Hear from our PhD students

Archaeology and Ancient History at Leicester has a thriving community of graduate students from the UK, Europe and overseas. Some study on campus at the University, while a diverse group of distance learning students are scattered across the globe. Below some of our students talk about their experience as research students in Archaeology and Ancient History. You can also read a list of all the current research topics of our PhD students.

Charlotte Van Regenmortel

phd student charlotteFunding: College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities PhD Studentship

"After completing my undergraduate degree in Classics at Oxford, and a Masters in Ancient History in Amsterdam, the University of Leicester provided me with generous funding to undertake doctoral research on the theme of the economy and professional soldiers in Hellenistic armies.

"I am about to start my third year, and it has been a very positive experience so far. Archaeology and Ancient History has a large body of PhD students to whom excellent resources and facilities are allocated, while the weekly research seminars - the topics of which reflect the breadth of the department's research agenda - provide a fantastic platform for interdisciplinary development.

"I have had the opportunity to teach a few undergraduate courses - perhaps the most enjoyable part of my work! - as well as several research trips abroad. The friendly and ambitious environment of Archaeology and Ancient History at Leicester therefore provides a more than ideal arena in which to pursue a PhD."


Phil Hughes

phil hughesFunding: AHRC Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Partnership

"I completed my MA in Roman Archaeology here at Leicester in 2014, and initiated my PhD studies in October 2016, analysing Romano-British engagement with the materialities of the prehistoric past.

"A key reason I chose to pursue my postgraduate studies at Leicester is the wide-ranging expertise within Archaeology and Ancient History. Whilst my own period specialism – the Roman period – is a particular strength of the School, the variety of knowledge and perspectives from experts in prehistory, ancient history and historical archaeology allows for a greater depth of perspectives influencing my own research.

"Indeed, the staff within the department are friendly, enthusiastic and supportive, providing an arena for my own ideas to be challenged, developed and become more sophisticated which, ultimately, is what a PhD is all about.

"Additionally, the close postgraduate community provides a platform to bounce ideas, engage in stimulating and passionate discussion and become involved in colleagues' projects. Perhaps most importantly, though, it fosters great friendships, creating an essential mechanism of support during the challenges of doctoral study."


Rachael Sycamore

rachel sycamoreFunding: AHRC (British Museum) Roman Metalwork Hoards Collaborative Doctoral Award

"I am a current PhD student studying Romano-British metalwork hoards with a focus on landscape and GIS (Geographical Information Systems) analysis. Before coming to Leicester, I gained my undergraduate and Masters degrees at Durham University.

"Within Archaeology and Ancient History here at Leicester I have had a number of opportunities to build new skills, gain diverse experience and to pass on my technical expertise – for example, joining the University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS) football team who went to France to participate in the Winckelmann Cup; organising the School's research seminar series; co-running workshops on GIS to students from the Universities of Leicester, Nottingham and Birmingham; and travelling to Morocco to undertake fieldwork as part of a project within the department.

"It's important to also do things outside of the department, and I have found that there's plenty of great sports to watch, such as the Leicester Tigers rugby team or Leicestershire County Cricket."


Sergio Gonzalez Sanchez

"I am a Spanish student, and developed my PhD thesis at the University of Leicester. I gained my first undergraduate degree and then MA in Ancient History at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

"Next, I was lucky enough to receive a scholarship from a Spanish private funding body (Fundación Caja Madrid) in order to fulfil a research project whose main focus was on Romano-Barbarian military interactions in North-Western Europe, with special attention to different national archaeological traditions and the 'filters' applied by the European nations involved in my study (especially Denmark and the Netherlands).

"I decided to come to Leicester to complete this study due to its well-deserved fame for high-quality research and leading scholars. I could not have made a better choice: here I found all the encouragement and support needed to complete my research project, with friendly and supportive staff and fellow postgraduates. I enjoyed the city and the opportunities to visit sites locally and nationally. So much to do!"