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MSc Forensic Archaeology

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

Forensic Archaeology involves the use of archaeological principles and techniques for the location, recovery, and interpretation of evidence for past events within the context of the criminal justice system.

It utilises both field and laboratory skills in the investigation of serious crime, missing persons, human rights and mass disasters. These skills range from searching for and excavating clandestine graves to the international investigation of crimes against humanity.

The course provides invaluable background knowledge in archaeological and forensic sciences required for criminal and human identification cases, integrating archaeological, anthropological and investigative disciplines. The course is delivered by leading practitioners who will develop and enhance your employability.

Our forensic archaeology course is unique in that it provides you with the opportunity to work with specialist equipment independently and provides you with a wealth of practical exercises simulating forensic scenarios, such as investigating mass graves.

Your practical work is supported by demonstrators in our analytical labs, osteological labs, skeletal collections; survey, excavation and geophysical equipment, geographical information systems (GIS), and dedicated computing labs.

Hear from two of our graduates how studying Archaeology at BU has helped in their careers: Live webinar Wednesday 27 February 2019 15:00 to 16:00

Key information

Next start date:

September 2019, September 2020


Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus


1 year full-time or 2 years part-time


The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences

Required subjects:

Archaeology, Archaeological sciences, Anthropology, Forensic science, Geology, Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Psychology

Entry requirements:

For 2019 entry: Bachelors Honours degree with 2:2 in a required subject and/or relevant comprehensive professional experience.

International entry requirements:

If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS (Academic) 6.5 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

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.

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.

Course changes

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 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.