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Research Degrees


Within our top-rated, internationally acclaimed department, some of the very best postgraduate research students in Archaeology are able to develop themselves and their careers. 

Our research, teaching and reputation are world-class: we are regularly ranked one of the top two Archaeology departments in the UK (e.g. Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, The Guardian University Guide 2018, Complete University Guide 2018) and one of the top four globally (World University QS rankings 2020) and have an impressive spectrum of research expertise, especially in British, European, Middle Eastern and South Asian archaeology, and in the science based and theoretical areas of the discipline. 

We can offer you research supervision leading to MA, MSc, MPhil, and PhD qualifications in a broad range of subjects, through both full and part-time study. You will work closely with our academic staff - experts in their fields with access to extensive research facilities. Skills-based training is provided to assist you in developing your research projects. All postgraduates are encouraged to share their work with the departmental and wider community, by means of departmental seminars, afternoon workshops, postgraduate-led one day conferences, and by means of publication. 


Research Degrees 

MA by Research: Following one year of full-time or two years of part-time (plus up to six months writing up time) research and writing, you will produce a thesis of up to 50,000 words. The research topic for this qualification is usually based on a specific object, site, or phenomenon. If your topic is suitable and you demonstrate an aptitude for research, the MA or MSc by Research can lead to postgraduate research at a higher level (MPhil. or PhD). 

MPhil: Following two years of full-time or four years of part-time research and writing, you will produce a thesis of up to 60,000 words. The research topic for such a thesis is usually based on an area or period of study, or the study of a specific class or group of objects, and this qualification can be upgraded to a PhD if your topic is suitable and you demonstrate an aptitude for original research. 

PhD: Following three years of full-time or six years of part-time research and writing, you will produce a thesis of up to 100,000 words. The subject of your thesis will be a substantial piece of original research where you demonstrate your ability to undertake independent research. 

This programme is particularly suitable for students who wish to pursue a career in a University setting, in research and/or teaching.  



A range of general and specialist research training will be provided for you through individual and group tuition based in the department and more general research preparation courses organised centrally. Your individual training needs will be assessed at the start of your course, and this process is repeated annually. 

Departmental Training: 

Research and Study Skills in Social Archaeology/Archaeological Science; 

Access to Level 3 and Level 4 (taught postgraduate) modules, where required; 

Training in teaching methods with feedback, normally from 2nd year onwards; 

Specialist training provided by supervisors specific to individual research needs; 

Contributions to the general Research Seminar Programme and seminars specific to Research Centres linked to the department. 

University Training: 

Faculty Induction Course at the start of your first year; 

Training Needs Analysis to identify your specific training needs; 

Courses/workshops on research (e.g. 'Managing your research project', Managing the student-supervisor relationship', 'Your intellectual property rights'); 

Access to UKGRAD HEFCE funded training events 

Access to University information technology and research methods courses. 


Find out more about ourresearch, or contact us for more information on applying. If you are applying for a PhD, please read our guidelines on applying. 


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AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership (CDP) studentship

We now have available an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership (CDP) PhD studentship. The project focuses on the communities of ceramic practice and the development of complex societies in the Jordan Valley in the 4th and 3rd millennia BC.

Find out more