Human Evolution and Behaviour MSc

Evolutionary theory has radically altered our understanding of human life. The Human Evolution and Behaviour MSc at UCL is designed to provide students with a solid practical and theoretical grounding in issues relevant to the evolution of humans and non-human primates.

Key Information

Modes and duration

  • Full-time: 1 year
  • Part-time: 2 years

Programme start date

September 2016

Tuition Fees (2016/17)

£9,020 (FT) £4,510 (PT)
£18,670 (FT) £9,285 (PT)

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 5 October 2015
Close: 30 June 2016

Entry Requirements

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

English Language Requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Advanced

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

Degree Information

Students develop the ability to generate, assess and synthesise empirical evidence and hypotheses related to human evolution and behaviour. They gain subject-specific skills, such as measuring skeletal material, interpreting and generating data related to human ecology, reproduction and genetics, and generating behavioural data of humans and non-human primates through observation.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of three core modules (45 credits), three optional modules (45 credits), and a research dissertation (90 credits).

Compulsory modules

  • Students choose two of the following:
  • Human Behavioural Ecology
  • Primate Socioecology
  • Palaeoanthropology
  • Postgraduate Methods/Statistics 1 (term 1)

Students choose three optional courses

  • Advanced Human Evolution
  • Anthropological and Archaeological Genetics
  • Archaeology of Hunter-Gatherers
  • Dental Anthropology
  • Evolution of the Human Brain
  • Cognition and Language
  • Evolution of the Human Brain and Behaviour
  • Primate Evolution
  • Variation and Evolution of the Human Skull
  • Ethnographic and Documentary Filmmaking
  • MSc Dissertation (90 credits)


All MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a 16,000-word dissertation.

Teaching and Learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures including weekly two-hour departmental seminars, and occasional attendance at non-departmental seminars. Assessment is through take-home examination, essays, lab-books, practical tests, and presentation. The dissertation is assessed by a project presentation and the thesis.

Further information on modules and degree structure available on the department web site Human Evolution and Behaviour MSc


There are a number of departmental scholarships and awards available each academic year. Please refer to the departmental funding page for further information.

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below. For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme (CSSS)- NOW CLOSED FOR 2015/16 ENTRY

Full fees, flights, stipend, and other allowances (1 year)
Overseas students
Based on both academic merit and financial need

More scholarships are listed on the Scholarships and Funding website


Many graduates are successful in entering fully funded doctoral programmes based on their training and achievements on the programme. Our graduates also go not o work in the media (TV, radio , publishing), in NGOs (community development, nature conservation), government organisations (national statistics, health programmes), in zoos and museums (overseeing collections, co-ordination research), or become school teachers. Moreover, numerous alumni have become notable academics in their own right, teaching as permanent staff in universities across the globe.

Top career destinations for this degree

  • Researcher, Stephen Maynard and Associates (2011)
  • Journalist, BBC (2012)
  • PhD Student, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology PhD (2012)
  • Researcher, Wall to Wall (2012)


Graduates of the programme will be trained in the fundamentals of scientific inquiry including hypothesis generation, data collection and statistical analysis, data synthesis and reporting of results. Additionally, they acquire advanced training in computer-based quantitative methods, presentation techniques, and the public understanding of science. Students will also gain skills specific to their dissertation research that can include behavioural observation techniques, field data collection, computer modelling, and advanced shape analysis.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL Anthropology was the first in the UK to integrate biological and social anthropology with material culture into a broad-based conception of the discipline. It is one of the largest anthropology departments in the UK in terms of both staff and research student numbers, offering an exceptional breadth of expertise. Our excellent results in 2008 Research Assessment Exercise and 2014 Research Excellence Framework identify us as the leading broad-based anthropology department in the UK. Students are encouraged to take full advantage of the wider anthropological community in London and the department's strong links with European universities and international institutions.

Our excellent results in the 2001 and 2008 Research Assessment Exercises show that we are the top broad-based anthropology department in the UK.

Students are encouraged to take full advantage of the wider anthropological community in London and the department's strong links with European universities and international institutions.

Student / staff ratios › 40 staff including 15 postdocs › 149 taught students › 120 research students

Department: Anthropology

Application and next steps


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Who can apply?

The programme is suitable for students with a background in anthropology who wish to gain a training and qualification in this field as a foundation for higher research and professional work, and for graduates from other fields or careers wishing to supplement their existing knowledge and experience.

Application deadlines

All applicants
30 June 2016

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:
  • why you want to study Human Evolution and Behaviour at graduate level
  • why you want to study Human Evolution and Behaviour 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.

Contact Information


  • Register interest in your chosen subjects
  • Receive notice of graduate open days, events and more
Register now

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