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Postgraduate Admissions

Course closed:

Applied Biological Anthropology is no longer accepting new applications.


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 a focus on field studies.

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 in the assessment, the course prepares students to undertake an advanced degree.

One to one supervision

Supervisions are offered on theses and seminars are offered on papers. 

Students are able to request supervisions with their supervisors as and when required.

The University of Cambridge publishes an annual Code of Practice which sets out the University’s expectations regarding supervision.

Seminars & classes

Students attend a series of academic and professional development seminars and are expected to give 2-3 short presentations across the year on their dissertation work.


Students both sit lectures on subjects of their choosing and receive training in methods for statistical inference.


Some modules will have practical elements, depending on student choice and modules on offer.

Small group teaching

Students are able to attend and organise seminars.

Journal clubs

May be arranged as small interest groups.


As arranged on an individual basis with supervisors.


Not normally applicable .


Formative feedback is provided in written comments on assessed work. 2-3 individual meetings with the MPhil Director are scheduled across the year, and more can be arranged on request. All marks released to students through the course of the year are provisional until certified by the final examiners meeting in September.



All students will write a thesis of not more than 20,000 words in length, excluding tables, appendices, and references, on a subject approved by the Faculty Degree Committee. This is worth 50 per cent of the final mark.


All students will undertake a quantitative exercise on statistical analysis and interpretation and a number of essays and other written assignments which will total 50% of the final mark.

The written assignments may take the form of an essay, article, grant application or laboratory report. Excluding the quantitative exercise, these assignments will total no more than 8000 words.


Written examination

Not normally required 

Key Information

10 months full-time

Master of Philosophy

Division of Biological Anthropology


Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 3, 2018
Application deadline
April 26, 2019
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2019

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

Graduate Funding Competition
Jan. 3, 2019
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 10, 2018

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