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Ancient History Research Degrees

Cardiff offers two postgraduate research degrees in Ancient History: the Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). Both are assessed wholly by research, with no taught components. Students research a topic of their choice under the supervision of two members of staff with expertise in their area of study. Both degrees can be taken on a full-time or part-time basis.

MPhil in Ancient History

The MPhil involves one or two years of full-time study, or a minimum of two years part-time, and is assessed by a dissertation of 50,000–60,000 words. An MPhil dissertation may be an extended argument and synthesis or a piece of original research; in any event, it includes a large degree of originality and independent, self-motivated work. It is possible to upgrade from the MPhil to the PhD after a year's full-time study

PhD in Ancient History

The PhD is the major professional qualification in the academic community. It takes a minimum of three years full-time or five years part-time, and is assessed by a dissertation of c. 80,000 words. The PhD has two fundamental objectives:

  • To provide scholastic or scientific training and expertise
  • To facilitate an original contribution to knowledge

Current and recent PhD topics include the Athenian navy; baths and bathing in late antiquity; the historiography of ancient colonisation; the role of light troops in Roman warfare; and military imagery in Roman interior decoration.


Applicants for the MPhil or PhD should normally have (or be expecting to obtain) a good MA pass in a relevant subject. It is inadvisable to proceed directly from an undergraduate degree to a research degree, so if you have just completed a BA in Ancient History and wish to pursue the subject at postgraduate level, we recommend that you consider taking one of our MA programmes, which provide the training in skills and methods that you need to embark on a research degree. However, we will consider applicants without an MA if they have acquired other relevant experience since graduation; please contact the postgraduate admissions tutor for advice.

The first step in applying for a postgraduate research degree in Ancient History is to contact the member of staff whose research interests most closely match your own, to discuss your project. You can find details of our research interests on the Ancient History Research page. If you intend to apply for external funding, it is essential that you begin planning your application in collaboration with your potential supervisor as early in the year as possible.


To find out about funding opportunities please visit our Postgraduate Funding Opportunities page.

For more information contact:

Admissions Tutor

Dr Guy Bradley

Position:Senior Lecturer in Ancient History
Dr Guy Bradley
Telephone: +44 (0)29 208 76283Extension: 76283