ARMMSA-Musculo-Skeletal Anatomy

Module Provider: Archaeology
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2019/0

Module Convenor: Dr Mary Lewis


Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module introduces the musculoskeletal system, dental anatomy, skeletal development, and how the action of the soft tissues (muscle, tendons and ligaments) produce the characteristic morphology of individual bones.  You will gain comprehensive knowledge to enable you to accurately identify complete and fragmentary adult and child skeletal remains from archaeological contexts, and become familiar with anatomical terms and names of structures. This detailed knowledge of the human skeleton builds up over the module with regular marked assessments and feedback sessions.


This module provides you with an understanding of the bodies systems, their functions and how they impact the growth, development and remodelling of the human skeleton. You will learn to use anatomical terminology with confidence and develop a comprehensive understanding of the language used to describe features on the child and adult skeleton. Through this familiarity you will be able to identify even fragmentary remains from archaeological sites.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module you will have developed:

  • An in-depth practical knowledge of human musculo-skeletal anatomy and dental structures

  • A comprehensive understanding of the other body systems, their functions and how they impact the skeletal system

  • An advanced knowledge of the human skeleton, individual elements and structures, and how they develop

  • Skills to enable you to identify even fragmentary human skeletal remains from archaeological contexts

Additional outcomes:

The laboratory practicals are designed to develop your osteological and anatomical knowledge and to reinforce information outlined in the lectures. You will learn to work effectively both independently, and in groups to gain information from human skeletal material. 

Outline content:

Lectures and practicals will cover: bone microstructures, the musculoskeletal anatomy of the head and neck, thorax, upper limbs and lower limbs, spine, dental structures and tooth identification, bones of the non-adult, anatomical terms and movements.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Each session will comprise a 1hour introductory lecture followed by a 2 hour practical

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 11
Practicals classes and workshops 22
Supervised time in studio/workshop 11
Guided independent study: 156
Total hours by term 200
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Class test administered by School 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

You will be assessed through five of fortnightly in-class tests (20% each) that will examine your ability to name anatomical structures and identify fragments. The tests will increase with difficulty as the module progresses.

Formative assessment methods:

You will have the opportunity to test your progress through the module with ‘bone of the week’ quizzes, with the answers provided at the end of each week. In each of the practical sessions you will also be tested on your knowledge of human skeletal anatomy and use of terminology through informal discussions with the demonstrators and lecturer. In this way you will be provided with immediate feedback on your progression, and ways in which you can improve your skills.

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

Assessment requirements for a pass:


Reassessment arrangements:

Resubmission of coursework in September

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 10 April 2019


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