MSc Osteoarchaeology

Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Arts and Humanities

We draw on the humanities and the sciences to explore our relationship with the world.

We're reinventing archaeology. New perspectives, new methods, new ways to help communities understand and celebrate their heritage. Thinking about the future is part of the discipline.

A masters with us is perfect preparation for a PhD and a research career. We also run courses with an optional vocational track, so you can train for specific jobs. Everyone gets the chance to take part in fieldwork - in the UK, mainland Europe, Asia and Africa.

The question we ask all our students is: "What kind of archaeologist do you want to be?"

Jobs include Historic Buildings Projects Officer, Commercial Field Archaeologist and Postdoctoral Researcher.


About the course

This course focuses on the study of human and animal bones from archaeological sites.

You'll get practical and theoretical research training through lab and lecture-based modules.

There are also chances to work with partner organisations in the UK and overseas as part of your dissertation.

This course makes full use of our osteology and palaeoanthropology labs.

It's a unique combination of Palaeolithic archaeology, biological anthropology, human and comparative anatomy, primatology and hominid palaeontology.

And a strong platform for a PhD in hominid origins or human evolution.

Core modules

  • ZooarchaeologyAdvanced Zooarchaeology
  • Osteoarchaeological Assemblage Analysis
  • The History of the Human Animal Relationship
  • Archaeozoology
  • Biological Anthropology I
  • Biological Anthropology II
  • Human Osteology
  • Dissertation in either Osteoarchaeology or Zooarchaeology

Teaching

  • Seminars
  • Lectures
  • Lab classes
  • Projects

Assessment

  • Coursework assignment
  • Dissertation

Part-time study

This course can be taken full-time or part-time.

If you study part-time, you'll take two 15-credit modules in each semester during Year 1 and Year 2, and either a dissertation or placement module over the summer of Year 2. We arrange for you to attend two days a week but we try to be as flexible as possible.

Apply now

Margaret James, postgraduate student of the Department of Archeology


I love the mix of both theoretical and practical teaching we get. We have seminars but we also get to handle the materials, which is fun and interesting.

Margaret James, postgraduate student in Department of Archaeology

Key facts

Course Duration

  • 1 year full-time
  • 2 years part-time

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 in any subject plus English Language GCSE grade C or above.

English language requirements

Overall IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component, or equivalent.

Entry requirements for international students

Fees and funding

If you accept a place on one of our courses, you may be eligible to apply for WRoCAH and University of Sheffield studentships. If you're considering applying for funding, we recommend you contact us as soon as possible.

Financial information for postgraduate taught courses

Specialist facilities

You'll have everything you need to explore your ideas. We have a complex of laboratories, imaging and GIS resources and storage facilities.

There are labs for research and teaching in environmental archaeology, human and animal skeletal analysis, landscape and aerial archaeology, and materials sciences.

World-leading expertise

Publications by our staff have become standard texts on their respective subjects. Our research is organised into six areas: Landscape Archaeology; Material Culture Studies; Medieval Archaeology; Funerary Archaeology; The Archaeology of the Mediterranean and Bioarchaeology.

There are several specialised research centres here: Sheffield Centre for Aegean Archaeology, Sheffield Centre for Archaeobotany and Ancient Land-Use, and Zooarchaeology Laboratory. Their projects, conferences and seminars all add to the quality of your course.

Your career

Any one of our courses will prepare you for a PhD and a research career. Some courses have an optional vocational track that trains you for specific types of jobs.

Sheffield graduates hold archaeological posts in Europe, North America, Asia and Australasia. They use their expertise in universities, museums, archaeological consultancies, heritage parks and government. Jobs include Historic Buildings Projects Officer, Commercial Field Archaeologist and Postdoctoral Researcher.

Global fieldwork

We offer the opportunity for you to get involved in our research projects in the UK, mainland Europe, Asia and Africa.

How we teach

Our students come from all around the world. The content of our courses reflects this. You can expect a balanced timetable of lectures, seminars and practicals. Fieldwork is an important part of all our courses.

Apply now

You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It is a quick and easy process.

Postgraduate Online Application Form

Any questions?

If you'd like to know more about any aspect of our courses, contact us:

E: archaeology@sheffield.ac.uk
T: +44 (0)114 222 2900