Student showing seal mask from Alaska excavationsFieldwork plays an important role in archaeological research. At Aberdeen we encourage all of our students to undertake appropriate field or placement work, excavation-based or otherwise, in order to gain practical skills. Staff currently involved in research are happy to advise and help with such opportunities. Options include university field projects although opportunities to work on approved digs and surveys outside of the university are also supported. 

Staff and Research Students at University of Aberdeen currently are involved in a range of excavations and field projects, including both those directed by University of Aberdeen staff and in collaboration with other individuals and institutions.  Currently we have fieldwork projects operating in Scotland, Mongolia and Alaska. All of these active field projects include postgraduate and undergraduate students in a range of roles. Fieldwork is usually carried out during the summer vacation.

First Year

In your first semester we introduce you to some of the many archeological sites in the Aberdeenshire countryside including stone cricles, carved crosses, settlements and crannogs.

Second Year

In your second year you will visit the reconstructed Iron Age structures of Loch Tay.  This area of Perthshire has an unprecidented density of crannogs that have been the subject of several decades of research. Learn about these fascinating structures from experts involved in current research and try out living in the past. 

Third Year

As part of the practical archaeological training in your third year courses you will take part in a mulit-day residential excavation as well as several fulls days of fieldwalking and geophysical survey around Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. Archaeological materials range from Mesolithic to Medival. 

In addition, as part of your detailed study of Scottish archaeology in thrid year you will visit sites in Moray and Aberdeenshire with a particular focused on Pictish and later Medieval inhabitation. 

Finally, as a culmination of Archaeologies of Landscape you will be able to take a multi-day trip to Orkney and study a wide range of sites there. 

Fourth Year

Your fourth year, and the summer before, may include fieldwork related to your honours dissertation.  You can also choose to learn bioarchaeological field techniques at local sites.