University of Leicester Archaeological Services

Work placements

ULAS currently offers three work-placement training programmes in commercial field archaeology which have been mapped against the National Occupational Standards for Archaeological Practice.

Additionally, we offer one-week work experience placements to Year 10-12 students from Leicestershire schools, endorsed by Leicestershire Education and Business Company (LEBC).

Archaeological internships and fieldwork placements

Current undergraduate and postgraduate students in the School of Archaeology and Ancient History can undertake a 20 to 30 hour internship in the ULAS Finds Laboratory, learning the basics of finds and environmental sample processing and archiving.

Current 2nd year undergraduate students in the School of Archaeology and Ancient History can also undertake a minimum 10 day (2 week) fieldwork placement (project dependant), learning the key skills relevant to intrusive archaeological investigation and recording. This will provide the work placement holder with an insight into what it is like to work in the sector and can contribute towards the fieldwork requirement for a degree programme.

Completing a minimum of 20 hours leads to HEAR (Higher Education Achievement Report) accreditation. Former holders of these internships have gone on to employment in ULAS and other commercial units.

Commercial field archaeology work placement

Our CIfA endorsed 12 to 24 week programme provides the work placement holder with training in key skills relevant to below ground and built heritage investigation and recording, and the processing of finds and environmental remains. This training will prepare the work placement holder for future work in the sector, and will deliver appropriate archaeological skills and competence to Practitioner level with CIfA.

Aims and scope of the internships and placements

The aim of our internships and placements are to give students in University of Leicester’s School of Archaeology and Ancient History or a ULAS volunteer, training and experience in commercial archaeological practices in a professional working environment.

The Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA) recognises the value in providing an improved model of training and development for field archaeologists in a commercial work environment, and in extending the intake demographic of the profession. Whilst these placements are not directed at securing a deep or specialist understanding in any particular area, the training will develop skills which broadly support several of CIfA’s longer-term skills gaps, and will teach the placement holder to adhere to high standards of ethical and responsible behaviour in the conduct of archaeological affairs.

The training in commercial archaeology will provide the internship holder with training in key skills relevant to post-excavation analysis for both finds and environmental samples. These skills will be broad based, encompassing the processing and recording of artefacts and ecofacts, and will begin to prepare the internship holder for work in the sector.

All project work carried out by the internship holder will adhere to CIfA’s code of conduct and be covered by a written scheme of investigation (WSI) which clearly outlines the scope and significance of the project, the research aims, the methodology for investigation, recording, post-excavation assessment and analysis, and the provisions made for publication, dissemination and archiving of the results.

Archaeologists aren’t just made in the library. Learning how to handle and process finds has given me valuable skills that will help me in the field. Working hands-on with prehistoric artefacts has been an educational and eye-opening experience.

Year 1 Ancient History and Classical Archaeology student

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