The Palaeoanthropology and Palaeolithic Archaeology MSc, run jointly by the Institute of Archaeology and UCL Anthropology, brings together the expertise of the two departments to provide graduate students with an integrated training in the biological and archaeological aspects of human evolutionary studies.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2021/22)
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.
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: Good
UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
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:
About this degree
Students gain training in research methods and a scientific grounding in the principles, content and practice of palaeoanthropology and palaeolithic archaeology, including: fossil and archaeological evidence of human evolution; temporal and spatial patterns and processes of evolutionary and environmental change; and the evolutionary background for understanding human adaptation and culture.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of one core module (30 credits) four optional modules (60 credits) and a research dissertation (90 credits).
Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MSc in Palaeoanthropology and Palaeolithic Archaeology.
Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.
All students are required to take the following:
- Themes in Palaeoanthropology and Palaeolithic Archaeology
The course provides an essential background on issues relating to the analysis and interpretation of the fossil and archaeological records.
Students will be encouraged to select options from the following list up to the value of 60 credits. Alternatively, they may choose from the wider range of Master's options available at the UCL Institute of Archaeology or the Department of Anthropology.
- Archaeology of Early Human Origins
- Archaeology of Hunter-Gatherers from the Emergence of Modern Humans
- Evolution of Human Brain and Behaviour
- GIS in Archaeology and History
- Human Behavioural Ecology (by arrangement with UCL Anthropology)
- Prehistoric Stone Artefact Analysis
- Palaeoanthropology (by arrangement with UCL Anthropology)
- Primate Evolution (by arrangement with UCL Anthropology)
- Primate Socioecology (by arrangement with UCL Anthropology)
- Zooarchaeology in Practice
Detailed descriptions of the core courses and modules can be found here. Please note not all modules are available every year.
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words (90 credits).
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, discussions, seminars, laboratory practicals and student presentations. Assessment is through essays, practical examination and seminar presentations, (depending on the options chosen), and the dissertation.
For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.
Institute of Archaeology Master's Awards: a small number of grants up to the value of £1,000 are available for the academic year 2021/22. All UK/EU and Overseas fee-paying students with an offer to start any Master's degree offered by the IoA are eligible to apply. For an application form please email Lisa Daniel. The deadline for applications is 1 March 2021.
UCL Institute of Archaeology International Masters Student Award: thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor the scholarship will enable one international fee paying student to undertake a year of study. It will provide support of up to £26,000 for the duration of their degree and funds can be used to support fees and/or maintenance costs at the recipient’s discretion. Further details can be found here. The deadline for applications is 1 March 2021.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
A significant number of the graduate students from this programme have gone on to take PhDs at UCL, elsewhere in the UK and in other countries. A number of those have been awarded prestigious scholarships to cover their costs. Other graduates have gone on to work in cultural resource management and museums, and others have used their skills to pursue careers in fields such as publishing, Information technology and teaching.
The skills which students develop include the critical evaluation of scholarship across the discipline, design and management of personal research, primary data collection and analysis, and the preparation of detailed reports/dissertations up to publication standard. Although these will relate to anthropology and archaeology, they are invaluable skills for other areas of employment.
Why study this degree at UCL?
The UCL Institute of Archaeology and UCL Anthropology have considerable staff expertise in the fields of palaeoanthropology and palaeolithic archaeology. Staff and research students are currently involved in field projects as well as museum-based studies in Britain, various parts of Europe, the Middle East, India, China, South-East Asia, Australia, East and South Africa and South America.
Our excellent results in the recent Research Excellence Framework (2014) show that our two departments are both very highly ranked in the UK.
Situated in central London, the university is within easy access of the British Museum and Natural History Museum and their outstanding palaeontological and archaeological collections.
Department: Institute of Archaeology
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.
This programme requires two references. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.
There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.
Who can apply?
The programme provides an excellent foundation for graduate study in the fields of palaeoanthropology and palaeolithic archaeology, and is therefore suitable for students wishing to undertake doctoral research in these fields. It will also appeal to graduates with strong interests in the origins and emergence of human societies.
- Visa nationals
- 31 May 2021
- Non-visa nationals
- 30 July 2021
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 Palaeoanthropology and Palaeolithic Archaeology at graduate level
- why you want to study Palaeoanthropology and Palaeolithic Archaeology at UCL
- what particularly attracts you to this programme
- how your personal, academic and professional background meets the demands of a challenging academic programme
- 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.
Applicants need a general archaeological, anthropological or natural science background to be eligible for direct entry on to this degree. Applicants without this may wish to contact us to ask if their qualifications are appropriate or consider our Graduate Diploma in the first instance.
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