Oxford's School of Archaeology is one of the few departments in the world where so many diverse aspects of archaeological research are brought together to address critical questions about our past.
The department's graduate courses are based around the three main centres of archaeological research in Oxford, working together to offer support and facilities to graduates:
One of the great strengths of Oxford archaeology is the opportunity for cross-disciplinary research, making use of the expertise in more than one centre.
Archaeological research at Oxford has a long and distinguished history, with current expertise and interests in the development of human societies from the Palaeolithic to the Early Modern periods, and spanning much of the globe.
As a graduate student at Oxford you will be part of a world-class university, offering unsurpassed opportunities for innovative study and research, and the department's thriving graduate community of over 150 students drawn from across the world. The four University Museums, including the Ashmolean and Pitt Rivers, the world-class libraries, and the University's other archaeological resources are all available to you to stimulate your interests and increase your knowledge.
Postgraduate Research Degrees
There are three research degrees in Archaeology, examined solely by thesis: the DPhil in Archaeology, the DPhil in Archaeological Science (for which candidates can also submit a thesis by papers as an alternative to the traditional monograph thesis), and the DPhil in Classical Archaeology, but projects which cross these disciplinary boundaries are welcome, and students are enrolled in the most appropriate degree. Although students are encouraged to attend lectures and participate in research seminars, there is no formal course of instruction. Instead, students are guided in their research by supervisors, academic or senior research staff appointed by the Committee for the School of Archaeology, who are experts in their field of research.
The DPhil is a full-time degree and students are expected to complete their theses, which have a maximum word length of 80,000 words, within three or at the most four years. To begin with, students are admitted as Probationer Research Students, transferring to full doctoral status within four terms of their arrival. Their progress is formally assessed through the submission of written work and an interview by a small assessment panel ('transfer of status'), while a further similar assessment ('confirmation of status') is held within seven terms of their arrival. At each stage students also make a short formal presentation of their research at one of the Doctoral Student Symposia organised by the School of Archaeology, which help students develop their presentational skills at an early stage of their careers. Successful doctoral theses must, among other things, display evidence of substantial and original research, lucid and scholarly presentation and a sound knowledge of the general field within which the thesis falls.
Archaeological Science DPhil
Classical Archaeology DPhil
Full details of the application procedures relating to all (taught and research) degrees administered by the School of Archaeology, including access to the online application form, can be found on the University admissions pages. Questions about their detail should be directed in the first instance to the Graduate Admissions Office.