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Biomolecular Archaeology, MSc

University of Aberdeen

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Course options

  • Qualification

    MSc - Master of Science

  • Location

    University of Aberdeen

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date

    SEP

  • Duration

    12 months

Course summary

This unique one year taught postgraduate programme combines cutting-edge biomolecular research with archaeological and evolutionary approaches, taught across the fields of archaeology, biological and medical science.

This programme combines the study of ancient biomolecules in archaeology with advanced genetic, biomedical and evolutionary research to offer important insights and perspectives on key topics fundamental to human society, such as our evolutionary origins, our rich biological and cultural diversity, ancient health and disease, life history patterns, and past responses to environmental and climate change. It also offers insights to similar questions but for other, non-human organisms such as wild and domestic plants and animals.

Biomolecular Archaeology therefore provides a set of analytical tools important not only for archaeologists, but also for biologists, ecologists, environmental scientists, and biomedical professionals, all of whom benefit greatly from gaining direct insights to past biological diversity.

The principal aim of the MSc in Biomolecular Archaeology is to equip students from a range of different backgrounds with the theoretical and practical skills required for analysing the most commonly preserved ancient biomolecules, with specific emphasis on palaeogenetics, genome sequencing and bioinformatics.

With a practical and applied focus, the programme combines cutting-edge biomolecular research with archaeological and evolutionary approaches and methods. Students will benefit from a choice of courses offered across the fields of archaeology, biological and medical sciences, and study key cross-disciplinary topics such as human evolution, plant and animal domestication, human diets and migrations, ancient pathogens, and human adaptations to past environments.

Students will have the opportunity to learn how biomolecules degrade and preserve in archaeological materials, and how they are extracted and analysed, the strategies and tools used in analysing DNA sequence data, and to develop their own, original biomolecular archaeology research project with specialists in our dedicated laboratories.

Biomolecular archaeology is a rapidly developing field of study. Graduates of this programme will be well placed to pursue careers working as professional archaeologists, either for archaeology companies or for universities, museums, local authorities or other heritage sector organisations. The knowledge and skills taught on this programme are highly transferable and have multiple applications beyond archaeology, for example in molecular biology.

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 18,400per year

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

University information

University of Aberdeen

  • University League Table

    38th

  • Campus address

    University of Aberdeen, Directorate of External Relations, King's College, Aberdeen, Aberdeen, City Of, AB24 3FX, Scotland

One of the top 40 universities in the UK (Complete University Guide).
Student population includes over 130 nationalities, with strong international global networks.
An International Centre provides support to students from application to graduation.

Subject rankings

  • Subject ranking

    18th out of 33 6

    25th out of 100 4

  • Entry standards

    / Max 212
    n/a

  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    52.0 52%

    28th

  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5
    4.19 84%

    13th

    3
  • Entry standards

    / Max 240
    172 78%

    10th

    1
  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    64.0 64%

    73rd

    6
  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5
    4.17 83%

    25th

    22

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