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Graduate Admissions

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:

1. give students the chance to learn, at an advanced level, about the major topics in the biological anthropology of living populations and their applications;

2. provide students with the opportunity to review and discuss major research questions in biological anthropology;

3. provide students with intellectual skills that will allow them to undertake independent research in biological anthropology;

4. give students the appropriate intellectual and mentoring context for the development of an independent
research project; and

5. prepare students for research at doctoral level and to equip them to be future leaders in biological anthropology and allied fields around the world.


MPhil students taking Applied  Biological Anthropology who wish to continue to the PhD in Biological Anthropology are required to achieve an overall mark of at least 68 in the MPhil degree with a mark of at least 68 in the dissertation. Before applying they will need to obtain support from a potential PhD supervisor. This need not be the same
person who supervises the MPhil dissertation but students will need to let the potential PhD supervisor see substantive written work in addition to a draft dissertation proposal at an early stage in the academic year. In some circumstances, additional academic conditions may be set to ensure that appropriate skills are in place prior to admittance on the PhD programme.

Open Days

The University of Cambridge will be hosting its Cambridge Postgraduate Open Day on Friday 1 November 2019. Visit the Postgraduate Open Day page for more details.

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Key Information

10 months full-time

Master of Philosophy

Department of Archaeology


Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Michaelmas 2020

Applications open
Sept. 2, 2019
Application deadline
April 30, 2020
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2020

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Graduate Funding Competition
Jan. 7, 2020
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 9, 2019

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