Masters degrees in Palaeontology equip students with the skills to examine life as it existed prior to the Holocene Epoch (roughly 11,700 years ago). They include techniques in the study of fossils to determine the evolution of organisms, and their interactions with each other and their environments.
Related subjects include Geobiology. Entry requirements for these courses usually include an appropriate undergraduate degree, such as Archaeology or Geology.
Courses in Palaeontology predominantly involve examining body fossils, trace fossils, geochemical evidence to determine how life on earth began and evolved. Training includes techniques for undertaking examinations of rocks containing fossils, determining fossil taxonomy, and understanding the fossil record.
For example, you may participate in fieldwork to undertake activities such as radiometric dating, GIS (geographic information systems), remote sensing to assess geographical areas and their geological composition.
You mighty also undertake lab work techniques such as biostratigraphy, cladistics and possibly even molecular phylogenetics to assess characteristics and resemblances across different fossils.
Careers in this field may include excavation and conservation management, roles in heritage such as museum curation or university lab research, as well as scientific writing.