Taught course

Applied Biological Anthropology

University of Cambridge · Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Entry requirements

Applicants for this course should have achieved a UK High II.i Honours Degree.

If your degree is not from the UK, please check International Qualifications to find the equivalent in your country.

Admission is based on high achievement in a previous degree, typically First class, high 2.i or an equivalent. Students will normally hold an undergraduate degree in either: Anthropology, Biological Anthropology, Archaeology, or closely related cognate fields within the Humanities or Sciences.

Months of entry


Course content

The MPhil in Applied Biological Anthropology is a full-time interdisciplinary course, taken over a period of ten months, with core teaching in human nutritional ecology, growth and development, epidemiology and disease, reproductive ecology, conservation and molecular genetics. There are strong biostatistical and laboratory elements to the course as well as a focus on field studies.

The lecturers are primarily involved in research and teaching within the Division of Biological Anthropology, in the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology. This taught MPhil recruits students who are prepared for graduate work and wish to receive interdisciplinary training, but who do not have sufficient background in Applied Biological Anthropology to be considered for the research MPhil or doctoral work.

This is a demanding course that enables students to obtain specialist training and knowledge in an area of Applied Biological Anthropology over a relatively short time frame. Subject to performance in the examination, the course prepares students to undertake an advanced degree.


MPhil students are registered for one year only. Those who hope to read for a PhD at Cambridge immediately after the MPhil wil need to obtain support from a potential supervisor. This need not be the same person who supervises your MPhil thesis but you will need to work hard to let the potential PhD supervisor see substantive work that you have written, in addition to your draft thesis proposal, at an early stage in the academic year. Once you have applied for the PhD a definite decision will be taken after your performance in the MPhil can be fully assessed.

In some circumstances additional academic conditions may be set to ensure that appropriate skills, such as language competence, are in place prior to admittance on the PhD programme. If you do not achieve these targets it is unlikely you will be able to continue to reads towards a PhD.

Fees and funding

There are many different sources of funding available to support UK/EU and international students in Biological Anthropology, but full scholarships for MPhil students are highly competitive. Exceptionally strong candidates for the MPhil programmes in Biological Anthropology (HUBAM2, 3 and 4) are entered for scholarship schemes according to eligibility: e.g. Gates US, Gates International, and scholarship schemes administered by the Cambridge Trust, amongst others. Staff will also endeavour to support students in obtaining funding from University, College and external sources.

For further information about funding opportunities, consult Funding for Graduate Studies or contact the Graduate Administrator: graduate-secretary@bioanth.cam.ac.uk

You can also visit our website for General Funding Opportunities.

Qualification and course duration


full time
10 months

Course contact details

+44 (0)1223 764711