If your passion lies in research, our doctoral degrees provide the opportunity to combine academic rigour with creativity and innovation. Study any of our PhD programmes - Archaeology, Heritage Studies or Conservation Studies - with the flexibility to work from anywhere in the world.
At York, research in Archaeology is wide-ranging. We have specialists in human evolution and prehistory, Roman, medieval, historical and field archaeology. These are complemented by our specialisms in bioarchaeology, digital archaeology, African archaeology, building conservation and heritage, experimental archaeology and artefact studies.
You'll focus on an independent research project on a topic of your choice. Your research will culminate in a dissertation of up to 90,000 words.
We'll work with you to assess the feasibility of your distance learning degree, including any facilities and resources you may need to complete your studies. We'll discuss your training requirements and an associated timeline, which will need to be in place before you start your programme.
If your research topic requires use of specialised equipment and facilities, we will discuss available options with you to ensure these needs can be met for the duration of your degree.
for our research according to the Times Higher Education’s ranking of the latest REF results (2021). And 100% of our research environment, the support we give to our researchers, is rated 4* - REF’s highest rating. We’re also rated 5th for the quality of our research outputs.
5th in the UK
and 20th in the world, according to the QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2023
Explore funding for postgraduate researchers in the Department of Archaeology.
We'll help match your research interests to our supervisory expertise.
Training and support
Your progress throughout your degree will be continually guided by your supervisor, who will help you to hone your focus and deliver specialised research. You'll have meetings online, and be supported with regular email correspondence.
As you develop your thesis, you'll attend regular meetings with a Thesis Advisory Panel, consisting of at least one member of staff in addition to your supervisor. You'll meet twice a year (once a year for part-time students) to discuss your research project, including more general professional development and career training.
You'll be taught and supervised by staff who produce internationally renowned research, and benefit from the Department's informal, supportive community.
You can study this course from around the world. You must visit York for at least two weeks per year, with a compulsory visit at each annual progression point. In addition, you must attend a two-week induction period in York at the beginning of your degree.
Careers and skills
Your PhD will extend your qualifications, giving you the ability to use analysis-based research for application across a range of archaeological fields. You'll graduate with transferable skills in creative problem-solving, critical analysis, writing, and the ability to craft and execute detailed research projects.
Our dedicated careers team offer specific support, including a programme of professional researcher development and careers workshops and 1:1 career support sessions. They will help you to build up your employability portfolio, and to engage in activities that will build up your skills and experience within and outside of your research work.
A Masters degree with the equivalent of a distinction or very high merit, or equivalent experience.
If you have any questions about the suitability of your qualifications, please contact us.
If you are applying as a mature student, or are entering Higher Education without standard qualifications, please give details of your relevant experience and your goals, as well as any relevant academic and/or professional qualifications.
English language requirements
If English is not your first language you must provide evidence of your ability.
Identify a supervisor
You should identify a potential supervisor in our faculty whose area of research overlaps with yours. We encourage you to contact them to discuss your research proposal before you apply.
You should note your preferred supervisor in your application.
Your research proposal
As an applicant to postgraduate research courses, you'll be asked to submit a clear, well-structured research proposal.
Take a look at the supporting documents you may need for your application.
Find out more about how to apply.
Submit your application
You can apply and send all your documentation electronically through our online system. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start, save, and finish it later.
We will respond to your application as soon as possible. You may track the status of your application and view any official correspondence online.
We offer a range of campus accommodation to suit you and your budget, from economy to deluxe.
Discover more about our researchers, facilities and why York is the perfect choice for your research degree.
Graduate Research School
Connect with researchers across all disciplines to get the most out of your research project.