MSc Palaeoanthropology


The MSc Palaeoanthropology course at the University of Sheffield is an advanced training programme available over one year (full-time), or two years (part-time).


Overview

postcard MSc Palaeoanthropology




Study human evolution through a review and evaluation of the ultimate source of information – the fossil record.


Join in on stimulating debates in science and humanities research by exploring themes such as the evolution of bipedalism, cognition, and the origins of modernity.


Unlimited access to excellent lab facilities and extensive collections of skeletons and replica casts of modern humans, primates and fossil hominins.

Palaeoanthropology is a discipline that both traces the becoming of humanity, and reflects our own desire to uncover that past and reveal our origins as a species. As such, our study of our own evolutionary past can be defined as part of what it means to be human. It should come as no surprise therefore, that there has been intense academic and public interest in hominid origins and human evolution, nor that advances in our understanding are continually driven forward by new archaeological and palaeontological discoveries. In addition, evolutionary perspectives are increasingly recognised as providing important insights into human cognition, behaviour and life ways.

Our MSc in Palaeoanthropology draws on these developments, and provides you with a unique combination of biological anthropology, human and comparative anatomy, primatology and hominid palaeontology. The programme also offers an introduction to the use of innovative technologies for 2D and 3D imaging of skeletal and fossil materials in palaeoanthropological research, and is designed to appeal to those who want to create a strong platform for doctoral research in palaeoanthropology, as well as those who just want to deepen their understanding of our extinct ancestors.




A fossil circopithecoid

The programme offers a range of closely integrated core modules in human anatomy and comparative osteology which enable you to develop your knowledge and understanding of the palaeoanthropological record. You will learn to think critically and we will train you in the analytical techniques required to describe and interpret the fossil evidence for early hominid and human evolution. This newly re-designed MSc course is delivered with a more widely-developed interdisciplinary perspective, including module options in theoretical and practical aspects of biological anthropology and archaeology, as well as optional modules in philosophy, linguistics and other topics. A wide range of up-to-date resources is available in the department’s Palaeoanthropology and Osteology Teaching Laboratories.

Sheffield is the ideal place to pursue this programme. As in all our programmes, we stress the integration of ‘science-based’ and ‘humanities’ approaches to produce a deeper understanding of the origins of humanity. We provide you with the opportunity to work between and across different viewpoints and arguments and to make your own mind up about their strengths and weaknesses. What we will ask of you, as a member of our lively academic community, is that you learn, think and develop your own answers to the questions raised.

Skulls

MSc Palaeoanthropology

Content
Duration Full-time (one year) or Part-time (two years)
Semesters The teaching component of the programme will commence late September and is based on semesters (Autumn/Spring). Semester dates are available here. Over the summer you will undertake your independent research in consultation with an academic supervisor. Part-time students will commence this aspect of the programme in the summer of their second year.
Qualification This programme is offered as an MSc (180 credits), Diploma (120 credits) or a Certificate (60 credits).
Assessment Typical forms of assessment include essays, presentations and completion of a research-led dissertation.*

Core Modules:

Information relates to 2017-18 academic year: The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it is current and relevant. Individual modules may be updated or withdrawn in response to discoveries through our world-leading research, funding changes, professional accreditation requirements, student or employer feedback, curriculum review, staff availability, and variations in student numbers. In the event of a material change the University will inform students in good time and will take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

These compulsory modules will provide you with the key knowledge and understanding for research in Palaeoanthropology:

*While the majority of dissertation projects do not involve any additional cost to the student, you may incur some expenses if you choose a topic that is not resourced by the department.

Optional Modules:

You will chose modules worth a total of 30 credits from amongst those offered by departments in the Faculties of Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences or Sciences.  Availability varies from year to year but the following gives a flavour of the kind of specialised modules on offer:

For information on other modules in Archaeology please see our module list.

Full programme specifications are also available.

Staff

Kevin Kuykendall

Kevin Kuykendall (Programme Director)

Kevin’s research interests include Plio-Pleistocene hominid fossil site survey and excavation, evolution of early hominid life history, the origin and evolution of Homo sapiens in Africa evolution and variation of the paranasal sinuses in primates.

Umberto Albarella

Dr Umberto Albarella

Umberto specialises in the study of animal bones from archaeological sites (zooarchaeology). His research is wide-ranging and strongly oriented towards the integration of different aspects of archaeology. His work is predominantly based in Britain and Italy and he has also worked in Armenia, Greece, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, France and Portugal.

Lizzy Craig

Lizzy Craig-Atkins

Lizzy is a specialist in human osteology and palaeopathology with particular interests in multidisciplinary approaches to questions surrounding past population structures, health, disease and lifestyle. She has worked with human remains from many periods and locations, but her primarily focus is on material from post-Roman to modern periods in the UK.

Pia Nystrom

Dr Pia Nystrom

Pia has many research interests. Those of special interest are examination of skeletal pathology in non-human primates using standards developed for the human species, examining the influence of age, sex, positional behaviour, and captivity. The reconstruction of diet in past societies, especially on an individual level, and how diet impact on individual health, wealth and position within a population. The position of children in past societies, their health and well-being and how well integrated they were within the adult social world.

Entry

Academic Requirements:

 We welcome applications from candidates with a good honours degree (2.1/GPA 3.0 or better) in archaeology, anthropology, or one of the natural or earth sciences. Students with an academic background or experience in other relevant fields may also be considered, and should contact the course director.  EU and international student entry requirements can be found using the link below:

http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/international/countries


English Language Requirements:

For applicants whose first language is not English, IELTS is the preferred test of language. You need an IELTS score of 6.5, with at least 5.5 in all the component tests. Further information can be obtained from the following link:

http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/postgraduate/info/englang


Fees:

Funding options, instalment plans and tuition fee information are located at:

http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/finance


How to Apply:

Applications forms are completed on-line at the following link:

http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/apply/applying


Visit Us:

If you’re considering doing a postgraduate programme at Sheffield, you are very welcome to visit us. You can attend an open day or a visit afternoon, which will include a tour of the University campus and the department, or contact the department directly (archaeology@sheffield.ac.uk) to arrange a personal visit to meet with the director of your chosen programme.

http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/postgraduate/open-days


Further Information:

If you are interested in the MSc Palaeoanthropology course and would like further information, or if you would like advice on how to progress your palaeoanthropological interests ahead of your application, please contact the course director Dr Kevin Kuykendall.

For any other queries please contact: E: archaeology@sheffield.ac.uk, T: +44 (0)114 222 2900


Frequently Asked Questions:

The link below contains questions most commonly asked about the application process:

http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/archaeology/postgraduate_taught/faq

International

We are truly international in our scope and ethos. Our students come to us from countries all over Europe, Asia and America. Their vibrancy, pursuit of knowledge and divergent experience informs our debates and provokes lively discussion. We encourage applicants to visit the following webpages aimed specifically at our EU and international students.

http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/international


We also have a departmental page for our international applicants:

http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/archaeology/international


Prospective EU Students:

http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/international/countries/european-union/eu