Anthropology and ArchaeologyFind a programme
|Run by||Faculty of Arts|
|Awards available||PhD, MPhil|
MPhil: One year full-time;
two years part-time
PhD: Three years full-time;
six years part-time
|Location of programme||Clifton campus|
|Part-time study available||Yes|
This research degree is also available via distance learning.
MPhil: a standalone, one-year (full-time) research degree. Students will undertake their own research project, concluding in the submission of a 25,000 word dissertation. Students may have the option to audit units from our taught Masters courses if they are relevant to their research.
PhD: a research project undertaken across three years (full-time, plus a writing up period), culminating in an 80,000 word thesis. As well as having the option to audit taught units, there may be the potential for PhD students to teach units themselves from their second year of study onwards.
The Department of Anthropology and Archaeology has an international 'four-field' approach, combining archaeology with evolutionary, social and linguistic anthropology. Our key strengths lie in our integrated approaches to understanding cultural, biological and social change: the spread of peoples, their ideas and material artefacts. We focus particularly on adaptation, adversity and globalisation.
Our research spans from earliest prehistory to the modern day. Field research takes place in the UK, as well as Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya, Slovenia, Turkey, Peru, Vietnam and Papua New Guinea, and elsewhere.
We are well equipped to undertake anthropological and archaeological fieldwork, including excavation, and we have world-class radiocarbon dating, isotopic and micro-imaging laboratories on site. We foster partnerships with professional institutions nationally and locally to provide additional collaborative opportunities for our students (eg with the Royal Anthropological Institute, UNESCO City of Film, and Bristol Museum and Art Gallery).
In addition, we draw on expertise and facilities from across the University (eg Brigstow institute; Cabot Institute Elizabeth Blackwell Institute for Health Research; Jean Golding Institute). We also work closely with institutes and centres in the Faculties of Social Sciences and Arts (Migration Mobilities Bristol; the Centre for Environmental Humanities; and the Centre for Health, Humanities and Science), as well as the Faculty of Science (eg Bristol Isotope Group; Organic Geochemistry Unit).
Fees for 2020/21
We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2020/21 are as follows:
- UK/EU: full-time
- UK/EU: part-time
- Overseas: full-time
- Channel Islands/Isle of Man: full-time
Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to a five per cent increase in fees each year. Find out more about tuition fees.
University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a ten per cent reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni scholarship.
Funding for 2020/21
Students will be eligible to apply for PhD studentships from the South, West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership (SWWDTP), which will be offering studentships for September 2020 entry.
For information on other funding opportunities, please see the Faculty of Arts funding pages.
Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.
MPhil: A mid-level upper second-class degree or international equivalent, with evidence of first class research. Please note, acceptance will also depend upon evidence of your readiness to pursue a research degree.
PhD: A master's qualification, or be working towards a master's qualification, or international equivalent, with evidence of first class/distinction-level research. Applicants without a master's qualification may be considered on an exceptional basis provided they hold a first-class undergraduate degree (or international equivalent). Applicants with a non-traditional background may be considered provided they can demonstrate substantial equivalent and relevant experience that has prepared them to undertake their proposed course of study.
See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.
English language requirements
If English is not your first language, you need to meet this profile level:
Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.
Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.
Adversity: We address the resilience of humanity in the face of major challenges past and present, such as disease, conflict and technological change.
Adaptation: We explore the biological and cultural evolutionary processes that generate human diversity.
Globalisation: We discover how the movement of people, ideas and objects has an impact on continuity and change, from the Neolithic to the present day.
Graduates from our department go on to work in diverse professional contexts, including higher education and research, museums, the heritage sector, international development, NGOs and policy-making organisations.
Professor Joanna Bruck, (Professor of Archaeology), archaeology of ritual; Bronze Age Britain; death and burial; historical archaeology of Ireland and Britain.; material culture studies; settlement and landscape archaeology
Dr Neil Carrier, (Lecturer in Social Anthropology), drug trade and use; East Africa and its diaspora; economic anthropology; migration and diaspora
Dr Lucy Cramp, (Senior Lecturer), adoption of farming; archaeological science; diet and social identity; organic residue analysis of artefacts; Roman Britain; subsistence strategies
Professor Richard Evershed, (Professor), analysis of organic residues in ancient pottery and artefacts; archaeological chemistry; prehistoric origin of dairying
Dr Mhairi Gibson, (Reader in Anthropology), Ethiopia and Sub-Saharan Africa; evolutionary anthropology and demography; human behavioural ecology; population change and child health
Dr Tamar Hodos, (Reader in Mediterranean Archaeology), archaeology of the Mediterranean Iron Age; Greek and Phoenician colonisation and colonialism; luxuries and their materiality; post-colonial and globalisation theories
Dr Theresia Hofer, (Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology), anthropology of South and East Asia; international development; museum anthropology; sign language and deaf identity; social and medical anthropology
Professor Fiona Jordan, (Professor of Anthropology), Austronesian societies of the Pacific; cultural diversity and evolution; cultural phylogenetics; evolutionary anthropology; kinship; linguistic anthropology
Dr Camilla Morelli, (Lecturer in Social Anthropology), Amazonian anthropology; anthropology of childhood
Dr Kit Opie, (Lecturer in Biological Anthropology), Evolution of social systems in human and non-human primates and other mammals
Dr Amy Penfield, (Lecturer in Anthropology), Economic subjectivities in lowland South America
Dr Stuart Prior, (Reader in Archaeological Practice), archaeological practice; castle studies; Medieval archaeology
Professor Kate Robson-Brown, (Professor of Biological Anthropology), biological anthropology; biomechanics of bone; bone microstructure; human evolution; image processing and analysis; micro computed tomography; osteoarchaeology
Professor Graeme Were, (Professor of Anthropology), anthropology of Pacific and Southeast Asia; digital heritage and material culture; museum anthropology
Dr Juan Zhang, (Lecturer in Anthropology), casino-led labour migration in Southeast Asia; cross-border interactions ; gender and transgression in migration
January 2020 start: 1 December 2019
September 2020 start: 2 August 2020
January 2021 start: 2 December 2020
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REF 2014 results
- Geography, Environmental Studies and Archaeology (Archaeology):
- 4% of research is world-leading (4*)
- 24% of research is internationally excellent (3*)
- 57% of research is recognised internationally (2*)
- 15% of research is recognised nationally (1*)
Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by HEFCE. More about REF 2014 results.
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