Through our Archaeology MPhil/PhD you will conduct original and advanced research into a specialist area of archaeology. This is a perfect programme to advance your academic career in archaeology; you will also develop employability skills including project management, report writing, problem-solving, independent working, and research.
Our Archaeology MPhil and PhD programmes are research degrees, conducted as supervised independent study, assessed through a single written document that is supported with a viva voce examination.
Both degrees involve the production of new knowledge through original research and advanced scholarship, exploring a field of academic study in detail. This involves detailed understanding of the methods, techniques and approaches needed to produce such knowledge, and the wider context of the subject of study.
Our PhD students produce a thesis which includes material worthy of academic publication. A PhD qualification is usually necessary for an academic career involving post-doctoral research and/or lecturing.
These programmes are based in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology and cover a wide range of specialisms. Research supervision is available in the following periods and regions:
- Mesolithic/Neolithic transition in north-west Europe
- Neolithic and Early Bronze Age of Britain and north-west Europe
- Copper and Bronze Age in Italy and the Mediterranean
- Iron Age/Roman transition
- Roman Britain
- Roman Europe and Mediterranean
- Roman urbanism
- Greek and Byzantine archaeology
- The Roman/medieval transition
Medieval and Post-Medieval Archaeology
- Early medieval Britain and Europe
- Byzantine archaeology
- Medieval and post-medieval landscapes
- Church archaeology, historic buildings
- Post-medieval archaeology, colonialism, slavery
Thematic research is also strong at Newcastle and research supervision is available in the following areas of enquiry:
Bodies and Identity
- Personhood and identity
- The archaeology of the body and mortuary archaeology
- Art and identity
- Landscape archaeology
- Ritual landscapes
- Historic landscape characterisation
- Ancient technology and economy
- Ancient metallurgy
- Artefact analysis and material culture studies
Profiles of our staff, who will supervise you, are available on the School website. You can also view our current postgraduate research projects and our recent postgraduate research projects.
Inter-disciplinary research is supported, and research projects can be co-supervised by staff from other subject areas, such as history, ancient history, classics, or fine art.
You will be guided by a team of two supervisors. The primary supervisor will meet with you at least 10 times a year and the secondary supervisor will attend at least three of these meetings.
You will undertake a Training Needs Analysis with your supervisory team at the start of your studies to identify any skills that require further development to enable you to conduct your research.
Your development plan will help you to mature into a well-rounded researcher capable of undertaking research in a wide range of careers. Your training needs analysis is updated annually to reflect any changes in project or skill needs.
Research projects may involve a period of professional placement or specific training in a partner institution. You will need to discuss any work placement requirements with the degree programme director.
We will actively encourage you to make the most of work experience opportunities while you are studying with us. Possibilities vary from year to year, and in recent years most of our postgraduate students have participated in archaeological field projects run by us and partners in the UK and abroad.
You could also gain experience through volunteering in the Great North Museum: Hancock, eg for the Portable Antiquities Scheme, or participating in educational outreach activities.
Archaeologists at Newcastle benefit from exceptional facilities on campus including over 200 years of scholarship, libraries and archaeological collections built up by the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle, and the £26 million Great North Museum: Hancock. We hold internationally important collections of prehistoric, Greek, Etruscan, Roman and medieval artefacts, meaning you will have access to one of finest archaeological collections in the UK.
With dedicated study spaces and computers, free printing and photocopying in the newly renovated Armstrong Building, we also provide laptops for research trips.