Placement opportunities and developing your employability

Talking to schoolchildren at SilchesterDuring your time in the Archaeology Department you will have the opportunity to develop your archaeological and non-archaeological employability through various placements. You will be able to apply for placements that will develop your fieldwork skills (e.g. excavation and recording, geophysics and other scientific techniques, planning and post-excavation, presentation to the public). These include:

  • the Placement and Trainee Schemes at the Vale of Pewsey Field School.
  • through other active research projects such as the Amheida Project in Egypt's Dakhleh Oasis (the range of projects available will vary from year-to-year). 
  • a limited number of placements are also available to graduating 3rd year students within our commercial scientific company QUEST, which provides archaeological, forensic and environmental scientific services to the commercial sector.

MERL galleryYou may have also have the opportunity to develop curatorial and presentational skills through voluntary work placements (Museum voluntary work) at one or more of  of the University's three museums:

  • Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology
  • Museum of English Rural Life (MERL)
  • Cole Museum of Zoology

Read about Volunteering at MERL.

During your time at Reading you will also have the opportunity to develop non-vocational (i.e. non-archaeological) skills, gain new work experiences, and further boost your employability through a diverse range of other placement opportunities. The University's Careers, Placements and Experience Centre provides all Reading students with information about a wide range of placement opportunities (Student work experience) including:

  • Summer Enterprise Experience & Discovery internship scheme
  • Community Service Volunteering scheme Student tutoring in schools
  • Student Associates Scheme (work experience in local schools)
  • Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (UROP)

Placements will help you to develop both subject-specific and core transferable skills which will enhance your employability.

"My supervisor gave me a good level of responsibility; he respected my views, he discussed ideas and brainstormed theories with me and he was enthusiastic and passionate about the work. I feel that I have learnt just as much from him as from the research material" 
UROP Placement Student

Placement Year or Year Abroad

All Archaeology degree programmes (Single and Joint Honours) are also available as 4-year "sandwich courses", which give you the option of spending your third year on a placement or studying for one year at a University abroad, gaining valuable professional and international experience. You can also combine the two options by spending one semester studying abroad and then undertaking a half-year professional placement abroad or back in the UK.

We provide opportunities for you to undertake placements in a variety of contexts. Placements are an excellent way to enhance your work-related skills and develop a network of contacts, as well as strengthen your employability prospects. Opportunities are available working across the Archaeological, Heritage, Planning and Museum sectors including: research institutions, government organisations, local planning authorities, archaeological consultancies, field units, specialists and archivists. Alternatively you can choose a placement in a non-related business or industry, exploring different career options and enhancing your employability by drawing on the many non-vocational, transferable skills you obtain from an Archaeology degree.

Recent examples include:

  • Traineeship with Oxford Archaeology
  • Traineeship at the Field School
  • Archaeological science placement at QUEST, the University of Reading's scientific consultancy company
  • Volunteering at the Ure Museum, Cole Museum of Zoology and the Museum of English Rural Life
  • Human remains placement
  • Mediterranean Palaeoclimate Project placement
  • Hominin Skeletal Morphology placement
  • Archaeological Graphics placement
  • Lithics Reference Collection placement
  • "Developing Experimental Archaeology for Research and Training" placement
  • "The Ecology of Crusading: Isotope Analysis and Faunal Remains" placement
  • Summer Enterprise Experience and Discovery internship scheme

Our department has a dedicated member of staff in charge of placements, who can provide you with advice and support.

Students opting to undertake a standard three-year degree course will also have the opportunity to take a fully-credited placement or to spend a single term at one of our partner Universities abroad. Current options include the Universities of Malta, Aarhus (Denmark), TorĂșn (Poland) and the University of Florida in Gainesville (U.S.A.).

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