Postgraduate Students

Taught courses

You will normally take seven courses across two semesters of teaching, including six compulsory courses and an option of your choice.

Core courses

You will take six compulsory courses.

Compulsory courses previously offered include:


Course name

Human Musculo-Skeletal Anatomy 20
Analytical Methods in Human Osteoarchaeology 20
Quantitative Methods and Reasoning in Archaeology 20
Skeletal Pathology 20
Bioarchaeological Analysis and Interpretation 10

Research Sources and Strategies in Bioarchaeology


Optional courses

You will choose a further 20 credits, subject to availability.

Option Courses 2024-2025

* * Please note that the list of courses below is provisional and subject to change. 

Course name Credits
Archaeological Illustration 20
Biomolecular Archaeology: the appliance of science 20
The Archaeology of Children and Childhood 20
Social Bioarchaeology: Living Conditions, Lifestyles and the Impact of Disease in the Past 20
Archaeomaterials Analysis 20

Courses for those studying from September 2025 will be available from April 2025.

Teaching and assessment

Throughout the programme you will take part in lectures, seminars and practical work with archaeological skeletal assemblages and reference collections. Drawing on Edinburgh’s long history in the study of the human body, you will also have the opportunity to visit Surgeons' Hall Museum and the University's Anatomy Department, which provide unique collections of pathological and anatomical study remains. There may also be the possibility to attend field schools.

Further information

You can see more details about the 2024/25 programme structure on the Degree Programme Table for the MSc in Human Osteoarchaeology. We expect the 2025/26 programme structure to be available from May 2025.