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Digital Humanities Research MPhil/PhD (with option of a joint PhD with National University of Singapore)

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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. 

There is also an option of undertaking a joint PhD with the National University of Singapore. 

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.

Follow King's Department of Digital Humanities on facebook.

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

Further details

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Arts & Humanities

Department Department of Digital Humanities

Locations

 

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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.

Joint PhD programme
Exciting opportunities are available to undertake a joint PhD programme with the National University of Singapore (NUS). FAQs about joint PhDs can be found on the King’s Worldwide web pages.

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 Coté

Contact for information

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

Contact email

admissions@kcl.ac.uk

Course website

https://www.kcl.ac.uk/ddh

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Digital Humanities Research Entry Requirements
Minimum requirements  
  • An MA degree in the humanities or social sciences, with a mark of Distinction or high Merit.

  • In exceptional circumstances, applicants holding a first class honours degree may be admitted. Applicants must demonstrate mastery of the academic background deemed relevant to the research proposed.

International requirements   Visit our admissions webpages to view our International entry requirements.
English Language requirements Band C Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.

 

Application procedure

Prior to formal applications students should correspond with Dr Mark Coté by sending a first outline (approximately 1,500 words), which should include the following sub-headings: Research Question and Aims, Literature Review, Methodology, Provisional Chapter Outlines and Bibliography. Admission to our research programmes is dependent partly on the availability of requisite research expertise, so before applying please consult the department's web pages to indicate who could be a suitable research supervisor for your project.

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

Applicants are encouraged to approach potential supervisors prior to application. To identify a supervisor please see: https://kclpure.kcl.ac.uk/portal/en/

You will be asked to submit the following documents in order for your application to be considered:

Digital Humanities Research checklist
Research Proposal Yes The proposal should explain in some detail precisely the field of study that you want to contribute to and current research gaps, what you want to do and how you propose to do it. For advice on how to write a winning application, please visit the following page.
Previous Academic Study  Yes A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing the subjects studied and marks obtained. If you have already completed your degree, copies of your official degree certificate will also be required. Applicants with academic documents issued in a language other than English, will need to submit both the original and official translation of their documents.
References  Yes Two references are required with at least one academic. Professional references will be accepted if you have completed your qualifications over five years ago.
Other Optional

Applicants may also wish to include a CV (Resume) or evidence of professional registration as part of their application

Travel Plan Yes (Joint programme only)

If applying for the joint programme, please include the names of your supervisors from both institutions and include a completed travel plan form.

Course intake

No set number.

Joint PhDs - Application advice

Applicants for the Joint PhD programme must contact the relevant departments at both universities before submitting an application in order to discuss the suitability of their topic for the joint programme and to locate potential supervisors. Applications should initially be submitted to the proposed home institution only, ie where the student will start and finish their programme. Students should note that acceptance onto the programme may take slightly longer than for single-institution PhDs because of the additional steps involved. Further details, including FAQs, can be found on the King’s Worldwide web pages.

Applicants who choose King’s as their home institution should apply through the online system, selecting the appropriate Joint PhD option from the drop-down list. In addition to the standard supporting documentation, applicants should submit a Travel Plan form indicating how they intend to divide their time between the two partner institutions. Students must spend a specified amount of time in each institution, details of which can be found in the ‘Notes’ section of the Travel plan form.

It is recommended that students submit applications for the Joint PhD programme by the end of March to begin the following October.

Application closing date

The deadlines for applications are detailed below. We will open applications for an intake in 2020 after the final deadline passes in 2019.

  • January 2019 entry – 26th October 2018 for International students and 3rd December 2018 for Home/EU students
  • April 2019 entry – 15th February 2019 for International and Home/EU students
  • October 2019 entry – 26th July 2019 for International students and 30th August for Home/EU students
  • January 2020 entry – 25th October 2019 for International students and 2nd December 2019 for Home/EU students
  • April 2020 entry – 14th February 2020 for International and Home/EU students

Please note that funding applications deadlines may be earlier.

Help and support

If you don't have a suitable qualification for direct entry to a UK university, or if English isn't your first language, our academic preparation courses can help you get ready for study in the UK.

Preparation courses

Fees and funding

UK/EU Tuition Fees 2018/19

Full time tuition fees: £5,000 per year

Part time tuition fees: £2,500 per year

International Tuition Fees 2018/19

Full time tuition fees:  £18,740 per year              

Part time tuition fees: £9,370 per year

UK/EU Tuition Fees 2019/20

Full time tuition fees: £5,300 per year

Part time tuition fees: £2,650 per year

International Tuition Fees 2019/20

Full time tuition fees:  £19,850 per year

Part time tuition fees: £9,950 per year

Students starting their programme in 2019/20 who are eligible to pay EU fees will pay the same rate of tuition fees as UK students. This will apply for the duration of their programme, but may be subject to change by the UK Government for subsequent cohorts from 2020/21.

These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.

Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.

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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