Q: How do I investigate the possibility of doctoral research in Classical Studies at UCL?
A: The Graduate Tutor can advise you whether a specialist in your proposed field could supervise you, and can answer any general questions about UCL that you may have. It is good idea to send a draft research proposal when you contact us: one page (more if you wish) with a sketch of your ideas for your PhD research. If we feel that we can provide appropriate supervision for you, we will ask you to submit a PhD application so that we can take up references.
Q: Should I contact a potential supervisor directly?
A: Yes, if you identify a potential supervisor on the staff.
Q: What are the academic requirements for admission to the PhD programme?
A: All applicants must have completed an MA programme or equivalent post-undergraduate degree, either at UCL or elsewhere. A good performance in the dissertation component of the MA is especially important (for example, in the London MA in Classics we would look for a mark at or near Distinction level).
Q: Do I need to submit a writing sample?
A: The Graduate Tutor can advise on this. Including a piece of writing such as an MA dissertation with an application is often helpful.
Q: What are the English language requirements for foreign students?
A: The UCL requirement in English for non-native speakers is an IELTS score at 'good' level or recognised equivalent. Details are available on the Graduate School website. (Students who have an undergraduate degree from a university in the English-speaking world are exempt from this requirement.)
Q: Do many mature students pursue a PhD at UCL?
A: Yes, there is always a sizeable minority of students who have not come immediately out of a BA/MA programme; many join us considerably later in life. We welcome applications from people of all ages; admissions criteria are of course more flexible for mature applicants.
Q: Is it possible to do a PhD on a part-time basis?
A: Yes, around a third of our PhD students enrol as part-time students. It is the best option for students who need to work while doing the PhD, or who have other responsibilities. Part-time students have seven years rather than the standard four years to complete their dissertations (but may submit before then if they wish).
Q: Can I do a PhD on a part-time basis if I need a visa to study in the UK?
A: No, if you require a student visa to study in the UK, you will not be able to study part-time at UCL. If you have EU Pre-settled or Settled status, you will be able to study part-time at UCL. EU students who were in the UK before 31st December 2020 are eligible to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme and needed to do so before 30th June 2021. Anyone who arrived in the UK after 31st Dec will need a visa to study in the UK.
Q: Is it possible to have a supervisor at a different university?
A: Both supervisors must usually be at UCL. The only exception is for universities within London: it is possible to have a second supervisor at King's College London, the London School of Economics, Queen Mary University of London, or the School of Advanced Study (London).
Q: Is it possible to have an international collaborative PhD programme?
A: No, though if you are enrolled for a PhD at a foreign university it is possible to be a visiting research student at UCL to work with a member of staff here.
Q: How long does the decision whether to admit take?
A: After we receive a formal application, decisions are made quickly (typically within a month); an offer may specify certain minimum grades in an MA programme or equivalent.
Q: Is there a deadline for PhD applications?
A: No, but you should leave yourself plenty of time, especially if you need to apply for funding. For most of the common sources of funding (the AHRC and UCL studentships), you need to have an offer of a place at UCL before your application for funding can be considered. The deadline for AHRC applications is typically in late January; for UCL funding it is in early January.
Q: How long should the research proposal be in the UCL application?
A: The limit is 3000 words; most come in at around 1000-1500 words.
Q: I won't know my MA results until October or November: can I start the PhD programme at the start of the academic session in September?
A: Most offers of a place are conditional upon MA results: students with a conditional offer are allowed to enrol provisionally at UCL in September (time-limited enrolment), on the understanding that this status will lapse if the required marks are not achieved.
Q: Do I have to start the PhD programme at the start of the academic session in September?
A: No, though an important advantage in starting at this time is that UCL lays on a number of induction sessions and training courses at the beginning of the year. Some of these are repeated in January for students who need to start then; but it is theoretically possible to start at any time.
Q: Is funding available for PhD research?
A: Universities in the UK cannot, unfortunately, offer automatic funding to all PhD students. Funding for research students in the Arts and Humanities at UCL comes mostly from two sources: the LAHP (an AHRC-funded consortium), and a limited number of studentships offered by UCL. Some students also win financial support from private foundations. See our guidelines on postgraduate funding.
Q: I am interested in ancient history and/or archaeology: should I apply to the Department of Greek and Latin?
A: Ancient history at UCL is located in the Department of History, and classical archaeology and art history are based in the UCL Institute of Archaeology: you should apply directly to the History Department or the Institute of Archaeology if that is where your primary research interest lies. However, many projects at PhD level are interdisciplinary: staff in the three Departments collaborate to offer a programme of study of the ancient Mediterranean world. If your project includes the study of ancient language, literature, or philosophy as a major element, contact the Department of Greek and Latin: we will arrange for a co-supervisor in ancient history or archaeology as necessary.
Q: How do I submit an application for the PhD programme?
A: Applications are made online via the UCL application portal here. The PhD programme is Greek, Latin, Ancient Middle East, and the code is RRDGRLTNME01.