skip to content

Postgraduate Study

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.

Supervisions are arranged with supervisors as needed, at regular intervals, depending on the student's requirements and stage of progress, as well as any practical constraints such as staff or student fieldwork.

Seminars & classes

Seminars during term as well as research group meetings are a key part of the academic life of the Department.


None required but PhD students are free to attend any lectures in the Department.

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

The thesis topic is normally proposed by the student and then decided between the student and the supervisor, and assistance is provided on elements of methodology and analysis, as well as with the written presentation. The thesis must satisfy the examiners that the candidate can design and carry out investigations, assess and interpret the results obtained, and place the work in the wider perspective of the subject.

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.  The PhD is assessed solely on the basis of the thesis examination.


PhD students at Cambridge are not initially registered until they have completed a period of probation. 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 is reviewed in a First-Year Interview at the end of six months of study (or the end of twelve months for part-time students) and in a Pilot Project and Project Outline submitted at the end of the first year (or at the end of the second year for part-time students). Subsequent yearly updates are then required in order to monitor progress. 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.



Key Information

3-4 years full-time

4-7 years part-time

Study Mode : Research

Doctor of Philosophy

Department of Archaeology

Course - related enquiries

Application - related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 4, 2023
Application deadline
April 24, 2024
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2024

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

Course Funding Deadline
Jan. 4, 2024
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 11, 2023

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2024, Lent 2025 and Easter 2025.

Similar Courses