From Aberdeen to Unearthing Scotland's Heritage - Craig StanfordCraig Stanford

MA Archaeology and History, 2013
From Aberdeen to Unearthing Scotland's Heritage

Your Time at Aberdeen

Why did you choose to study at Aberdeen?
I was attracted to the long history of the ancient University and studying in a small Medieval city so close to the sea and the mountains just sparked my interest. The quality of the archaeology program was the clincher though.

Why did you choose your particular course?
The focus on the archaeology of the global North - it was fairly unique at the time and the work being carried out by the department was new and exciting!

What did you most enjoy about your time at Aberdeen? Did you have any particularly memorable student experiences?
I most enjoyed the international nature of the student body. I made so many friends there from all over the world and learned so much about new cultures, traditions and places.

If you were involved in any clubs and societies as a student, what did you enjoy most about them and what benefit do you think they have for students?
Getting involved in the societies was a great experience, a lot of fun at the time and a great way to open yourself to new experiences.

Did you hold any student leadership roles, e.g. Class Rep, Club Treasurer, Social Convenor?
I was class rep in my third and fourth years, and treasurer and then president of the student Archaeology Society.

If talking to a group of prospective students, what advice would you give them to help them make the most of their time at the University of Aberdeen?
Get involved! Go along to department events and seminars, chat to folk, become a well-known face. It's the best way to pick up on opportunities.

If while at Aberdeen you benefited from a scholarship, what was the scholarship and what difference did it make to your time at Aberdeen?
I enjoyed the support of several scholarships based in America. The St Andrews Society of Tidewater provided me with a scholarship for all four years of my degree, and I am most grateful as it meant I did not have to work while studying.

Your Time After Aberdeen

What was the title of your first job after graduating from Aberdeen?
Guiding Steward at Historic Scotland.

What did your first role involve?
I was a guide at Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness. It was great to use the solid background in Scottish history that I had built up at Aberdeen to help place the castle in its context.

What is your current job title?
Archaeology and World Heritage Officer at Historic Environment Scotland.

What is your current role?
Supporting Scotland's national archaeology strategy, promoting the strategy and Scottish World Heritage Sites, and managing the publication grants budget.

Please briefly describe the journey from your first job after graduating to where you are now.
I moved to Glasgow to study for my MLitt, then after graduation I was employed as the post-excavation officer for a professional archaeological unit in SW Scotland for a year. After that I was appointed as the St Kilda Archaeologist with the National Trust for Scotland, working for three years there before taking up my current post in November.

Was your degree at Aberdeen essential for getting to where you are now? If so, in what way?
Absolutely - the early focus on Scottish Archaeology, the skills I learned and the contacts I made in Aberdeen still shape my career today. And without the support that I had at Aberdeen and the patience of my tutors I would not be where I am now.

One Top Tip

Show up, get involved, listen well and never be afraid to ask questions.