Research course


The University of Manchester · Archaeology

Entry requirements

Successful completion of a Masters course with an overall classification of Merit, or higher, or its overseas equivalent, with an element of research training, is a prerequisite for entry to a PhD. A research proposal must be included with the formal application materials. Applicants are strongly advised to discuss a draft proposal with their proposed supervisor(s) prior to formal application.

The University requires you to reside within a commutable distance from Manchester during your time as a registered student, unless you are on approved fieldwork/a formal placement or are on a period of Submission pending. This is to ensure that you are able to meet attendance expectations and participate in wider research activities within your discipline area and/or School. Should you be unable to do this at any point during your programme, a formal case must be made to the Faculty office, together with the full support of your supervisor(s). The University reserves the right to reject such a request where it is considered that your residency could have a detrimental impact on the progression and engagement of your studies.

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 an oral 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 Archaeology Postgraduate Brochure. Each student has a main supervisor, a co-supervisor and an additional panel member who acts as an independent reviewer. The Archaeology Postgraduate Officer provides more generic academic advice and support.

In addition to regular 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 programme, 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 was well as a range of courses available within the University.

artsmethods@manchester ( ) is a programme of talks, workshops and events running throughout the academic year which explore approaches to arts research, research methods and the dissemination of arts & languages research at the University of Manchester. Archaeology students, especially those working on heritage research projects, also find the equivalent programme of workshops and training sessions offered by the School of Social Sciences useful

methods@manchester ( )

Some training in archaeological approaches and techniques is provided through the AHRC Northwest Doctoral Consortium. Additional bespoke training specific to the needs of individual projects is provided by PhD supervisory teams with the support of the Archaeology Research Technician. Finally, there is increasing collaboration across the University in the area of archaeological science and support in the form of training and equipment is available to PhD students, to be negotiated on an individual basis through the supervisory team.

The School of Arts, Languages and Cultures Graduate School offer dedicated state of the art facilities to research students, including common rooms and workstations. The Graduate School is a thriving inter-disciplinary community where postgraduate students can meet, access resources and organise events. Funds are available for students to organise conferences and travel to attend events and undertake research. Within Archaeology our doctoral students also participate in a thriving disciplinary research culture, with regular research seminars and an archaeology postgraduate forum run by archaeology PhD students. Many of our students undertake some undergraduate teaching following appropriate training.

Information for international students

Students whose first language is not English require:

an overall IELTS score of 7.0 with 7.0 in the writing component


a TOEFL score of 600 paper-based test or 100 internet-based test


a Pearson Test of English (PTE) score of 70 overall with 70 in the writing component


an overall Trinity Integrated Skills in English (ISE) III grade of Merit with Merit in the writing component.

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries. For these and general requirements including English language see entry requirements from your country .

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

The School offers a limited number of bursaries and studentships on a competitive basis, details of which can be found via the links below.

Please note that whilst we do not have closing dates for programme applications, all funding competitions have a specified deadline for submitting the funding application form and a separate (earlier) deadline for submitting the online programme application form, both of which will be stated in the funding competition details below:

Qualification and course duration


full time
36 months
part time
72 months

Course contact details

School of Arts, Languages and Cultures
+44 (0)161 275 3559