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MSc Biological Anthropology

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  • Delivery:
    Full time according to Funding Council definitions, Part-Time

Biological Anthropology is the study of evolution and variation in human populations and of the interactions between human biology and environment.

This combines our international reputation for anthropology, archaeology and biology, specifically including studies in primatology, evolutionary anthropology, human osteology, zooarchaeology, but also (paeleo-) ecology and behaviour.

This exciting course gives a core grounding in human evolution, primate behaviour and ecology, the origins of human behaviour and how hominines adapted to their environment, as well as human and animal skeletal analysis. Ultimately this course offers a uniquely wide range of suitable project topics that can prepare you for a career in a variety of aligned fields.

Master’s degrees in sciences

Please watch the recorded BU Webinar ‘Master’s Degrees in Sciences’. Presented by Paul Kneller, Senior Lecturer in Forensic Science at the Faculty of Science & Technology, this webinar will give you an excellent insight into the Faculty of Science & Technology postgraduate courses that BU offer.

Key information

Next start date:

September 2019, September 2020


Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus


1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

Required subjects:

Archaeology, Biological Sciences, Biological Anthropology or Anthropology

Entry requirements:

For 2019 entry: A Bachelors Honours degree, 2:2 or equivalent in a required subject. 

International entry requirements:

If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS 6.5 (Academic) with a minimum of 5.5 in each component of writing, speaking, listening and reading. For more information check out our full entry requirements.

Course details

On this course you will be taught by a range of staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This will include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners, demonstrators, technicians and research students. You will also benefit from regular guest lectures from industry.

Placement opportunities

Your application

We particularly encourage applications from people who have an enthusiasm for developing critical thinking and observational skills and who would like to develop better understanding of the human species through the study of human remains.

Such skills and knowledge may then form a basis for further postgraduate study. Students on this degree course will typically have backgrounds in Archaeology, Anatomy, or Forensic Science.

Entry requirements


Most of our MSc Biological Anthropology graduates choose to embark on a career in teaching or future research, however there are many and varied professional opportunities for biological anthropologists.

Costs and fees

You can find full information about the deposits required and how to pay your fees in our postgraduate fees and funding section, including details of the Postgraduate Loan (subject to fee status).

All fees are quoted in pounds sterling and are per annum. Fees quoted are for tuition only unless stated otherwise. Your tuition fees will be the same for each year of your course.

Find out more about living expenses for postgraduate students

Our staff

On this course you will be taught by staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This could include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners and research students, many of whom are actively engaged in research and/or professional practice which is integrated into the teaching of this course. Please note that teaching staff can change.

Course changes

What our students say

Sara McGuire

My studies have enabled me to develop skills in the study of human skeletal anatomy, and apply them many fields including archaeology, forensic anthropology, evolutionary biology, and the study of primate societies.

Hear from our staff

Professor Holger Schutkowski

I love standing in front of students and suddenly seeing this sparkle as you get people hooked on an idea - it’s one of the things I love about teaching.

What our students say

Helen Slater

I get to spend 8 months in the Sumatran jungle, with orang-utans, gibbons, monkeys, tigers, leopards, rhinos, elephants and much more. Who else can say that?!