MA Archaeology & History, MSc Archaeology of the North
Why did you choose this degree programme at the University of Aberdeen?
I found Aberdeen a really nice blend of city atmosphere and buzz as well as having areas with more of a relaxed, town-like atmosphere which suited me to a Tee.
I originally missed the open day and instead was fortunate enough to be shown around the Archaeology department by Dr Britton and met Dr Knecht who were both very friendly and welcoming and gave me a terrific unsterstanding of the kinds of opportunities available within the archaeology programme. I also met with Dr. Barr who was more than happy to answer any and all questions I had regarding the History department.
All the staff I met were extremely open, friendly, and inviting and made a real impression on me when it came to picking which uni I wanted to go to.
Before my Master's I assessed the archaeology departments from throughout Scotland and decided that Aberdeen was one of the only places to offer a huge number of fieldwork opportunities at exciting sites as well as completing world leading archaeological research. I also had a good relationship with many of the staff from my Undergraduate which made it an easy choice to return there.
What skills, knowledge or experience have you gained or developed on this degree programme?
Above all, the archaeology courses I completed gave me the toolset to go into archaeology as a career. These tools aren't limited to simply digging holes and include critical thinking, problem solving, time management, work ethic, communication, teamwork, and more which have all prepared me well for a career in archaeology.
In addition, I was able to participate in some of the most unique sites in the UK and the world and play a role in leading research into Scottish archaeology through Dr Noble and the Northern Picts project.
My undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations speak to the abilities I developed throughout the courses also as I gained valuable experience in GIS, survey methodologies and writing, all under the supervision of Dr O'Driscoll and others who helped me to complete both my degrees with pieces of work which I am very proud of.
Did you take part in a work placement, internships, or other type of research or professional experience during your studies?
Whilst I did not undertake in any formal work placements, I volunteered extensively on excavations which I thoroughly enjoyed and which allowed me to develop my skills as an archaeologist and as a person and have tremendously improved my interpersonal skills and given me a passion and drive to pursue archaeology as a career.
What advice would you give another student who is considering applying to this programme?
Studying archaeology at Aberdeen was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. The course required hard work and commitment but for anyone with a passion for the past I'd thoroughly recommend it. Archaeology is difficult, wet, cold, and often very muddy but it has been the most rewarding part of my life and I hope to continue it well into the future.
Is there anything else about your time at the University of Aberdeen that you would like to share, that was not covered in the above questions?
Aberdeen is a terrific city full of wonderful people. It may not be as big as Edinburgh or Glasgow but it has its charms. On a wet and windy day, there aren't many places I'd rather be than roaming the Aberdeenshire countryside climbing a hillfort and asking myself "why am I doing this again?