This MSc provides students with a foundation in the analysis of human remains, both in archaeological and modern forensic settings. With a solid grounding in skeletal and dental anatomy, students learn about morphological variation, development, methods for biological profiling, human disease and forensic approaches to trauma and taphonomy.
Students will learn procedures for interpretation and analysis of human skeletal remains - considering both archaeological and modern forensic contexts. There is a unique opportunity to analyse recently excavated human remains, utilising methods and techniques learned during the programme. While the focus of this programme is primarily on modern humans, late Pleistocene hominids are also considered.
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).
Students choose one optional module from the following list or from the wider range of Master's optional modules available. Please note that some core modules are normally only available to those enrolled for the degree in question. If you wish to take a core module from another degree as an option certain restrictions may apply. Please consult the programme co-ordinator before choosing your optional module.
Please note that not all options run every year.
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars and practical classes. This MSc has strong links with the Forensic Archaeological Science MSc which gives individual programmes an interesting mix of participants and provides many opportunities for discussion. Assessment is through essays, class tests, reports and the dissertation.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Bioarchaeological and Forensic Anthropology MSc
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.
The UCL Institute of Archaeology is the largest and most diverse archaeology department in the UK, offering students a range of opportunities.
This particular MSc is unique, offering a combination of bioarchaeological and forensic principles 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, CT) is also available.
Some lectures will take place at the Royal College of Surgeons and students have access to their teaching collections and museums, including the Wellcome Museum of Anatomy and Pathology.
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Institute of Archaeology
73% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
MSc Forensic Anthropology is designed to enable graduate students to develop skills in a variety of areas, which concern the processing, analysis and identification of human remains. This postgraduate course provides intensive training in developmental anatomy and osteology, forensic anthropology methods and theory, forensic taphonomy in theory and practice, crime scene investigation and the law, research methods and expert witness and presentation skills. The course has a focus on both domestic forensic anthropology work (e.g. UK and US) and forensic anthropology in the context of international humanitarian work and international criminal investigation.
UCLan’s postgraduate Forensic Anthropology course is the only forensic anthropology/osteology MSc in the UK to be based within a dedicated forensics department with state-of-the-art Crime Scene Investigation practical labs as well as excellent resources in Forensic Biology and Chemistry.
We have a dedicated MSc Forensic Anthropology laboratory and radiography facilities with the full range of teaching casts as well as an extensive collection of experimentally induced projectile, blunt and sharp force trauma. We have an archaeological skeletal collection consisting of some 120 individuals from two sites, one late Medieval and one Victorian. UCLan’s TRACES facility for decomposition and taphonomic experimentation is located nearby and many students choose to conduct MSc dissertation research projects as part of the long term research agenda into estimating time since death. Staff members teaching the course are also active in research and consultancy.
Assessment is based on a combination of coursework and examination and includes an MSc dissertation project. Students are encouraged to present their research findings at international meetings.
Graduating from this course, you will be well placed to undertake further research at the doctoral level, take up jobs in forensic anthropology laboratories, or to participate in human remains excavations.
The MSc Archaeological Practice is a world-leading archaeology course which equips you with the tools for work in the real world.
The course combines an emphasis on the key practical skills essential for a career within the archaeological profession with a critical study of the advanced theoretical and methodological concepts underpinning the discipline.
We stress the acquisition of vocational skills through practical experience using as our 'laboratory' the rich archaeological resource of Orkney, home to some of the world's most renowned archaeological monuments.
Core modules will introduce you to the principles, philosophy and theory of cultural heritage management and immerse you in a suite of practical archaeological techniques including excavation, non-intrusive field archaeology, digital means of exploring and recording archaeological materials, environmental archaeology and post-excavation analysis.
There is flexibility to pursue an interest in period-based modules which reflect the research specialisms of the Archaeology Institute staff, or you may choose to focus entirely on our professional skills modules.
• A limited number of funded places may be available for full-time, Scottish or EU fee status students.
• Loans for tuition fees are available from the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for eligible Scotland domiciled and EU
• Study in the outstanding archaeological landscape of the Orkney Islands
• Contribute to cutting edge archaeology research at world renowned sites including the Ness of Brodgar World Heritage site excavations
• A three month placement module offers the opportunity to develop your professional skills and gain valuable fieldwork experience
• Flexibility is built into the course to match your personal and professional life - you can study individual modules or work towards the PgDip or develop your expertise to gain a full masters degree
Core modules are:
Cultural heritage management
You will also choose four option modules which may include:
Death and Burial Archaeology
Vikings and Norse in the North Atlantic
From Vikings to VE Day: Scottish Medieval and Later Society
Iron Age Scotland in the Atlantic World
Archaeological and Geophysical Survey
Maritime Archaeological Heritage
Sustainability Past and Present
Art and Archaeology: Contemporary Theory and Practice
Geoarchaeology of the North Atlantic
To achieve the award of MSc Archaeological Practice you must complete a 60 credit professional placement or dissertation
This course is available at Orkney College UHI, East Road, Kirkwall, KW15 1LX
There is also a significant amount of fieldwork that involves excavation, investigation and curation techniques in one of the world's best archaeological classrooms - The Orkney Islands
A limited number of places may be available with full tuition fee support for Scottish-domiciled/EU students, studying full time, on this course starting in September 2017 to help talented students join this key growth sector for the Scottish economy. Fees will be funded by the European Social Fund and Scottish Funding Council as part of Developing Scotland’s Workforce in the Scotland 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Fund Programmes.
From 2017, eligible Scotland domiciled students studying full time can access loans up to 10,000 from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS).This comprises a tuition fee loan up to £5,500 and a non-income assessed living cost loan of £4,500. EU students studying full time can apply for a tuition fee loan up to £5500.
Part-time students undertaking any taught postgraduate course over two years up to Masters level who meet the residency eligibility can apply for a for a tuition fee loan up to £2,750 per year.
1. Do something different: our reputation is built on our innovative approach to learning and our distinctive research and curriculum which often reflects the unique environment and culture of our region and closely links to vocational skills required by a range of sectors.
2. Choice of campuses – we have campuses across the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Each campus is different from rich cultural life of the islands; the spectacular coasts and mountains; to the bright lights of our city locations.
3. Small class sizes mean that you have a more personal experience of university and receive all the support you need from our expert staff
4. The affordable option - if you already live in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland you don't have to leave home and incur huge debts to go to university; we're right here on your doorstep
If you want to apply for this postgraduate programme click on the ‘visit website’ button below which will take you to the relevant course page on our website, from there select the Apply tab to complete our online application.
If you still have any questions please get in touch with our information line by email using the links beow or call on 0845 272 3600.
If you would like to study in a country of outstanding natural beauty, friendly communities, and cities buzzing with social life and activities, the Highlands and Islands of Scotland should be your first choice. We have campuses across the region each one with its own special characteristics from the rich cultural life of the islands to the bright city lights of Perth and Inverness. Some courses are available in one location only, for others you will have a choice; we also have courses that can be studied online from your own home country. .http://www.uhi.ac.uk/en/studying-at-uhi/international
Our programmes are taught and examined in English. To make the most of your studies, you must be able to communicate fluently and accurately in spoken and written English and provide certified proof of your competence before starting your course. Please note that English language tests need to have been taken no more than two years prior to the start date of the course. The standard English Language criteria to study at the University of the Highlands and Islands are detailed on our English language requirements page http://www.uhi.ac.uk/en/studying-at-uhi/international/how-to-apply-to-uhi/english-language-requirements
The Forensic Science programme will provide you with advanced knowledge of the forensic processes (particularly chemistry and biology) and analytical techniques used in crime investigation. It is the longest-running accredited programme of its type in England.
Accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, our Forensic Sciences study programme is the longest-running programme of its type in England, having been first established in 1985.
You will benefit from an advanced and flexible study programme devised and delivered by internationally leading researchers, and recognised forensic providers including our accredited DNA analysis and Drug Control Centre testing laboratories. We also collaborate closely with the Metropolitan Police Forensic Services Directorate in both teaching and research.
The course is made up of two 15 credit modules and three 30 credit modules followed by a 60 or 120 credit research module. If you are studying full-time, you will complete the course in one year, from September to September. If you are studying for the MRes qualification, you will study an extended research module that carries a further 120 credits to complete the course.
For flexibility, a significant proportion of the course will be delivered by narrated PowerPoint. Teaching time includes workshops, group discussions and problem-based learning exercises. Approximate total contact hours for the taught modules is 360-hours.
You are also expected to undertake 840 hours of team and individual study.
Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.
Current evaluation methods include examinations, MCQs, witness statements, courtroom appearance, crime scene management and assignments.
Formative assessments are carried out as teamwork with both peer and academic feedback. This is designed to help students with the subsequent summative assessments.
The study time and assessment methods detailed above are typical and give you a good indication of what to expect. However, they are subject to change.
You will also need to have either started or completed a course of Hepatitis B vaccinations.
Most of our students go on to work in the forensic science sector with forensic service providers within the UK, European and International field being the major employers. Others have taken employment with the Metropolitan Police or crime scene departments of other police forces. Many of our Canadian graduates now work for the RCMP or the Toronto Centre for Forensic Sciences. Some of our students go on to do a PhD either at King's College London or other universities across the country.
Palaeopathology is the study of past disease in human remains; it is a sub-discipline of bioarchaeology (study of human remains from archaeological sites). This lecture, seminar and laboratory based MSc equips you with the theoretical and practical skills knowledge of how to study and interpret data collected from human remains. The emphasis is on health and well-being using a multidisciplinary approach, linking biological evidence for disease with cultural data (the bioarchaeological approach). This course is unique in the world and it takes a holistic view of disease, as seen in a clinical contexts today, and will prepare you for undertaking significant research projects in this subject, or working in contract/commercial archaeology, and many other fields. It is aimed at graduates mainly in archaeology and anthropology with or without past experience of knowledge in this field, and for those who aspire to continue into a PhD programme or work in contract archaeology. However, past students have come from a variety of subject backgrounds, and destination data illustrate a wide range of employments take these students.
Two taught modules in the Epiphany term (Research and Study Skills in Archaeological Science and Identification and Analysis of the Normal Human Skeleton), and two taught modules in Michaelmas term (Palaeopathology: Theory and Method; Themes in Palaeopathology), with the double module dissertation over Easter term and the summer (submitted early September).
The programme is mainly delivered through a mixture of lectures, seminars and practical classes. Typically lectures provide key information on a particular area, and identify the main areas for discussion and debate in bioarchaeology. Seminars then provide opportunities for smaller groups of you to discuss and debate particular issues or areas, based on the knowledge that you have gained through your lectures and through independent study outside the programme’s formal contact hours. Finally, practical laboratory classes allow you to gain direct practical skills in the recording and interpretation of data from skeletal remains. The latter provide an important element of the programme in allowing independent and group work, as well as hands-on experience under laboratory conditions, essential for a potential future working environment.
The balance of these types of activities changes over the course of the programme, as you develop your knowledge and ability as independent learners, giving them the opportunity to engage in research, professional practice, and developing and demonstrating research skills in a particular area of the subject.
In Term 1 you will typically attend 4 hours a week of lectures and 2.5 hours of laboratory sessions, in addition to seminars over the term. Outside timetabled contact hours, you are also expected to undertake your own independent study to prepare for your classes and broaden your subject knowledge. External speakers specialising in specific subject areas from “industry” and academia are brought in to engage the students on issues in research, but also in the profession.
In Term 2 the balance shifts from learning the basic skills required for recording and interpreting skeletal data (age at death, sex, normal variation), to further developing skills for palaeopathological data recording and their interpretation and understanding the limitations. In addition, the Themes module aims to develop in students a critical approach to the evaluation of multiple forms of evidence, beyond that for human remains, for the reconstruction of specific themes. It focuses on discussion and debate of different related issues. In Term 2 you will typically attend 4 hours a week of lectures and 2.5 hours of laboratory sessions, in addition to seminars over the term. Again, external speakers specialising in specific subject areas from “industry” and academia are brought in to engage the students on issues in research, but also in the profession.
The move towards greater emphasis on independent learning and research continues in Term 3 and beyond, where the research skills acquired earlier in the programme are developed through the dissertation research project. Under the supervision of a member of academic staff with whom they will typically have three one-to-one supervisory meetings, you will undertake a detailed study of a particular area, resulting in a significant piece of independent research. The dissertation is regarded as a preparation for further professional or academic work. In Term 3 students are given the opportunity to attend a Careers Session in the Department where past graduates of the course talk about their career trajectories since graduating.
Throughout the programme, you will have access to an “academic adviser”, or in the case of this MSc the two Directors (Professor Charlotte Roberts and Dr Rebecca Gowland), who provide you with academic support and guidance. Typically a student meets their adviser two to three times a year, in addition to which all members of teaching staff have weekly office hours when they are available to meet with students on a ‘drop-in’ basis. The department also has an exciting programme of weekly one hour research seminars which postgraduate students are strongly encouraged to attend. Additionally, the students who attend the MSc Palaeopathology course are provided with the opportunity to attend journal paper critique sessions each term, and human bioarchaeology seminars given by PhD students.
Many of our postgraduates move into an academic career, either teaching or by taking up post-doctoral research positions in universities. Others join museums or national and regional heritage organisations. Some work in professional archaeology, in national or local planning departments, while others elect to use their analytical and presentation skills to gain positions in industry, commerce and government.