Archaeology Bioarchaeology (MSc)

Master of Science
Typical Offer
2:1 degree View full entry requirements
1 year
Course Type
Next course starts
September 2024

About this course

Learn how to uncover the secrets of past lives through the study of human and animal skeletons. With this specialist master’s in bioarchaeology, you’ll gain expertise in human anatomy, with unlimited access to our large skeletal collection. You’ll also develop skills in faunal analysis; we have one of the largest reference collections of mammals, birds and fish in the UK.

We're ranked 6th in the UK for archaeology (The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023).

Your specialist bioarcheology learning will cover:

  • analysing human bones to understand age, sex, diet, health and migration
  • identifying mammals, birds and fish through skeletal remains
  • understanding fossilisation and bone modification
  • interpreting archaeology from collections of remains

Beyond your specialist modules you can personalise this MSc bioarchaeology degree to your areas of interest through a range of optional modules.

This archaeological science master's is a very practical degree, but you don’t need prior knowledge of biology or anatomy. You’ll spend a lot of time in our dedicated archaeology laboratories and you’ll have access to specialist isotope labs and a scanning, imaging and micro-CT suite.

You’ll work closely with experts in our Centre for Learning Anatomical Sciences and benefit from opportunities to apply your learning in real-world settings.

There's an opportunity to apply your learning on a 4-week placement, where you’ll gain valuable real-world experience of the archaeology sector and heritage industry. Previous placements have included Historic England, Wessex Archaeology and The Nautical Archaeology Society.

We bring expertise together from across the University, including Medicine, Humanities, the National Oceanography Centre, Engineering and Winchester School of Art, to enable you to gain both scientific skills and cultural understanding.

This bioarchaeology master's offers a balance between vocational and research skills. During your dissertation you’ll be able to embed with one of our research groups to do original research on a topic that you choose. There is the possibility that this work will be published.

Southampton is close to the World Heritage sites of Stonehenge and Avebury and we have research projects engaged with both sites, as well as a range of other archaeological projects across the Globe.

Flexible study

If you prefer, you can apply to study this course as:

  • a part-time master's - study the same course content over 2 or more years

Your modules and fees may vary if you choose a different study option.

We regularly review our courses to ensure and improve quality. This course may be revised as a result of this. Any revision will be balanced against the requirement that the student should receive the educational service expected. Find out why, when, and how we might make changes.

Our courses are regulated in England by the Office for Students (OfS).

Course lead

Dr Jacobo Weinstock is an Associate Professor of Archaeology at the University of Southampton. He has experience in the analysis of faunal remains dating to different periods and geographical areas, from the Pleistocene and up to Early Modern times. Including a zoological study from Troy (in today’s western Turkey) and Carthage (Tunisia).

He has a BA in Archaeology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and an MA in Environmental Archaeology and Palaeoeconomy at the University of Sheffield. Before joining Archaeology at Southampton, he spent time as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Ancient Biomolecules Centre (Oxford University), and the Centre for GeoGenetics (Copenhagen).

For more information view Dr Jacobo Weinstock's staff profile

Related pathways

If you’d prefer a less specialised archaeology master’s degree, or you’d like to focus on a different specialism, you can choose from our 3 other Archaeology MSc pathways. When you join us you’ll have 2 weeks in which you can change pathway if you wish.

Archaeology - Personalise your study of archaeology and build real-world skills through a heritage or archaeological placement with this QS top 30 Archaeology Master’s.

Archaeology Higher Archaeological Practice - Discover our archaeological practice master's degree at the University of Southampton. Learn how to get a job in archaeology and commercial archaeology.

Archaeology Palaeoanthropology - Discover our Palaeoanthropology master's degree at the University of Southampton. Learn to analyse stone tools and hominin skulls to understand our evolution.

Course location

This course is based at Avenue.

Awarding body

This qualification is awarded by the University of Southampton.

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