Tewkesbury Abbey: an interdisciplinary study of the church and its material culture from its medieval origins to the modern era. Ref: 3163

About the award

The University of Exeter and the Friends of Tewkesbury Abbey are working in partnership to produce a new account of the historical development of the abbey church of Tewkesbury and its landscape. The focus of this partnership is a collaborative PhD project which will be supported by a 3-year studentship funded at UKRI rates (i. e. covering full UK/EU level tuition fees (currently £4,400) and a maintenance award of £14,777 per year).

Drawing on the evidence of the present fabric as well as the archaeological record the PhD project will trace each phase of its building history from its first beginnings before the Norman Conquest. From a wealth of archival material it will also aim to establish a better understanding of its occupation and use as it passed through successive reinventions, from hermitage to Saxon minster, to Benedictine monastery and, finally, to parish church. In the 21st Century Tewkesbury Abbey is not only a parish church but also a social, arts, cultural and heritage centre for diverse constituencies in the region, the wider UK and abroad.

In advance of the nine hundredth anniversary of the dedication of the Benedictine church in 2021, the church leadership have commissioned the production of a Conservation Management Plan (CMP) to inform their care of the buildings and site and their continuing use in the coming decades. The research generated in the course of the PhD project will provide the core of the CMP and the PhD candidate will be its lead author.

This is an excellent opportunity not only to secure funding for an ambitious, interdisciplinary PhD but also to gain experience of the application of research in conservation and heritage contexts. Interacting both in and between Higher Education and non-academic communities, this project will be ideal point-of-entry for a researcher considering a career in public heritage sector.

The PhD will be jointly supervised by Professor James Clark, a specialist in church history from the Middle Ages to the Reformation, and Professor Oliver Creighton, a specialist in the historical archaeology of medieval England; additional advice and support will be provided by a dedicated mentor at Tewkesbury Abbey; the partnership’s project team will also offer guidance and oversight for the PhD project and the preparation of the CMP.

Entry requirements

This opportunity is ideally suited to applicants with research interests in the archaeology and/or history of churches, monastic or secular, in the medieval or early modern periods. Candidates will normally have completed, or be in the process of completing, a master’s-level qualification in a relevant discipline or have demonstrable experience that has given them an equivalent level of research preparation. If English is not your first language then you will also need to satisfy our http://www.exeter.ac.uk/postgraduate/apply/english


How to apply

You will need to complete an online application form where you must submit some personal details and upload a full CV, a statement (up to 800 words) outlining your research interests and your points-of-contact with this project, a personal statement (up to 500 words) reflecting on how this opportunity connects with your own career history and/or career plans, transcripts, details of two referees and, if relevant, proof of your English language proficiency.

Please ensure that two referees email their references to the Postgraduate Administrator at humanities-pgradmissions@exeter.ac.uk Please note that we will not be contacting referees to request references, you must arrange for them to be submitted to us by the deadline.

References should be submitted by your referees to us directly in the form of a letter. Referees must email their references to us from their institutional email accounts. We cannot accept references from personal/private email accounts, unless it is a scanned document on institutional headed paper and signed by the referee.

All application documents must be submitted in English. Certified translated copies of academic qualifications must also be provided.

The closing date for applications is Sunday 24 June 2018.

For informal enquiries about the project and the studentship opportunity please contact Professor James Clark: j.g.clark@exeter.ac.uk / 01392 725684.


Application deadline:24th June 2018
Number of awards:1
Value:For eligible UK/EU students, this full time scholarship will cover fees and an annual stipend of at £14,777 for up to three years.
Duration of award:per year
Contact: Matt Barnes - Post Graduate Research Administrator. Tel 01392 722635 humanities-pgradmissions@exeter.ac.uk