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The University of Southampton
HumanitiesPostgraduate study

PhD Archaeology Research Programme (V400)

The interdisciplinary nature of archaeology underpins our understanding of past societies, guided by new theoretical frameworks and investigative methods. We believe in the contemporary relevance of archaeology, and have a strong tradition of investigating the politics of the past and its representation in literature and other media.

The programme is also available as a distance learning programme, which is designed for people who wish to study without travelling to Southampton regularly.

Introducing your degree

If studying times gone by is your passion, apply for the PhD Archaeology Research Programme today and expand on your knowledge of archaeology. This postgraduate research degree in archaeology will enable you to build expert knowledge of this fascinating subject. Help contribute to the world of archaeology and make the discovery of a lifetime.

Archaeology offers supervision for research from a wide range of areas, from the Palaeolithic to industrial archaeology, from the interpretation of material and culture to the politics of the past.  Students will have an opportunity to join a lively research community and to be supervised by world renowned experts in their specialism.  In addition to specialist seminars and guided tutorials, students will have access to training sessions on such topics as academic writing, and conference organisation.

Graduates with a PhD in Archaeology from Southampton go on to teach, lecture and contribute to archaeology and heritage in a variety of ways.  The transferable skills, such as critical awareness, cultural awareness, communication and presentational abilities (verbal and visual, often in public engagement contexts), numeracy, deadline and project management, are also highly valuable for a wide range of other professions.

View the doctoral programme profile for this course

Doctoral Programme Director:
Dr Anna Collar
Telephone: +44 (0)23 80 594533

To Apply

Application process and required supporting documents

  • University online application including a personal statement
  • Research proposal
  • Transcript
  • 2 references
  • English language (if relevant)
  • Sample of written work

Candidates are advised to contact prospective supervisors with the subject of their proposed research prior to application.

Contact for postgraduate enquiries:
Tel: +44 (0)23 8059 7433

Key facts

Duration: Up to 4 years (full time); Up to 7 years (part time)

Assessment: Thesis (75,000 words maximum), viva voce

Start date: Normally September and January each year

Closing date: 3 months before start date (also dependent on funding body deadlines); an application decision cannot be guaranteed in time for programme commencement unless a complete application is received in good time - students requiring a visa to study should also allow extra time for visa processes; informal enquiries welcome at any time

Typical entry requirements

Academic entry requirements: First or upper second-class honours degree and normally Masters at Merit or Distinction* level, or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University in archaeology, anthropology, history or a cognate discipline. Students with appropriate qualifications in other disciplines may also be accepted if appropriate to their proposed research topic.

(*Merit 60%-69%, Distinction 70%+)

Equivalent Qualifications: We will also consider candidates who do not have a Masters degree if they can demonstrate; outstanding undergraduate performance including evidence of preparedness for research (e.g. first class honours and 75% or more in the dissertation in a relevant subject); or appropriate professional experience which may include a track record in project management and publication; or other appropriate qualifications.

English language entry requirements: IELTS 6.5 overall, with a minimum of 6.5 in all components, or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University.

Selection process

Selection process: Online application and interview

Applications will be assessed under the following

  • Evidence of general academic aptitude
  • Substantial evidence of preparedness for research
  • Quality of the research project proposal
  • Fit with Southampton's research expertise

Applicant Quality: Your application will be judged against the following criteria:

  • it provides evidence that you meet our entry requirements
  • it demonstrates your personal suitability and commitment to undertake Doctoral study
  • it provides supportive references that indicate your suitability to undertake a PhD
  • it presents a well-focused and high quality research proposal which indicates potential to contribute original research to the discipline
  • it demonstrates critical awareness of the scholarly field to which the research will contribute, and appropriate methods to carry out this work
  • it may strengthen your application if you can demonstrate genuine interest in working with a named academic in the department 

Personal Statement: Use your Personal Statement to provide additional information relevant to your application. This should include the following:

  • outline your reasons for wishing to conduct postgraduate research in your chosen area
  • explain how your proposed research matches the research environment and supervisory expertise offered by Archaeology at Southampton
  • reflect on how your education, skills, and experience will equip you for PhD study and to undertake your planned research
  • indicate details of any other achievements/interests
  • indicate any special circumstances pertaining to the academic record
  • tell us what you hope to get from the programme 

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.

Typical course content

The PhD by research programme has no modules per semester. Instead it is an entirely research-oriented programme in which students conduct original research under the guidance of their supervisors.

Tuition fees

Fees for postgraduate research degrees vary across the University. All fees are listed for UK and international full-time and part-time students alphabetically by course name.


Course Title
Year of Entry
Mode of Study 
 Archaeology MPhil/PhD    2022  Full-time  £4,596  £18,000
 Archaeology MPhil/PhD    2022  Part-time  £2,298  £9,000



View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Study locations

Avenue campus

Avenue campus

Only a few minutes walk from Highfield Campus, Avenue provides a purpo...Find out more

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