Many people who take the Osteoarchaeology MSc do so to gain the necessary osteological knowledge to allow them to embark upon a PhD involving human and/or animal remains. Others join the programme to enable them to work in mainstream archaeology.
A large proportion of students when they embark on their MSc degree intend to continue their studies to PhD level and beyond at Edinburgh or elsewhere. Several pervious students have already embarked on PhDs. Some career paths could lead to work in museums or archaeological units.
Sheena Fraser graduated with an MSc with Distinction in Osteoarchaeology in 2006. She is now a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh, researching animal remains from the archaeological site of Links of Noltland, Westray, Orkney. Sheena’s PhD is sponsored by Historic Scotland.
"I attended the University of Edinburgh’s Osteoarchaeology MSc course as a mature student, having already followed a career in the Scottish water industry. I had studied Ecological Science at Edinburgh from 1972-76 and was attracted to the idea of combining animal ecology with osteoarchaeology as a foundation for a second career. My MSc course covered both animal and human osteoarchaeology, which I have subsequently found very useful because it gave me exposure to a wider range of techniques and analysis than if I had only studied animal osteoarchaeology.
"I found the osteoarchaeology lectures wide-ranging and interesting. The staff were knowledgeable, supportive and helped identify opportunities for me. I found the university’s range of e-journals and other electronic literature particularly useful for course work. The city of Edinburgh itself offers other useful resources, for example the National Library of Scotland, the National Museum of Scotland’s Natural History Collection and the collections of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historic Monuments for Scotland and the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.
"Since graduating I have carried out specialist contract work in archaeological animal bone collections both in Scotland and the Middle-East. This work was frequently generated via contacts in the Osteoarchaeology Department. In September 2010 I started a PhD investigating the animal bones from a Historic Scotland sponsored excavation at Links of Noltland, Westray, Orkney. I'm pleased to say that my PhD supervisors are the principal lecturers from my MSc course."
This article was published on Oct 2, 2013