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).