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Archaeology MPhil, PhD

Through our MPhil and PhD in Archaeology you'll conduct original and advanced research into a specialist area of archaeology.

You are currently viewing course information for entry year:

Start date(s):

  • September 2024
  • January 2025


Our Archaeology MPhil and PhD programmes are research degrees. They are conducted as supervised independent study and are 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.

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
  • research

These programmes are based in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology. They cover a wide range of specialisms.

Research supervision in a range of periods, regions and themes.

Research supervision is available in the following periods and regions:

  • World prehistory from the Palaeolithic to the Iron Age
  • Archaeology of the Greek world including Minoan and Mycenaean civilisations
  • Archaeology of the Roman world from the Republic to Late Antiquity
  • Roman frontier studies
  • Byzantine and Islamic archaeology
  • Medieval archaeology, 500-1500 CE
  • Historical archaeology of the modern world
  • Archaeology of Europe, North America, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, Asia and Africa

Thematic research is also strong at Newcastle and research supervision is available in the following areas of enquiry:

  • Archaeological theory and history of archaeology
  • Archaeology of art, religion and ritual
  • Archaeology of buildings and the built environment
  • Bodies, burial and identity
  • Colonialism and slavery
  • Conflict archaeology from prehistory to the 21st century
  • Environmental and geoarchaeology: plants, animals and sediments
  • Experimental archaeology and past technologies
  • Foodways, pastoralism and upland archaeology
  • Human-animal relationships from the Palaeolithic to present day
  • Landscape archaeology, GIS, remote sensing and survey methods
  • Landscape heritage, management and sustainability
  • Material culture and artefact analysis: ceramics, lithics, metals, glass and coins
  • Museum collections and historic archives
  • Social organisation and social complexity
  • Zooarchaeology and animal bone pathology

We encourage you to contact a prospective supervisor to discuss your research proposals prior to applying for a research degree.

Our Archaeology staff will supervise you. You can also view our archaeology postgraduate research projects and the profiles of our current archaeology postgraduate research students.

Inter-disciplinary research is supported. Research projects can be co-supervised by staff from other subject areas, such as history, ancient history, classics, or fine art.


Important information

We've highlighted important information about your course. Please take note of any deadlines.

Qualifications explained

Find out about the different qualification options for this course.

How you'll learn

Your development


Research projects may involve a period of professional placement or specific training in a partner institution. You'll need to discuss any work placement requirements with the degree programme director.

We'll 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.

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (HaSS) researcher development programme 

Each faculty offers a researcher development programme for its postgraduate research students. We have designed your programme to help you:

  • perform better as a researcher
  • boost your career prospects
  • broaden your impact

Through workshops and activities, it will build your transferable skills and increase your confidence.

You’ll cover:

  • techniques for effective research
  • methods for better collaborative working
  • essential professional standards and requirements

Your researcher development programme is flexible. You can adapt it to meet your changing needs as you progress through your doctorate.

Find out more about the Researcher Education and Development programme

Doctoral training and partnerships

There are opportunities to undertake your PhD at Newcastle within a:

  • Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT)
  • Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP)

Being part of a CDT or DTP has many benefits:

  • they combine research expertise and training of a number of leading universities, academic schools and academics.
  • you’ll study alongside a cohort of other PhD students
  • they’re often interdisciplinary
  • your PhD may be funded

Find out more about doctoral training and partnerships

If there are currently opportunities available in your subject area you’ll find them when you search for funding in the fees and funding section on this course.

The following centres/partnerships below may have PhD opportunities available in your subject area in the future:

Your future

Our Careers Service

Our award-winning Careers Service is one of the largest and best in the country, and we have strong links with employers. We provide an extensive range of opportunities to all students through our ncl+ initiative.

Visit our Careers Service website

Quality and ranking

All professional accreditations are reviewed regularly by their professional body


Subject to Covid-19 restrictions archaeologists have exceptional facilities on campus. This includes over 200 years of scholarship, libraries and archaeological collections built up by the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle and the Great North Museum: Hancock.

You'll have access to one of finest archaeological collections in the UK. You can access the following internationally important collections:

  • prehistoric
  • Greek
  • Etruscan
  • Roman
  • medieval artefacts
  • Gertrude Bell archive

The recently refurbished Armstrong Building is home to Archaeology. It has:

  • dedicated study spaces
  • Reading Room
  • computers
  • free printing
  • photocopying
  • laptops for research trips


Fees and funding

Tuition fees for 2024 entry (per year)

What you're paying for

Tuition fees include the costs of:

  • matriculation
  • registration
  • tuition (or supervision)
  • library access
  • examination
  • re-examination
  • graduation

Find out more about:

Search for funding

Find funding available for your course

Entry requirements

The entrance requirements below apply to 2024 entry.

Qualifications from outside the UK

English Language requirements

Admissions policy

This policy applies to all undergraduate and postgraduate admissions at Newcastle University. It is intended to provide information about our admissions policies and procedures to applicants and potential applicants, to their advisors and family members, and to staff of the University.

Download our admissions policy (PDF: 201KB)
Other policies related to admissions

Credit transfer and Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) can allow you to convert existing relevant university-level knowledge, skills and experience into credits towards a qualification. Find out more about the RPL policy which may apply to this course

How to apply

Using the application portal

The application portal has instructions to guide you through your application. It will tell you what documents you need and how to upload them.

You can choose to start your application, save your details and come back to complete it later.

If you’re ready, you can select Apply Online and you’ll be taken directly to the application portal.

Alternatively you can find out more about applying on our applications and offers pages.

Apply Online  

Open days and events

You'll have a number of opportunities to meet us throughout the year including:

  • campus tours
  • on-campus open days
  • virtual open days
  • webinars

Find out about how you can visit Newcastle in person and virtually

Overseas events

We regularly travel overseas to meet with students interested in studying at Newcastle University.

Visit our events calendar for the latest events

Get in touch

Questions about this course?

If you have specific questions about this course you can contact:

Sandra Fletcher
School of History, Classics and Archaeology
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7966



For more general enquiries you could also complete our online enquiry form.

Fill in our enquiry form

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