Human skeletal remains are the most direct evidence of past lifeways and their scientific investigation gives unique insights into human history. Bioarchaeology (the study of archaeological human remains) is an exciting field that draws on a variety of techniques, ranging from visual examination of the whole skeleton to the biomolecular analysis of small bone samples. Demographic shifts, environmental changes, migrations, the spread of diseases and the impact of violence and conflict all leave traces on the skeleton.
This MSc provides the skills required to understand skeletal biographies and interpret them in their cultural context at the individual and the population level. Combining theoretical learning with hands-on practice, we will provide you with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills essential to your handling and analysis of specimens recovered from archaeological sites.
Throughout the programme, you’ll take part in lectures, seminars and practical work with archaeological skeletal assemblages and reference collections. You will complete six courses that are assessed through reports, lab exams, oral and poster presentations and essays.
Drawing on Edinburgh’s long history in the study of the human body, you will also have the opportunity to visit Surgeons’ Hall Museum and anatomy, which provide unique collections of pathological and anatomical study specimens.
You will also submit a dissertation on a research topic of your choosing.
Archaeology graduates can follow a variety of career options. The programme equips you to go on to advanced study, and also provides a solid foundation for a career. You will gain practical as well as academic experience, teamworking and analytical skills, and will be able to work in a variety of contexts.
Examples of career paths available to archaeology graduates (although some may require additional training) include: higher education, heritage management and agencies, commercial archaeology, teaching, tourism industry, broadcasting and the police. An archaeology degree does not restrict you to a career in archaeology.
WHY STUDY WITH US?
- Our reputation for excellence - The School of History, Classics and Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh is one of the great world centres for the study of the human past. Join us and you’ll join a world-leading university, ranked top 25 in the world (QS World University Rankings 2018).
- Our diverse and welcoming community - In the School of History, Classics & Archaeology, our graduate community of over 300 students is international, making the School the ideal environment in which to share ideas, collaborate on research, gain new perspectives and meet like-minded individuals. We have an active academic and social life involving regular workshops, seminars, conferences and symposia across all three subject areas, as well as many informal gatherings and events.
- Our historic city - Edinburgh offers a historical heart with a thriving, modern culture and is consistently voted the most desirable place to live in Britain. Based in the Old Town in a splendid historical building, our School is a thriving, vibrant hub of intellectual and cultural life.