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Archaeology Research Degrees

The Archaeology and Conservation Section provides research supervision in many areas of:

  • European and British prehistory
  • Ancient Mediterranean World
  • Roman and Early Medieval Britain
  • Late Antique and medieval Near East
  • Materials Analysis and Technology
  • Osteoarchaeology

We offer two types of research-only post-graduate degrees: the Masters of Philosophy and the Doctor of Philosophy. Both degrees are available in Archaeology or in Conservation and all degrees can be taken as full- or part-time courses.

MPhil in Archaeology
MPhil in Conservation

The MPhil is a research-only degree with no taught components. Students work under the supervision of a member of staff on an area of staff specialism. The MPhil is assessed wholly by the completion of a satisfactory dissertation of approx. 50,000-60,000 words. The 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. The course involves one or two years of full-time study, or a minimum of two years part-time.

For students who have recently completed an undergraduate degree in Archaeology and who wish to continue study in these areas, we highly recommend the Masters of Arts in Archaeology, in Early Celtic Studies, in the European Neolithic, in Early Medieval Society and Culture, or in the History and Archaeology of the Greek and Roman World. For students who wish to continue with their conservation interests, we recommend either the Masters of Science in Conservation or in Care of Collections.

It is our experience that the major funding bodies which offer grants to support postgraduate study favour applicants who wish to take a taught masters course after their undergraduate degree.

PhD in Archaeology
PhD in Conservation

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

  • To provide scholastic or scientific training and expertise in a particular field; and
  • To facilitate an original contribution to knowledge.

Students work intensively under the supervision of a member of staff who is an expert in their field. Independence, maturity and determination are the hallmarks of the successful PhD student. Though it was the case in the past, it is now almost unknown for students to progress directly from their undergraduate degree to the PhD. We recommend, and the funding councils agree, that students are much better served by completing a taught Masters of Arts or Masters of Science degree in the topics of their interest.


Any student who wishes to apply for a Postgraduate Research Degree in Archaeology or in Conservation at Cardiff is strongly advised to contact the relevant member of staff to discuss their interests and the particular potential that Cardiff can offer the student in their specialist area of study. For students who plan to apply for external funding (i.e., the Arts and Humanities Research Council), it is essential that they begin planning their applications in collaboration with their potential supervisor as early as possible.


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

For more information contact:

Dr Steve Mills

Position:Lecturer in IT Applications
Dr Steve Mills
Telephone: +44 (0)29 208 75655Extension: 75655