Students dig archaeology at Reading
05 September 2022
Archaeologists at the University of Reading have spent the summer delving into the past after posting top scores in the UK for research and teaching in the latest official assessments.
The University’s Archaeology department placed first in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF) rankings for research quality in May, while the course achieved the highest score for overall student satisfaction in the UK in 2022, as 100% of students stated they were satisfied with its overall quality in the National Student Survey (NSS).
The maximum NSS score for Archaeology added to a number of other courses that also achieved 100% for overall student satisfaction, and preceded a busy summer of excavations and research projects for Reading.
Professor Hella Eckardt, Head of the Department of Archaeology, said: “At Reading, we pride ourselves on providing a first-hand practical experience of archaeological digs to go along with the teaching on campus. These are invaluable experiences they will remember forever, and we are pleased this has contributed to students feeling so positive about their studies here.
“Reading is at the forefront of efforts to learn more about life in the past in regions around the world. Our top scores for Archaeology in multiple schemes are testament to this and reflect the strength and breadth of research and teaching at the University.”
This summer marked the start of Reading’s new Archaeology Field School in Cookham, Berkshire, where students helped explore a monastery that was a thriving trade hub in the 8th century, ruled over by royal abbess Cynethryth, Queen of the Anglo Saxon Kingdom of Mercia.
The other departmental Field School offered students the opportunity to work on Islay in the Scottish Hebrides. There, excavations focused on Olistadh, exploring rural settlement from the 8th and 19th centuries, and a mesolithic hunter-gatherer site at Rubha Port an t-Seilich.
The other subjects to score 100% for overall student satisfaction at Reading in the 2022 National Student Survey were:
- Ecology & Wildlife Conservation
- Film & Theatre
- Nutrition & Food Science with Professional Training
See the University’s REF results in full at reading.ac.uk/research/impact/ref-2021