Institute of Archaeology


How to Apply and Funding Opportunities

The application process

Finding a supervisor

You are strongly advised to make contact with your proposed supervisor to discuss your research proposal before submitting an admissions application. Details of potential supervisor’s research interests can be found here.

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)

Content 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.placeholder

Timeliness and Impact (c.100 words)

Content placeholderPlease 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.

Academic References

All applicants must supply full contact details for 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 two weeks for your referees to submit a reference. 


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

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 a 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 degree 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.

Submitting an application 

To submit an online application please see here

If you are applying for funding ensure you submit your part of the application at least two weeks in advance of the suggested deadline date. 

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 has not been published yet for 2022/23 entry but it is likely to be early January.  

In order to be considered for this funding you must have submitted a complete admissions application by 10th January 2022 (including both references) and have the full support of your proposed Principal Supervisor. Please note that referees can only submit their references once you have submitted your part of the application. 

UCL will close on 23rd December and will not reopen until 4th January. You are strongly advised to submit all the mandatory documents for this funding opportunity, including the references, before the Christmas closure. These need to be emailed to Lisa Daniel. Please note that only complete applications received by the deadline will be considered for this funding opportunity. 

GRS is open to all students (UK 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 as an institute within UCL we can only put forward 2 applications to be considered by a College panel. Applications are assessed on the basis of 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 2022/23 competition has yet to be announced, but is likely to be in late January 2022.

If you are applying, the Institute needs to have received a complete  Admissions application with both references) in advance of the LAHP funding deadline. It is essential that you have the full support of your proposed supervisor as they are required to write a statement of support.

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 LAHP application to l.daniel@ucl.ac.uk by 7th January at the latest, we will then aim to get feedback to you by 18th January 2021. Please do not submit your LAHP application before you have received feedback. These proposed deadlines may change once the funding deadline has been announced. 

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


We are delighted to announce our participation in the UBEL Doctoral Training Partnership. We are seeking applications from students in the fields of archaeology and heritage interested in applying social science methodologies to research in the heritage sector. Students can undertake either part-time or full-time study and can enter the doctoral programme either via a 1-year master's or directly. 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, the British Museum and the Museum of London. For further information please see here


The deadline for applications is yet to be announced, but is likely to be in early January. You must have submitted a complete admissions application by 1st December and have the full support of your proposed Principal Supervisor. Please note that the deadline may change once the official deadline has been announced. 

Wellcome Trust

This doctoral studentship funding scheme is subject to an internal Institute of Archaeology (IoA) competition in the first instance. The next Wellcome Trust deadline for this funding is Tuesday 2 March 2021. However please note the Wellcome Trust is reviewing its funding approach for this scheme. Please check the Wellcome Trust website regularly for updates: https://wellcome.ac.uk/funding/schemes/doctoral-studentships

The IoA internal deadline for this funding round will be Friday 22 January 2021. Completed draft Wellcome Trust online application forms must be submitted to Jo Dullaghan, Institute of Archaeology Research Administrator (Pre-Award) at j.dullaghan@ucl.ac.uk by 5pm (UK time) on this date as well as brief supporting statements from proposed supervisors. Candidates should discuss their proposals with their supervisors in advance to ensure their projects fit the remit for the Wellcome Trust. This must be confirmed when submitting an application for consideration. Eligibility criteria for this scheme are available on the Wellcome Trust website. Grants which are chosen to be supported this year then need to be costed and approved by UCL in advance of the funder deadline. Further details will be provided to those candidates selected to go ahead.

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.