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Forensic Archaeology and Anthropology

BSc (Hons)
Entry 2018: BBC / 112 UCAS points
Duration: 3 years
Attendance mode: Full-time
Award: BSc (Hons)
UCAS code: F404
Placement: Placement year not available
Suitable for international students
Faculty of Life Sciences
Apply Download course booklet


This degree explores how archaeological techniques and the analysis of human remains are used in a forensic (medico-legal) context.

You will gain a full grounding in archaeological excavation, surveying and recording of crime scenes.

In addition, you will also learn about human anatomy and anthropological analysis of human remains, including age, sex, ancestry assessment and the analysis and interpretation of trauma.

Specialist modules will allow you to understand how scientific techniques are used to build up a biological profile of unidentified remains; processes of decomposition (and preservation) of human tissues and associated materials; trauma analysis; and forensic identification of living people.

Understanding of scientific principles and how data should be presented in a legal context underpin the degree.

Archaeological Sciences was in the top 10 for archaeology in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) which assesses the quality of research conducted in all UK Universities. 70% of our research was found to be world leading or internationally excellent and we were ranked 3rd in the UK for research impact.

Find out more about the School of Archaeological and Forensic Sciences.

QS World University Rankings 2017

Professional Accreditation/Recognition

Students who have completed the placement year can apply for Associate Membership of the Institute for Archaeologists. Students can also apply for student membership with the Forensic Science Society.


"My favourite part of the course is definitely the anthropology. The content is incredibly interesting and when you take in the fact that the School of Archaeological and Forensic Sciences has the largest collection of human skeletal remains in an archaeology department in the UK, you are stuck for picking out flaws."

Mike Offley
BSc Forensic Archaeology and Anthropology

Why Bradford?

All courses offer excellent teaching in a supportive environment with lots of hands-on practical experience in outstanding facilities.

All our teaching is underpinned by staff research projects, many of which receive global media attention.


Entry requirements

Typical offer: BBC / 112 UCAS points

A levels:

Must include at least one Science subject, including:

  • Psychology
  • Maths
  • Geology
  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology

Please note that where a science A level is taken, the University will require applicants to pass the practical element where applicable (for A levels awarded from August 2017 onwards).

BTEC Extended Diploma:

DMM. Science subject required.

Applicants on Access Programmes:

Meet UCAS tariff of 112. Science subject required.

Plus minimum of:

GCSE English, Mathematics and a Science at grade C or 4 (equivalents accepted).

Additional entry requirements:

If you are an international student and you do not meet the entry requirements for direct entry onto this course you may be interested in our International Certificate of Foundation Studies.

English language requirements:

Minimum IELTS at 6.0 or the equivalent.

If you do not meet the IELTS requirement, you can take a University of Bradford pre-sessional English course. See the Language Centre for more details.


The modules for this course can be found in the latest programme specification.

Stage 1

  • Introduction to Archaeological Methods Core (20 credits)
  • Introduction to Biological Anthropology Core (20 credits)
  • Principles of Forensic and Crime Scene Investigation Core (20 credits)
  • Independent Study for Forensic Scientists Core (20 credits)
  • Scientific Frameworks Core (20 credits)
  • Field Recording Methods Core (20 credits)

Stage 2

  • Archaeology Field Course Option (20 credits)
  • Biometrics and Human Identification Core (20 credits)
  • Laboratory Science Core (20 credits)
  • Forensic Examination and Analysis of Physical Evidence Core (20 credits)
  • Virtual Anatomy for forensic sciences Option (20 credits)
  • Human Remains and Environmental Evidence Core (20 credits)
  • Instrumental Analysis Option (20 credits)
  • Relevant Elective module Option

Stage 3

  • Forensic Archaeology Core (20 credits)
  • Forensic Anthropology Core (20 credits)
  • Advanced Methods in Forensic Anthropology Option (20 credits)
  • Forensic Taphonomy Core (20 credits)
  • Interpretation and Presentation of Forensic Evidence for Forensic Science Core (20 credits)
  • Individual Project Option (40 credits)
  • Forensic Research Project Option (20 credits)
  • Relevant Elective module Option

Reading lists

All reading lists can be found here.

Learning activities and assessment


The placement year on our four-year course gives you the opportunity to gain real experience and professional training within your degree in order to kick-start your career. It is unique and valued throughout the archaeological world. We have sent students to every continent over the 40 years the programme has been running.

Career support and prospects

Career support

The University is committed to helping students develop and enhance employability and this is an integral part of many programmes. Specialist support is available throughout the course from Career and Employability Services including help to find part-time work while studying, placements, vacation work and graduate vacancies. Students are encouraged to access this support at an early stage and to use the extensive resources on the Careers website.

Discussing options with specialist advisers helps to clarify plans through exploring options and refining skills of job-hunting. In most of our programmes there is direct input by Career Development Advisers into the curriculum or through specially arranged workshops.

Employment statistics

90% of our 2016 graduates in Archaeology and Archaeological Sciences found employment or went on to further study within six months of graduating.*

*These DLHE statistics are derived from annually published data by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), based on those UK domiciled graduates who are available for employment or further study and whose destinations are known.

Career prospects

Our investment in fieldwork, and our dedicated ‘hands-on’ approach to teaching has ensured that Bradford graduates have long been seen as extremely well-grounded in the skills and knowledge that employers look for.


In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), 70% of our research in Archaeological Sciences was found to be world leading or internationally excellent.

Archaeological Sciences at Bradford has a long-established reputation as one of the key centres for archaeological research in the UK. Bringing together staff from both Humanities and Science backgrounds within a single centre, we have created a powerful and distinctive research identity which blends cultural archaeology with cutting edge science.

View details about our research projects


We have a range of outstanding analytical facilities including:

  • The Biological Anthropology Research Centre, which holds the largest collection of human skeletal remains in any archaeology department in the UK, including specimens from the Neolithic to the 19th century.
  • Three osteology laboratories; histology and microscopy laboratories.
  • A newly refurbished radiography suite with both traditional and digital radiography equipment.
  • We are a leading centre for multi-isotope analysis of archaeological materials including bone, teeth, hair, shell and pottery ‘foodcrusts’ through the analysis of the stable isotopes of hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and sulphur.

Explore our facilities with the University of Bradford Virtual Experience.

Fees, Finance and Scholarships

Tuition fees


  • Home/EU: £9,250*
  • International: £17,800

* Fees going forward have been capped by the Government at £9,250 in October 2017..

See our Fees and Financial Support website for more details.

Financial support

See our Fees and Financial Support website.

How do I find out more?

Got a question?

Fill in our form and our Enquiries team will answer it for you.

Enquiry form

This is the current course information. Modules and course details may change, subject to the University's programme approval, monitoring and review procedures. The University reserves the right to alter or withdraw courses, services and facilities as described on our website without notice and to amend Ordinances, Regulations, fees and charges at any time. Students should enquire as to the up-to-date position when applying for their course of study.