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.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2018/19)
- £12,380 (FT) £6,190 (PT)
- £21,160 (FT) £10,740 (PT)
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 Current Students website.
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.
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 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).
Students choose two of the first three modules in the list below. Postgraduate Methods/Statistics I is compulsory for all students.
- Human Behavioural Ecology
- Primate Socioecology
- Postgraduate Methods/Statistics 1 (term one)*
Students choose three of the following optional modules:
- Advanced Human Evolution
- Archaeology of Hunter-Gatherers from the Emergence of Modern Humans
- Archaeology of Human Evolution in Africa
- Primate Socioecology
- Evolution of Human Brain, Cognition and Language
- Evolution of Human Cumulative Culture
- Evolution of the Human Brain and Behaviour
- Primate Evolution
- Variation and Evolution of the Human Skull
- Advanced Statistics
- Practical Ethnographic and Documentary Filmmaking
All MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a 15,000-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.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit 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 on to 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.
Recent career destinations for this degree
- Archaeological Research Assistant, The Cyprus Institute
- Business Director, CEB
- Freelance Consultant, A Piece of Pie
- PGCE Secondary Science - Specialised in Biology and Psychology, University of Exeter
- Civil Servant, Ministry of Defence (MoD)
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.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
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 the Research Excellence Framework (REF2014) 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.
Student / staff numbers
› 50 staff
including 22 postdocs
› 180 taught students
› 120 research students
Staff/student numbers information correct as of 1 August 2017.
Research Excellence Framework (REF)
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Anthropology
68% rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
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.
Application fee: There is an application processing fee for this programme of £75 for online applications and £100 for paper applications. More details about the application fee can be found at www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.
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.
- All applicants
- 27 July 2018
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.