Taught course

Applied Biological Anthropology

University of Cambridge · Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Entry requirements

Admission is based on high achievement in a previous or current degree, typically first-class, high II.i or an equivalent. Students will normally hold an undergraduate degree in anthropology, biological anthropology, archaeology, or closely related cognate fields within the humanities or sciences. Applications from students in other fields will need to show strong reasons for applying and relevant experience where possible.

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 population biology. Topics that may be covered in a given year include: human ecology (with behavioural, nutritional, demographic or reproductive emphasis); evolutionary and adaptive processes; molecular genetics; epidemiology and disease in past and present populations; and quantitative methods for biological anthropology. There are strong biostatistical and laboratory elements to the course as well as an opportunity for laboratory experience and exposure to literature on field studies in human population biology.

The lecturers are primarily involved in research and teaching within Biological Anthropology in the Department of Archaeology. 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, the course prepares students to undertake an advanced degree.

Learning Outcomes

The MPhil in Applied Biological Anthropology aims to:

  • give students the chance to learn, at an advanced level, about the major topics in the biological anthropology of living populations and their applications;
  • provide students with the opportunity to review and discuss major research questions in biological anthropology;
  • provide students with intellectual skills that will allow them to undertake independent research in biological anthropology;
  • give students the appropriate intellectual and mentoring context for the development of an independent
    research project; and
  • prepare students for research at doctoral level and to equip them to be future leaders in biological anthropology and allied fields around the world.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MPhil
    full time
    10 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details