Your Future with Archaeology
Opening up a whole new world of experiences and opportunities for you.
With a degree from us, your future could take you anywhere. Plenty of our graduates go on to work in archaeology, but the kind of analytical skills you develop studying here are a great starting point for a whole range of careers.
What can I do with an Archaeology degree?
If you've got a passion for the subject, we'll help you become an expert. And the opportunities are there – around 5,000 people in Britain earn their living as archaeologists. Some are in universities, museums, archaeological units and heritage parks. Others work for national and local government.
Together they continue to advance and deepen our understanding of civilisation and you’ll find Sheffield Archaeology graduates in major commercial units, heritage providers and university departments across the UK.
Because our teaching emphasises critical thinking, combining scientific and arts-based approaches to archaeology, you'll get transferable skills and practical experience to make you successful wherever your future takes you.
So if you don't pursue a job in archaeology then a whole range of other careers will be open to you. Some of our graduates have followed paths as diverse as:
How we help you reach your goals
All of our students are supported in their career ambitions in the department.
At our annual careers fair you will have the opportunity to meet alumni and potential employers. In modules like Archaeology Matters and Workplace Learning you will have opportunity to work with community groups and undertake a work placement.
Or you can take a whole year to gain practical experience with the Degree with Employment Experience.
And your personal tutor will be supporting you the whole way.
Name: Rosalind Buck
Degree: BA Archaeology and History, MA European Historical Archaeology
Job: Historic Environment Record Officer
Ros is one of almost 40% of our graduates who go on to work in the Heritage sector.
Studying at Sheffield has taught me to never underestimate all the fascinating possibilities of archaeology, and to never assume that the most obvious explanation is the right one.
I love being able to share information about the region’s historic environment, especially with local people and communities. There’s nothing more satisfying than hearing someone say ‘oh I never knew that before, that’s really interesting!'
The research and writing skills I developed while at university have proved incredibly useful. Being able to sift through a range of sources and then create and share the information in a clear and accurate manner, so people with a range of archaeological knowledge can understand it, is an essential part of my job.
Name: Nick Groat
Degree: BSc Archaeological Science with Employment Experience
Placement: Derbyshire County Council Historic Environment Record
Doing a year in industry as part of my undergraduate course has been unbelievably helpful for giving me a leg up when I graduate. I now have a year's worth of experience directly in archaeology and an invaluable qualification for helping me apply for further education.
Archaeology sets you up for a wide range of careers!
Name: Claire Henry
Degree: BA Archaeology and Prehistory
Job: Interpretation Manager, English Heritage
What did you do after graduating?
After three exciting and fascinating years, I graduated from the University of Sheffield with a degree in Archaeology and Prehistory. Throughout my ten-year career in heritage I have found that this qualification has opened doors for me in what is an extremely competitive industry. I was so inspired by the broad and thorough grounding my degree gave me that on leaving Sheffield I was keen to find out what the heritage world had to offer, beyond archaeological excavation work.
What was your first step?
My first job at the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) as a Grants Assistant was ideal. I worked on a huge range of heritage projects across the country, from the redevelopment of Stonehenge to the purchase of a granite watering trough. The projects that inspired me most were the ones focusing on interpretation, making heritage accessible a diverse public, especially museum exhibitions. I decided to specialise in that area, so after two years at HLF I went back to university. I gained a place on the popular Museum Studies MA course at UCL. During my interview, the board were impressed by my degree from Sheffield and I was offered one of the few over-subscribed places on the course.
What did you do after your MA?
After the MA I worked for a year as Research and Communications Manager at the National Museum Directors’ Conference (NMDC). I then went to work at the Natural History Museum as a Senior Interpretation Developer, working with designers and scientists to create the content for exhibitions including the Vault – a new permanent exhibition of the NHM’s most precious minerals. After three very enjoyable years at NHM I joined a small consultancy firm to carry out fascinating work creating a new visitor centre at a dessert park and archaeological site in Abu Dhabi.
What is your current role?
Last year, I joined English Heritage as an Interpretation Manager. With stiff competition for the role my Sheffield degree was an essential feature of my application. I’m based in London but I travel all over the country working with historians and designers to develop exhibitions. In spring this year I completed a new exhibition at a 17th century fort. I’m now working on two new exhibition projects at the Henrician fort in Portland and Kenwood House in London.
How has your degree helped you towards your career?
Throughout my career I have been impressed by the reputation of the University of Sheffield and, in particular, the Archaeology department. I love my job and I’ve had a fascinating career to date. I know I wouldn't be where I am today without my degree from the University of Sheffield.
I always wanted to be an archaeologist. When I left school, I chose to study at Sheffield as they seemed to have everything from cutting edge archaeological science to fascinating field projects in a large, but very friendly, department. I have never regretted that decision. The exceptional teaching transformed my vision of the discipline and, together with the invaluable excavation and laboratory experience, gave me the knowledge and confidence to pursue a career in archaeology.
Ben, BA Archaeology
Curator of the European Bronze age collections, the British Museum
I took a BA in Archaeology at Sheffield, then worked in education and community outreach for Clifton Park Museum and for Creswell Crags. I am now studying for a PhD in Education. Moving to a different department and Faculty has really impressed on me how useful and transferable my archaeology degree has been. The main things I take from my BA in archaeology are the ability to question assumptions and to understand why people ‘know’ what they know, and a really broad perspective of how people did things and how they thought.
Abigail, BA Archaeology
PhD student, department of Education, University of Sheffield
After my graduation I plan to work within heritage management or get involved in forensic archaeology, as these are jobs you can do with an Archaeology degree that I didn't know about until I started university.
The University of Sheffield has a great reputation for archaeology, both academically, and in the profession. Having graduated I had no problem finding a job. In fact most of the people employed on my present site are Sheffield graduates.
Sanne, BSc Archaeology