University of York

University of York


This course provides training in the advanced osteoarchaeological analysis of skeletal remains. Uniquely, however, it is the only course in the UK to combine this discipline with the molecular analysis of human remains. Nowhere else can you immerse yourself in the study of stable isotopes, lipid residue analysis, palaeoproteomics and ancient DNA; and play an active role in the development of new techniques in this constantly evolving branch of archaeology. In 2014, seven of the top 100 discoveries in science were in archaeology, and BioArCh staff were involved in three of these. This programme is also available to study at Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate level.

Entry requirements

A good Honours degree (upper 2nd or 1st) or an equivalent qualification from an overseas institution in archaeology, anthropology, biology or related fields. Or, in the case of mature students who might not have conventional qualifications, appropriate relevant experience. This course is designed for students with a passionate interest in the future of archaeology, who want to work at the frontiers of archaeological science. The degree is primarily aimed at those whose previous experience is in archaeology, anthropology, biology or related fields, but we do accept students from diverse backgrounds. The common factor among our student intake is a keen interest in science and in human remains at a biomolecular or bone level. If you're a non-native English speaking applicant you must provide evidence of your English language ability. You need to show enough fluency in all aspects of English (reading, writing, speaking and listening) to the required level of the course you're applying to.

Course modules

Modules include: The archaeology of human bones; ancient biomolecules.
Optional modules include: hard tissue biology; muscular-skeletal anatomy; zooarchaeology - bone and bones; hunting and gathering societies; Mesolithic theory and interpretation; mesolithic lifeways; the Vikings; Medieval settlement and communities; becoming human evolving minds and societies; zooarchaeology - bones from data to interpretation; analysis interpretation, and dissemination of field archaeology data; human bone practical skills; zooarchaeology - exploring the assemblage; Laboratory skills; bone taphonomy; narrating our pasts; virtual reality modelling; topographical survey; artefacts; geophysical survey; geoarchaeology.

Sponsorship information

A range of scholarships and studentships are available at postgraduate level. Some scholarships are funded by the University (such as the York Master's Opportunity Scholarship) and some are funded by Research Councils, alumni, businesses and charities. Please check with the provider for details.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
MSc Full-time September 2016 - 1 years
MSc Part-time September 2016 - 2 years
PgCert Part-time September 2016 - 1 years
PgCert Full-time September 2016 - 1 years
PgDip Full-time September 2016 - 1 years
PgDip Part-time September 2016 - 2 years

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
University of York York YO10 5DD Yorkshire and the Humber

Get in touch

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Key information

Postgraduate Administrator
Telephone number: 
01904 323963