Student Stories

Neil Ackerman

Neil Ackerman profile pic

Student Profile : Neil Ackerman. BA (Hons) Archaeology Undergraduate at The Archaeology Institute University of the Highlands and Islands.

After leaving school at 16 and working for several years I decided to go back into education, initially sitting my highers in Glasgow then moving to Orkney a year later to study archaeology at the Archaeology Institute UHI. I’d always been interested in history at school, but archaeology grabbed me more as a subject and the opportunity to study it on Orkney was too good to miss. Studying in Orkney not only provides unique access to some incredible archaeology, but also the size of the department allows for a much more personal approach from the lecturers who are able to be much more involved in your development. My own interests lie in Orcadian and Northern Scottish prehistory, specifically the Neolithic, leading to my successful application for a vacation scholarship from the Carnegie Trust to study the roofing at the Ness of Brodgar in the summer of 2015. My interests are not limited to this period however, the occasional foray into other areas has lead to my recent publication in the Post Hole about Ancient Roman prostitution.

Update: In May 2016, Neil secured a post as Sites and Monuments Record Assistant with Aberdeen Council. See this link for more details of Neil’s job.


Holly Young

Holly YoungStudent Profile : Holly Young. BA (Hons) Archaeology Undergraduate at The Archaeology Institute University of the Highlands and Islands.

Since a fairly young age I have always had an interest in History and Archaeology. Hailing from the Scottish Borders I moved to Orkney after finishing High School due to the excellent skills of the UHI rep at our university fair, who said that if you wanted to study Archaeology, Orkney was the place to be. Since then any mention of my course and where I study has been met with a similar comment. Studying Archaeology in Orkney is a one of a kind experience due to the outstanding quality of the resources available as well as the sheer quantity of it. The Institute itself is a great place to study as, the tutors are able to offer a lot more help one on one creating a real sense of support. I am currently about to start my final semester of my undergraduate degree and over my time in Orkney have developed a real enjoyment of Scottish Prehistory. Currently I am writing my dissertation on souterrains after having become enthralled by them during my time digging at The Cairns in South Ronaldsay.

Update: Holly now works in archaeology for a commercial archaeology company in England.


Beth Murray

Beth-MurrayStudent Profile : Beth Murray. BA (Hons) Archaeology Undergraduate at The Archaeology Institute University of the Highlands and Islands. Orkney College Student of the Year Award.

Originally from West Yorkshire I was lucky enough to study archaeology at A Level. This introduced me to Orkney and that was it! The place is not like any other I know and holds onto you. It has an amazing way of life that I find really attractive. I found accommodation on the college website when I arrived and I share a house in Kirkwall with a friend from my course. The Archaeology Department in Orkney is great because the tutors have enough time to help you develop a deeper understanding of the subject and they have given me the confidence to look at completing a Masters in the future. In fact, they have given me the belief that I can achieve and aspire to do things that I couldn`t have done a few years ago. I am in my final year now and my dissertation is on Maritime Cultural Landscapes of Kirkwall.

Update: Beth is now studying Marine Archaeology for her Masters in Southampton


Jim Bright

James Bright

Student Profile :  Jim Bright. Mature student at the University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute.

Living on mainland Scotland I complete my work mainly at the Moray College campus, but have access to the resources and staff in Orkney. The best of both worlds really – I get to live where I want and also get to use the world class facilities of the Institute. I am 38 years old and have always wanted to study archaeology and combine it with my IT skills and interest in technology. Since I got voluntarily redundancy from the civil service in 2011, I jumped at the chance to study the Archaeology and Environmental Studies course at UHI. I hope to continue on to do a masters degree or a PhD in the field of virtual archaeology/digital archaeology in the future.

Update: Jim is now studying for his Masters with us at the Archaeology Institute.