M.Sc. On Campus


Durham University

12 months
22250 GBP/year
10300 GBP/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


Studying the Bioarchaeology MSc course offered by Durham University opens the door to the latest developments in archaeological science, including human bioarchaeology and palaeopathology, stable isotope mass spectrometry, ancient DNA, and environmental archaeology.



Bioarchaeology is a branch of archaeology that focuses on the study of biological materials found in archaeological contexts to provide information about the life and environment of humans in the past. It is a fast-paced and continually evolving field, with new breakthroughs and discoveries emerging almost every month.

The Bioarchaeology Research Group at Durham works in cutting-edge laboratories, specialising and teaching in the areas of human health and well-being, diet and lifeways, human and animal identities, dispersals and mobility, the reconstruction of palaeoenvironments, and human-animal-environment relations. Many of the assemblages our students work with for their research derive from staff research projects, or the excavations of our in-house commercial unit, Archaeological Services.

Durham University’s unique MSc Bioarchaeology is aimed at inquisitive graduates from archaeology or science backgrounds, and those with professional experience in commercial archaeology or museums, who are interested in learning how biosciences can be applied to field research or museum collections. It provides high quality training in analytical, research, and communication skills, which prepares students for progression to doctoral research in bioarchaeology.

The Bioarchaeology MSc course offered by Durham University is delivered through an exciting and challenging mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, practical classes, and a supervised dissertation. Lectures provide students with key information on a particular topic in bioarchaeology, and identify the main areas for discussion and debate. Seminars and tutorials provide opportunities for smaller groups of students to discuss and debate particular issues, based on the knowledge gained through lectures and independent study outside the programme’s formal contact hours. 

Practical classes and workshops allow students to gain direct experience of and acquire essential practical skills in the recording, analysis, and interpretation of bioarchaeological data, with guidance from experienced, world-leading scientists. Finally, through supervised projects and dissertations,  students have the opportunity to put their knowledge and skills into practice, and to design and execute a substantial piece of independent, original research.

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Research and Study Skills in Archaeological Science
  • Themes in Palaeopathology
  • Topics in Archaeological Science
  • Research Topics in Archaeology: Forensic Archaeology and Anthropology
  • Research Topics in Archaeology: Forensic and Archaeological Genetics 
  • Topics in Archaeological Science

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 12 months
  • Part-time
    • 24 months

Start dates & application deadlines


180 alternative credits


On Campus

Academic requirements

GPA admission requirements GPA
Upper Second Class

Other requirements

General requirements

  • Subject requirements, level and grade

A minimum of an upper second-class (2:1) degree (GPA 3.3.) or equivalent in Archaeology, Anthropology, Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Geography, or related disciplines. Relevant working experience will also be considered.

  • Reference Requirements

One satisfactory references is required.

  • Home/EU applicants are strongly recommended to apply by September to allow sufficient time for their applications to be processed before the start of the academic year. Overseas applicants are strongly recommended to apply by July, since they will need their Confirmation of Acceptance to Study (CAS) number to be issued before they can apply for a visa.

Tuition Fee

To alway see correct tuition fees
  • International

    22250 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 22250 GBP per year during 12 months.
  • National

    10300 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 10300 GBP per year during 12 months.

Part Time Fees

  • EU students: £6,215 per year
  • Island students students: £13,310 per year

Living costs for Durham

660 - 1140 GBP /month
Living costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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Durham University


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