Undergraduate Fieldwork

Candidates will be required to take part in approved fieldwork as an integral part of their course. The fieldwork requirements will normally have been discharged before the long vacation of the second year of the course

All students must complete a minimum of five weeks of approved fieldwork. Currently, this may be done in one of two ways. Following Mode 1, students take part at the end of the first year in an archaeological training project organized by the Standing Committee. They then spend at least three further weeks on a project that they have selected for themselves with the approval of their College Tutor and the Standing Committee.

Alternatively, students can follow Mode 2, in which case all five weeks or more of their fieldwork will take place on one or more projects selected by themselves with the approval of their College Tutor and the Standing Committee. It is hoped that fieldwork will be carried out during the first long vacation though it would be possible for a student to choose to fulfill the obligation during the Easter Vacation of the second year. Students are reminded that work on their optional subjects and thesis will take up a substantial proportion of the long vacation of their second year.

For more information, see the fieldwork section of the Guide to Good Practice.

Fieldwork Opportunities

  • The CBA (Council for British Archaeology) produces listings in the CBA Briefing, either paper or online.
  • Archaeology Abroad is a publication that can be found in the Sackler Library and the Institute of Archaeology Reading Room 
  • The Archaeological Fieldwork Opportunities Bulletin (produced by the Archaeological Institute of America) is available for reference in the Institute of Archaeology's Reading Room
  • Current Archaeology

Oxbow Prize for Fieldwork

The Oxbow Prize for Fieldwork, sponsored by Oxbow Books, is awarded to the best fieldwork report.

Fieldwork Forms

Each form below is in PDF/DOC format. Click on the link to a form, download and print out, then fill in the form remembering to add required signatures before sending to the Administrator.

This is a confirmation that your fieldwork commitment has been satisfactorily discharged. The Director of your fieldwork will need to fill out the first half of the form and your college tutor should sign the last section before forwarding a copy together with the report to: The Administrator, School of Archaeology, 36 Beaumont Street, by Friday of the eighth week of the Michaelmas Term of the second year. A second copy of your report should be filed in college. All reports received by this deadline will be considered for the Oxbow Prize for Fieldwork.

A grant is available for fieldwork costs and students may claim expenses up to £300 by completing this form. Additional funding may be available from Colleges.

Attendance at the Dorchester training excavation is compulsory for all first years.

Individual Fieldwork

In accordance with University regulations, the School of Archaeology has a Fieldwork Health and Safety Policy. This policy requires students who undertake fieldwork as an essential part of their course to complete a Safety in Fieldwork form before any work is started.

Please Note - you need to allow a minimum of six weeks prior to your date of travel, for the necessary paperwork to be completed.

You must also apply for University travel insurance and you will need to complete a  travel insurance application avaialble here.


PLEASE NOTE - Please DO NOT hand the insurance form in to the Departmental Administrator (as instructed on the standard University form), but instead submit it to Ian Cartwright (Institute of Archaeology).  Your insurance form should be submitted at the same time as the safety in fieldwork form, which contains the risk assessment.  Please also note that we undertstand that you may not be able to fill in your flight details at this stage.  That is ok.  Please let us have that information when you have it and we can add it to your form.

Risk assessments must be made for all fieldwork and overseas travel. The nature and complexity of the assessment should reflect the risks involved with the work. In many cases the work itself is not hazardous but it takes place in hazardous surroundings. In these cases the risk assessment should concentrate on the travel-associated risks. For instance, no written risk assessment would be needed for low risk activities such as attending conferences or visiting colleagues in Northern America or the European Union, but similar activities in more dangerous locations would require one.  Where a risk assessment is not required, you will only need to submit an application for insurance form with a full itinerary for your trip. The object of any risk assessment procedure is to identify all the hazards associated with the work and then to assess the risk that these hazards present under particular circumstances. Following the exercise it should be possible to identify areas of work that present particular problems and act to reduce the risk to an acceptable level