Postgraduate Students

Programme description

This programme gives you the skills to work with human skeletal remains, which are the most direct evidence of past lifeways.


The scientific investigation of human skeletal remains, also known as Bioarchaeology or Biological Anthropology, gives unique insights into human history. Demographic shifts, environmental changes, living conditions, migrations, the spread of diseases and the impact of violence and conflict all leave traces on the skeleton.

The MSc in Human Osteoarchaeology provides students with theoretical knowledge and practical skills to understand these important skeletal biographies and interpret them in their cultural context (biocultural approach), at the individual and the population level, combining theoretical learning with hands-on practice.

The programme draws on a variety of techniques, ranging from visual examination of the whole skeleton to the biomolecular analysis of small bone samples. Students gain invaluable hands-on experience with the School's extensive Scottish skeletal collection.

Teaching and student research projects benefit from our wide range of lab facilities and the programme's close relationship with the nearby National Museum of Scotland and the Museum of Edinburgh.


Read what our students say about our Archaeology degrees.