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Archaeology students reveal Iron Age remains in Roussay, Orkney (JPEG, 36KB)

Work Placements

If you opt for a four-year course, the third ‘placement’ year enables you to gain work experience.

An academic member of staff oversees the placement process; working with the Placements Secretary to identify suitable placements and to assist you in making your application.

By the end of the placement year you will have gained valuable work experience relevant to your subsequent career, developed a range of transferable work skills, acquired a diploma to verify your experience, and hopefully bolstered your bank balance after a period of salaried employment.

Types of employer

There are work placements with most kinds of ‘heritage’ employer including:

  • field excavation and survey
  • archaeological illustration and geophysics
  • aerial survey
  • sites and monuments work
  • cultural heritage management in planning departments and national agencies such as the National Trust
  • education and archaeology (museums)
  • forensic studies and biological anthropology
  • post-excavation analysis and a wide variety of laboratory work

In the past students with an interest in bioarchaeology have had professional placements with such organisations as the Environmental Archaeology Unit in York, the research laboratories at the British Museum, and in similar institutions abroad.

Students with an interest in fieldwork have worked for commercial field units and with County Archaeologists in planning departments of local authorities.

Placement testimonials

Read testimonials from students who have been on placement at:


Although the majority of our four-year students are based in the UK, an increasing number go on placements abroad at such varied locations as Australia, Japan, rural Arizona, Canada, Ireland, Austria, South Africa and the United States of America.

How to apply

Placement positions are limited, and there is an element of competition for the most popular or exotic ones.

Your course performance is considered, and you are required to prepare a CV so that placement employers can interview to inform their selection.

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