MSc Human Osteology and Funerary Studies

MSc Human Osteology and Funerary Studies at Winchester gives students the opportunity to study the practical and theoretical aspects of human remains and funerary studies in archaeology, and what they may tell us about the life, health and death of past populations.


MSc Human Osteology and Funerary Studies at University of Winchester

Entry requirements 

Normally a first or second-class Honours degree in Archaeology o ra related subject. It is also expected that prospective students will have already taken an undergraduate level module in Human Bioarchaeology/Human Osteology or equivalent, have participated in a bioarchaeological/osteological field school, or have relevant professional experience.

If English is not your first language

IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in writing

Degree duration

Full-time: 1 year
Part-time: 2 years

Start date: September

Teaching takes place: Daytime

Course Tuition Fees and Additional Costs

UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man

September 2017 Entry Full-time | £5,000
September 2017 Entry Part-time | £2,500 p/a

Total Cost | £5,000

International Students

September 2017 Entry Full-time | £11,200
September 2017 Entry Part-time | £5,600 p/a

Total Cost | £11,200

Additional costs:


  • Printing: Students will pay for their dissertation to be printed and bound. Approximately £20.


  • Core texts: Multiple copies of core text are held within the library and e-books are identified where possible, however due to the popularity of some books, there will not be enough availability for every student. It is advised that students look into purchasing second-hand copies. Cost approximately £150. 

To find out what general costs are included or excluded in the course fees, such as textbooks and travel expenses, please click here

Other Information

Fact: The practical teaching on the course uses skeletons from the St Mary Magdalen Leprosy Hospital, curated in the Archaeology department.

Fact: Collections available for dissertations include material in the Novium Collections at Fishbourne and the extensive holdings of the Hampshire Cultural Trust.

*subject to validation
'Validation' is the process by which the University approves a new programme to ensure that it provides a distinct, high quality academic experience for students, that enables them to acquire the necessary academic knowledge, understanding, general and subject-specific skills required to pursue a graduate level career. In the unlikely event that a programme is not validated then we will do our best to find you an alternative programme within the University.

Terms and Conditions

For more information about the University of Winchester's terms and conditions click here.

The course includes taught components on a wide range of practical and theoretical aspects of the study of human remains in archaeology, with some modules focusing on the study of funerary beliefs and rituals throughout prehistory and history.

The programme is suitable for students who wish to study and undertake osteology or funerary studies research from a particular archaeological period, or geographical area, such as:

  • The Palaeolithic of Western Europe
  • Classical Greece
  • The Roman Period
  • The Early and Later Medieval Periods
  • The Post-Medieval Period in Europe
  • North America and the Caribbean
  • Africa

Departmental staff have expertise in the following themes and approaches:

  • Medieval Hospitals
  • Leprosy in the Medieval Period
  • Skeletal Trauma
  • Deviant Burials
  • Commingled and Disarticulated Remains
  • Cremated Remains

Core Modules:

  • Human Skeletal Anatomy and Fundamentals of Skeletal Analysis
  • Palaeopathology
  • Concepts of Funerary Archaeology
  • Funerary Studies
  • Research Methods and Skills
  • Dissertation

A module from Archaeology and History (in agreement with the Programme Leader) from a choice of:

  • Issues in Global Cultural Heritage
  • Management in Heritage Organisations
  • Placement
  • The Celts
  • The Archaeology of Space and Place
  • The Archaeology of Buildings
  • Lower and Middle Palaeolithic of Western Eurasia
  • Central Southern England in the Roman Period
  • Mediterranean Landscape Studies
  • Later Prehistoric Wessex
  • The Archaeology of Winchester
  • Church Archaeology
  • Greek Art and Architecture
  • Roman Art and Architecture
  • Byzantium and Beyond
  • The Archaeology of Africa
  • Climate Change and People
  • The Archaeology of North America (1492-1776)
  • Religion, Magic and Esoteric Traditions in Post-Medieval Britain
  • The Archaeology of Italy, 800BCAD500
  • Reception of the Classical World - Art and Architectures
  • Caribbean Peoples and Cultures
  • The Archaeology of Buddhism
  • The Archaeology of Monasticism
  • The Archaeology of Medieval Religion and Belief
  • The Archaeology of Transcaucasia

The course is taught through a combination of lectures, presentations and practical laboratory sessions, and attendance at departmental/research centre seminars enables students to share their experiences.

Collections available for dissertations include material in the Novium Collections at Fishbourne and the extensive holdings of the Hampshire Cultural Trust.

Programme Leader

Assessment is by means of a series of essays, reports and exams. The dissertation module allows students to apply the knowledge and research skills developed in the production of a substantive piece of research of 15,000 words on a Human Osteology and/or Funerary Studies topic of their choice, supervised by a member of staff with relevant research interests.

At the University of Winchester validated programmes may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams, or practical performances. The University is committed to ensuring that all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used in the programme you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day/Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.

MSc Human Osteology and Funerary Studies acts as a basis for a career within archaeology, or related discipline, or as preparation for undertaking an MRes, MPhil or PhD.

Course Enquiries and Applications

Telephone: +44 (0) 1962 827234
Send us a message

International students seeking additional information about this programme can email or call +44 (0) 1962 827023.

Applications need to be submitted before the 31 May 2017. Late applications can be accepted throughout the remainder of the application year, for more information click here.

Visit us

Explore our campus and find out more about studying at Winchester

Share this page

​Like, tweet, watch

Facebook iconTwitter iconYouTube iconLinkedin iconUoW mobile app