About Us

About the University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute.
Orkney College UHI, Kirkwall.

Listed in the top 15 archaeology units in the UK, the UHI Archaeology Institute is a world-class teaching and research organisation dedicated to advancing our understanding of the historic environment through the creation, interpretation and dissemination of archaeological knowledge.

Based at Orkney College UHI, the institute also has research and teaching staff in Shetland and the Western Isles.

The institute was founded in 2015 and provides a locus for innovative research, university education and lifelong learning in outstanding heritage environments.

We support local, regional and global communities to explore and promote their heritage and development through our expertise in consultancy and research.

Our forward thinking and interdisciplinary approaches to archaeological and heritage research, and our worldwide links and collaborations, ensure the UHI Archaeology Institute is a vibrant international centre of excellence.

Dr Jasmijn Sybenga

Unique in Scotland, the institute combines teaching, academic research, and commercial applied research and consultancy.

The commercial arm of the institute, ORCA, provides professional archaeological and heritage services to northern Scotland – everything from archaeological excavations and evaluations, through to heritage consultancy services, marine archaeological investigations and geophysical survey.

This unique partnership sees the institute’s academic staff work alongside the ORCA staff in teaching and research. This not only provides students with an unparalleled experience of practical and applied archaeology but facilitates world-class archaeological research in both northern Scotland and the wider world.

The Highlands and Islands has particularly rich and diverse archaeological heritage – from Neolithic stone-built settlements, tombs and stone circles, to Iron Age brochs, Pictish and Viking settlements and burials, historical archaeology such as the clearances to remains from the First and Second World Wars – situated in landscapes which are distinctive and often fragile.

However, although the institute carries out internationally significant research within the Highlands and Islands region, we also work much farther afield – with current research projects ongoing in Polynesia and Africa.

The University of the Highlands and Islands

The University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) is the United Kingdom’s leading integrated university encompassing both further and higher education. We are not a traditional university. We are different.

We are part of a new breed of tertiary institutions, the only one in Scotland and one of only a few in Europe, which uses some of the best online learning technologies available to bring high quality teaching and learning to rural Highland and Island communities.

Based in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, our distinctive partnership of 13 independent colleges and research institutions is locally based and rooted in communities, but with national and international reach, as part of a regional university structure.

Our reputation is built on our innovative approach to learning and our distinctive research and curriculum – all enriched by the people, natural environment, economy, culture and heritage of the Highlands and Islands and its communities.

We have 40,000 students at the heart of our university partnership and we are measured by their success.

Our curriculum portfolio across both further and higher education is designed to meet current and future local and regional needs and to attract other students to the Highlands and Islands to study.