Taught course

Early Prehistory and Human Origins

University of York · Department of Archaeology

Entry requirements

To apply for this course you will need a good honours degree (upper second or first class) or an equivalent qualification from an overseas institution in archaeology, anthropology or a related field.

Months of entry


Course content

If you’re interested in what it means to be human, where we came from and how humans developed and adapted, the MA/MSc in Early Prehistory is for you. You will work alongside the UK’s foremost academics in early prehistory to delve into the origins of humanity and explore the evolution of cultures, customs, religions, art and technology. The flexible nature of the course enables you to pursue your own particular interests.

The archaeology of human origins is a fascinating and dynamic area of research, with new evidence and theories constantly changing our interpretation of who we are. The work of staff and researchers on this course regularly gains media attention, with recent studies of Neanderthal children and the origins of compassion attracting widespread coverage.

  • Explore the archaeology and approaches to human origins
  • Work alongside internationally renowned specialists in early prehistoric archaeology and human evolution
  • Work on pioneering studies with the potential for significant media exposure
  • Gain ‘hands on’ experience of museum collections at the York Museum
  • Visit Upper Palaeolithic rock art on a field trip to Creswell Crags
  • Choose modules to support your own research interests
  • Use the latest techniques and equipment to build key practical skills
  • Receive advice on developing your career and research interests from knowledgeable staff

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months
part time
24-36 months


full time
12 months
part time
24-36 months

Course contact details

Postgraduate Administrator