Students take five core courses, choose one option course and complete a 15,000 word dissertation. Teaching is carried out over a full academic year, although it is possible to take the course part-time over two years.

Core Courses

All students must take the following:

  • Dental Anthropology (ARCLG145, 15 credits, 11 weeks)
  • Forensic Anthropology (ARCLG151, 15 credits, 11 weeks) - students normally take this course but we are able to consider requests for alternative combinations
  • Methodology and Issues in Bioarchaeology and Palaeoepidemiology (ARCLG146, 15 credits, 11 weeks)
  • Morphology and Palaeopathology of the Human Skeleton (ARCLG143, 15 credits, 11 weeks)
  • Variation and Evolution of the Human Skull (ARCLG144, 15 credits, 11 weeks)

Option Courses

Students choose to follow further options courses up to the value of 15 credits, which may be chosen from the following list or from the wider range of Masters course options available. Please note that some core courses are normally only available to those enrolled for the degree in question. If you wish to take a core course from another degree as an option certain restrictions may apply. Please consult the course co-ordinator before making your options choice.

  • Advanced Forensic Anthropology (ARCLG356, 15 credits, 11 weeks)
  • Anthropological and Archaeological Genetics (ANTHGH07, 15 credits, 11 weeks, by arrangement with the Department of Anthropology. Not available every year)
  • Archaeologies of the Modern World (ARCLG355, 15 credits, 11 weeks) 
  • Forensic Geoscience (SECUGC56A, 15 credits, 11 weeks, by arrangement with UCL JDI Centre for the Forensic Sciences, subject to availability) 
  • Funerary Archaeology (ARCLG281, 15 credits, 11 weeks)
  • Human Evolution (15 credits, 11 weeks, by arrangement with the Department of Anthropology, subject to availability)
  • Palaeoanthropology (15 credits, 11 weeks, by arrangement with the Department of Anthropology, subject to availability)
  • Zooarchaeology in Practice (ARCLG184, 15 credits, 11 weeks)

Please note not all courses are available every year.


(90 credits)- All students undertake an independent research project and write a dissertation (15,000 words) over a period of about 4 months. Students are allocated a Supervisor to provide guidance during the dissertation research.

Examples of past topics include:

  • Degenerative joint disease of the cervical spine in population groups from Sudan
  • Non-metric osteological traits (e.g. mandibular tori) and their relevance for bioarchaeology
  • A study of migration patterns in Roman Britain using multivariate cranial analysis
  • The epidemiology of gout in eighteenth-century London
  • Osteopenia and osteoporosis in archaeological material
  • The study of tooth development such as molar crown formation and its archaeological implications
  • The osteological evidence for the mercury treatment of syphilis in 17th to 19th century London
  • Analysis of trauma fracture patterns in burnt bone
  • Sex estimation from the metatarsals/metacarpals
  • The concept of race in forensic anthropology
  • Analysis of corrosive household chemicals on bone
  • Identification of sharp-force trauma on bone
  • SfM/GIS and mass grave analysis
  • Blast distribution patterns in close-contact explosions
  • Animal scavenging behaviour and buried remains

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