About Us

About the University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute.
The Ring of Brodgar, Stenness, Orkney.

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.

Orkney College UHI, Kirkwall.

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.

UHI Archaeology Institute

The University of the Highlands and Islands 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.

It is centred on the Orkney Mainland, but also has research and teaching staff in both Shetland and the Western Isles.

The Institute 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

The Institute is unique within Scotland, in that it 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 working alongside the ORCA staff with regards to teaching and research, providing our students with an unparalleled experience of practical and applied archaeology, as well as facilitating 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 Easter Island and The Cook Islands.