University of Leicester Archaeological Services

Archaeological placement

Training programme

The work placement holder will be provided with a programme of practical training in all 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 basic checking and file organisation activities in support of archive completion
  • Complete simple CAD figures to specifications provided
  • Carry out routine finds processing with supervision
  • Source historical documents and maps in support of desk-based and standing building studies
  • Publicise activities through use of a content management system for web-based dissemination
  • Act in an assistant or host role within the outreach programme of the School of Archaeology and Ancient History
  • In addition to these deployment options, 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.


The work placement will be for 3 to 6 months (12 to 24 weeks), providing 60 to 120 working days, 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  30 to 60 (50%) 
Surveying techniques and support skills  3 to 6 (5%) 
Desk-based research and data collection  3 to 6 (5%) 
Finds assistance - artefact and ecofact processing  12 to 24 (20%) 
Historic building recording  3 to 6 (5%) 
Post-excavation analysis and report writing  3 to 6 (5%) 
Archiving requirements  3 to 6 (5%) 
Web-based projects dissemination  0.5 to 1 (1%) 
Outreach (subject to availability)  2 to 4 (3%) 
Report on placement  0.5 to 1 (1%) 
Total  60 to 120 (100%) 

The training programme will be reviewed and updated after 1 month and 3 months depending on work already carried out and the interests of the work placement holder.

To complete the work placement programme, the work placement holder must complete a minimum of 12 weeks of training with ULAS.

On mutual agreement between the work placement holder and ULAS, should the work placement holder wish to opt out of the training programme following the 1 month review they will still be eligible for the archaeological fieldschool placement or the archaeological internship.


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

  • Further academic study e.g. admission to a degree-level course in archaeology / heritage
  • CIfA Practitioner level employee within any commercial archaeology unit
  • Entry-level recruit to construction sector organisations
  • Many types of assistant roles within the heritage sector

The placement will aim to develop 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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