Through our Archaeology MPhil/PhD you will conduct original and advanced research into a specialist area of archaeology. This is a perfect programme to advance your academic career in archaeology; you will also develop employability skills including project management, report writing, problem-solving, independent working, and research.
Our Archaeology MPhil and PhD programmes are research degrees, conducted as supervised independent study, assessed through a single written document that is supported with a viva voce examination.
Both degrees involve the production of new knowledge through original research and advanced scholarship, exploring a field of academic study in detail. This involves detailed understanding of the methods, techniques and approaches needed to produce such knowledge, and the wider context of the subject of study.
Our PhD students produce a thesis which includes material worthy of academic publication. A PhD qualification is usually necessary for an academic career involving post-doctoral research and/or lecturing.
These programmes are based in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology and cover a wide range of specialisms. Research supervision is available in the following periods and regions:
- Mesolithic/Neolithic transition in north-west Europe
- Neolithic and Early Bronze Age of Britain and north-west Europe
- Copper and Bronze Age in Italy and the Mediterranean
- Iron Age/Roman transition
- Roman Britain
- Roman Europe and Mediterranean
- Roman urbanism
- Greek and Byzantine archaeology
- The Roman/medieval transition
Medieval and Post-Medieval Archaeology
- Early medieval Britain and Europe
- Byzantine archaeology
- Medieval and post-medieval landscapes
- Church archaeology, historic buildings
- Post-medieval archaeology, colonialism, slavery
- Historical North America
- Foodways and human-animal relationships
Thematic research is also strong at Newcastle and research supervision is available in the following areas of enquiry:
Bodies and Identity
- Personhood and identity
- The archaeology of the body and mortuary archaeology
- Art and identity
- Food and identity
- Landscape archaeology
- Ritual landscapes
- Historic landscape characterisation
- Ancient technology and economy
- Ancient metallurgy
- Artefact analysis and material culture studies
Inter-disciplinary research is supported, and research projects can be co-supervised by staff from other subject areas, such as history, ancient history, classics, or fine art.
You will be guided by a team of two supervisors. The primary supervisor will meet with you at least 10 times a year and the secondary supervisor will attend at least three of these meetings.
You will undertake a Training Needs Analysis with your supervisory team at the start of your studies to identify any skills that require further development to enable you to conduct your research.
Your development plan will help you to mature into a well-rounded researcher capable of undertaking research in a wide range of careers. Your training needs analysis is updated annually to reflect any changes in project or skill needs.
Research projects may involve a period of professional placement or specific training in a partner institution. You will need to discuss any work placement requirements with the degree programme director.
We will actively encourage you to make the most of work experience opportunities while you are studying with us. Possibilities vary from year to year, and in recent years most of our postgraduate students have participated in archaeological field projects run by us and partners in the UK and abroad.
You could also gain experience through volunteering in the Great North Museum: Hancock, eg for the Portable Antiquities Scheme, or participating in educational outreach activities.
Archaeologists at Newcastle benefit from exceptional facilities on campus including over 200 years of scholarship, libraries and archaeological collections built up by the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle, and the £26 million Great North Museum: Hancock. We hold internationally important collections of prehistoric, Greek, Etruscan, Roman and medieval artefacts, meaning you will have access to one of finest archaeological collections in the UK.
With dedicated study spaces and computers, free printing and photocopying in the newly renovated Armstrong Building, we also provide laptops for research trips.
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Training & Skills
As a research student you will receive a tailored package of academic and administrative support to ensure you maximise your research and future career. The academic information is in the programme profile and you will be supported by our doctoral training centres, Faculty Training Programme and Research Student Support Team.
Our Faculty Training Programme provides a community made up of postgraduate social sciences and humanities students and staff. It is a unique blend of cross-disciplinary and generic researcher development training, recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) as providing a solid basis for doctoral study.
Although your focus will be on your specialist study, our aim is for you to develop a broad range of research and project management skills that will support you in your career ahead. We have nurtured a multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary and supportive environment where staff and students from across the world can come together and share their research experiences. You can also choose to register for a Postgraduate Certificate in Research Training, which accredits the core foundation modules on the training programme.
You will study in our Doctoral Training Suite with purpose-built facilities for lectures, workshops, seminars and computer access to specialist software required for doctoral research in the social sciences and humanities. Each year we have two student-led research postgraduate conferences and we have a variety of prizes and awards to celebrate the successes of our students.
Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership
Based at Newcastle University, Northern Bridge brings together the expertise and exceptional resources of Newcastle University, Durham University, Queen’s University Belfast and their partners for the training and development of outstanding arts and humanities postgraduate researchers.
Northern Bridge is funded by the AHRC to provide doctoral studentships and has been commended for the strength of its research base, shared vision, and its successful track record of partnership working.
Postgraduate Research Student Support
Our award winning Research Student Support Team is dedicated to providing you with information, support and advice throughout your research degree studies. The team can help and advise you on a variety of issues from registration to producing your transcripts.
Fees & Funding
The fees displayed here are per year.
Full time: £4,800
Part time: £2,400
Full time: £4,800
Part time: £2,400
Full time: £15,600
Find out more about our tuition fees, including how to pay them and available discounts.
EU students starting at Newcastle in 2018 and 2019 will pay the UK (Home) tuition fee for the full duration of their course.
A 2:1 honours degree, or international equivalent, in an appropriate discipline. PhD applicants should have a merit or distinction master's degree in a related subject, or international equivalent.
Find out the equivalent qualifications for your country.
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English Language Requirements
Select an English language test from the list to view our English language entry requirements.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
How to Apply
You apply online, track your application and contact the admissions team via our applicant portal. Our step-by-step guide can help you on your way.
Before applying you should identify a supervisor from our staff who specialises in the area you wish to research. You are encouraged to contact them to discuss your intended path of study before you apply.
There are usually two possible start dates, although in some circumstances an alternative start date can be arranged:
There is no application closing date for this course but specific deadlines for funding may apply.
We suggest international students apply at least two months before the course starts. This is so that you have enough time to make the necessary arrangements.
If you live outside the UK/EU you must:
- pay a deposit of £1,500
- or submit an official letter of sponsorship
The deposit is payable after you receive an offer to study at Newcastle University. The deposit is non-refundable, but is deducted from your tuition fees when you register.