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MSc Forensic Anthropology and Archaeology

Develop your expertise in investigating human remains in a forensic context, applying principles and methods within the constraints and framework of the criminal justice system. Choose from one of two specialisms – Osteology or Search & Recovery.

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

Please note that this course is not recruiting for January 2022, September 2022 or January 2023.

Why study MSc Forensic Anthropology and Archaeology?

  • Investigate human remains in modern contexts relating to crime, conflict, human rights violations, and disasters, whilst exploring traditional principles, techniques and methods of analysis 
  • Develop an understanding of legal issues and constraints, management and process of the investigative system and the professional skills enabling evidence to be presented to court 
  • Focus on interpretation of injury and post-mortem events with emphasis given to the archaeological recovery of human remains rather than taking a view that analysis begins when remains reach the laboratory 
  • Benefit from the expert knowledge of our academics, many of whom are actively engaged in national or international research 
  • Growing demand for skilled practitioners in international investigations of disasters, human rights violations and genocide contributing towards the recovery and identification of unknown victims and the determination of the cause of their deaths 
  • Learn transferable skills including report writing, communication and presentation skills, expert witness training and contemporaneous recording, to prepare you for a wide range of career opportunities. 

Find out more about the content of this course.

Course accreditation

This course has been independently assessed and meets the professional body standards of the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences. It also shows our continual improvement to develop graduate employees. 

Key information

Next start date:



Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus


12 months full-time, 2 years part-time


The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences

Required subjects:

Archaeology, Forensic Science, Forensic Investigation, Biological Sciences or Biological Anthropology

Entry requirements:

A Bachelors Honours degree with 2:2 in a required subject or equivalent

International entry requirements:

If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS 6.5 (Academic) or above. For more information check out our full entry requirements.

Course details

General entry requirements


Forensic archaeology is an expanding international field. Upon completion of the course you will join other BU graduates who are acknowledged as some of the most experienced forensic archaeologists in the field.

This will open up a wide range of career prospects for you, and you could end up work anywhere in the world examining crime scenes, mass graves & disasters and educating other researchers in new forensic science approaches.

There is an increased demand for archaeologists and the profession has been placed on the government list of skilled occupation shortages.

Your application

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.

Hear from our staff

Dr Martin Smith

What we are most proud of is the way our past students have gone on to make a difference in the world in a wide range of roles and locations both here in the UK and internationally.

What our graduates think

Amit Sarkar

Whilst at BU I gained many skills, such as the ability to apply a high degree of academic rigour to the content and quality of police reports required for court.

Samuel James Walker

My time studying and working within the archaeology department at Bournemouth University gave me the skill set to pursue careers within both academia and commercial archaeology.

Statistics shown throughout this page are taken from Unistats and BU institutional data unless otherwise stated.