What will I learn?

Our MSc Professional Human Osteoarchaeology course provides advanced instruction on the osteological methods, theories and techniques needed to identify and analyse human skeletal remains from archaeological contexts.

It highlights training for professional practice in the commercial sector, providing details on report writing, tendering, health and safety, ethics and the law.

You will have the opportunity to learn directly from leading academics in modules that immediately relate to their areas of expertise. Our programme’s teaching staff have established international reputations for research in human osteology and chemical analysis specialising in the study of the life course (infants and children, puberty, old age) and diet.

The Department curates over 600 human skeletons providing an excellent resource for teaching human anatomy, analytical methods, adult and juvenile osteology, and palaeopathology in fully-equipped dedicated laboratories.

This programme has been developed in response to industry need, and in consultation with professional practitioners. You will have the opportunity to engage with professionals through talks and site visits, allowing you to develop vital contacts for your career.

This highly flexible degree is offered both part-time and full-time, and can be used to develop or advance vocational training, or provide a solid foundation for future research. Modules may also be studied on an individual basis as part of your continual professional development (CPD).


The demand for trained and skilled archaeologists is set to grow exponentially over the next decade, due to a high number of large scale infrastructure and investment projects planned on a national scale, both in the UK and abroad.

This flexible programme provides the foundation for work within commercial archaeology companies, as curatorial and education staff in the museum sector, or within the University environment. It also prepares you for a PhD in bioarchaeology and related subjects.

Which department am I in?

School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science

Study options

Full Time (12 months)

Tuition fees
£19,715.00 (US$ 24,610) per year
This is a fixed fee

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

Start date

21 September 2020


University of Reading

Whiteknights House,

PO Box 217,



RG6 6AH, England

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Students need to have four year Bachelor degree from a recognised institution with GPA of 3.0. Please refer the university website for details of the English Language requirements for entry to individual postgraduate degree programmes.

For international students

A first or good second-class honours degree (or equivalent from a university outside the UK) normally, but not exclusively, in archaeology, anthropology, history or biology. IELTS: 6.5 overall with no element less than 5.5 (or equivalent).

Find your nearest IELTS test centre and test dates

There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


About this uni

The University of Reading has great links to businesses and an international reputation for high-quality research and teaching.

  • Ranked among the top 20% of universities worldwide
  • Approximately 500 undergraduate and postgraduate courses
  • 98% of the research rated internationally
  • Over 21,000 students from over 165 countries