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Postgraduate Admissions

Course closed:

Archaeology is no longer accepting new applications.


There is no formal teaching for the course as assessment is by research only.  PhD students are however encouraged to attend any lectures, seminars or talks which may be relevant to their area of research.

One to one supervision

The University of Cambridge publishes an annual Code of Practice which sets out the University’s expectations regarding supervision. Students will discuss this with their supervisor at the beginning of their first year.

Journal clubs

Students are encouraged to involve themselves with the Department's Postgraduate-run journal, the Archaeological Review from Cambridge.


Students can expect to receive feedback  from their supervisory team in addition to a termly report outlining their progress from an online system. The Department also holds regular informal sessions for PhD students to allow them to discuss progress and any concerns with academic staff.

PhD student representatives sit on a number of Departmental committees and are encouraged to involve themselves in the life of the department.


Thesis / Dissertation

PhD students are required to submit a thesis of up to 80,000 words. This work will represent a significant and novel contribution to the fields of Archaeology, Assyriology, Egyptology or Heritage Studies. After submission an oral examination (viva) is required.


All PhD students are required to keep a PhD Progress Log. The log is intended to record personal development and any training received. It is also used to keep note of personal and administrative milestones as they are achieved.

Doctoral students at Cambridge are not initially registered as PhD students. Academic progress is monitored over the course of the first year of study as students develop their projects and test their methodology. The proposed PhD project is presented through a First-Year Report, which will be reviewed in a First-Year Interview during the second term of study (usually the Lent Term of the first year) and in a Pilot Project and Project Outline submitted after 11 months of study (usually at the end of August of the first year). A brief written submission outlining progress is required in March of the third year (or after eight terms) and at the beginning of the 10th and 12th terms of study (usually October and April).


Key Information

3-4 years full-time

Doctor of Philosophy

Department of Archaeology

Course - related enquiries

Application - related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 1, 2021
Application deadline
April 26, 2022
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2022

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Graduate Funding Competition
Jan. 6, 2022
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 13, 2021

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2022, Lent 2023 and Easter 2023.

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