PhD by Distance Learning
|Our PhD programme is the most advanced level of study that we offer. You should consider taking our PhD by distance learning if you want to become a professional researcher in archaeology or ancient history, or if you want to demonstrate that you have the full range of theoretical and practical skills at the highest levels.|
The distance learning route to a PhD is suitable for those with a developed career or other commitments who can't afford to give up the day job! There is absolutely no difference in examination procedures or standards expected for PhDs gained by distance learning or on-campus. Even as a part-time qualification, however, a PhD is a large and long-term commitment lasting several years and requiring a substantial financial commitment.
However, we are committed to supporting you through your research. We have been running PhDs by distance learning since 2001. At any one time we have at least 20 students undertaking research degrees by distance learning, in addition to more than 100 other postgraduate students studying taught degrees by distance learning.
Award of a UK doctorate is based solely upon individual research, presented in the form of an 80,000-word thesis. The course – normally comprising five years part-time registration with the option of some additional 'writing up time' – is designed to support the particular needs of distance learners by combining online research training modules and supplied textbooks, short residential visits, and intensive supervision.
If you are accepted as a candidate, then a residential Induction Week in the autumn after starting is a good time to meet your supervisor and other staff in person. Initially you will be registered as an ‘Advanced Postgraduate Student’ and progress to a PhD will depend on successfully passing your upgrade submission.
You have to visit Leicester for your upgrade interview, as well as for your final examination. Travel costs are your responsibility, though we pay for accommodation while you are at the University. Throughout your research you will have regular communication with your supervisor via e-mail, telephone and post. They may visit you if possible.
We take great care to match potential PhD students to the most appropriate supervisors, in order to achieve the best possible combination of topic, expertise and resources. For that reason we ask prospective students to give careful thought to their proposed area of research prior to making a formal application. Acceptable thesis topics can be virtually anything relating to the wide-ranging research interests of the School's substantial staff of archaeologists and ancient historians, who constitute potential PhD supervisors. You can find information about potential supervisors and their research interests on our website at www.le.ac.uk/archaeology/people. For more information about current postgraduate researchers and their topics visit our postgraduate research page.
Typically, as a distance learning doctoral student you will have considerable professional experience in archaeology or a related field, with access to any necessary specialist facilities, and will already possess the methodological skills needed. You will usually also have substantial knowledge of the material which is to form the basis of your research, and will be looking for a way to formalise and extend this within the framework of a research degree. We thus expect prospective candidates to have a good honours degree or its equivalent in archaeology, anthropology, classics/ancient history or a related discipline. You may also have an appropriate Masters degree, or other demonstrable research experience and writing skills, and you will almost always have extensive professional experience in your proposed field of study.
The next step
Informal inquiries are always welcome. However to begin with we ask you to complete and send a pre-application form to enable you to enter into a dialogue with appropriate members of staff about your proposed research topic. This process can take a little time, but this is valuable to ensure a clear, workable and rewarding topic is determined upon. If and when an appropriate research topic, suitable approaches and supervisors have been agreed, a formal application can be made to enable you to register with the university and begin the programme.
For further information please contact Rachel Godfrey, Postgraduate Administrator:
School of Archaeology and Ancient History
University of Leicester
Tel: +44(0)116 252 2611
Fax: +44(0)116 223 1267
There are four intakes for research degrees each academic year: October, January, April/May and July.
Hopewell Geometric Enclosures: Gatherings of the Fourfold
Bill Romain (July 2004)
- Architecture, Economics and Identity in Romano-British 'Small Towns'
Tom Rust (July 2006)
- Historic Building Reconstruction Since c. 1877: The Creation of Popular Images of the Age of Transition
Liz Stewart (July 2006)
- Violence Amongst Anasazi of the American Southwest AD 200-1350
John Cater (July 2008)
- Subsistence Patterns of Prehistoric Coastal California: Investigating Variations of Early Maritime Adaptation
Judy Porcasi (July 2008)
- "As You See It So It Was": Reconstructing Historic Built Environments in the USA: The Case of Sites Associated with George Washington
Esther White (July 2008)
- Archaeology of Transylvanian Fortified Churches
David Morgan (July 2009)
- Hunter-Gatherer Settlement and Land Use in the Central Canadian Rockies AD 800-1800
Rod Heitzmann (Jan 2010)
- Military 'vici' in Northern Britain
Andrew Birley (July 2010)
- Spatial Patterning of Prehistoric shell work sites of the Ten Thousand Islands, Florida
Margo Schwadron (July 2010)
- Tin and copper mining on Dartmoor c1700-1914
Philip Newman (Jan 2011)
- Culture, gender, and identity in the Hudson Bay company
Helen Stone (Jan 2011)
- At Home, with the Good Horses: Relationality, Roles, Identity and Ideology in Iron Age Inner Asia
Gala Argent (July 2011)
- Colonizer Geoarchaeology of the Pacific Northwest Region, North America
Brett Lenz (Jan 2012)
- Rejuvenation Signature Analysis: Measuring Rejuvenation in Eastern Great Basin Archaic Dart Point Assemblages
Al Spencer (Jan 2012)
- The Archaeology of Abandonment, Ghost Towns of the American West
Paige Peyton (Jan 2013)