MSc Osteoarchaeology

MSc Osteoarchaeology

The physical remains of people are the most tangible way of engaging with the long and rich story of our human past. This programme uses the unique archaeological collections of the University of Aberdeen, combined with the latest osteoarchaeological approaches and techniques, to provide students with the knowledge and practical skills to analyse human skeletons from archaeological contexts.

These collections provide unparalleled research and teaching opportunities for students at the University of Aberdeen.  Students will actively work on these extensive and nationally significant collections and where possible, publish the results as part of student/staff projects.

Study at the Museum Resource Centre in the stunning Marischal College, which houses thousands of human skeletons from prehistory to the post-medieval period. For more information email our programme coordinator Dr Rebecca Crozier We accept applications from a range of disciplines and backgrounds. Small bursaries are available. Follow the links below to apply! 

Programme Details

Exceptional Qualities

Student in taking our Osteoarchaeology master's degree will,

  • Gain hands-on experience of human remains from prehistoric, medieval and post-medieval assemblages and offering a diverse range of learning situations and research possibilities. 

  • Work in the museum resource centre as part of research-led teaching. This provides not only access to dedicated facilties but also direct experience with the dynamics of modern museums. 

  • Benefit from ongoing research within the department. Our experts also have connections to other UK and international collections and collaborators providing chances to become involved in ongoing and future archaeological research. 

  • Study in a department ranked No.1 for research in Scotland and willing and able to help you build your future research plans and profile. 

Immersive Instruction

A taught MSc offers the opportunity to focus intensively on archaeological topics.  You course of study will include intense, hands-on courses in Human Osteoarchaeology and Ancient Health and Disease that include independent projects, lab practical training, lectures and a dedicated workspace. These culminate in a research project involving human skeletal remains developed in consulation with and supported by your instructors.   In addition to specialized osteoarchaeology courses you will join Aberdeen's wider Master's cohort to engage with the fundamental questions of archaeological theory and practice in a seminar format through two additional courses on Theory and Method in Research and Advanced Archaeological Approaches. A diverse range of lectures from the archaeology programme are also available for you expand your knowledge of the archaeology of the north as well as other specialized topics and regional studies.  

Apply below, contact the programme directly and follow us on Twitter at

Video Introduction

Key Faculty

Dr Rebecca Crozier 

Osteoarchaeology; Mortuary practice; Taphonomy; Body modification. Prehistoric Scotland, Ireland and Southeast Asia

Dr Kate Britton

Isotope Archaeology; Human palaeodiet; Animal Husbandry; Faunal Palaeoecology. Prehistoric and Medieval Europe. 

Dr Charlotta Hillerdal

Ethnicity and social identity; Indigenous archaeology; Archaeological theory and Post colonial Archaeology. Scandinavia, the Viking Age and Alaska. 


A range of funding opportunities can be found by searching the University of Aberdeen's central funding database.

General information about funding sources available can also be found on the University of Aberdeen website.

How to Apply

General information on taught postgraduate degrees at the University of Aberdeen can be found here.