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Graduate Admissions

The MPhil in Human Evolutionary Studies 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. The lecturers are primarily involved in research and teaching within the Division of Biological Anthropology, in the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology.

This taught MPhil invites applicants who are prepared for graduate work and wish to receive interdisciplinary training, but who do not have sufficient education in human evolutionary studies in their background to be considered for the research MPhil or doctoral work. This is a demanding course which enables students to obtain interdisciplinary training and specialist knowledge in an area of human evolutionary studies over a relatively short time frame. The course prepares students to undertake an advanced degree, subject to overall performance.

Learning Outcomes

The MPhil in Human Evolutionary Studies aims to:

  1. give students the chance to learn, at an advanced level, about the major topics in human evolution and related fields;
  2. provide students with the opportunity to review and discuss major research questions in human evolution;
  3. provide students with intellectual skills that will allow them to undertake independent research in human evolution;
  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 students to be future leaders in Human Evolutionary Studies and allied fields around the world.


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

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Key Information

10 months full-time

Master of Philosophy

Division of Biological Anthropology


Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Michaelmas 2018

Applications open
Sept. 4, 2017
Application deadline
April 26, 2018
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2018

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

Graduate Funding Competition
Jan. 4, 2018
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 11, 2017

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