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Digital Humanities Research MPhil/PhD

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Overview

The Department of Digital Humanities at King’s is a pioneer in its field, and we aim to provide outstanding supervision and training in a broad range of areas across digital humanities and digital culture, exploring the varied ways in which digital information, technologies and methods are transforming the humanities, arts, culture and society. We have numerous links with key institutions across the cultural and creative sectors, as well as SMEs in the digital and media industries, and we aim to prepare students for careers both in the academy and outside it.

The 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) confirmed the world-class standard of research undertaken in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, and its leading international reputation. The Department of Digital Humanities is ranked 1st in the UK against the framework's "power" metric; 80% of our research was deemed to be world leading (4*) and internationally excellent (3*) standard; we received an outstanding score for the impact of our research; and we were ranked third of the Russell Group universities.

You will be supervised by leading figures in your field, and participate in a lively and supportive research culture within the Department, which currently has 14 academic staff and 26 MPhil/PhD students (not including students on collaborative programmes whose primary supervisor is located elsewhere in the College), as well as post-docs and visiting researchers. Much of the Department’s research is funded through major grants from the European Commission, the AHRC, the Leverhulme Trust, the Andrew Mellon Foundation, and other key funders – active research projects in which the Department is involved are listed here.

The Department has an active MPhil/PhD seminar series and an annual MPhil/PhD student conference organised by the students themselves, and there are a range of seminars and other events both within King’s and at academic and cultural institutions around London. London also possesses extensive media and digital industries, with many opportunities for internships and employment.

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Key information

Duration Expected to be three years FT, four-six years PT. September to September, January to January or April to April.

Study mode Full-time,Part-time

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Arts & Humanities

Department Department of Digital Humanities

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Entry requirements

Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.

General entry advice

An MA degree in the humanities or social sciences, with a mark of Distinction or high Merit (or  international equivalent). In exceptional circumstances, applicants holding a first class honours degree (or overseas equivalent) may be admitted. Applicants must demonstrate mastery of the academic background deemed relevant to the research proposed.

Application procedure

Prior to formal application students develop a cogent research proposal in correspondence with Dr Mark Hedges.  A preliminary visit to the department in London is highly desirable but not required. Normally studies begin in the autumn semester. If advised to proceed, applications should be made by early January, particularly if funding is required. Admission to the PhD programme is initially for the MPhil, but we expect students to transfer to the PhD after an appropriate period, by agreement with their supervisor, the departmental Research Committee and the College.

Personal statement and supporting information

No information required.

Course intake

No set number.

Application closing date

The deadline for applications is detailed below for 2016 and 2017 entry. Prior to these dates all applications will be given equal consideration and considered on their individual merits. After these dates applications will be considered subject to the availability of places, thus we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible. Please note that funding deadlines may be earlier.

April 2016 entry - Application deadline will be on the 19th February 2016 for UK/EU and international students.

September 2016 entry - Application deadline will be on the 29th July 2016 for international students and 2nd September 2016 for UK/EU students.

January 2017 entry - Application deadline will be on the 31st October 2016 for international students and 2nd December 2016 for UK/EU students.

 

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Course detail

Description

The Department of Digital Humanities offers a PhD programme for suitably qualified candidates who wish to explore the transformative effects of digital information, technologies, and methods on the humanities, arts, culture and society. This is a pioneering doctoral programme, based in one of the world’s most prestigious centres for the study of Digital Humanities. Research in the Department reflects a ‘big tent’ view of the digital humanities, and there are no a priori restrictions on the area of research, assuming that appropriate supervisors can be found, and no fixed expectations of particular technical skills. We welcome applications from potential students with any disciplinary background in the humanities or social sciences.

An overview of the areas of research carried out in the department may be found on the departmental website. Profiles and research projects of current MPhil and PhD students may be found in the King’s research portal.

 

Course study environment

All PhD candidates are allocated two supervisors, and are expected to meet with their primary supervisor on a regular basis, with progress reports submitted every six months. Students will normally be upgraded from MPhil to PhD status after 9-18 months, with a transfer to 'writing up' status usually occurring after three years of full-time study. Upon submission of the thesis, assessment is by means of an oral examination (viva).

Our postgraduate students are an integral part of the academic life of the Department. We are a growing department with many internationally recognised researchers and visiting academics. We have a wide range of both national and international projects, collaborations with other departments, as well as with other higher education institutions, cultural and memory organisations, and digital industries. Our students have access to good library facilities, and there is a research student room within the department.

The Department has an active PhD seminar series, which provides students with the opportunity to present their research and discuss its progress and its relationship to the broader discipline, and students are also invited to participate in the departmental seminar series. There is an annual PhD student conference, organised by the students themselves, as well as a range of seminars and other events both within King’s and at academic and cultural institutions around London.

London offers unparalleled diversity and richness for students in the humanities and cultural heritage, with the largest concentration of memory and cultural institutions in the UK, including the major document repositories at the National Archives, and the extensive digital and physical resources of the British Library. London also possesses extensive media and digital industries, with many opportunities for internships and employment.

Research students can apply to become Graduate Teaching Assistants to assist members of staff in delivering modules to undergraduate students on the BA in Digital Culture. Full training is provided to enable students to make the best use of this opportunity for acquiring valuable teaching experience.

 

Postgraduate training

Research students are expected to spend a week per year on training in transferable and research skills, and will have access to a diverse range of training opportunities. Students can attend a variety of specialist MA modules offered within the Department, on topics such as text technologies, spatial humanities, or metadata. The King's Graduate School runs a Researcher Development Programme of personal, professional and career development activities for all research students, and there is a centrally provided programme of ICT and related skills training. Students are able to take part in a wide portfolio of training courses ranging from generic study and employability skills, language courses at the College's Modern Language Centre, through to specific conceptual and methodological courses offered by the ESRC-funded King’s Interdisciplinary Social Science DTC.

King’s is also a partner in the AHRC London Arts and Humanities Partnership (LAHP) collaborative doctoral training partnership (with University College London and the School of Advanced Study, University of London), which supports an extensive network of training courses and events for AHRC-funded students.

Our research students are also encouraged to submit papers to conferences, and there are Faculty funding schemes to which students can apply for financial support to allow them to travel and present their papers.

 

Head of group/division

Dr Mark Hedges

Contact for information

Postgraduate Admissions, Admissions Office tel: +44 (0) 20 7848 1649 fax: +44 (0) 20 7848 7200

Contact email

https://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/pg/Admissions-contact-form.aspx

Course website

http://www.kcl.ac.uk/artshums/depts/ddh/index.aspx
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Career prospects

A research degree in the digital humanities will equip you to make substantial and original contributions to any field or activity in which digital technologies and methods are applied to the study, conservation or presentation of cultural artefacts, or in which there is a need to manage and analyse complex digital information. Because the degree privileges human knowledge and cultural production, rather than the tools that may be used to study these, it will also prepare you to offer powerfully creative resistance to digital technologies in their present form, and thus to help advance them in positive directions. The degree is thus highly relevant for subsequent work not only in higher education and cultural organisations and industries, but also in any organisation in the public or private sectors in which complex digital information plays a significant role.

Career destinations

A research degree in the digital humanities will equip you to make substantial and original contributions to any field or activity in which digital technologies and methods are applied to the study, conservation or presentation of cultural artefacts, or in which there is a need to manage and analyse complex digital information. Because the degree privileges human knowledge and cultural production, rather than the tools that may be used to study these, it will also prepare you to offer powerfully creative resistance to digital technologies in their present form, and thus to help advance them in positive directions. The degree is thus highly relevant for subsequent work not only in higher education and cultural organisations and industries, but also in any organisation in the public or private sectors in which complex digital information plays a significant role.

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Testimonials

Applying for a PhD at King's

In the heart of London

Watch our video for tips and advice on applying for an Arts & Humanities PhD at King's.

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Fees and funding

Full time tuition fees - Home/EU

£4,600 p.a. (2016/17)*

Full time tuition fees - Overseas

£17,000 p.a. (2016/17)*

Part time tuition fees - Home/EU

£2,300 p.a. (2016/17)*

Part time tuition fees - Overseas

£8,500 p.a. (2016/17)*

*This tuition fee maybe be subject to annual increases.

Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.

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