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Palaeoanthropology

Apply for this course

The deadline for UK students to apply for this course for entry in 2023 was 31 August 2023.

The deadline for international students was 14 July 2023.

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What you'll need

As part of the application process, you'll need to submit:

  • School or college transcripts/certificates
  • University transcripts and certified translations if applicable
  • Degree certificates
  • Personal statement outlining your learning ambitions

Our application process

  • Sign into our online portal, Apply Yourself, and start your application
  • Submit your application
  • We'll email you to let you know we're processing your application
  • Track the progress of your application using the Postgraduate Application Tracker (we'll send you a link to the tracker)
  • We'll email you when a decision has been made
  • If you've been made an offer, you can then accept or decline it using the Postgraduate Application Tracker.

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Related courses

There are nine courses related to Palaeoanthropology that you might be interested in.

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Master of Science

A Master of Science (MSc) is a master’s degree awarded for a postgraduate programme in the sciences.

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Course overview

The MSc in Palaeoanthropology provides an up-to-date foundation in the study of human evolution for people interested in human origins.

Introduction

The programme provides a detailed introduction to, and review of, the issues of human evolution.  An emphasis on research-connected teaching and active learning provides you with good preparation for a research degree. The programme also assists you to master a certain area of palaeoanthropology to build a career in this or a related domain.

You’ll complete your programme with a dissertation of 15,000-20,000 words on an aspect of human evolution.

We aim to be flexible, supportive, encouraging and challenging in our approach to students. For example, if you’re new to a topic you’re very welcome to attend lectures offered in year three modules of the undergraduate programme in Evolutionary Anthropology.

Who is this course for?

The programme is suitable for graduates with a degree in Archaeology, Anthropology, Earth or Life Sciences who want to expand their knowledge of human evolution and human origins.

 

What you'll learn

You will be able to tailor your studies to reflect your interests, by choosing from a diverse array of subjects such as:-

  • Early technologies
  • Symbols and art
  • Human osteology
  • Evolutionary theory
  • Palaeolithic archaeology
  • Research methods.

Course content

Discover what you'll learn, what you'll study, and how you'll be taught and assessed.

Studying this course part-time

International students may be able to study this course on a part-time basis but this is dependent on visa regulations. Please visit the Government website for more information about student visas.

If you're able to study part-time, you'll study the same modules as the full-time master's degree over a longer period, usually 24 months. You can make studying work for you by arranging your personal schedule around lectures and seminars which take place during the day. After you complete all the taught modules, you will complete your final dissertation or project and will celebrate your achievements at graduation the following term.

Studying part-time means you can study alongside work or any other life commitments. You will study the same modules as the full-time master's degree over a longer period, usually 24 months. You can make studying work for you by arranging your personal schedule around lectures and seminars which take place during the day. After you complete all the taught modules, you will complete your final dissertation or project and will celebrate your achievements at graduation the following term.

Semester one

On the full-time Palaeoanthropology MSc you take 30 credits of required modules and 30 credits of optional modules in Semester one.

Palaeoanthropology MSc is a multidisciplinary degree, and we are happy for you to build a bespoke course for yourself. We are particularly proud of our study areas in Biology, Psychology, and Anatomy.

Compulsory modules

FRAMEWORKS OF HUMAN EVOLUTION (ALGY663)

Credits: 30 / Semester: semester 1

ALGY663 introduces contemporary frameworks for the study of human evolution. We will survey elements of the palaeoanthropological record together with the relevant palaeolithic archaeology, focusing on key sites and debates, and will discuss current hypotheses regarding the major factors responsible for shaping the trajectory of our lineage.

Optional modules

RESEARCH THEMES IN THE NEOLITHIC OF THE NEAR EAST (ALGY656)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module will examine the conceptual frameworks and research methods used in investigating the development of the world’s first agricultural, pastoralist and sedentary communities, all changes fundamental to the development of complex and modern society. We will explore the behaviours of these ‘Neolithic’ communities across the Near East and Europe in a thematic fashion, possible themes selected by students might include ritual and symbolism, mortuary practice, the development of the household, the development of religion, human-animal relationships, landscapes and landscape management, identities, the first monuments and institutions.

WOOD IN ARCHAEOLOGY AND PALAEOECOLOGY: WOOD AND CHARCOAL ANALYSIS (ALGY668)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module provides students with a detailed overview of the theoretical principles and practical applications of archaeobotany and plant macrofossil analysis, focusing on the study of wood, seed and fruit plant remains retrieved from archaeological and palaeoecological sites. Students will have the opportunity to learn hands-on how plant remains are analysed (including botanical identification, recording and data analysis methods), what sort of information can be gained for reconstructing past economies, vegetation ecologies, landscapes and people-environment interactions, and how such analyses are integrated with archaeological and palaeoecological fieldwork projects, and other classes of archaeological and palaeoecological data. The module is delivered through a series of lectures, laboratory-based practical sessions, seminars and tutorials. Assessment is through one essay (students have a choice from a range of topics), one lab-based project report, and a portfolio of work undertaken during laboratory practical sessions.

PYROTECHNOLOGY: THEORY, EVIDENCE AND EXPERIMENT (ALGY740)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

An examination of the evidence for the role of fire in human history, from its acquisition as a source of heat and light to i ts exploitation in the transformation of the natural world. This module has opportunities for the development of both theoretical knowledge and practical experience of ancient pyrotechnology, through research in the library, analysis in the laboratory and experimental archaeology in the field.

EARLY TECHNOLOGIES (ALGY763)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module introduces the main technologies of the Palaeolithic including the working of stone, wood, bone, clay and the making of fire. The approach is a blend of the theoretical (frameworks of analysis) and the chronological (looking at the archaeological record) with the practical (making and analysing stone tools). If you intend to include lithic artefact analysis in your research then this module provides a sound foundation. More generally, it offers insight into the approaches used to studying cognitive evolution through technology.

ADVANCED STATISTICS FOR BIOLOGICAL RESEARCH (LIFE707)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

Successful research in the biological sciences inevitably depends on the power that statistical inference provides for hypothesis testing. Understanding which test to use and when is the key to success. This module aims to further this understanding of, and competence in, the use of statistical techniques in the design of experiments in biological research, and in the analysis and interpretation of data.

The module is available to students who are on-campus (LIFE707) or, alternatively, who are studying on a University of Liverpool programme while off-campus (LIFE607), for example in a yearly placement in industry or while studying at an overseas University.

The learning and teaching materials are delivered as an online set of resources (available through Canvas). The module aims to provide a guide to the statistics that students will need to complete an advanced research project (M-level or PhD), and the ability to develop a research-level statistical approach to the analysis of biological data. The module will also introduce students to the powerful open access statistical software package, R.

EVOLUTION AND BEHAVIOUR (LIFE709)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module serves as a focal point for students on the M.Biol.Sci, M.Sc. & M.Res whose interests include evolution, ecology and behavioural biology

The module will make use of varied teaching methods including structured discussions on selected texts as student-led seminars.

The content will focus on areas of evolutionary and behavioural biology that are currently important in the senses (i) that they are progressing rapidly and (ii) that they address fundamental questions of general importance. In addition we will also highlight the key papers and ideas in recent evolutionary biology, showing how research fields develop after pivotal work is published.

The module will have two coursework assessments which are designed to show depth of understanding and an evaluative approach to theory and data in evolutionary biology. There will be some group work, related to one of the assessments.

STATISTICS FOR BIOLOGICAL RESEARCH (LIFE763)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

Successful research in the biological sciences inevitably depends on the power that statistical inference provides for hypothesis testing. Knowing which test to use and when is the key to success.

This module aims to train biology students in statistical techniques for the analysis and interpretation of data. Students will gain research-level, critical understanding of the necessary theory, and will put this into practice by using statistical software and programming to analyse biological data. The module aims to provide a guide to the statistics that students will need to complete their MSc / MRes. research project. Specifically, it is designed for postgraduate students who have not completed an undergraduate statistics module, such as the University of Liverpool’s LIFE223 (QS section). The module is taught via directed reading, lectures, and tutorial workshops, and is assessed via SAQ examination, coursework and an individual poster.

Programme details and modules listed are illustrative only and subject to change.

Our curriculum

The Liverpool Curriculum framework sets out our distinctive approach to education. Our teaching staff support our students to develop academic knowledge, skills, and understanding alongside our graduate attributes:

  • Digital fluency
  • Confidence
  • Global citizenship

Our curriculum is characterised by the three Liverpool Hallmarks:

  • Research-connected teaching
  • Active learning
  • Authentic assessment

All this is underpinned by our core value of inclusivity and commitment to providing a curriculum that is accessible to all students.

Your experience

The Department of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology is part of the School of Histories, Languages and Cultures. Teaching takes place across campus, including in specialist facilities in the Central Teaching Hub and Garstang Museum of Archaeology.

Virtual tour

Supporting your learning

From arrival to alumni, we’re with you all the way:

Why Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology at University of Liverpool?

  • Fantastic on-campus facilities such as the Garstang Museum with its outstanding archaeological collections and GIS suite for archaeological drawing
  • Our extensive laboratories used for conservation, lithics, geomagnetism, stable isotope, trace elements, finds processing and sample preparation
  • An enviable library which has been built up since the Ancient World and Archaeology has been studied at Liverpool since the 1880s
  • Opportunities to learn ancient languages such as Greek, Latin, Akkadian, Sumerian, Egyptian and Coptic
  • Archaeological projects based internationally, in Egypt, Greece, Bulgaria, Jordan, Turkey, Italy, Zambia, Kenya, Ethiopia and South Africa, as well as in the British Isles

What students say...

The department has many highly regarded academics from a diverse range of backgrounds. I knew that the array of modern facilities at the University would provide an enjoyable and instructive learning environment where I could learn from the best. The various summer placement opportunities also encouraged me towards the university.

, MRes Palaeoanthropology 2020

Careers and employability

The MSc in Palaeoanthropology is designed to equip students with a wide range of transferable skills, with an emphasis on the development of both research and practical analytical abilities. Potential employers (both nationally and internationally) appreciate the breadth of views, analytical skills, and intellectual rigour that you will gain by studying peoples and periods so different from our own.

Many of our students go on to further study at doctoral level, and previous graduates of the MSc in Palaeoanthropology have moved on to employment in archaeology and related areas, including field archaeology, the museums sector, and the wider heritage industry.

 

Career planning

Three career coaches standing outside the Careers Studio

Our campus Career Studio is a space for students and graduates to drop into and talk to a career coach. Career coaches are highly trained to help no matter what stage you are at in your career planning. You can access support to find and apply for full-time and part-time roles, placements, internships and graduate schemes. You will also find the help you need if you have a start-up idea or want to create a business plan. You can explore the world of work, prepare for job interviews, and access careers events and workshops. The Career Studio is open Monday to Friday from 10am-5pm, simply drop in at a time that works for you.

From education to employment

Two graduates in postgraduate robes.

We develop our programmes with employers in mind. You will be supported to enhance your long-term employment prospects as you learn. We do this by exposing you to professionals, a variety of sectors and supporting you to work collaboratively with others to develop transferable skills. You are equipped with a clearer view of what to focus on in your area of interest, and to reflect on your studies. Our digital employability tools give you a tech-enhanced curriculum experience and make it easy for you to prepare for the world of work. You can use tools like the Handshake platform to connect with employers and message the Career Studio 24/7.

Networking events

Postgraduate students hold a discussion while sat round a table in in the Liverpool Guild of Students.

You can start building good professional networks by attending events and employability activities. Our events are designed to develop your skills and expose you to many different employers, as well as to help you make contacts in your field. We help you improve your confidence when speaking to employers and give you access to unique opportunities. Our networking events also boost your understanding of the competencies and skills that employers are looking for in their recruitment process, giving you a competitive edge.

Your future

Beyond the immediate fields of archaeology and anthropology, graduates have pursued careers in:

  • Teaching
  • Journalism
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • University administration
  • Performing arts
  • Civil service.

Meet our alumni

Hear what graduates say about their career progression and life after university.

Fees and funding

Your tuition fees, funding your studies, and other costs to consider.

Tuition fees

UK fees (applies to Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland)
Full-time place, per year £10,150
Part-time place, per year £5,075
International fees
Full-time place, per year £21,150
Part-time place, per year £10,575
Fees stated are for the 2023-24 academic year.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching and assessment, operating facilities such as libraries, IT equipment, and access to academic and personal support.

If you're a UK national, or have settled status in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for a Postgraduate Loan worth up to £12,167 to help with course fees and living costs. Learn more about tuition fees, funding and Postgraduate Loans.

Additional costs

We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This could include buying a laptop, books, or stationery.

Find out more about the additional study costs that may apply to this course.

Additional study costs

We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This could include buying a laptop, books, or stationery.

Find out more about additional study costs.

Scholarships and bursaries

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to help cover tuition fees and help with living expenses while at university.


ANID CHILE Awards

  • International students
  • Chile

Postgraduate taught and research students from Chile are eligible for this scholarship.

Chevening Scholarships

  • International students

The University, in partnership with Chevening, is delighted to offer this generous scholarship to students who are studying a master’s programme and who have future leadership potential. Please note that there is a fee cap applied to MBA programmes that requires applicants to cover any additional tuition costs over £18,000. You will still receive all additional allowances.

CONACYT Award

  • International students
  • Mexico

The University of Liverpool has an agreement with CONACYT to support postgraduate taught and research students from Mexico.

FIDERH Award

  • International students
  • Mexico

20% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate taught and research programmes. Must be Mexico national.

Fulbright Commission Scholarship

  • International students
  • University of Liverpool alumni only
  • United States

One scholarship is available for a master’s student from the US and another is available for a postgraduate research student to undertake a three to six month research stay from the US

FUNED Awards

  • International students
  • Mexico

Up to ten awards are available for Masters or Research students from Mexico in receipt of FUNED loans. The award gives students a 20% reduction in fees for all applications received.

HLC Scholarships for Postgraduate Study

  • Home and international students

The competition is open to all students who have applied for a relevant HLC programme by 3 July and commence study in the course in the first semester of 2023.

The HLC School comprises the following Departments:

  • Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology
  • History
  • Irish Studies
  • Languages, Cultures and Film
  • Politics

HRM Princess Sirindhorn University of Liverpool Scholarship (Thailand)

  • International students
  • Thailand

The University is able to offer one award to a new postgraduate taught master’s student from Thailand.

The scholarship is open to all subjects offered as a one-year taught master’s programme.  However, priority will be given to those students who wish to study in a subject area associated with HRH Princess Sirindhorn such as science, IT, medicine, the arts, geography, history and languages.

John Lennon Memorial Scholarship

  • Home students

The John Lennon Memorial Scholarships were set up by a trust fund endowed in the University for the provision of scholarships in the memory of John Lennon. The award is intended to support students from Merseyside who might be in financial need and enhance, among other things, awareness of global problems and environmental issues.

Current or prospective UK (taught and research) students, either born in or with very strong family connections to Merseyside can apply for these awards.

JuventudEsGto Scholarship

  • International students
  • Mexico

Residents of State of Guanajuato, Mexico, wishing to study at postgraduate taught and research levels are eligible for this scholarship.

Marshall Scholarship

  • International students
  • University of Liverpool alumni only
  • United States

One scholarship is available for a master’s student from the US to cover the cost of tuition fees. Another, to the value of £20,000, is available for Doctoral study visit: https://www.marshallscholarship.org/

Postgraduate Opportunity Bursary

  • Home students
  • University of Liverpool current students and alumni only

Recipients must have been in receipt of one of the University’s Widening Access Awards as an undergraduate.

UK University of Liverpool graduates who have graduated in the last two years and are progressing to a standard master’s course, including MRes programmes, in 2023.

Graduates must have been in receipt of the University’s Widening Access Award during their undergraduate studies i.e.

Liverpool Bursary
Mature Students’ Bursary
Liverpool Scholars’ Award
Realising Opportunities Award
North Liverpool Academy Scholarship
Estranged Students’ Bursary
Young Adult Carers’ Bursary
Care Leaver’s Opportunity Bursary
The Liverpool Life Sciences UTC Scholarship
Recipients of the Asylum Seekers Bursary who now have a ‘home’ fee status classification.

Sport Liverpool Performance Programme

  • Home and international students

The University is pleased to be able to offer scholarships to support talented athletes in achieving their full potential. See https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/sports/team-sport-liverpool/performance-programme/ for more information.

The Aziz Foundation Scholarship

  • Home students

The University of Liverpool together with the Aziz Foundation are offering master’s scholarships to support British Muslims who are dedicated to bringing positive change to society and have career aspirations in media and journalism, technology, sustainability and the environment, law, policy (excluding health policy) and creative content.

Successful applicants will receive a full scholarship for their tuition fees and access to a programme of training days and career mentors via Aziz Scholarships Plus and the Aziz Scholars Association.

Students in receipt of one of the Aziz Scholarships are not eligible for other University of Liverpool bursaries or scholarships.

Turkish Ministry of Education Scholarship

  • International students
  • Turkey

Postgraduate taught and research students from Turkey are eligible for this scholarship, see the Turkish Ministry of Education website https://meb.gov.tr/ for more information.

University of Liverpool Graduate Association Hong Kong & Tung Postgraduate Scholarships

  • International students
  • China
  • Hong Kong

The University is able to offer competitive scholarships for both postgraduate taught master’s and research programmes.

University of Liverpool Humanitarian Scholarships for Masters Programmes

  • International students

The three awards available cover full tuition fees, visas and support for accommodation and living expenses.

This scholarship is open to support people who have recognised status as either refugees or are under humanitarian protection under the 1951 Refugee Convention. This status must be held outside of the UK.

The scholarship is open for all postgraduate-taught programmes, excluding medicine, dentistry, veterinary and nursing.

University of Liverpool International College (UoLIC) Excellence Scholarship

  • International students

The University of Liverpool will award five University of Liverpool International College students, who achieve the highest academic excellence (minimum 75%) in their UoLIC Pre-Master’s programme, the prestigious UoLIC Excellence scholarship.

University of Liverpool International College (UoLIC) Impact Progression Scholarship

  • International students

University of Liverpool International College recipients of the Kaplan awards will receive the £3,000 Progression Impact Scholarship, deducted from first-year tuition fees, on successful progression to their UoL degree programme.

To be eligible for our Impact Progression Scholarships, students must apply for one of the Kaplan Impact Scholarships demonstrating their commitment to making an impact across issues of importance to the University and Kaplan. Themes include:

Sustainability
Women in STEM
Community
Career Focus (Employability)

Vice-Chancellor’s International Attainment Scholarship for China

  • International students
  • China

Details are:
1 (one) Full scholarship
2 (two) £10,000 scholarships
5 (five) £5,000 scholarships
10 (ten) £1,000 scholarships
All scholarships will be awarded after the formal registration at the University and will take the form of a fee waiver.

Please note: This scholarship cannot be combined with any other scholarships or bursaries provided by the University.

Entry requirements

The qualifications and exam results you'll need to apply for this course.

My qualifications are from: United Kingdom.

Your qualification Requirements

About our typical entry requirements

Postgraduate entry requirements

A 2:1 or equivalent undergraduate degree in Archaeology, Anthropology or related fields such as (but not limited to) Earth or Life Sciences, History and Geography.

International qualifications

If you hold a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, but don’t meet our entry requirements, you could be eligible for a Pre-Master’s course. This is offered on campus at the University of Liverpool International College, in partnership with Kaplan International Pathways. It’s a specialist preparation course for postgraduate study, and when you pass the Pre-Master’s at the required level with good attendance, you’re guaranteed entry to a University of Liverpool master’s degree.

English language requirements

You'll need to demonstrate competence in the use of English language. International applicants who do not meet the minimum required standard of English language can complete one of our Pre-Sessional English courses to achieve the required level.

English language qualification Requirements
GCSE C
IELTS C
View our IELTS academic requirements key.
International Baccalaureate

Standard Level (Grade 5)

INDIA Standard XII 70% or above from Central and Metro State Boards
WAEC C4-6
Hong Kong use of English AS level C
Cambridge Proficiency C

About our entry requirements

Our entry requirements may change from time to time both according to national application trends and the availability of places at Liverpool for particular courses. We review our requirements before the start of the new application cycle each year and publish any changes on our website so that applicants are aware of our typical entry requirements before they submit their application.

We believe in treating applicants as individuals, and in making offers that are appropriate to their personal circumstances and background. Therefore the offer any individual applicant receives may differ slightly from the typical offer quoted on the website.

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Why Liverpool?

Liverpool bursts with diversity and creativity which makes it ideal for you to undertake your postgraduate studies and access various opportunities for you and your family.

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Accommodation

To fully immerse yourself in the university experience living in halls will keep you close to campus where you can always meet new people. Find your home away from home.

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Fees and Finance

Discover what expenses are covered by the cost of your tuition fees and other finance-related information you may need regarding your studies at Liverpool.

Changes to Palaeoanthropology MSc

See what updates we've made to this course since it was published. We document changes to information such as course content, entry requirements and how you'll be taught.

23 March 2023: New postgraduate taught course pages

New course pages launched.