Prospective postgraduates

Research dissertation

You will undertake a research project and produce a dissertation which is submitted on an assigned date in mid-August.

The final element of the programme is a 15,000 word dissertation (60 credits), which students complete during the summer months. This is an independent, primary source-based research project supervised by one or more members of academic staff. Students have considerable freedom to define their own dissertation project — so long as it is a feasible project that one or more staff members have the expertise to supervise.

Example dissertation topics

Strikes with replica Early Neolithic Thames Beater to synbone spheres
Strikes with replica Early Neolithic Thames Beater to synbone spheres

Past dissertation topics have included:

  • An Experimental Investigation of Sharp Force Skeletal Trauma with Replica Bronze Age Weapons.

  • Prisoners versus privileged: A test of the Coimbra method on two Post-Medieval collections in order to reconstruct past social status and lifestyle habits. 
  • The Thames beater: an analysis of blunt force trauma and interpersonal violence in the early British Neolithic. 
  • A biocultural approach to interpreting the experience of congenitally impaired individuals from Medieval London. 
  • Human sacrifice in the royal tombs from the Shang Dynasty.
  • A bioarchaeological study of the relationship between health and socio-economic status in a Classical Greek and Hellenistic skeletal collection from ancient Messembria (Nessebar), Bulgaria.