Research Degrees in Archaeology

  • 1. Governance

    The DPhil in Archaeology, the DPhil in Archaeological Science and the DPhil in Classical Archaeology shall be under the supervision of the Graduate Studies Committee of the School of Archaeology.

    2. Attendance requirements

    The DPhil programmes shall be offered on a full-time basis. Full-time students are required to meet the residence requirements set out in §6 of the General Regulations for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

    3. Transfer to DPhil or MLitt status

    Candidates will normally be expected to achieve Transfer of Status in their fourth term after admission. Applications should be submitted to the Archaeology Graduate Studies Committee by no later than 12 noon on Monday of Week 2 of their fourth term and will comprise the following:

    • (a) a completed Transfer of Status application form;

    In addition, two typewritten copies of:

    • (b) a substantial piece of written work of between 10,000 and 12,000 words relevant to the proposed thesis;

    • (c) a precise thesis title and research proposal;

    • (d) an outline of the proposed chapter structure.

    To successfully achieve Transfer of Status, students must also make a satisfactorily oral presentation of their work.

    The Graduate Studies Committee will appoint two assessors who will read the work, interview the student and submit a recommendation to the Committee in a written report. The Committee will decide whether to approve Transfer of Status.

    A student whose first application for Transfer of Status is not approved (including where the outcome is a recommendation to transfer to the MLitt) is permitted to make one further application and will be granted an extension of one term to Probationer Research Student status if necessary. If after a second attempt, the Graduate Studies Committee can neither approve transfer to the DPhil or to the MLitt, the student will be removed from the Register of Graduate Students.

    4. Confirmation of DPhil status

    Students who were initially admitted to the status of a Probationer Research Student must normally achieve Confirmation of Status by the end of their seventh term.

    Applications should be submitted to the Archaeology Graduate Studies Committee by no later than 12 noon on Monday of Week 2 of their seventh term and will comprise the following:

    • (a) a completed Confirmation of Status application form;

    In addition, two typewritten copies of:

    • (b) a research outline of approximately 1,000 words and a timetable for completion of the thesis;

    • (c) a table of contents indicating how much of each section of the thesis has been completed to date;

    • (d) a draft chapter or chapters of the thesis of no more than 10,000 words.

    To successfully achieve Confirmation of Status, students must also make a satisfactorily oral presentation of their work.

    The Graduate Studies Committee will appoint two assessors who will read the work, interview the student and submit a recommendation to the Committee in a written report. The Committee will decide whether to approve Confirmation of Status.

    A student whose first application for Confirmation of Status is not approved is permitted to make one further application, normally within one term of the original application, and will granted an extension of one term if necessary. If after the second attempt the Committee can neither approve the application nor approve transfer to the MLitt, the student will be removed from the Register of Graduate Students.

    5. Theses

    The thesis must not exceed 80,000 words for the DPhil, or 50,000 words for the MLitt, the limit to include abstract, all notes and appendices, but not the bibliography. Any thesis exceeding this limit is liable to be rejected.

    Article-based thesis route for the DPhil in Archaeological Science only

    A thesis for the DPhil in Archaeological Science may be accepted for examination if it consists of a minimum of three papers of publishable quality, framed by an introduction, a literature survey, and a conclusion. Such a body of work shall be deemed acceptable provided it represents a coherent and focused body of work.

    Candidates intending to submit an articles-based thesis should indicate this when applying for Transfer of Status. Candidates should normally submit a formal case, supported by their supervisor, to the Graduate Studies Committee between applying for Transfer and Confirmation of Status. If a candidate subsequently wishes to revert to a standard thesis format, they should apply with support of their supervisor, to the Graduate Studies Committee.

    The thesis may include co-authored papers where the greater part of the work should be directly attributable to the candidate, and their supervisor and co-author(s) so certify. Statements outlining the student’s contribution to each paper should be submitted with the applications for Transfer and Confirmation of Status.

    The standard word limit regulations apply for the article-based thesis route.

    Further guidance can be found in the DPhil student handbook.