Studying for a PhD in Digital Humanities at the School of Advanced Study

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.


Digital Humanities (DH) is an emerging field that has the potential to inform the development of transformative research in the humanities. It has become increasingly influential both as an academic field and as an area where the intersection of digital tools, methods and content can be seen in an interdisciplinary, transnational way.

DH in the School of Advanced Study demonstrates the value of digital research to the wider humanities community and fulfils the School’s remit to promote and facilitate digitally-enabled research across the disciplines. It fosters interdisciplinarity and takes a proactive approach in setting the national agenda for DH.

Recent digital research in the School has focused on the archived web (humanities), big data for humanities research (law and history), social media (modern languages and history), the transnational comparison of parliamentary proceedings (history), and English literary heritage (English).

More about Digital Humanities at the school

How to Apply

To make an application for a research degree, speak first to Valerie James, manager, Central Academic Initiatives, School of Advanced Study. Your particular research interest may be able to be supported, even though it is not listed.

Research degrees can be completed on a full-time basis (up to four years) or on a part-time basis (up to seven years).

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. 

Location Mode Duration Apply
London Full Time Up to four years Apply
London Part Time Up to seven years Apply
Distance Learning Full Time Up to four years     Apply
Distance Learning Part Time Up to seven years Apply


Distance Learning

From autumn 2017, the School of Advanced Study will offer students with an appropriate topic and level of local resource the opportunity to undertake a PhD by distance learning. These students are required to attend our London campus at set intervals to complete an intensive research training module, for upgrade, and for the viva but will otherwise study at their own location. This option is available to UK, EU and international students on the same basis as our on-campus PhD programmes (three years full time, six years part time). Fees are the same as for our on-campus PhD programmes. Please note that not all institutes and supervisors offer this option, and that some topics are not appropriate to be studied this way.

If you would like to be considered for our Research Degree programme via Distance Learning, please download and fill out the Research Degrees by Distance Learning form, to attach to your online application.

Subject Areas


Professor Jane Winters

Professor of Digital Humanities, School of Advanced Study


E-mail | Research Profile

Jane would be interested in supervising doctoral projects on:

  • Big data for humanities research
  • Born digital data, particularly web archives and social media
  • Digital history
  • Digital editing (especially historical texts)
  • The impact of digital humanities on scholarship (especially in history)
  • Open access policy and practice
  • Peer review and methods of evaluation in the digital environment
  • Search methodologies and information-seeking behaviour


Jane is Professor of Digital Humanities at the School of Advanced Study (and previously Professor of Digital History at the Institute of Historical Research). She is responsible for developing digital humanities in the School. She has led or co-directed a range of digital projects, including most recently Big UK Domain Data for the Arts and Humanities; Digging into Linked Parliamentary Metadata; Traces through Time: Prosopography in Practice across Big Data; the Thesaurus of British and Irish History as SKOS; and Born Digital Big Data and Approaches for History and the Humanities.

Jane is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and a member of RESAW (Research Infrastructure for the Study of the Archived Web), the Academic Steering & Advocacy Committee of the Open Library of Humanities, the UK Medical Heritage Library Academic Advisory Group, the Advisory Board of the Digital Preservation Coalition, the Advisory Board of the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure, the Advisory Board of the Academic Book of the Future project, and the Advisory Board of the E-Ark project.


Jonathan Blaney 

Project Editor, British History Online


E-mail | Research Profile

Jonathan would be interested in supervising doctoral projects on:

  • Historical data
  • Text manipulation
  • Humanities big data
  • The archived web


Jonathan is Project Editor for British History Online, as well as working on a range of other digital research projects. He has worked as lexicographer for Oxford University Press and as an editor on the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. He subsequently worked for the Oxford Digital Library, where he was a Text Encoding Reviewer on the Early English Books Online Text Creation Partnership and Eighteenth Century Collections Online Text Creation Partnership, and also advised on a number of digitisation projects. His interests include text editing and mark-up schemes such as the TEI; XML; the culture and technology of annotation; and the digital representation of print media.




Dr Gabriel Bodard  

Reader in Digital Classics, Institute of Classical Studies


E-mail | Research Profile 

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


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.


Dr Philip Carter  

Lecturer in Digital History, Institute of Historical Research 


E-mail | Research Profile 

Philip would be interested in supervising doctoral projects on: 

  • Digital publishing
  • Biography and digital history
  • The methodological impacts of digital humanities


Philip is Lecturer in Digital History at the Institute of Historical Research. Before arriving at the Institute, he was Senior Research and Publication Editor at the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, and a member of the History Faculty at Oxford University. At the ODNB, he was responsible for the Dictionary’s pre-1800 coverage and for art and architectural content, as well as research projects, institutional partnerships and linking. He was also closely involved with Oxford University Press in the Dictionary’s digital development.


Dr Richard Gartner  

Digital Librarian, Warburg Institute 


E-mail | Research Profile

Richard would be interested in supervising doctoral projects on: 

  • Digital curation and preservation in theory and practice, particularly the role of metadata and conceptual models
  • Digital libraries and librarianship, including digital library methodologies and techniques, the history of digital libraries, global perspectives on digital libraries and the role of metadata in their construction and maintenance
  • Metadata theory, particularly library and archival metadata (analogue and digital), metadata standards, XML schemas, ontologies and the relationships between metadata, information and knowledge.


Richard is the first Digital Librarian at the Warburg Institute. He has worked as both a practising librarian and an academic specialising in the theory and practice of digital librarianship. His areas of research have concentrated on the creation and curation of digital collections, digital library metadata and the role of digital libraries in scholarship. He also has an active research interest in the potential of digital libraries for enhancing international development.

Previously, Richard served for sixteen years as the Pearson New Media Librarian at the Bodleian Library, Oxford, where he was responsible for the Library's first digitisation projects, the creation of the first twenty collections of the Oxford Digital Library, the introduction of the Internet into the library and its first CD-ROM networks. He has also worked at Dr. Williams’ Library in London where he was responsible for their first digitization project, the conversion of the Surman Biographical index. For six years, he was a lecturer in the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London where he taught and researched digital curation and metadata theory.



Dr Christopher Ohge  

Lecturer in Digital Approaches to Literature, Institute of English Studies


E-mail | Research Profile

Christopher would be interested in supervising doctoral projects on:

  • Digital scholarly editing (particularly of literary texts)
  • XML, TEI, and digital publishing (especially of nineteenth and twentieth century texts)
  • Text analysis and stylometry with the R programming language
  • Using "distant reading" to enhance "close reading" (and vice versa)
  • Network analysis and visualising social and literary networks
  • Linked open data approaches to scholarly annotation
  • The impact of digital research on English studies


Christopher Ohge is Lecturer in Digital Approaches to Literature at the Institute of English Studies. From 2014 to 2017 he was an editor at the Mark Twain Papers and Project at the University of California, Berkeley, where his editorial credits included the third and final volume of the Autobiography of Mark Twain, a digital letters edition entitled Mark Twain: April Fool, 1884, and the forthcoming critical edition of the Innocents Abroad. He also participated in the development of other digital texts at He is a contributing editor on two digital projects, Melville’s Marginalia Online and the Melville Electronic Library, for which he is co-editing a digital edition of Billy Budd, Sailor. His published work has appeared in Scholarly Editing, Critical Insights: Billy Budd, Sailor, Literary Imagination, Notes & Queries, and Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies. He is currently working on a digital edition and network analysis of British anti-slavery writings. 

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