Taught course

Human Evolution

Liverpool John Moores University · School of Humanities and Social Science

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Entry requirements

You will need:

  • a minimum 2.2 honours degree in biological anthropology, archaeology or a related field
  • students who do not meet the normal entry requirements but do hold a nationally recognised higher qualification (HNC/HND) and relevant industrial experience are interviewed to assess if they have the necessary skills to complete the programme. Applicants not holding an honours degree in a relevant subject will be considered on their individual merits in relation to the proposed programme. Professional experience, publications, written reports, CPD activities and other suitable evidence of accomplishment will be taken into account. All such applicants may be interviewed by the Programme Leader and, like their counterparts with relevant honours degrees, must provide a satisfactory reference from a suitable person such as their employer or line manager.

Months of entry


Course content

MSc Human Evolution employs cutting-edge approaches drawn from a diverse range of fields – including biology, engineering, genetics, data science and more – to advance your understanding of human evolution

  • Study a course developed and delivered by leading researchers
  • Taught in state-of-the-art facilities, including specialised osteology and imaging laboratories
  • Includes a minimum of two weeks spent on placement excavating an archaeological site*
  • Placements include the rare opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the field by getting involved with excavation and bioarchaeological analysis of real human remains at a medieval cemetery - the Poulton Project, Cheshire
  • Additional opportunities to take part in excavations with members of the programme team at Palaeolithic archaeological sites abroad
  • Undertake advanced training in state-of-the-art research methods, through the collection and statistical analyses of your own discoveries and data in our osteology laboratories
  • Offers excellent career prospects in a broad range of disciplines
The study of human evolution offers fundamental insights into questions that humans have asked for millennia: ‘Who are we’; ‘Where did we come from’; ‘What makes us human’; and ‘What makes us different from other animals’. The programme modules contain a blend of hands-on practical applications and provide the basis for understanding how behaviour relates to skeletal form in modern humans, and thus how morphology provides a window on past behaviours in fossil hominins.
* Practical and field activities underpin all programmes in the school. PPE and access to specialist facilities are provided for all necessary practical work. There are no additional costs for any day field trips.You will be required to meet other potential costs, such as field clothing, visas and immunisations if required. Locations may be subject to change and also subject to national and international travel restrictions.
MSc Human Evolution focuses on studying the human animal through:
  • Advanced training in human osteology and dental anthropology to understand our bodies as they are today
  • Close examination of the fossil record, which comprises palaeoanthropological, palaeontological, environmental, archaeological and genetic datasets
  • Cutting-edge research on ancient DNA and Proteomics (protein-based analyses) to understand the genetic underpinnings of the variation we see today and in our distant past
You will be taught in new human osteology laboratories, which house world-class osteology collections and specialist equipment for digital radiography and 3-dimensional imaging, such as laser scanners and microscribes for advanced morphometric studies.
You will study in our imaging laboratory which houses the latest equipment, including: advanced computer technology; a state-of-the-art Artec 3-D handheld scanner; multiple 3-D printers; an up-to-date and comprehensive cast collection of human fossil remains; and a comparative collection of primate skeletal material. Facilities also include cutting-edge, ancient DNA laboratories, a state-of-the-art GIS suite and laboratories for environmental analyses containing a TOC (total organic carbon) analyser, laser granulometer, chromatographic and spectrometric equipment.
Our staff are research active and are members of LJMU's Research Centre for Evolutionary Anthropology and Palaeoecology.

Information for international students

Please note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check via NARIC.

Contact LJMU's International Admissions Team for guidance on visa information. Further information is also available from our international web pages.

Fees and funding

Please see course page for more information.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

LJMU Admissions