Research course


The University of Manchester · Archaeology

Entry requirements

PhD: A First or Upper Second class honours degree plus a Masters qualification in Archaeology or a related subject area, or its overseas equivalent.

Months of entry


Course content

The full-time and part-time PhD programmes in archaeology involve substantial original research leading to the production of a thesis that constitutes a genuine contribution to knowledge. Archaeology students often undertake some form of fieldwork as part of their PhD, whether that be small-scale excavation, survey, rock art recording, working with museum collections and archives, or carrying out qualitative social research in the realm of heritage studies (e.g. conducting qualitative interviews or participant observation). The maximum length of the PhD thesis is 80,000 words. Assessment is based on the thesis and via examination.

Supervision, research training and research environment: The PhD postgraduate programme is based on supervised independent research. The student-supervisor relationship thus sits at the heart of this programme. The breadth of supervision that we can offer is detailed on our website and in the Archeology Postgraduate Brochure.

Research students have their own dedicated room equipped with computer facilities. They partake of a thriving research culture, attend weekly research seminars and have opportunities to present their own work and receive feedback on it. They meet regularly with supervisors, and some of their work is read by and internal reader who is not their examiner. A travel fund supports research visits and attendance at conferences. Many of our students undertake some undergraduate teaching.

Module details:
In addition to personal supervision our graduate research students each have a research panel which meets a minimum of two times per year (on more occasions if necessary). The research panel increases the breadth of expertise available to the student and widens the informational and networking opportunities accessible to them. In addition the panel reviews the development of the student's research proposal, provides feedback on draft chapters and conference papers, discusses research progress, and provides guidance on the formulation of realistic objectives. During the course of their programmes research postgraduates need to develop both broad generic research skills and specialised skills relevant to their specific discipline and field study. Some of these skills will be acquired as part of the skills training that has been developed within the School of Arts, Histories and Cultures was well as a range of courses available within the University.

Department specialisms

Neolithic Britain/Europe; Ancient Near East and Eastern Mediterranean; Archaeology of Africa; Archaeology of Identities (gender, sexuality, religion); Archaeological Theory; Historical Archaeology; Theory of Fieldwork. Please visit the University of Manchester website for full details of current staff and their research interests.

Information for international students

Students whose first language is not English require a minimum of IELTS 7.0 to include a writing score of 7.0 or TOEFL internet-based test score of 103.

Fees and funding

In most years departmental and Faculty bursaries are available. Candidates applying for AHRC funding through the University will be considered for these awards. The deadline is usually 1st April. Overseas students can apply for ORS, the deadline is usually 1st April. Please see the University website or contact Postgraduate Admissions.

Qualification and course duration


full time
36 months
part time
72 months

Course contact details

Postgraduate Admissions Administrator
+44 (0)161 275 3559