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COURSE OVERVIEW

  • Access to collections in the Novium Collections at Fishbourne and the holdings of the Hampshire Cultural Trust
  • Wide range of research options
  • Opportunity to take a work placement

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

You study and undertake research from a particular archaeological period or geographical area, such as The Palaeolithic of Western Europe, The Roman Period, The Post-Medieval Period in Europe, or North America and the Caribbean. The practical teaching on the course uses skeletons from the St Mary Magdalen Leprosy Hospital, curated in the Department of Archaeology.

You complete core modules in Human Skeletal Anatomy and Fundamentals of Skeletal Analysis, Palaeopathology, Concepts of Funerary Archaeology, and Funerary Studies, along with Research Methods and Skills, which is designed to help you complete your final dissertation.

The dissertation allows you to apply your knowledge and research skills in the production of a substantive piece of research of 15,000 words on a relevant topic of your choice, supervised by a member of staff with relevant research interests. Departmental staff have expertise in themes and approaches including Medieval Hospitals, Leprosy in the Medieval Period, Skeletal Trauma, Deviant Burials, Disability in Prehistory, Commingled and Disarticulated Remains and Cremated Remains.

Collections available for dissertations include material in the Novium Collections at Fishbourne and the extensive holdings of the Hampshire Cultural Trust. You also choose a module from a wide range of options including Issues in Global Cultural Heritage, Byzantium and Beyond, The Archaeology of Africa, and The Archaeology of Buddhism.

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

Careers

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.

Subject to Validation/ReValidation

*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.

ABOUT THIS COURSE

Suitable for applicants from:

UK, EU, World

Learning and teaching

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.

Location

Taught elements of the course take place on our King Alfred Campus (Winchester) or at our West Downs Campus (Winchester)

Assessment

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.

Our validated courses 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.

We ensure 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 on the course you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day or Open Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.

Feedback

We are committed to providing timely and appropriate feedback to you on your academic progress and achievement in order to enable you to reflect on your progress and plan your academic and skills development effectively. You are also encouraged to seek additional feedback from your course tutors.

Further information

For more information about our regulations for this course, please see our Academic Regulations, Policies and Procedures.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

2018 Entry: 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 or equivalent

Course enquiries and applications

Telephone: +44 (0) 1962 827234

Send us a message

International students

International students seeking additional information about this programme can send an email to International@winchester.ac.uk or calling +44 (0)1962 827023

Visit us

Explore our campus and find out more about studying at Winchester by coming to one of our Open Evenings.

Year 1: Level 7

Modules Credits

Dissertation 60

This module is the culmination of the MSc Human Ostelogy and Funerary Studies programme. It offers students the opportunity to develop their research skills and independent study, culminating in a dissertation of between 15,000 and 20,000 words. This is the equivalent of three modules and will involve detailed input and support by a named supervisor appointed mid-way through semester one as part of the RT7122 monitoring and training process.

Research Methods and Skills (Archaeology) 20

In addition to developing the particular knowledge relating to given field of investigation, postgraduate students need both to reflect on the nature of that discipline, to identify its place in the range of human areas of intellectual investigation, to identify particular methods and skills relevant to their disciple from a wide range of methods and skills, to develop those skills and to begin their implementation in a significant and agreed topic of research. Students also use information technology to create bibliographies, make appropriate use of online resources, and to access research materials; they explore appropriate modes of research‐topic identification, hypothesis formation, and methodology selection;heyp ractice techniques for moving from note taking, and data‐collection to the outlining, sectioning, writing‐up and presentation of the research project materials.

Concepts of Funerary Archaeology 20

This module will examine the fundamental concepts that underlie the analysis and interpretation of funerary remains in archaeology, and also provide a systematic overview of the variety of evidence for funerary practice in the archaeological record. It will include detailed discussions on topics such as: the ethics and legislation surrounding human remains in archaeology; taphonomy; archaeothanatology; palaeodemography; the material culture of death and burial. It will also include a chronological survey of funerary practices in the archaeological record from the Upper Palaeolithic to the modern world.

Palaeopathology 20

This module will focus on the concepts and methods involved in the analysis of palaeopathology and trauma in skeletal remains, and on the analysis of cremated bone. It will focus on a detailed discussion and demonstration of a wide range of pathological and traumatic conditions, how these manifest in the skeleton and how they can be used to make inferences about the lifestyles and health status of past populations. The topics that will be covered include: infectious disease, joint disease, metabolic disease, neoplastic disease, congenital conditions, dental disease, fractures, and sharp-force trauma. The module will also include a detailed discussion and demonstration of the specific methods used in the analysis of cremated remains. It will be taught through the use of laboratory-based lectures, demonstrations and practical sessions, which will give students extensive opportunities to work with real archaeological skeletal remains.

Human Skeletal Anatomy and Fundamentals of Skeletal Analysis 20

This module will examine the fundamental concepts and methods that underlie the analysis of archaeological skeletal remains. It will focus on a detailed discussion and demonstration of skeletal anatomy and on the techniques, including age estimation, sex determination, metric analysis and MNI calculations, which are vital in any osteological analysis. It will be taught through the use of laboratory-based lectures, demonstrations and practical sessions, which will give students extensive opportunities to work with real archaeological skeletal remains.

Optional Credits

Optional Modules

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

  • Issues in Global Cultural Heritage – 20 Credits
  • 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

Please note the modules listed are correct at the time of publishing, for full-time students entering the programme in Year 1. Optional modules are listed where applicable. Please note the University cannot guarantee the availability of all modules listed and modules may be subject to change. For further information please refer to the terms and conditions at www.winchester.ac.uk/termsandconditions.
The University will notify applicants of any changes made to the core modules listed above.

Course Tuition Fees

UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man

Full-time entry | £5,500
Part-time entry | £2,750 p/a

Total Cost | £5,500

International Students

Full-time entry | £12,950
Part-time entry | £6,475 p/a

Total Cost | £12,950

ADDITIONAL COSTS

As one of our students all of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of student support and IT services.

There might be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying. The following highlights the mandatory and optional costs for this course:

Optional

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. 

Mandatory

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

SCHOLARSHIPS, BURSARIES AND AWARDS

We have a variety of scholarship and bursaries available to support you financially with the cost of your course. To see if you’re eligible, please see our Scholarships and Awards.

Key course details

Duration
Full-time: 1 year Part-time: 2 years
Typical offer
Normally a first or second-class Honours degree in Archaeology or a related subject.
Location
King Alfred Campus or at West Downs, Winchester