University of Leicester Archaeological Services

Archaeological fieldschool

Training programme

The work placement holder will be provided with a programme of practical training in several aspects of field archaeology. The training programme does not directly address post-excavation activities although processing and archive tasks to the extent they relate directly to field activities are included in the placement period. Taken as a whole, the programme will provide skills enabling the work placement holder to:

  • Work safely as a member of a field project team within excavations, evaluations and built heritage studies
  • Work ethically and responsibly as a member of a registered organisation of CIfA
  • Carry out routine finds processing with supervision
  • Act in an assistant or host role within ULAS’s outreach programme (project dependent)
  • In addition, the work placement holder will gain a broad understanding of what makes a successful commercial archaeological project from inception to archive

Training progress will be monitored internally within ULAS via the CIfA supported Archaeology Skills Passport.

At the end of the training programme, an evaluation of the work placement holder and the training programme will be carried out internally within ULAS via a work placement performance appraisal and a training evaluation form in order to ensure the ongoing quality of the training programme and that learning outcomes are being met.


The work placement will be for 2 to 4 weeks (10 to 20 days), providing 75 to 150 hours of work experience, after allowing for bank holidays, University closure days, leave and sickness.

A suggested time spend in each training area will be:

Component  Training days
Fieldwork - supply logistics, excavation, collection and recording processes  6 to 12 (60%) 
Surveying techniques and support skills  1 to 2 (10%) 
Finds assistance - artefact and ecofact processing  1 to 2 (10%) 
Outreach  1.5 to 3 (15%) 
Report on placement  0.5 to 1 (5%) 
Total  10 to 20 (100%) 

The training programme will be reviewed and updated after 1 week depending on work already carried out and the interests of the work placement holder.


As a result of the training programme, the work placement holder will have gained sufficient understanding of archaeological investigations associated with commercial development to assist with career progression along any of the following routes:

  • Continued academic study e.g. completion of / contribution towards fieldwork requirement for a degree programme
  • Working towards CIfA Practitioner level employee within any commercial archaeology unit
  • Entry-level recruit to construction sector organisations
  • Many types of trainee and assistant roles within the heritage sector

The placement will start developing the work placement holder to PCIfA accreditation.

ULAS will further develop its understanding of how to integrate staff from a wider range of academic and socioeconomic backgrounds into the organisation.

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