UCL Centre for Digital Humanities facilitates the work of students carrying out PhD or EngD research, both from the UK and abroad.
PhDs at UCL are normally extend over three years full-time or five years part-time study (there are no taught components prior to writing a thesis). General information on pursuing a PhD at UCL, and what it entails, can be found in the UCL Doctoral School pages.
How to apply
Most PhDs at UCLDH will, depending on their supervisor, be based in the Department of Information Studies (DIS), and UCL DIS provides further information about research degrees.
Those interested in more technical areas should also look at the UCL Engineering Doctorate (Virtual Environments Imaging and Visualisation) pages, where funded EngD places will be advertised.
We recommend that before you make a formal application you discuss your potential research project with a member of staff at UCL. When you do so, please send a brief description of the topic that you would like to work on- about 1000 words- and a copy of your CV. Please also copy this to the UCL DIS Research student tutor.
We are now receiving more enquiries from PhD students than we have places available. Therefore please be aware that admission is a competitive process, and you must be willing to take some time preparing your application, as a result. We make decisions about who to admit based on how well your proposed topic fits with UCLDH research, and your academic track record. If accepted you will be matched with the members of staff whose interests most closely relate to your research topic: we cannot guarantee that you will be able to work with specific named individuals.
Funding for PhDs is limited and competitive, and potential students are expected to pursue all avenues themselves in attracting funding. The Graduate School provides further information about fees, costs and funding, and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) website lists their current postgraduate funding opportunities.
UCL is a partner in the London Arts and Humanities Partnership, an AHRC funded Doctoral Training Partnership offering studentships. Please see the LAHP website for further information and details on how to apply.
UCL is also a partner in the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funded Centre for Doctoral Training in Science and Engineering in Arts, Heritage and Archaeology (SEAHA), which offers studentships to those interested in pursuing a PhD in heritage science.
Doctoral Students linked to UCLDH
- Christodoulos Aspromallis works on engineering reliable, robust, real-time generative music algorithms and systems for mixed-reality scenarios. His work involves computational gesture recognition and activity modelling linked to real-time algorithmic composition, and builds on probabilistic and other theoretical models of automated music generation. Supervisors: Nicolas Gold [first], Simon Julier [second].
- Paolo Casani works on examining the changes that ubiquitous internet and communication technologies (ICTs) induce into the aesthetic dimension by enacting new modes of perception, and how these in turn colour, filter and exclude aspects of how we come to understand our selves and the world. Supervisors: Julianne Nyhan [first] and Jenny Bunn [second]
- Antonio García Castañeda works on the 'automatic reconstruction of fragmented frescoes and other cultural artefacts'. Supervisors: Tim Weyrich [first].
- Jin Gao is working on citation network analysis and social network analysis of the Digital Humanities. Supervisors: Oliver Duke-Williams [first] and Simon Mahony, Julianne Nyhan, Melanie Ramdarshan Bold [subsidiary team].
- Marco Humbel is researching heritage organisations and how they might open up their collections with participatory communities. Supervisors: Julianne Nyhan [first] Andrew Flinn and Antonis Bikakis [second]
- Cerys Jones is using multispectral imaging to develop techniques for image acquisition and analysis for use in digital humanities, with the ultimate aim of developing standards for libraries, archives, galleries and museums to capture and process multispectral images. Supervisors: Adam Gibson [first] and Melissa Terras [second]
- Kalliopi Kontiza, working on Cognitive Based Visualisation Framework for Exploring Structured Cultural Heritage Data. Supervisors Antonis Bikakis [first] and Rob Miller and Pete Williams [second].
- Deborah Leem, working on computational approaches to deciphering the information architectures of Hans Sloane's catalogues of his collections. Julianne Nyhan [first]
- Olga Loboda, works on 'The transformations of museum experience with an item-based recommender system during exploratory search'. Julianne Nyhan [first] and Simon Mahony and Melissa Terras [second]
- Helen O'Neill works on analysing reader records of the London Library. Supervisors: Melissa Terras [first] and Anne Welsh [second].
- Ananda Rutherford works on critical approaches to museum object records and the effect of digitisation on collections information. Supervisors: Julianne Nyhan [first] and Haidy Geismar [second] and Melissa Terras.
- Hannah Smyth looks at digital archives and the articulation of identities in the Irish decade of centenaries. Supervisors: Andrew Flinn [first] and Julianne Nyhan [second].
Affiliated Doctoral Students
Affiliated PhD Students are those whose first supervisor is not from within UCLDH, but whose secondary supervisor is linked to the Centre.
- Ian Maybury is researching the use of hyperspectral imaging (HSI) in a heritage context, learning how to best use the equipment to extract information such as hidden text, relief details, the presence of organic growth, and signs of deterioration. Supervisors: Heather Viles [first], School of Geography and Environment, University of Oxford, and Melissa Terras [second]
- Foteini Valeonti is utilising crowdsourcing and augmented reality in an attempt to make art more accessible, not only on the digital domain, but also in the physical space. Supervisors: Andrew Hudson-Smith [first] from the Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis and Melissa Terras [second]
- Kira Zumkley is using advanced digitisation techniques for image acquisition and analysis to support the conservation and interpretation of the Victoria and Albert Museum's collection of large-scale reproductions. Supervisors: Karina Rodriguez Echavarria [first], University of Brighton, and Tim Weyrich [second]
- Isabel Galina worked on Open Access and Institutional Repositories. She is now coordinator for of the ReDHD Digital Humanities network in Latin America and works at the Institute for Bibliographic Studies at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). She was awarded her PhD in July 2009.
- Ernesto Priego worked on Comic books in the Digital Age, and was awarded his PhD in May 2011
- Henriette Roued-Cunliffe worked on 'a system to improve the interpretation of ancient documents', as part of the eSAD project for the Faculty of Classics at the University of Oxford. Supervisors: Alan Bowman [first] and Melissa Terras [second]. She was awarded her PhD in May 2012.
- Rudolf Ammann examined 'the formative stages and emergence of blogging'. Supervisors: Melissa Terras [first] and Claire Warwick [second]. He was awarded his PhD in June 2013.
- Susan Greenberg worked on 'the poetics of editing in print and digital form'. Supervisors: Iain Stevenson [first] and Claire Warwick [second]. She was awarded her PhD in December 2013.
- Alejandro Giacometti was researching 'medical imaging methods and technologies and how they can be adapted in order to recover information from ancient documents'. Supervisors: Adam Gibson [first] and Melissa Terras [second]. Affiliation: Department of Medical Physics and Bioengineering. He was awarded his PhD in December 2013.
- Paul Gooding worked on 'Digitisation' with the British Library. Supervisors: Claire Warwick [first] and Melissa Terras. He was awarded his PhD in June 2014.
- Claire Ross worked on 'users' experience and information seeking behaviour of digital museum content'. Supervisors: Melissa Terras [first - covered by Ann Blandford during leave] and Claire Warwick [second]. She was awarded her PhD in June 2014.
- Lorna Richardson worked on 'public archaeology in the Digital Age'. Supervisors:Melissa Terras [first] and Tim Schadla-Hall [second]. She was awarded her PhD in July 2014.
- Kazim Pal worked on 'scanning work of the Grand Parchment' with the London Metropolitan Archives. Supervisors: Tim Weyrich [first] and Melissa Terras [second]. He was awarded in July 2015.
- John Hindmarch worked on '3D scanning of science museum collections'. Supervisors: Melissa Terras [first] and Stuart Robson [second].
- Christina Kamposiori worked on 'personal research collections: examining research practices and user needs in art historical research'. Supervisors: Simon Mahony [first] and Julianne Nyhan [second].
- Kinda Dahlan worked on Information Practices Across The Academic And Non-academic Fields of Oceanography. Supervisors: Melissa Terras [first] and Jon French[second].
- Greta Franzini worked on creating a digital edition of the oldest surviving manuscript of S. Augustine's De Civitate Dei and in so doing examining best practice in the field of electronic editing. Supervisors: Melissa Terras [first] and Simon Mahony [second].
- Vasileios Routsis worked on 'information technology and social control mechanisms: The evolution of the concept of privacy'. Supervisors: Antonis Bikakis [first] and Simon Mahony [second].