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Doctoral (PhD)


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Archaeology, Assyriology or Egyptology

The Department of Archaeology offers an outstanding environment for independent research leading to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

Our supervision expertise in archaeological topics ranges in time from the Palaeolithic to the modern day, and in space from the Americas to the UK and Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, South East Asia and Australia. We also offer PhD supervision in archaeological theory, archaeological science, material culture studies and museum and heritage studies.

Research in the languages, texts, history, and archaeology of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia is also housed in the Archaeology Division.



Our facilities for supporting PhD research are excellent, and our graduate community is vibrant and stimulating. The Haddon Library is conveniently located within the main Archaeology 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 specific 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.



PhD students in the Department have a supervision team of two to three members of staff, who will have expertise in your proposed region, time period, method, and/or theoretical approach. During the first year, we provide training in research skills and appropriate research methods (e.g., GIS, lab skills, advanced languages).

If you are interested in applying for admission as a PhD student in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Cambridge, you should look through the links on this page for information about the application process, funding opportunities, and our research and the people who comprise the Department. You are strongly encouraged to email your potential supervisor(s) about your research topic before applying. The PhD is a three-year degree, so it is important that applicants have a well-developed project at the point of application.



General queries about the PhD programmes should be addressed to the Department's Graduate Secretary and further details of the programme can be found in the Graduate Admissions Course Directory.

To apply for admission to PhD research 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.

Applicants for this course should have achieved a UK Masters (Merit) or the equivalent.

If your degree is not from the UK, please check International Qualifications to find the equivalent in your country.

All applicants for the PhD will be contacted to arrange a brief interview prior to any offer of a place being made; this interview may be by telephone or Skype.

Current MPhil students in Assyriology or Egyptology at the University of Cambridge wishing to continue to the PhD with an ancient language-based research topic must achieve a Merit in relevant language exams (as well as a Merit in the MPhil course) in order to be permitted to continue. Admission for the PhD is not automatic on achieving a Merit; other factors, including the availability of appropriate supervision, are taken into consideration.

Suggestions for successful graduate applications



Information about funding available to Graduate Students can be found on the 'Funding for Graduate Students' page. The Department of Archaeology offers a number of AHRC Doctoral Awards each year. In archaeological science topics, the Archaeology Department may be able to offer several studentships through its participation in the Cambridge Earth Systems Science NERC Doctoral Training Programme.


Timeline for postgraduate funding applications via the Graduate Funding Competition