Taught course


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) in a relevant subject, or an equivalent qualification from an overseas institution in archaeology, anthropology or a related field.

Graduates in a biological subject will also be considered, as will mature students or those with less conventional qualifications but with relevant experience.

Months of entry


Course content

The MSc in Zooarchaeology at York is the UK's only dedicated programme in the archaeological study of animals. Any consideration of the human past is incomplete without examining the essential roles that animals have played in our economies and societies, and on this course you will study archaeological animal remains on a macro and micro scale to investigate what they tell us about how humans and other species have co-existed over the millennia.

Housed within BioArCh, York's world-leading centre for research into ancient biomolecules, the MSc in Zooarchaeology also draws heavily on the expertise of functional and comparative anatomists from the Centre for Anatomical and Human Sciences, part of the Hull York Medical School. We use the full range of available techniques, including advanced biomolecular methods and sophisticated morphometrics, to investigate and interpret animal bone data in a variety of cultural contexts.

The scope of the course is global, equipping you with the knowledge and techniques to study the roles of animals in human societies from the Palaeolithic to the present, around the world. You will learn from leading academics in both traditional and biomolecular zooarchaeology, and from dedicated specialists in evolutionary anatomy, enabling you both to master the latest analytical techniques and to examine skeletal anatomy at a level of detail not possible elsewhere.

  • Study past relations between people and other animals, through the archaeological record
  • Examine zooarchaeology across the entire span of human prehistory and history, right around the world
  • Develop advanced skills in bone taphonomy and understand its importance to osteoarchaeological studies
  • Explore biomolecular techniques, including DNA analysis, proteomics and stable isotope analysis
  • Investigate skeletal anatomy in intricate detail
  • Work alongside leading academics in zooarchaeological research
  • Receive career and research guidance from Department of Archaeology staff with significant experience of successfully placing PhD students

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

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

Course contact details

Postgraduate Administrator
+44 (0) 1904 323963