Taught course

Archaeology (Palaeoanthropology)

University of Southampton · Archaeology

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Entry requirements

First or upper second class honours degree, or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University in archaeology, anthropology, geography, biology, history or a related discipline.

Months of entry


Course content

This programme is a pathways-based research degree, with a strong emphasis on the development of skills and specialism in Palaeoanthropology.

Palaeoanthropology (combining Palaeolithic archaeology, biological anthropology and genetics) is one of the fastest-changing disciplines. Beyond the headlines of “the earliest” and “the most advanced” lies a huge range of evidence to explore and master, focusing on how our early ancestors and their relatives lived their lives and responded to opportunities and setbacks. Here at Southampton we have particular strengths in social and technological responses of hominins (the species directly ancestral to our own) to changing environments and landscapes, and have been shaping the debates on these key aspects for several decades.

Palaeoanthropology is a pathway within the MSc degree, and it aims to give you a diverse and in-depth experience of the discipline’s key themes. There is a strong emphasis on the development of practical skills in the study of ancient material culture, in visiting some key Palaeolithic sites, and in reconstructing the environments and lifeways of our hominin ancestors. From seven million years ago, and Sahelanthropus tchadensis, to the molecular biology of Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans, and through to collections of beautiful American Palaeo-Indian Clovis points, this pathway master’s will prepare you for future research in human origins, or give you an in-depth understanding of our amazing evolutionary journey, depending on what you want out of your MSc.

You will acquire an expertise in looking at hominin material culture which will include a mixture of traditional techniques, as well as some of the ways of analysing artefacts that Southampton is pioneering. Students will also learn the latest theoretical issues in human evolution and engage with some of the most up to date arguments surrounding our ancient ancestors from staff actively shaping those debates. Students with an interest in general Prehistory will find many of the modules and topics available on the Palaeoanthropology Pathway of interest and relevance.

Information for international students

IELTS 6.5 overall, with minimum of 6.5 in reading and writing, 6.0 in listening and speaking, or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University in other approved English language test.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

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

Course contact details

+44 (0)23 8059 2980