As a postgraduate research student in the department of Archaeology at Reading, you will be part of a vibrant world-class research community, consistently ranked top in the UK for Archaeology. You will be a member of our thriving interdisciplinary research clusters and centres and have access to state-of-the-art facilities.


The Department of Archaeology has an international reputation for the quality of its research and the excellence of its teaching, and is at the forefront of social and scientific research on issues of global cultural and environmental importance and contemporary relevance. We pride ourselves on providing a stimulating and friendly environment for our active community of postgraduate students to pursue their research and professional development.


The Department was ranked top in the UK for world-leading and internationally-excellent research in Archaeology in the latest REF (2014) assessment. Our expertise spans the Palaeolithic to the Medieval periods, and regions of the world including the UK, Europe, Middle East, North Africa, South America and China. Find out more on our research pages.

Research in Archaeology is nurtured by world-class research clusters that provide an interdisciplinary environment for engagement within and across themes, projects and regional studies. These research clusters focus on advancing social and scientific approaches to past communities and environments and issues of fundamental significance, including climate and environmental change, health, diet, social diversity and inclusivity, and cultural heritage.

We benefit from state-of-the art resources for both humanities-based and science-based archaeological research, and have strong research links and collaborations with departments across the University and external institutions.

PhD opportunities


We offer flexible modes of study designed to fit with your needs. Our PhD is available for study on a full-time basis over 3-4 years and part-time over 5-6 years. Both full-time and part-time variants are available for study in Reading or working away.


Over the course of your PhD you will also be involved in opportunities to communicate your work and network with other researchers and external institutions, speak at conferences, seminars, and workshops, and visit or host researchers from elsewhere. In the summer term every year the School holds a joint Postgraduate Conference for all its research students. Archaeology PGRs also co-organise and host a new PGR conference on a cutting-edge topic of their choice.


In your degree course, you will benefit from a programme of relevant postgraduate training and have access to specialist modules agreed between you and your supervisor/s as well as a programme of transferable skills organised by the Graduate School.

The Graduate School

All postgraduate research students automatically become members of the University-wide Graduate School. The Graduate School provides training, professional development, study space, advice and administrative support in a dedicated building for the postgraduate research community at Reading.

Detailed Offer Information


Our PhD students go on to work in academia as postdoctoral researchers and lecturers, and also quickly find employment in industries such as heritage agencies, museums, professional archaeology, environmental and geoarchaeology, forensic companies, government organisations and media.


'Reading is the perfect foundation for my academic career, equipping me with the skills, expertise and contacts to establish me as a serious and productive scholar in the field of Early Medieval Archaeology.'

Matt Austin, PhD Archaeology


Research in the department is organised into new Research Clusters, which overlap and interact significantly:

We are also active members of the Centre for Past Climate Change, the Walker Institute for Climate System Research, the Graduate Centre for Medieval Studies, and the new Imagine Heritage & Creativity Institute.

Meet the Team

Current Postgraduate Students


Researcher development programme

Graduate School homepage

How To Apply

Detailed Offer Information

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PhD Funding available

New opportunities for  funded PhD research in Archaeology available for entry October 2017


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