Taught course

Archaeological Practice

University of the Highlands and Islands · Arts, Humanities and Business

Entry requirements

2:2 honours degree or above in archaeology or closely related subject, or equivalent academic or professional qualifications You may also be considered if you can demonstrate significant professional experience in the field of archaeology

Months of entry


Course content

The MSc Archaeological Practice is a world-leading archaeology course which equips you with the tools for work in the real world.

The course combines an emphasis on the key practical skills essential for a career within the archaeological profession with a critical study of the advanced theoretical and methodological concepts underpinning the discipline.

We stress the acquisition of vocational skills through practical experience using as our 'laboratory' the rich archaeological resource of Orkney, home to some of the world's most renowned archaeological monuments.

Core modules will introduce you to the principles, philosophy and theory of cultural heritage management and immerse you in a suite of practical archaeological techniques including excavation, non-intrusive field archaeology, digital means of exploring and recording archaeological materials, environmental archaeology and post-excavation analysis.

There is flexibility to pursue an interest in period-based modules which reflect the research specialisms of the Archaeology Institute UHI staff, or you may choose to focus entirely on our professional skills modules.

Special features

  • Study in the outstanding archaeological landscape of the Orkney Islands
  • Contribute to cutting edge archaeology research at world renowned sites including the Ness of Brodgar World Heritage site excavations
  • A three month placement module offers the opportunity to develop your professional skills and gain valuable fieldwork experience
  • Flexibility is build into the course to match your personal and professional life - you can study individual modules or work towards the PgDip or develop your expertise to gain a full masters degree


Core modules are: Cultural heritage management; Practical archaeology.

You will also choose four option modules which may include: Death and Burial Archaeology; Vikings and Norse in the North Atlantic; Neolithic Studies; From Vikings to VE Day: Scottish Medieval and Later Society; Iron Age Scotland in the Atlantic World; Archaeological and Geophysical Survey; Maritime Archaeological Heritage; Digital Analysis; Sustainability Past and Present; Excavation; Art and Archaeology: Contemporary Theory and Practice; Geoarchaeology of the North Atlantic

To achieve the award of MSc Archaeological Practice you must complete a 60 credit professional placement or dissertation

This course is available at Orkney College UHI, East Road, Kirkwall, KW15 1LX

Fees and funding

UK students
In 2016/17 per module (20 credits): Scottish/EU on-site £520; Rest of UK on-site £650. Masters degree is 6 modules + dissertation
International students
In 2016/17 per module (20 credits): International on-site £1100. Masters degree is 6 modules + dissertation


Tuition fee loans (for full-time and part-time students) and living costs loans (full-time students only) to study up to PgDip level may be available for eligible applicants from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS), for more information visit: http://www.saas.gov.uk/forms_and_guides/postgraduate.htm


Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months
part time
24 months


full time
9 months
part time
18 months

Course contact details

UHI Information Line
0845 272 3600