my career as it provided me with the essential tools of zooarchaeological analysis as well as the necessary skills to approach a career in archaeology, whether on commercially funded projects or in academic research.

Hannah Matthews

Why did you decide to study a Sheffield MSc degree programme?

World-renowned reputation of the Department of Archaeology, teachers and staff, course content and skeletal reference collection.

What did you enjoy most about your course and the subject you were studying?

I really enjoyed the mix of science and humanities, understanding the historical context of the skeletal remains and subjects that we were studying. I also loved the time spent in the lab working with the human and animal assemblages provided.

What attracted you to the University of Sheffield?

World-renowned reputation of the Department of Archaeology, teachers and staff, course content and skeletal reference collection.

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

The teachers and staff along with other students in the department were all really welcoming, friendly and fascinating to learn from and work with. The course is intensive, especially during the pandemic, but support and encouragement is always there.

What are you doing now?

I am now Curator at the Mary Rose Trust, working with the C16th collection of artefacts recovered from the wreck, the remains of the ship itself, and of course the large human skeletal assemblage of men who drowned onboard when the Mary Rose sank in 1545.

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

The Department has given me the confidence to progress into a new role where I can make use of the osteoarchaeological skills and knowledge that I acquired during the MSc. Following graduation, teachers, staff and fellow students have been incredibly supportive and encouraging and I appreciate continuing to be a part of the Department of Archaeology worldwide community.

For my work placement during my MSc, I secured an opportunity at the Mary Rose Trust to work on the C16th human skeletal remains recovered from the 1545 wreck of the ship in the 1970s-80s. This led to me assessing the assemblage in its entirety – the first time since the original post-excavation analysis – to help me analysis scales of commingling, deck distribution patterns of skeletal elements, and to apply quantitative methods such as Grand Minimum Total and Most Likely Number of Individuals.


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 2022. 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 apply is 1pm, Monday 9 May 2022.

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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