skip to primary navigationskip to content

Master of Philosophy (MPhil)


MPhils in the Department of Archaeology

The Department of Archaeology offers an outstanding environment for teaching and research leading to the degree of Master of Philosophy (MPhil). We offer MPhil courses, in Archaeology, Archaeological Research, Archaeological Science, Assyriology, Egyptology, Heritage Studies, Human Evolutionary Studies, Applied Biological Anthropology and Biological Anthropological Science.

Our emphasis at the MPhil level in all courses is on research–led teaching, so that staff and students interact in lectures, seminars, language classes and laboratory-based practicals with the aims of mastering the basics of theory and method, while also engaging students as participants in ongoing research projects. Our MPhil courses allow great flexibility in tailoring choices to a student's specific interests and background. Our excellent staff:student ratio means regular contact between students and staff, while the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research and Cambridge Heritage Research Centre hosts a wide range of research seminars and discussion groups, and facilitates interaction within a diverse post-graduate and post-doctoral research environment. 


MPhil Choices

The following MPhil programmes and options tracks are available in most years. Prospective applicants wishing to follow a particular track should contact the Graduate Administrator to check on course availability for the year they are applying for.

Our facilities for supporting MPhil teaching and research are excellent, and our graduate community is vibrant and stimulating. The Haddon Library is conveniently located within the main Archaeology Department building and houses a wide range of specialist archaeological and anthropological literature, journals, access to online catalogues and wireless internet access.

We have laboratory facilities that support scientific research projects, including Geoarchaeology, Bioarchaeology, Archaeogenetics, Zooarchaeology, Isotopic Analysis and Material Culture.

The Department of Archaeology hosts an official student society, the Archaeological Field Club, which runs a speaker series and organizes other events. Students in Archaeology publish their own academic journal—the Archaeological Review from Cambridge.

The graduate community also organises subject-specific discussion groups, currently including the African Archaeology Group, Americas Seminar Group, Ancient Near East Seminar Series, Archaeology Theory Group, the Asian Archaeology Group, the Egyptian World Seminar Series, the George Pitt-Rivers laboratory Seminars, the Heritage Research Group, the Later European Prehistory Group, the Medieval Archaeology Group, the Palaeolithic-Mesolithic Discussion Group, and the Zooarchaeology Discussion Group.

MPhil students in the Department will have a primary supervisor with expertise in your chosen geographic region, time period, and/or approach. However, you will certainly interact with many other members of staff during the year. All of our MPhil courses run from 1st October until 31st August, with the summer months—July and August—usually devoted to writing the dissertation, required of all MPhil students.

If you are interested in applying for admission as an MPhil student, you should look through the links on this page for information about the application process, funding opportunities, our research and the people who comprise the Department. 

General queries about the MPhil programmes should be addressed to the .

To apply for admission to all MPhil degrees in the Archaeology Department, you should visit the Graduate Admissions Office website and consult the information on the application procedure found in the Online Graduate Studies Prospectus.

Applications for all MPhil degrees can be submitted from September through the end of April for entry in the following academic year. Early application (by mid–December) is encouraged, particularly if the applicant is applying for funding, since earlier deadlines will apply.

The Department of Archaeology expects all MPhil applications to indicate an area of specialisation and a brief outline of a topic for research in the appropriate box of the application form.


Suggestions for successful graduate applications

 Timeline for Postgraduate Funding Applications via the Graduate Funding Competition