I really valued my time studying in the Department of Archaeology. The subjects I studied were all taught to a very high standard.
Why did you decide to study this degree programme?
When I originally applied for my BA in Archaeology and History I expected to enjoy the History side of my degree more. I was quite surprised when I fell in love with Archaeology, in no small part thanks to the passionate and knowledgeable department staff and lecturers, so it seemed a no brainer to continue my studies in a subject area I most enjoyed. I’ve always loved Bernard Cornwell’s novels about the fictional Anglo-Saxon warlord Uhtred of Bebbanburg and choosing a subject where I could learn more about the world and the people of that time, and get hands on with some of the things they left behind, was an opportunity I couldn’t resist.
What did you enjoy most about your course and the subject you were studying?
The variety of modules on offer meant that I could study both the things that interested me and new subjects I hadn’t considered before. I have fond memories of working in the Zooarch lab identifying different animal remains and learning how to blow glass using Fox Glacier Mints.
What attracted you to the University of Sheffield?
I was born in Sheffield and having the University on my doorstep was a big factor. But also having an Archaeology department that is widely respected and well regarded across the world really sold it for me. Having learned and experienced that first hand during my undergraduate degree I found I didn’t want to leave and carried straight on into my MA!
What was it like to be a postgraduate student in the Department of Archaeology?
I really valued my time studying in the Department of Archaeology. The subjects I studied were all taught to a very high standard. Being an MA student meant I was part of a smaller cohort and there were even fewer of us that chose to study the Medieval Archaeology course specifically. This was quite nice though as it meant we were a small tight-knit group and although we had various interests within the Medieval period we were all enthusiastic and supportive of each other.
What did you do when you finished your degree at Sheffield?
I was lucky enough to have made some contacts with a local commercial unit (Wessex Archaeology) during my undergraduate and post graduate degrees. I’d like to say that I took some time to have a break and celebrate my achievements as a student but I was offered a job by Wessex and started working for them the same day that I handed in my dissertation! Six and a half years later I’m still here and have had opportunities to work all over the UK and abroad in that time.
How did the department and/or University help you to work towards reaching your goals after graduation?
As well as providing ample opportunities to study archaeology as an academic discipline the department also ran several field excavations over the summer. I was involved in the Thornton Abbey Project for several years where I learned the basics of field excavation and recording as well as the use of specialist equipment such as GPS recording and geophysical surveys. I’m now a fully qualified UAV pilot and responsible for using this technology to survey archaeological landscapes. The variety of skills I learned whilst on these excavations with the university set me up for success and gave me an advantage when it came to progressing in my career.
What do you like most about working in Sheffield?
Sheffield is a wonderful city to live in. As its centrally located in the UK and work in commercial archaeology involves a lot of travel I’ve been to a lot of places I’d probably never have visited in a different career. Add to that its proximity to the Peak District and you’ve also got a great place to escape to when you need a break and some time outdoors!
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