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MSc Bioarchaeology

Pushing the limits of archaeological science

The Bioarchaeology Research Group at Durham University is at the forefront of globally-important innovations in the application of biosciences to archaeological research. As an MSc student, you will be immersed in this interdisciplinary and dynamic research environment, and will receive advanced training from some of the UK’s leading bioarchaeologists. Through your project and dissertation work, you will have the opportunity to play an active role in the development and application of cutting-edge analytical methods, and will contribute to exciting new discoveries about the human past. Many of our MSc students have produced highly original, publishable research.

You can choose a bespoke pathway through the course, tailored to your interests. You may choose to specialise in a single branch of bioarchaeology, or to combine subjects to obtain a broader overview of this rapidly changing field. Whichever pathway you choose, you will be mentored by friendly and supportive staff with decades of experience helping MSc students navigate into employment and doctoral studies.

Possible degree pathways in 2021-22:

A person preparing samples in the DNA lab

Go from student to researcher

The MSc Bioarchaeology is designed to provide you with hands-on practical training and scientific research skills, and while you are learning you will also be contributing to genuine ‘live’ archaeological research projects.

Some research you will do as collaborative class projects – for the module Environmental Archaeology, for example – may result in co-authored scientific reports.

Some research you will do independently, under the guidance and supervision of world-leading experts in the field, could potentially lead to published papers. The Dissertation and the optional Practical Guided Study module give you the opportunity to develop your own research projects, fitted uniquely to your personal interests, experiences, and background. 

Find out more about this course and apply →

University student
The expertise of the faculty and the world-class facilities allowed for my peers and I to delve into every realm of archaeological and scientific technique – from luminescence dating to isotope analysis. The intensive writing requirements of the programme readied me for producing publishable material in the future.

Maggie Scollan
MSc Bioarchaeology graduate