Archaeology PhD/MA by Research (On-Campus or by Distance Learning)

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We offer promising candidates the opportunity to carry out research in a range of areas across Byzantine, Prehistoric, Classical, Historical, Conflict, Landscape, Funerary and Environmental archaeology, as well as Geographical Information Systems and virtual environments.

Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology at the University of Birmingham has been ranked among the top five Russell Group departments of Classics in the Research Excellence Framework 2014.

Course fact file

Type of Course: Distance learning, doctoral research

Study Options: Distance learning, full time, part time

Duration: PhD 3 years full-time; 6 years part-time, MA by Research – 1 year full-time; 2 years part-time

Start date: January or September

Details

The MA by Research programme requires you to prepare a dissertation of up to 40,000 words on a topic of your choice, for which an academic staff member will provide expert supervision.

The PhD – the most advanced research degree – leads to a dissertation of up to 80,000 words on a subject of your choice and under the expert supervision of an academic member of staff. You can study for a PhD on campus or by Distance Learning

You can study an MA by Research or PhD programme on campus or by distance learning. Please note that if you are studying with us by distance learning, there is a compulsory annual visit to campus (every two years for part-time PhD students) - please see our frequently asked questions about distance learning to find out more.

Profiles of our current Archaeology doctoral researchers

At Birmingham you also have the option of studying languages, free of charge. Almost no other UK University offers you the opportunity to learn the intense graduate academic language skills which you may need to pursue your research.

Fees and funding

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2015/16 are currently as follows:

  • Home / EU £4,052 full-time; £2,026 part-time
  • Overseas: £13,195 full-time; £6,597.50 part-time

For part-time students, the above fee quoted is for year one only and tuition fees will also be payable in subsequent years of your programme.

Tuition fees can either be paid in full or by instalments.

Eligibility for Home/EU or Overseas fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students.

Learn more about postgraduate tuituion fees and funding.

Scholarships and studentships

Scholarships to cover fees and/or maintenance costs may be available. To be eligible for these awards, candidates must hold either an offer of a place to study or have submitted an application to study at the University. To discover whether you are eligible for any award across the University, and to start your funding application, please visit the University's Postgraduate Funding Database.

International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.

Entry requirements

Typically, applicants for these research programmes will already have undertaken postgraduate study.

Learn more about entry requirements

International students

Academic requirements

We accept a range of qualifications; our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

How to apply

Before you make your application

Please refer to our six step process on applying for PhD, MA by Research and MRes opportunities for Arts subject areas.

You may wish to register your interest with us to receive regular news and updates on postgraduate life within this Department and the wider University.

Additional Guidance for applicants to the PhD Distance Learning study mode.

Making your application

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

Research interests of staff

  • Phenomenology of landscapes; battlefield archaeology; archaeological approaches to warfare and violence.
    Contact: Dr John Carman
    Email: j.carman@bham.ac.uk
  • Prehistoric landscape archaeology and geomatics, including cultural resource management, using GIS for the predictive modelling of site archaeological locations.
    Contact: Dr Henry Chapman
    Email: h.chapman@bham.ac.uk
  • Roman provincial archaeology; late antiquity; urban archaeology; current fieldwork in Éauze, France.
    Contact: Dr Simon Esmonde Cleary
    Email: a.s.esmonde_cleary@bham.ac.uk
  • Neolithic and Bronze Age Europe; archaeological theory; archaeology of ritual and religion; archaeology, visual representation and popular media; current fieldwork includes the Medway valley Prehistoric Landscapes project and the Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes project. 
    Contact: Mr Paul Garwood
    Email: p.j.garwood@bham.ac.uk
  • Environmental archaeology and palaeonentomology, use of insect remains to examine the development of the Holocene landscape of the Trent Valley and the Severn Estuary; insect faunas from both urban and rural human habitation sites and their use in the interpretation of archaeological contexts and ultimately human behaviour.
    Contact: Dr David Smith
    Email: d.n.smith@bham.ac.uk 
  • Classical archaeology; Greek prehistory; Bronze Age Macedonia; current research at Mycenae, Knossos, Assiros and Servia.
    Contact: Dr Ken Wardle
    Email: k.a.wardle@bham.ac.uk
  • Late prehistoric, Romano-British and Dark Age British archaeology; industrial archaeology; research projects include the Wroxeter Hinterland Project.
    Contact: Dr Roger White
    Email: r.h.white@bham.ac.uk
  • Byzantine archaeology; urban and rural economy.
    Contact: Dr Archie Dunn
    Email: a.w.dunn@bham.ac.uk

Employability

The University of Birmingham has been ranked 8th in the UK and 60th in the world for post-qualification employability in the latest global survey of universities commissioned by the International Herald Tribune.

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by the employability skills training offered through the College of Arts and Law Graduate School.

Birmingham's Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology graduates develop a broad range of transferable skills including: familiarity with research methods; the ability to manage large quantities of information from diverse sources; the ability to organise information in a logical and coherent manner; the expertise to write clearly and concisely and to tight deadlines; critical and analytical ability; the capacity for argument, debate and speculation; and the ability to base conclusions on statistical research.

In 2013, over 92% of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology postgraduates were in work and/or further study six months after graduation. Many of our postgraduates enter roles for which their programme has especially prepared them, such as museum and heritage activities and archaeological posts. Elsewhere, a range of professions are undertaken by our graduates, from librarianship and teaching to accountancy. Employers that our graduates have gone on to work for include: AOC Archaeology Group; Blakesley Hall Museum; City and Borough Councils; English Heritage; KPMG; National Trust; and Sotheby?s.