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DPhil in Archaeology

Key facts

Sorry, this course is currently unavailable. Please use the course enquiry form to be kept informed of future runs of this course.

TypeOxford Qualification - Part-time
DatesWed 1 Oct 2014 to Wed 30 Sep 2020
Subject area(s)Archaeology
Fees2014-2015 fees: circa £2,000 (EU), £7,205 (Non-EU). Plus the College fee of approximately £1,400 (EU and Non-EU).
Application statusClosed to new applications
Application deadlineMon 30 June 2014
Course contactIf you have any questions about this course, please email ppaward@conted.ox.ac.uk.


Archaeology has for more than twenty years formed one of the largest programmes within the Department. The subject has proved an interesting, rewarding and accessible area of historical studies that has enabled many mature students to become directly involved in individual research. At undergraduate level the Department offers a Certifcate and Diploma. At postgraduate level, a Certifcate, one taught MSc course in Applied Landscape Archaeology, and a part-time DPhil. These are broadly defned, however, and it is recommended that ideas for topics are discussed with the Course Director, Dr David Griffiths, (Tel 01865 280764; email david.griffiths@conted.ox.ac.uk).


Part-time DPhil in Archaeology

The part-time DPhil programme was first offered in Archaeology in 2003 and has been a natural progression for the Department. It draws on knowledge and skills acquired in many years of providing specialist classes in Archaeology, and profits from close links with the many different archaeologists elsewhere in the University. The DPhil programme is overseen by the University’s Continuing Education Board, and admission is through the Department for Continuing Education. All graduate students must apply also for membership of a college. Most choose to become members of Kellogg College, which caters particularly for part-time mature students and which is closely associated with the Department.

The part-time D.Phil programme caters for students specialising mainly in Landscape and Professional Archaeology topics, largely concentrated on Britain and Europe. Occasionally, other topics are accepted but admission in these cases is strictly dependent on the availability of appropriate supervision elsewhere in the university. Please note that we may not be able to admit candidates, even those with an academically strong background, if appropriate supervision is not available for their proposed research topic. The Department has strong links with the School of Archaeology which is responsible for full-time provision within the University. Supervision is arranged to suit the DPhil topic. The department’s resident archaeologists, Dr David Griffiths (Director of Studies for Archaeology) and Dr Alison MacDonald (Departmental Lecturer in Archaeology), supervise the programme, along with colleagues from the School of Archaeology and elsewhere.

The Department’s graduate students have access to the full range of Oxford’s library, archive and computing facilities. Students are encouraged to participate as fully as possible in the wider research environment for Archaeology at Oxford, including attending seminars, discussion groups and lectures advertised by School and Sub-Faculty of Archaeology, Oxford University Archaeological Society, and Graduate Archaeology Oxford. The Department for Continuing Education has its own stock of fieldwork equipment. Access to specialist facilities elsewhere in the University can be arranged where these are required.

The part-time DPhil regulations require a minimum of six years’ part-time study normally (equivalent to three years’ full-time), although this may be reduced to four years part-time (two years full-time equivalent) in certain circumstances, for example if the applicant has successfully completed the MSc in Applied Landscape Archaeology, or certain other Master’s courses. Research students may be required to undertake appropriate research training provided within the Department or within the School of Archaeology. In addition, they will be strongly encouraged to participate in seminars and informal meetings with staff and other researchers. The major commitment of time will be to individual study and research, involving wide and intense reading, data collection and analysis, and writing.

Programme details

Programme of Study

You will be assigned one or two supervisors who will be experienced in your particular area of research. The DPhil is entirely guided research and you will be expected to meet with your supervisor(s) at least once a term (three times a year) and preferably more. If you start as PRS status (Probationary Research Student) you will have to be assessed for upgrade to DPhil in approximately Term 8, and all students have to undergo a Confrmation of Status assessment at approximately Term 14.

Selection criteria

There may be specific subject requirements for your course, so do check the selection criteria below. These will be used by the University in assessing your application.

Read full selection criteria

Teaching methods

Teaching Staff

Dr David Griffiths (Course Director) has taught at Oxford University OUDCE since 1999, prior to which he was a full-time professional archaeologist. His period interests are early medieval, and he runs field projects in NW England, Wales and Orkney. Please see a full staff research profile at www.conted.ox.ac.uk/research/profiles/profile.php?id=76

Apply for this course

Who can apply?

Acceptance to the course is normally on the basis of a good first degree, the University’s own Postgraduate Certificate in Archaeology, or a master's degree. Exceptionally, those with very substantial experience of working in a profession relevant to their research topic may be considered.

How to Apply

The University requires online applications. Paper applications are only acceptable where there is no option to make an online application to the course or in other exceptional cases where it is not possible for you to apply online.

Application Form and Supporting Materials

The application form is obtained by going to the Application and Admissions procedure section of the online prospectus, at Graduate Admissions Office.
For a full explanation of application methods, see www.graduate.ox.ac.uk/apply.

Paper applications
If it is not possible for you to apply online, a paper application form can be requested from the Graduate Admissions Office. Please email the Graduate Admissions Office at: graduate.admissions@admin.ox.ac.uk or contact:

The Graduate Admissions Office
University Offices
Wellington Square
Oxford OX1 2JD
Tel: 01865 270059

Please note that in order to submit a paper application you must be able to pay the application fee by credit or debit card using our online store. If this is not possible, you may pay by cheque or bankers draft drawn on a UK bank account.

You will need to submit the application form and all supporting materials:

• Three references
Note: If you anticipate having difficulty providing 3 referees who have an informed view of your academic ability and suitability for this Programme of Study, please contact the Award Programme Administrator for advice.

• Transcripts of previous higher education results
Note: this requirement may be waived for students who have substantive experience but do not have a degree, or whose awarding institution may not be able, for administrative reasons, to supply a transcript. You will need to contact the Programme Administrator (ppaward@conted.ox.ac.uk), in the first instance, before you submit your application. The transcript requirement can then be waived, if appropriate, and your application will be processed by the Graduate Admissions Office without undue delay.

• Current CV/resume

• Statement of Reasons for Study: all candidates should submit with their application a statement of their reasons for wishing to study at Oxford and to take the particular course they are applying for.
• A research proposal, outlining your research plans, of approximately two pages in length
• Two pieces of written work, each of around 2,000 words

Please note that supporting materials cannot be returned.

English Language Ability

Prospective students whose first language is not English should note that English language certification at the higher level is required, and any offer of a place will be conditional on the receipt of an original certificate.

Application Deadline

The closing date for the first round of applications is 14 March 2014. The course may remain open for new applications after this deadline should places remain. Please contact ppaward@conted.ox.ac.uk for further information.

Submitting your Application

Paper applications should be sent to:

Graduate Admissions
University Offices
Wellington Square
Oxford OX1 2JD
United Kingdom

If you have any questions about the progress of your application, please contact the OUDCE Award Programme Administrator, (tel: 01865 270369 / 280154; email: ppaward@conted.ox.ac.uk) or the Graduate Admissions Office (tel: 01865 270059; email: graduate.admissions@admin.ox.ac.uk).

Fees and Funding

Part-time DPhil Students are required to pay annually 50% of the University composition fee for graduate degrees plus 50% of the separate college fee. In 2014-2015 half the University fee is circa £2,000 (EU) to be confirmed. Note that fees are likely to rise each year thereafter, at least in line with inflation. Half the University composition fee for non-EU students has been set for 2014-2015 as £7,205. College fees vary and are not confirmed for 2014-2015 but the part-time half fee is likely to be approximately £1,400 (EU and non-EU).

Funding for part-time research students is not normally available from central funding bodies. Some colleges offer financial assistance. Kellogg College, for instance, has set up modest Research Studentships specifically to help students undertaking part-time DPhils.

Please note that, prior to matriculation, all students must provide financial guarantees to their College proving that they have sufficient funds to undertake their proposed course of study.


For information on student funding, please visit our website: www.conted.ox.ac.uk and follow links to `students’ and `sources of funding’. You will find information on student loans, bursaries and Professional and Career Development Loans as well as details of external sources of funding. For further information on funding, see the Oxford Funding Search www.ox.ac.uk/feesandfunding/search.

Please read our Terms and Conditions and Student Contract before applying for this course.
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