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

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. 

  • 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.  Your course of study will feature a very strong lab component, where you will be taught the practical skills needed to work with and analyse human skeletal remains. You will gain practical skills in the identification of skeletal elements and how to determine key biological information such as age-at-death, sex and stature. Finally, you will develop the knowledge and skills needed to recognise and diagnose pathological changes in the skeleton. All the practical studies will take place in our dedicated lab spaces on the Old Aberdeen campus.  Your studies will culminate in a research project involving human skeletal remains developed in consultation with, and supported by, your instructor.   In addition to specialised osteoarchaeology courses, you will join Aberdeen's wider master's cohort through choosing additional courses in either Theory and Method in Research OR Ancient Biomolecules AND EITHER Advanced Archaeological Approaches OR The Archaeology of Death.   .  

Apply below, contact the programme directly and follow us on X (formerly known as Twitter) at

Key Faculty

Dr Rebecca Crozier 

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

Dr Linus Flink

Ancient DNA, human migration, animal domesticatione. 

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.