About the course

This interdisciplinary MSc programme is for students who are passionate about early life, mass extinctions, macroevolution and fossil preservation. It bridges the biology-geology divide and will provide you with a strong foundation for independent research to PhD level or for a career in museum curation, science education, management or the media. To find out more about the course structure or to apply please click here or to watch a short video about the course please click below.

You will join Bristol’s palaeobiology research group and engage in current debates in evolutionary biology, systematics and palaeobiology. You will learn how to analyse problems quantitatively and design experimental approaches to resolving questions in macroevolution and the study of ancient organisms.

A key aspect of the programme is preparing your research project for publication, and many of our previous students’ projects have been published in leading international journals. Recent research project topics include the origin of cellular life, the preservation of colours in dinosaurs and the evolution of culture in humans.

This programme gives you the opportunity to develop a wide range of professional skills, including research planning, problem-solving and communication. You will learn to present palaeontological data through talks, visual displays and formal written reports. You will also develop computing skills in data handling, phylogenetics, macroevolution, function and 3D digital modelling.

If you have any questions about the Bristol MSc in Palaeobiology please contact the programme director at John.Cunningham@bristol.ac.uk, who will be very happy to help.