September 2021 start
PG Certificate
PG Diploma

Archaeological Science

Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Create a bespoke degree that reflects your unique interests and ambitions through one of our two pathways: Bioarchaeology or Cross-discipline.
Archaeological science

Course description

You'll choose from two different pathways to design your own course through a combination of core and optional modules. You'll have the choice of the Bioarchaeology or Cross-disciplinary pathway. The Cross-disciplinary pathway is suited to students who desire greater freedom of choice outside of the core modules or wish to study a combination of organic and inorganic materials.

MSc students
This course is structured to lead up to the writing of a journal-style paper. You’ll select a specialist analytical approach and develop this in-depth to address a specific archaeological problem.


Core modules


  • Quantitative Methods
  • Research Design: Planning, Execution and Presentation
  • Applied Archaeological Science
  • Journal-style Paper: c. 6000 words


  • Human Osteology
  • Archaeobotany
  • Zooarchaeology
  • Investigating Ancient Environments
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Research Design: Planning, Execution and Presentation
  • Journal-style Paper: c. 6000 words

Optional modules


  • Mineralogy and Petrography of Archaeological Ceramics
  • Materialising Culture: Agents, Things and Social Processes
  • Experimental Archaeology
  • Rethinking the Ancient Economy
  • Reinventing Archaeology
  • Human Osteology
  • Archaeobotany
  • Zooarchaeology
  • Reconstructing Ancient Technology: Metals
  • Reconstructing Ancient Technology: Ceramics
  • Investigating Ancient Environments


  • Biological Anthropology I
  • Advanced Archaeobotany
  • Advanced Archaeozoology
  • Applied Archaeological Science
  • The History of the Human-Animal Relationship
  • Funerary Archaeology
  • Osteoarchaeological Assemblage Analysis


You'll be taught through a mix of lectures, tutorials, seminars and workshops.


Your assessments will include essays, portfolio work, practical work, exams and a journal-style paper.


MSc: 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time
Postgraduate Diploma: 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time
Postgraduate Certificate: 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

Entry requirements

Usually a minimum 2:1 honours degree in an arts, humanities or science subject. But your interest in and understanding of archaeology is more important than what you studied at undergraduate level.

English language requirements

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

International pathway programmes

If you’re an international student and don’t meet our entry requirements, we offer a Pre-Masters in Science and Engineering programme through the University of Sheffield International College. The programme develops your knowledge of your chosen subject, introduces you to vital study skills and provides additional support to reach the English language level for the course, should you need it.

Once you complete your Pre-Masters in Science and Engineering and achieve the required grades, you can enter your chosen postgraduate degree at the University of Sheffield.


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

Apply now


Dr Katie Hemer
Programme Director
0114 222 2925

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from.