Studying for a PhD at the Institute of Classical Studies

The School of Advanced Study is the UK's national research hub in the humanities and offers a world-class research environment to our research students. We run a range of research training programmes, open to all postgraduate students, as well as an active public engagement calendar. The School is part of the AHRC-funded London Arts and Humanities Partnership (LAHP), through which we are able to offer a number of studentships in humanities disciplines. Our institutes also offer a range of bursaries and studentships for applicants on our programmes.


The Institute of Classical Studies with its world-class library provides an important academic focus for postgraduates from universities in the UK and abroad, who are studying all aspects of the ancient world. Postgraduates are encouraged to attend the Institute’s broad range of research seminars and guest lectures, which provide an excellent opportunity to hear and discuss papers by leading scholars from the UK and abroad, as well as to meet others interested in a particular field of study. The Institute is also committed to an expanding programme of research training on aspects of Classical antiquity and related disciplines. The regular series of Postgraduate Work-in-Progress seminars attracts participants from throughout the UK; student-organised conferences also play an increasingly important role in the Institute’s events programme.

More about the Institute

How to Apply

Before agreeing to accept you, the School will require you to submit a research proposal, so it is worthwhile having this drafted ahead of a formal application. Guidelines on drafting your research proposal.Once you have contacted the School, you will be put in touch with a potential supervisor. It is important that you discuss your outline research proposal with them, and that you feel you can work together. Your supervisor will discuss any further development or re-focusing of your proposal before the formal application is taken to the relevant Research Degrees Committee for approval.

Please apply by clicking the links to the appropriate online application form for the January 2020 session. 

Apply (Full Time) Apply (Part Time)


Subject Areas

Doctoral research supervision is available in broad areas of classics and ancient history including:

  • The economy of the Roman Empire
  • Roman religion
  • Ancient literacy and the ancient book
  • Cultural identity in the ancient world
  • Digital editing of inscriptions, papyri or manuscripts
  • Digital approaches to prosopography, onomastics or geography
  • Impact of digital methodologies on classical scholarship or teaching

It is possible to arrange co-supervision with particular experts in the Colleges of the University of London, and, on occasion, with experts from institutions outside the University of London (for example, the British Library, the British Museum or other higher education institutions). In cases where it is more appropriate for MPhil/PhD students to be registered at a College of the University, the Institute is happy to offer informal advice.



Dr Gabriel Bodard

Reader in Digital Classics, Insitute of Classical Studies


Email | Research Profile

Gabriel Bodard is Reader in Digital Classics at the ICS since September 2015. He has been the organizer of the Digital Classicist seminar since 2006, and teaches classes and workshops on digital methods for classicists and archaeologists as well as summer schools on digital encoding for ancient epigraphy and papyrology internationally.

Before joining the ICS, he worked for fourteen years in digital humanities at King's College London, specialising in digital epigraphy and collaborating on several major corpora of inscriptions (Aphrodisias, Tripolitania, Cyrenaica, Northern Black Sea) and Papyri ( He is a co-author of the EpiDoc Guidelines for XML encoding of ancient documents and the principal investigator of the Standards for Networking Ancient Prosopographies


Gabriel would be interested in supervising doctoral projects on:

  • Digital editing (especially historical texts such as inscriptions, papyri, manuscripts)
  • XML, TEI, EpiDoc, and digital publishing
  • The impact of digital humanities on scholarship (especially in Classics)
  • Digital prosopography, onomastics and geography
  • Interdisciplinary approaches to objects and the texts written on them
  • Linked open data and ancient or historical sources
  • Digital approaches to teaching, especially language teaching  

Prof Greg Woolf 

Director, Insitute of Classical Studies


    Email | Research Profile

    Greg's research concerns the history and archaeology of the ancient world at the very large scale. Current projects include books on urbanism and on mobility, and ongoing collaborations on ancient library culture with former colleagues in St Andrews. He is an associated fellow at the Max Weber Kolleg in Erfurt where, along with Professor Jörg Rüpke, he leads a major research project, funded by the Humboldt Foundation, into the role of sanctuaries in forming religious experience.

    Topics: Greg would be interested in supervising doctoral projects on broad areas of classics and ancient history.

    Dr Nikolaos Gonis 

    Professor of Papyrology, UCL