Archaeology - Human Osteoarchaeology
This course is designed to provide students with an in-depth knowledge of and practical training in human osteoarchaeology: the analysis of human skeletal remains from archaeological contexts. Teaching focuses on the explanation of theoretical approaches and methods that can be used to address archaeological research questions using human skeletal data. Teaching consists of both lectures and lab-based practical sessions. You will benefit from the fact that the Department of Archaeology has a long tradition of research and teaching in human osteoarchaeology and will have the opportunity to engage in discussions with PhD students and staff, both in the classroom and outside. You will have an active role in shaping your own research project. The taught MA in Human Osteoarchaeology is a one-year, full-time, vocationally- orientated course. This provides both a basis for application in the work place and an opportunity for you to continue into PhD research.
For the first part of the year, you will be required to attend lectures, seminars, laboratory practicals and fieldtrips for seven modules. You will also choose a 20-25,000-word dissertation topic in consultation with staff. In the second part of the year, you will work on this dissertation for presentation in September.
On completion of the course, you will be able to:
• critically evaluate differing theoretical approaches to the study of archaeological human remains
• understand and apply different methodological approaches to bioarchaeology
• understand the use of quantitative methods and their applicability to research questions in bioarchaeology
• correctly identify a range of pathological conditions which can be macroscopically identified on the human skeleton
• successfully complete an independent research project in bioarchaeology.
Why Choose This Course
This is the only taught master's course in human osteoarchaeology on offer in any of the universities in Ireland and since its inception in 2004, the course has trained many of those who work in the discipline in Ireland. A number of students have proceeded to PhD research and one has proceeded to graduate entry in medicine (GEM).
Placement or Study Abroad Information
There are opportunities to participate in mortuary excavations in Ireland. There are also limited opportunities for placement and study abroad. Previous placements have been in Peru (dissertation fieldwork) and Britain (museum studies courses at Bournemouth University).
You will have an honours primary degree or equivalent with a minimum of 60% (2H1) in archaeology.
Candidates below this minimum mark who can demonstrate substantial professional experience in archaeology may also apply. It is possible for students who have a primary degree in a related subject to undertake a Higher Diploma in Arts (Archaeology). This qualification will enable prospective students to apply for this MA course — it will not, however, grant automatic entry to the MA.
All applicants will be required to attend for interview.
English Language Requirements
Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university approved English language requirements available at https://www.ucc.ie/en/study/comparison/english/postgraduate/
For full details of the non-EU application procedure please visit our how to apply pages for international students. In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.
Not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above.
For more information please contact the International Office.
Taught modules are assessed by a variety of means including essays, in-class practical tests, seminar participation and presentations, laboratory notebooks, and MCQ examination. One course, Anatomy, has a written, end-of-year final exam. Fifty per cent of the total grade for the course is awarded for independent research: the dissertation which is due in mid-September.
AR6009 Mortuary Theory (5 credits)
AR6011 Biocultural Approaches to Human Remains (5 credits)
AR6012 Palaeopathology Seminar (5 credits)
AR6014 Osteoarchaeology Laboratory (10 credits)
AR6015 Quantitative Methods in Bioarchaeology (5 credits)
AN3006 Regional and Topographical Anatomy (10 credits)
AR6003 Dissertation (45 credits)
On completion of the course, you will be able to:
critically evaluate differing theoretical approaches to the study of archaeological human remains
understand and apply different methodological approaches to bioarchaeology
understand the use of quantitative methods and their applicability to research questions in bioarchaeology
correctly identify a range of pathological conditions which can be macroscopically identified on the human skeleton
successfully complete an independent research project in bioarchaeology.
Details of the programme content and modules are in the Postgraduate College Calendar
1 year Full-time
The bulk of teaching is carried out in Period 1 when lectures take place each morning, typically from 10 am to 1 pm. There are also some afternoon classes. One course, Anatomy, is taught over both Periods 1 and 2. All lectures, practicals and occasional field trips are mandatory. You are strongly encouraged to work in the Human Remains Laboratory outside class times throughout the year.
Start Date: September 2021, not on offer 2020/2021 (cyclical).
Post Course Info
This course provides you with a thorough grounding in the practical and theoretical aspects of the study of archaeological human remains. Graduates from the course will be in a prime position to continue their education at PhD level or to seek employment with research, educational or commercial organisations. Since its first intake in 2004, the course has had an excellent completion rate and the majority of graduates have gone on to either work or study in archaeology.