Institute of Archaeology


Graduate Research

The Institute is one of the largest and most highly regarded centres for graduate studies in archaeology, cultural heritage and museum studies in the world.

Male student sitting on a high stool at the end of a library corridor surrounded by bookshelves

Together, over 350 graduate students and 70 academic staff create a diverse and vibrant community that also benefits from the vast array of resources and facilities at UCL and throughout London. There are few other settings in the world that can offer such a stimulating context for advanced research and learning.

Current research at the UCL Institute of Archaeology covers fieldwork, laboratory analysis and conservation, artefact studies, and theoretical and synthetic work from a wide range a range of perspectives. Staff projects are active on on five continents and in tropical Africa, Asia, Britain and Europe, China, Egypt, the Pacific, South America and the Caribbean, funded by regular and substantial research funding from a wide range of national and international sources.

The Institute is organised into three major sections:  Archaeological Sciences, Heritage Studies, and World Archaeology, and has a number of research networks that form hubs and clusters in various areas of archaeology. Research focuses on a wide range of topical areas, including:

  • Archaeological theory
  • Archaeology of hunter-gatherer, early agrarian and ancient urban societies
  • Comparative archaeology in a global context
  • Human palaeobiology, subsistence, diet and health
  • Indigenous archaeology
  • Museum studies, heritage management and public archaeology
  • Palaeoecology and environmental change
  • Prehistoric, ancient and classical art
  • Quantitative methods and computer applications
  • Technology and conservation of ancient materials.

Research Topics

PhD supervision at the Institute of Archaeology is available in almost all areas of archaeology and staff welcome proposals from prospective students.

 You are strongly advised to contact your proposed supervisor with your proposal before submit an admissions application.

Applications and Funding

Students can register for and start research degree programmes in late September or January, but are strongly encouraged to start in September if at all possible.

Applications for entry in September 2024/25 are now open. Students are advised to submit a complete application by 1st May 2024 at the latest. Students applying for funding are advised to submit complete applications (with references) early. For further details on funding deadlines and what we look for in a research proposal please click on the link below. Any queries please contact Lisa Daniel, Graduate Admissions and Research Student Administrator. 

Research degrees may also be pursued on a part-time basis. 

Research applications and funding

Research student podcasts

Listen to podcasts with current and former research students.



Rosamund Fitzmaurice

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Julian Garay-Vazquez

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Research applications and funding

    Current Students


    Visit Moodle for information for current students, including handbooks and key contact information.

    New to UCL


    Useful information for students still getting to know UCL, including details on welfare and study.

    International Students


    Find information on Programmes of study, applications, language requirements and fees.

    Contact us

    Contact the Institute of Archaeology Graduate Programmes Administrator:

    Miss Lisa Daniel
    UCL Institute of Archaeology
    University College London
    31-34 Gordon Square
    WC1H 0PY
    United Kingdom

    Email: ioa-gradadmissions@ucl.ac.uk
    Telephone: +44 (0)20 7679 7499