PDF version of Forensic Archaeological Science MSc

Contact details

Professor Andrew Reynolds

Email: a.reynolds@ucl.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 1522

Fees and funding

UK/EU 2013/14:

£8,750 (FT)

Overseas 2013/14:

£21,000 (FT)

ACE Master's Scholarship: to support a student from a newer EU country applying to study on a technical or applied Master's course.

Full details of funding opportunities can be found on the UCL Scholarships website

More information

Prospectus Entry


Key facts

Research Assessment Rating

60% rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
(What is the RAE?)

The programme information on this page relates to 2013 entry. 2014 content to appear here shortly. 

Forensic Archaeological Science MSc

This MSc provides the opportunity to develop scientific skills commonly employed in archaeological research, which are now increasingly applied within the field of forensic investigations. The programme combines the expertise of the Institute of Archaeology with the skills and experience provided by police officers and forensic scientists from other institutions.

Degree summary

What will I learn?

Students develop skills in the area of search and recovery of human remains at a crime scene investigation and in a wide range of associated forensic fields. They gain skills and practical training in the area of bone and tooth analysis and interpretation, to apply in forensic and osteoarchaeological fields.

Why should I study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Institute of Archaeology is the largest and most diverse department of archaeology in the UK.

Students benefit from access to extensive skeletal, dental and pathology reference collections; ageing, sexing and measuring aids; a wet chemistry laboratory; a thin sectioning and hard tissues laboratory, and facilities for transmitted light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and X-ray radiography.

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. Field visits are arranged throughout the year, including a three-day mock crime scene. Additionally, students have access to the British Library and museums throughout London.

See subject website for more information:

Degree structure

Availability: Full-time 1 year; Part-time 2 years

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of five core modules (90 credits) and a research project (90 credits).

Core Modules

  • Dental Anthropology
  • Forensic Archaeological Science
  • Forensic Anthropology
  • Morphology and Palaeopathology of the Human Skeleton
  • Variation and Evolution of the Human Skull


  • There are no optional modules for this programme.


Students undertake an independent research project (either a practical project or forensic case studies report) which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words.

Teaching and Learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, practical classes and field visits, including a three-day mock crime scene. Assessment is through essays, reports, written examination, practical tests and the dissertation.

Further details available on subject website:

Entry and application

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant subject from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

For overseas equivalencies see the relevant country page.

How to apply

You may choose to apply online or download application materials; for details visit www.ucl.ac.uk/gradapps

The final deadline for submitting complete applications, including references, is 1 May 2013. Please contact the department if applying after this date to see if places are available. Students applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Who can apply?

This programme is designed for students with an archaeological background which includes hands on field work, or equivalent experience, and who wish to develop the skills required in order to work within the field of crime investigation, with particular emphasis on search and recovery. Those coming from other backgrounds without hands on experience may apply; if successful, the applicant would be required as a condition of admittance to enrol for a minimum of one month field course. These courses are offered throughout the UK and in other countries through universities and field units.

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Forensic Archaeological Science at graduate level
  • why you want to study Forensic Archaeological Science at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your personal, academic and professional background meets the demands of a challenging academic environment
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.


Some graduates of the programme go on to PhD studies, while others go on to work in a range of archaeological and non-archaeological organisations (e.g. police or NGOs) in the field of forensics.

Recent graduate career destinations include: contract archaeology (UK and abroad), police forces, consultant working on mass fatality incidents for an international organisation and forensic archaeologist and anthropologist for an international organisation.

Find out more about London graduates' careers by visiting the Careers Group (University of London) website:

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