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Bursary courses in Orkney - worth considering right now!
Two great courses in a World class archaeological landscape.


This course is aimed at graduates in archaeology and environmental sciences wishing to specialise in geophysical prospection, and graduates with geophysics degrees who wish to move into shallow archaeological and environmental prospection.

The course provides an understanding of the scientific principles behind the techniques used in shallow prospection and a comprehensive knowledge of the practical use of a variety of techniques commonly used in archaeological and shallow geophysics.

Core modules cover theoretical and practical applications of shallow geophysical techniques including gradiometry, magnetic susceptibility, area resistance survey, electrical imaging and tomography, and ground penetrating radar.
Optional modules expand your knowledge in different areas. Archaeology graduates are encouraged to widen skills bases with optional modules in environmental site investigation and geographical information systems (GIS). Geophysics graduates are encouraged to take optional modules in archaeology to gain an understanding of the formation of archaeological sites.


Our postgraduate course offers the opportunity to study archaeology based in Orkney, an extraordinary group of Scottish islands with world-renowned archaeological remains.

Archaeological fieldwork and theory sit side-by-side in the course. You will learn the skills and capabilities to appraise confidently archaeological methods and undertake projects within various research and legislative frameworks.

Orkney, Shetland, Caithness and Sutherland have some of the world's most renowned archaeological monuments including Skara Brae, Maes Howe, the Camster Cairns and Mousa Broch, as well as more recent sites. Learn more about the many archaeology projects (opens in new window) being undertaken by the archaeology department at Orkney College UHI and ORCA.

This postgraduate course give you the unique chance to study in an outstanding archaeological landscape while earning a valuable qualification. Orkney, Shetland, Caithness and Sutherland have some of the world?s most renowned archaeological monuments including Skara Brae, Maes Howe, the Camster Cairns and Mousa Broch, as well as more recent sites.
Within the discipline of archaeology there has long been a divorce between theory and practice, with a perception that those who work in the field are data gatherers or technicians, who produce information for others to think about and interpret. In fact, fieldwork and other types of archaeological recording are problematic. In common with other disciplines, it is becoming more widely recognised that the data is not procured in an objective manner, and never can be. For instance, in excavation the exercise is subjective from the moment a site is selected and a project design produced. The excavators who work on a site are not simply technicians, for their judgements shape the record. This way of looking at fieldwork, as an interpretative exercise in itself, helps to close the gap between theory and practice, and empowers practitioners of all kinds.

In vocational terms, the Archaeological Practice programme educates students as competent thinking practitioners capable of carrying out many tasks themselves and knowing when to call in specialists and what to expect from them. This is beyond what can be expected of a graduate. A vast increase in the number of undergraduates studying archaeology and closely related subjects throughout Britain has coincided with the professionalisation of fieldwork projects (both research and rescue) due to Government Planning Policy. While this has created many new paid jobs it has led to a reduction in the amount of training excavation and surveys typically available to students at undergraduate level. As a result students qualifying with an undergraduate degree do not normally have the broad range of knowledge or skills required by employers. The pace of new developments means there is also a constant need for established archaeologists to update their skills and priorities. The Archaeological Practice programme utilises the local resources of the Orkney Archaeological Trust, the ORCA field unit, the offices of the County Archaeologist and the Orkney Museums Service to create a world-leading programme set in an environment that embeds students in these professional spheres.

Orkney?s internationally recognised archaeological resource provides an enormously attractive and relevant location to address these issues in teaching and learning. Archaeology is also an issue in development and conservation. Students of archaeology have to be conversant with, and experienced in, the many aspects of archaeology in order to gain employment within archaeology or related areas. Professional archaeologists are employed in local government, consultancy and contracting units, universities, museums, government agencies, national and countryside parks, heritage sites, historic houses, and tourism.
Entry to professional archaeology in the UK today tends to be through either one of the two paths of field investigation or curation. The structure of the programme is designed to develop the professional experience of the student by providing a breadth of experience in practice in either of these. Alternative core modules placing students on excavations or within a curation environment are situated centrally within the programme following on from the first semester's core modules, which cover the legislative and theoretical basis for the operation of both curation and excavation.


* Study in an outstanding archaeological landscape

* Hands-on fieldwork experience
* Acquire new skills
* Earn a valuable postgraduate qualification
* Be part of a vibrant research environment
Employment opportunities

The wide-ranging nature of the course equips you for careers within different areas of archaeology, such as:

* Government agencies and local authorities

* Tourism, heritage sites, national and countryside parks
* Contract units and consultancy
* PhD research

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