Science and Engineering for Arts, Heritage and Archaeology (EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training) | University of Oxford
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Science and Engineering for Arts, Heritage and Archaeology (EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training)

About the course

The Science and Engineering for Arts, Heritage and Archaeology (SEAHA) Centre for Doctoral Training trains students in the emerging field of heritage science, which develops scientific and engineering skills to understand, interpret, conserve and manage cultural heritage.

All SEAHA students begin the course by doing the one-year MRes SEAHA at University College London (UCL), and then continue with three years of doctoral studies at UCL (materials stream), University of Oxford (environmental stream) or the University of Brighton (digital stream).

The MRes course has a pronounced research element, and students are recruited to SEAHA to specific research projects chosen in advance, initiated during the MRes year and completed during the doctoral phase. The SEAHA website lists projects available for the coming year.

The MRes offers a number of modules that can be chosen to suit the training needs and the needs of the project, in agreement with project supervisors before enrolment. You will have tripartite supervision, with a heritage organisation, industrial and academic partner all providing support and oversight. SEAHA projects apply a wide range of science and engineering approaches to understand, interpret, conserve and establish the origins of objects (in museums, libraries, archives and galleries or outside), buildings, monuments or sites (ruins, buried archaeology etc). In particular, environment stream projects develop innovative methods to observe, monitor, analyse and conserve heritage objects, buildings, monuments or sites as they interact with air, water, sediment and biology around them.

SEAHA students in Oxford participate in the School of Geography and the Environment's graduate training activities, and also experience the benefits of SEAHA cohort activities. Spreading throughout the four-year programme, SEAHA cohort activities include short courses, often in collaboration with project partners, invited lectures, public engagement events, career events, and residential events.

Graduate destinations

Career destinations anticipated for SEAHA graduates include heritage organisations, industry, academic and policy. SEAHA students will receive very good training in scientific skills, entrepreneurial skills and will be adept at presenting their research to policy-makers and practitioners.

Changes to the course

The University will seek to deliver this course in accordance with the description set out in this course page. However, there may be situations in which it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, either before or after registration. For further information, please see our page on changes to courses.

Entry requirements for entry in 2018-19

Information regarding the entry requirements for this course can be accessed at the following location:

SEAHA entry requirements


The School of Geography and the Environment undertakes world-class interdisciplinary research, addresses societal and environmental problems, and advances knowledge within an intellectually vibrant, interdisciplinary research environment that combines natural and social sciences and has geography at its core. The department has five research clusters in biodiversity, ecosystems and conservation, climate systems and policy, landscape dynamics, technological natures, and transformations. You will be a member of one of these clusters and encouraged to attend and participate in the organisation of the research seminars organised by each cluster.

The University of Oxford has an extensive library system and the Radcliffe Science Library is the main lending service within the University for the material required for the course. The Social Sciences Library also holds collections which are valuable for students pursuing geography programmes. A tutorial on using the library and IT facilities will be provided at induction by the Geography Subject Librarian.

The department has a computer room available for all graduate students. There are dedicated IT times each day when students can seek help from  IT staff. Research students share a social space with academic and research staff and are encouraged to interact with academic staff from across the discipline. The department also offers dedicated working space for DPhil students.


There are over 1,100 full graduate scholarships available across the University, and these cover your course and college fees and provide a grant for living costs. If you apply by the relevant January deadline and fulfil the eligibility criteria you will be automatically considered. Over two thirds of Oxford scholarships require nothing more than the standard course application. Use the Fees, funding and scholarship search to find out which scholarships you are eligible for and if they require an additional application, full details of which are provided.

A number of Research Council awards are available each year from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), and Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).


Annual fees for entry in 2018-19

During the first year of the course you will be charged fees by University College London. Further information about UCL's fee rates can be found on the institution's website.

In each subsequent year of study at the University of Oxford, you will be charged tuition and college fees at Oxford’s fee rate for that year of study. For an indication of costs, the table below shows the estimated annual tuition and college fees for the 2019-20 academic year at the University of Oxford. Please be aware that these fees will increase annually.

Estimated annual fees for the 2019-20 academic year at Oxford

Fee status

tuition fee

college fee

Total estimated
annual fees

(including Islands)
c. £14,510c. £3,236c. £17,746
Overseasc. £20,715c. £3,236c. £23,951

Tuition and college fees are payable for the duration of your fee liability (your fee liability is the length of time for which you are required to pay tuition and college fees). Fees will usually increase annually. For details, please see our guidance on likely increases to fees and charges.

Following the period of fee liability, you may also be required to pay a University continuation charge and a college continuation charge. The University and college continuation charges are shown on the Continuation charges page.

Students admitted to this CDT are enrolled on the MRes in Science and Engineering in Arts, Heritage and Archaeology at University College London for their first year and are liable during that period for fees at that university's fee rates. Subject to meeting the progression criteria, those students who are then enrolled by the University of Oxford are liable for a further 9 terms of fees at the University of Oxford.

For more information about tuition fees, college fees and fee liability, please see the Fees section of this website. EU applicants should refer to our dedicated webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

Additional information

There are no compulsory elements of this course that entail additional costs beyond fees (or, after fee liability ends, continuation charges) and living costs. However, please note that, depending on your choice of research topic and the research required to complete it, you may incur additional expenses, such as travel expenses, research expenses, and field trips. You will need to meet these additional costs, although you may be able to apply for small grants from your department and/or college to help you cover some of these expenses.

Living costs

In addition to your tuition and college fees, you will need to ensure that you have adequate funds to support your living costs for the duration of your course.

Please consult the University College London website for further information about living costs while studying at that institution.

For the 2018-19 academic year, the range of likely living costs is between c. £1,015 and £1,555 for each month spent in Oxford. Full information, including a breakdown of likely living costs in Oxford for items such as food, accommodation and study costs, is available on our Living costs page.


The following colleges accept students on the Science and Engineering for Arts, Heritage and Archaeology:

How to apply

You are encouraged to make informal enquiries before applying by contacting the CDT Co-Director, Professor Heather Viles.

You will need to make an application directly to the SEAHA CDT based at UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage. All students initially enrol at UCL to complete the MRes and students admitted to the projects based in Oxford will transfer to Oxford at the end of the first year, provided that they have met the required standard in the MRes.

Successful SEAHA applicants need to apply for the MRes SEAHA Programme at UCL.  

Apply via UCL

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