Institute of Archaeology


How to Apply and Funding Opportunities

To be considered for a Research degree (MPhil/PhD) you must complete an online admissions application form

Your application must include:

  • A completed application form
  • A research proposal
  • Two references
  • Copies of your transcript (both Undergraduate and Masters)
  • An English Language Qualification if English is not your first language

Once the Department has received your admissions application you will be sent an email confirming receipt.

A decision as to whether you will be called to interview is normally made within two weeks of receipt of your application. If you are overseas this would be a Skype or telephone interview.

Once a decision has been made on your application you will be sent an informal email letting you know the outcome, normally within two weeks of your interview. An official offer will be sent by College Admissions via email. 

We can accept applications from early October and you are advised to submit a complete admissions application no later than 1st May. We can accept applications after this date but they may take significantly longer to process as many of academics will be away on fieldwork during the Summer. If you require a Tier 4 Student Visa it is essential you submit a complete admissions application (with both references) no later than 1st June to ensure there is sufficient time for you to apply for a visa once a decision has been made. 

Please note your application will not be uploaded until both referees have submitted their references. Your referees will only receive the link to submit the references once you have submitted your part of the application. You can check the progress of your online application form at any point during the application process.

Research proposal

In order to gain a place to undertake a research degree at the Institute you are required to provide a clear statement of your proposed project which should be 1500 words in length (excluding Key References). Particular emphasis will be placed on the quality of your proposal as part of the admissions process.

Your Proposal must describe your research project under the following subheadings (suggested word lengths for each section are an approximate guide):

Research Questions (c.700 words)

Please provide an outline of the research questions to be addressed, showing their originality and significance within the general field of the research topic referring to key publications. You should identify the key thematic and theoretical aspects of your project as you currently conceive them and then list further specific lines of enquiry that you intend to pursue. You may find it useful to number your specific questions (see Sources, Data and Methods below).

Sources, Data and Methods (c. 350 words)

Describe the sources of information/data that the research will draw upon and identify any ethical considerations. If possible, please identify which sources you intend to use to address your research questions. If your project will involve field, laboratory-based or museums work please state: (1) where and why; (2) how you propose to access these sources; (3) what permissions are required (identifying any likely difficulties or sensitivities); how the research work is to be funded (expenses other than UCL fees, living costs, etc.).

Research Skills (c.350 words)

Give an account of the knowledge and expertise that you already have which is relevant to the proposed research and, most significantly, any training you will need to aquire to undertake your project (for example, GIS skills, use of analytical instruments, statistical methods). Please bear in mind that certain analytical methods and techniques require considerable time and effort to acquire, so please pay particular attention to the appropriateness and feasibility of your research methods.

Time and Impact (c.100 words)

Please conclude your Research Proposal with a consideration of why it is important to undertake the research at the present time and how the potential outcomes of your project might impact both on specialists in the given field and the wider academic community.

Key References

Please list up to 12 key references with a brief note (one or two sentences) of their significance to your proposed research topic.


All applicants should submit two academic references. Your referees will be sent a link via email once you have submitted your part of the application. Please allow at least one week for your referees to submit a reference. 


A transcript is a breakdown of marks you obtained in each course/module you took at University. Your University will be able to provide you with this.

If your transcripts are not in English you will need to provide an official translation. This can either be through your University, the British Council, the British Embassy or an official translator.

If you are a current UCL student please print off your current marks from your PORTICO record.

English Language Qualification

English language requirements are described here. We look for Good Standard and you must obtain the minimum scores in the subtests as well as the overall score. 

Entry Requirements

You must have, or be completing, a Masters in a relevant subject. We normally look for a Masters degree with an overall grade of 70% or better, with at least 70% in the dissertation.

Scholarships and Funding

Details of all funding opportunities can be found here and here. Below are some suggested funding opportunities but you are advised to also look into alternative sources of funding in addition to this list. 

UCL Graduate School Scholarship (GRS) and UCL Overseas Research Scholarship (ORS)

The deadline for this funding opportunity is 4th January 2019.

In order to be considered for this funding you must have submitted a complete admissions applications by 1st December 2018 (including both references) and have the full support of your proposed Principal Supervisor.

Complete funding applications need to be submitted to Lisa Daniel by 4th January 2019. Please ensure you give your referees sufficient time to write their references given the Christmas closure. UCL is closed from 21st December to 2nd January though many people don’t return to work until 7th January. Incomplete applications will not be considered for funding.

Please note that there is only one funding application form which covers GRS and ORS

GRS is open to all students (UK/EU and O/S), ORS is only open to O/S fee paying students. Chinese students applying for this funding will also be considered for China Scholarship Council funding.

Competition for this funding is extremely high. We receive on average 20-30 applications a year and we can only put forward 2 applications to the next round. Applications are assessed on academic excellence as well as the strength of the research proposal and supporting references. 

LAHP AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership studentship

This funding is open to UK and EU students only

The deadline for the 2019/20 competition is 28th January 2019.

If you are applying for this funding opportunity the Department needs to have received a complete Admissions application (with both references) in advance of the LAHP funding deadline. It is essential that you have full support of your proposed supervisor who needs to write a statement of support for this funding opportunity.  

The Department offers applicants the opportunity to receive feedback on their LAHP application on the understanding that you have already received initial feedback from your proposed supervisor. Please email your draft to l.daniel@ucl.ac.uk by 14th December at the latest, we will then aim to get feedback to you by 14th January 2019. Please do not submit your LAHP application before you have received feedback.

Please note that applications for this funding opportunity do not come through the Department and any queries regarding the funding application process should be addressed to info.lahp@london.ac.uk


We are delighted to announce our participation in the UBEL Doctoral Training Partnership. We are seeking applicants for students in archaeology and heritage that are interested in a topic applying social science methodologies to the analysis of the heritage sector. Students can undertake study either part-time, or full-time, and can enter the doctoral programme either via a 1-year Master’s or directly into a PhD. Each of these routes builds on the concentration of academic resources between partnering institutions, including the Institute of Archaeology, Institute for Sustainable Heritage, Raphael Samuel History Centre, and partnerships with the British Museum and Museum of London. For further information please see here

Applications for funding in 2019/20 are now open. The deadline for funding applications is 8th January 2019. You must have submitted a complete admissions application by 4th December and have full support of your proposed Principal Supervisor. 

Wellcome Trust

The deadline for this funding is yet to be announced, however if you are intending to apply you must contact Jo Dullaghan (j.dullaghan@ucl.ac.uk) by 31st January 2019 as this grant needs to be costed by UCL in the first instance. Please note that this deadline may change depending on the funding deadline for 2019/20. 

Other funding opportunities

Some of our students have also received funding from the following organisations: 


All UCL Accommodation is processed and allocated centrally. You can apply for accommodation only after you have formally accepted an unconditional offer. Priority is given to Overseas students. For further details on UCL accommodation, and details on how to apply, please refer to the UCL Student Accommodation website.

If you would like a list of alternative sources of accommodation please contact Lisa Daniel for further details.