Archaeological Fieldwork Training: Provision and Assessment in Higher Education

Paul Everill, Rachel Nicholls

Research output: Book/ReportProject reportResearch

Abstract

This research was jointly funded by the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, and the Department of Archaeology of the University of Winchester. Support was secured from the Higher Education Academy Subject Centre for History, Classics and Archaeology who were consulted on the initial questionnaire, which was distributed in February 2011.

Survey responses were received from all 44 UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) that were listed on UCAS as offering degree programmes with a majority or significant archaeological component. The HEIs represent a diverse cross-section of the sector, ranging from small independent universities and HE colleges, through to large collegiate universities. Seventeen (38.6%) of the universities belonged to the Russell Group, while eight (18.2%) belong to the 1994 Group. Eleven (25%) of the universities were independent, and the rest belonged to smaller alliances.

Results demonstrate the diversity of approaches to archaeological fieldwork training across the UK HE sector, within which the term fieldwork itself has a variety of meanings. Predominantly used to refer to excavation, it also often includes survey and other non-invasive applied techniques, as well as, less commonly, broader off-site experiential learning.
Results indicate that there are currently 4,718 undergraduate students on archaeology, or closely-related, degree programmes in the UK. This represents approximately 1,591 per year group when one takes into account the four year programmes. Thirty-six percent of HEIs indicated that they had fewer than 31 students per year; 16% had between 31 and 50 students per year; 23% reported between 51 and 100 students per year; 9% have more than 100 students per year. These students are taught by a total of 708.61 (FTE) academic and support staff. An average of 66.47% of staff in each department are actively engaged in archaeological fieldwork with, on average, higher percentages reported in smaller departments.

Over a quarter of HEIs reported either no fixed policy on assessed fieldwork, or no requirement. Of those that reported a fieldwork requirement by year, the greatest number indicated that this was four weeks in the summer between 1st year and 2nd year and/ or 2nd year and 3rd year. In terms of total fieldwork requirements over the course of an entire degree programme the greatest numbers require four or six weeks. Thirty two percent of HEIs reported that their fieldwork was mostly UK-based with some overseas projects, while 30% predominantly work in their home region. Larger departments are marginally more likely to work overseas.

Fifty eight percent of HEIs partly fund their students‟ fieldwork, while 26% fully fund it. Of those that gave a figure, 29% spend between £100-£300 per student; 20% spend between £300-£500; 14% spend up to £100; and 14% spend more than £500. While 20% spend nothing at all supporting student fieldwork, this does include some institutions at which no assessed fieldwork takes place.
In terms of assessment, 41% of respondents assess their students in the field – giving either an overall mark or individual marks for each task – supported by assessed written work, predominantly in the form of site diaries.
This research has provided much needed data on archaeological fieldwork provision and assessment, and has done so on the eve of the greatest ever change to Higher Education provision in the UK. It is intended that this survey be repeated at regular intervals in order to map changes as the sector negotiates significant new challenges.
Original languageEnglish
Commissioning bodyHigher Education Academy
Number of pages46
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Cite this

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title = "Archaeological Fieldwork Training: Provision and Assessment in Higher Education",
abstract = "This research was jointly funded by the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, and the Department of Archaeology of the University of Winchester. Support was secured from the Higher Education Academy Subject Centre for History, Classics and Archaeology who were consulted on the initial questionnaire, which was distributed in February 2011.Survey responses were received from all 44 UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) that were listed on UCAS as offering degree programmes with a majority or significant archaeological component. The HEIs represent a diverse cross-section of the sector, ranging from small independent universities and HE colleges, through to large collegiate universities. Seventeen (38.6{\%}) of the universities belonged to the Russell Group, while eight (18.2{\%}) belong to the 1994 Group. Eleven (25{\%}) of the universities were independent, and the rest belonged to smaller alliances.Results demonstrate the diversity of approaches to archaeological fieldwork training across the UK HE sector, within which the term fieldwork itself has a variety of meanings. Predominantly used to refer to excavation, it also often includes survey and other non-invasive applied techniques, as well as, less commonly, broader off-site experiential learning.Results indicate that there are currently 4,718 undergraduate students on archaeology, or closely-related, degree programmes in the UK. This represents approximately 1,591 per year group when one takes into account the four year programmes. Thirty-six percent of HEIs indicated that they had fewer than 31 students per year; 16{\%} had between 31 and 50 students per year; 23{\%} reported between 51 and 100 students per year; 9{\%} have more than 100 students per year. These students are taught by a total of 708.61 (FTE) academic and support staff. An average of 66.47{\%} of staff in each department are actively engaged in archaeological fieldwork with, on average, higher percentages reported in smaller departments.Over a quarter of HEIs reported either no fixed policy on assessed fieldwork, or no requirement. Of those that reported a fieldwork requirement by year, the greatest number indicated that this was four weeks in the summer between 1st year and 2nd year and/ or 2nd year and 3rd year. In terms of total fieldwork requirements over the course of an entire degree programme the greatest numbers require four or six weeks. Thirty two percent of HEIs reported that their fieldwork was mostly UK-based with some overseas projects, while 30{\%} predominantly work in their home region. Larger departments are marginally more likely to work overseas.Fifty eight percent of HEIs partly fund their students‟ fieldwork, while 26{\%} fully fund it. Of those that gave a figure, 29{\%} spend between £100-£300 per student; 20{\%} spend between £300-£500; 14{\%} spend up to £100; and 14{\%} spend more than £500. While 20{\%} spend nothing at all supporting student fieldwork, this does include some institutions at which no assessed fieldwork takes place.In terms of assessment, 41{\%} of respondents assess their students in the field – giving either an overall mark or individual marks for each task – supported by assessed written work, predominantly in the form of site diaries.This research has provided much needed data on archaeological fieldwork provision and assessment, and has done so on the eve of the greatest ever change to Higher Education provision in the UK. It is intended that this survey be repeated at regular intervals in order to map changes as the sector negotiates significant new challenges.",
author = "Paul Everill and Rachel Nicholls",
year = "2011",
language = "English",

}

Archaeological Fieldwork Training: Provision and Assessment in Higher Education. / Everill, Paul; Nicholls, Rachel.

2011. 46 p.

Research output: Book/ReportProject reportResearch

TY - BOOK

T1 - Archaeological Fieldwork Training: Provision and Assessment in Higher Education

AU - Everill, Paul

AU - Nicholls, Rachel

PY - 2011

Y1 - 2011

N2 - This research was jointly funded by the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, and the Department of Archaeology of the University of Winchester. Support was secured from the Higher Education Academy Subject Centre for History, Classics and Archaeology who were consulted on the initial questionnaire, which was distributed in February 2011.Survey responses were received from all 44 UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) that were listed on UCAS as offering degree programmes with a majority or significant archaeological component. The HEIs represent a diverse cross-section of the sector, ranging from small independent universities and HE colleges, through to large collegiate universities. Seventeen (38.6%) of the universities belonged to the Russell Group, while eight (18.2%) belong to the 1994 Group. Eleven (25%) of the universities were independent, and the rest belonged to smaller alliances.Results demonstrate the diversity of approaches to archaeological fieldwork training across the UK HE sector, within which the term fieldwork itself has a variety of meanings. Predominantly used to refer to excavation, it also often includes survey and other non-invasive applied techniques, as well as, less commonly, broader off-site experiential learning.Results indicate that there are currently 4,718 undergraduate students on archaeology, or closely-related, degree programmes in the UK. This represents approximately 1,591 per year group when one takes into account the four year programmes. Thirty-six percent of HEIs indicated that they had fewer than 31 students per year; 16% had between 31 and 50 students per year; 23% reported between 51 and 100 students per year; 9% have more than 100 students per year. These students are taught by a total of 708.61 (FTE) academic and support staff. An average of 66.47% of staff in each department are actively engaged in archaeological fieldwork with, on average, higher percentages reported in smaller departments.Over a quarter of HEIs reported either no fixed policy on assessed fieldwork, or no requirement. Of those that reported a fieldwork requirement by year, the greatest number indicated that this was four weeks in the summer between 1st year and 2nd year and/ or 2nd year and 3rd year. In terms of total fieldwork requirements over the course of an entire degree programme the greatest numbers require four or six weeks. Thirty two percent of HEIs reported that their fieldwork was mostly UK-based with some overseas projects, while 30% predominantly work in their home region. Larger departments are marginally more likely to work overseas.Fifty eight percent of HEIs partly fund their students‟ fieldwork, while 26% fully fund it. Of those that gave a figure, 29% spend between £100-£300 per student; 20% spend between £300-£500; 14% spend up to £100; and 14% spend more than £500. While 20% spend nothing at all supporting student fieldwork, this does include some institutions at which no assessed fieldwork takes place.In terms of assessment, 41% of respondents assess their students in the field – giving either an overall mark or individual marks for each task – supported by assessed written work, predominantly in the form of site diaries.This research has provided much needed data on archaeological fieldwork provision and assessment, and has done so on the eve of the greatest ever change to Higher Education provision in the UK. It is intended that this survey be repeated at regular intervals in order to map changes as the sector negotiates significant new challenges.

AB - This research was jointly funded by the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, and the Department of Archaeology of the University of Winchester. Support was secured from the Higher Education Academy Subject Centre for History, Classics and Archaeology who were consulted on the initial questionnaire, which was distributed in February 2011.Survey responses were received from all 44 UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) that were listed on UCAS as offering degree programmes with a majority or significant archaeological component. The HEIs represent a diverse cross-section of the sector, ranging from small independent universities and HE colleges, through to large collegiate universities. Seventeen (38.6%) of the universities belonged to the Russell Group, while eight (18.2%) belong to the 1994 Group. Eleven (25%) of the universities were independent, and the rest belonged to smaller alliances.Results demonstrate the diversity of approaches to archaeological fieldwork training across the UK HE sector, within which the term fieldwork itself has a variety of meanings. Predominantly used to refer to excavation, it also often includes survey and other non-invasive applied techniques, as well as, less commonly, broader off-site experiential learning.Results indicate that there are currently 4,718 undergraduate students on archaeology, or closely-related, degree programmes in the UK. This represents approximately 1,591 per year group when one takes into account the four year programmes. Thirty-six percent of HEIs indicated that they had fewer than 31 students per year; 16% had between 31 and 50 students per year; 23% reported between 51 and 100 students per year; 9% have more than 100 students per year. These students are taught by a total of 708.61 (FTE) academic and support staff. An average of 66.47% of staff in each department are actively engaged in archaeological fieldwork with, on average, higher percentages reported in smaller departments.Over a quarter of HEIs reported either no fixed policy on assessed fieldwork, or no requirement. Of those that reported a fieldwork requirement by year, the greatest number indicated that this was four weeks in the summer between 1st year and 2nd year and/ or 2nd year and 3rd year. In terms of total fieldwork requirements over the course of an entire degree programme the greatest numbers require four or six weeks. Thirty two percent of HEIs reported that their fieldwork was mostly UK-based with some overseas projects, while 30% predominantly work in their home region. Larger departments are marginally more likely to work overseas.Fifty eight percent of HEIs partly fund their students‟ fieldwork, while 26% fully fund it. Of those that gave a figure, 29% spend between £100-£300 per student; 20% spend between £300-£500; 14% spend up to £100; and 14% spend more than £500. While 20% spend nothing at all supporting student fieldwork, this does include some institutions at which no assessed fieldwork takes place.In terms of assessment, 41% of respondents assess their students in the field – giving either an overall mark or individual marks for each task – supported by assessed written work, predominantly in the form of site diaries.This research has provided much needed data on archaeological fieldwork provision and assessment, and has done so on the eve of the greatest ever change to Higher Education provision in the UK. It is intended that this survey be repeated at regular intervals in order to map changes as the sector negotiates significant new challenges.

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