NAS Foreshore Recorder and Surveyor Short Course – Enrolling Now

Orkney has attracted seafaring activity over a long period of time-in both war and peace. The foreshore and intertidal zone around the islands are therefore littered with maritime archaeological remains of ships and equipment.

This NAS short course offers the opportunity to learn how to record and survey remains of our important maritime heritage on the beaches and intertidal zones around Orkney. 

The University of the Highlands and Islands together with the Nautical Archaeology Society are now enrolling students for a 2-day marine archaeology course: Foreshore Recorder and Surveyor Days.

  • Duration: 2 Days
  • Time: 9.00 am to 5.00/6.30 pm
  • Venue: Orkney
  • Dates: 1st and 2nd April 2017
  • Tutor: Sandra Henry, Mark Littlewood
  • Cost: £120
  • Qualification: The Nautical Archaeology Society (NAS) Foreshore Recorder and Surveyor Day

The cost excludes accommodation.

This two-day course is aimed at anyone interested in maritime archaeology and heritage. Participants will directly contribute to the understanding of Orkney past landscapes and ongoing monitoring of the wartime heritage in Scapa Flow.

Participants in the course will:

  • Learn about the factors involved in planning archaeological work and projects
  • Understand how to conduct a 2D survey
  • Learn how to set out and position-fix a grid (site dependant)
  • Understand how to use a planning frame
  • Produce a 2D survey that can be used for further project planning.

To reserve a place please contact:

  • Sandra Henry, The University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute, Orkney College UHI, Kirkwall, Orkney KW15 1LX.
  • E-mail: studyarchaeology@uhi.ac.uk
  • Tel: 01856 569225

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Learn how to use Side Scan Sonar in Maritime Archaeology – Shetland

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Side Scan Sonar Image of the wreck of the Ilsenstein in Orkney

The NAS MAC Introduction to Side Scan Sonar course is now open to professionals working in the maritime industry and students of marine archaeology.

The two-day course is held in Shetland on 18th and 19th March 2017.

Course Aims and Objectives

This introductory course will provide an insight into the equipment, survey strategies, processing and interpretation of side scan sonar data in maritime archaeology. During the reinfield-side-scan-capture-annotatedcourse, students will learn how to plan and execute a side scan sonar survey, determining which survey methods are most appropriate in different situations. They will gain practical experience processing and interpreting the resulting data and will be made aware of protocols for disseminating the results.

Throughout the course, side scan surveys will be considered in light of other survey strategies available. Practical exercises will take place during the afternoon on both days and will include survey mobilisation, demobilisation, GPS positioning, data collection, data processing and reporting.

During the two-day course, students will examine:

  • Introduction to site types, targets and anomalies –which sites are best suited to side scan surveys
  • Designing a side scan sonar survey project: considerations and survey strategies
  • Types of side scan mounts and devices
  • Positioning: locating your sites
  • Practical: completing a side scan survey
  • Overview of other survey data processing packages, focussing in particular on Sonar Wiz 5 and Max View
  • Post processing and interpretation– guidance and recommendations
  • Practical: processing and interpreting survey data
  • Reporting and dissemination

Learning Outcomes

  • Participants will complete the course with an understanding of the principles and practice of side scan sonar surveys
  • The students will be able to identify the most suitable equipment and survey strategy appropriate to specific site types and conditions
  • The students will have participated in the design and execution of a small side scan sonar survey
  • The student will have undertaken some basic data processing and will be aware of national guidance for the processing and interpretation of side scan sonar data.

NAS Credit Allocation

  • 10 credits will be awarded to NAS members under the module Fieldwork National Occupational Standards for Archaeology Units: Unit code CU2099: Contribute to non-intrusive investigations

CIfA Endorsement

This course has been endorsed by the Charted Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA) to count towards the required hours of continual professional development.

Cost for the course is £150 (excludes accommodation, ferries and meals)

For more information and to reserve a place e-mail: studyarchaeology@uhi.ac.uk

Please note this timetable is provisional and subject to change.


Two Day NAS GIS Maritime Archaeology Course now enrolling in Orkney.

Learn about the use of GIS in maritime archaeology for the amazing cost of £75.

The University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute are now enrolling for a Nautical Archaeology Society (NAS) Maritime Archaeology (MAC) Course: GIS in Maritime Archaeology at Orkney College on 25th and 26th February 2017

  • Duration: 2 Days
  • Venue: Orkney College, Kirkwall
  • Dates: 25th-26th February 2017
  • Tutors: Sandra Henry, Mark Littlewood
  • Qualification: The Nautical Archaeology Society (NAS) Maritime Archaeology Course (MAC) – QGIS
  • Cost: £75

A Geographic Information System (GIS) is frequently used to create accurate maps with data attached that can be viewed, analysed and published for dissemination.

This two-day introductory course will provide an overview of features in QGIS – a freely available GIS software package commonly used by archaeologists. Although focussing on this particular programme, the skills and procedure students are introduced to can be used in other GIS programmes (such as ArcGIS, gvSIG, GRASS GIS). Comparisons will be made with these other programmes during the course.

During the two-day course, students will be introduced to:

  • Why do we use GIS?
  • How to set up a GIS – map, projections, file-paths, toolboxes and other house-keeping
  • Data sources-where to find accessible maps and other resources
  • How to add these datasets to the GIS
  • Geo-rectifying -providing spatial references for images and maps
  • Other common GIS tools
  • Digitising features through the creation of points, lines and polygons
  • Attach data to these features within an attribute table
  • Interrogation and analysis of spatial data through querying
  • Linking databases
  • How to display data – creating figures for publication and research dissemination

Students will be provided with datasets and will gain experience using the programme through a series of practical exercises.


To reserve a place on this course please contact:

The University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute, Orkney College UHI, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1LX. E-mail: studyarchaeology@uhi.ac.uk  or Tel: +44 (0)1856 569 225

Or download an application form GIS Booking Form and e-mail to studyarchaeology@uhi.ac.uk or send to the address above


Supported by Historic Environment Scotland funding.

NAS Marine Archaeology Course- enrolling now.

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Orkney is one of the most exciting areas in the world for marine archaeology. Scapa Flow and the waters around the islands offer divers the unprecedented opportunity to explore shipwrecks from both world wars.

The University of the Highlands and Islands together with the Nautical Archaeology Society are now enrolling students for a 3-day marine archaeology course: Recorder and Surveyor Day. The course will provide an opportunity to dive on shipwreck sites at the Churchill Barriers in addition to sites in the Bay of Ireland, Stromness.

  • Duration:       3 Days
  • Time:              9.00 am to 5.00/6.30 pm
  • Venue:            Bay of Ireland; Churchill Barriers
  • Dates:             10 -12th February 2017
  • Tutor:           Sandra Henry
  • Qualification: The Nautical Archaeology Society (NAS) Underwater Recorder and Surveyor Day
  • Cost:                £120 (course is subsidised by Historic Environment Scotland)

The cost excludes accommodation and equipment hire.

This three-day course is aimed at anyone interested in maritime archaeology and heritage underwater.

The recorder and surveyor days will entail underwater survey and recording remains of blockship wreck sites at the Churchill Barriers and on a submerged landscape site at the Bay of Ireland near Stromness, Orkney. Participants will directly contribute to the understanding of Orkney past landscapes and ongoing monitoring of the wartime heritage in Scapa Flow.

Participants in the course will:

  • Learn about the factors involved in planning archaeological work and projects
  • Understand how to conduct a 2D survey
  • Learn how to set out and position-fix a grid (intertidal only/site dependant)
  • Understand how to use a planning frame
  • Produce a 2D survey that can be used for further project planning.

There are two NAS E-Learning courses available online (Introduction to Maritime Archaeology and Underwater Archaeology) which are complementary to the practical 3Day course. They do not have to be done first, although it would be helpful if you completed them before you arrived in Orkney. These courses can be accessed here.

To reserve a place please contact:

  • Sandra Henry, The University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute, Orkney College UHI, Kirkwall, Orkney KW15 1LX.
  • E-mail: studyarchaeology@uhi.ac.uk
  • Tel: 01856 569225

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This course has been subsidised by Historic Environment Scotland.

Archive Training in Kirkwall

image14144The University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute have teamed up with Orkney Library archives to offer an Archive Training Opportunity.

– Venue: Orkney Library Archives
– Date: Thursday 19th January
– Time: 5.30pm to 7pm.

Archival Staff will guide you through the process of archive research.

If you are interested, contact us through studyarchaology@uhi.ac.uk to reserve a place.All are welcome and there is no charge. We still have places available.

New Evening Class now enrolling- Archaeology of the Highlands and Islands

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The course will take students on a tour of the spectacular archaeological remains of the Highlands & Islands region, exploring the sites and landscapes of the past from the Neolithic to post-medieval periods.

Additionally, the course introduces the techniques, methods and concepts that archaeologists use to make sense of this rich past.  The teaching involves several members of the Archaeology Institute staff on a weekly basis to afford students the opportunity to hear from specialist expert researchers on the topics covered by each themed-session.

  • Meetings: 11
  • Cost: £110
  • Mondays 7-9pm
  • Room G4.02, Orkney College, Kirkwall
  • Start Date: 6th February

Additionally, the course introduces the techniques, methods and concepts whereby archaeologists make sense of this rich past.  The approach to the teaching is to involve several members of the Archaeology Institute staff on a weekly basis to afford students the opportunity to hear from specialist expert researchers on the topics covered by each themed session.

Class Details

  • Week 1 (6th Feb) Getting started
  • Week 2 (13th Feb) The Environment of the Highlands and Islands in the past
  • Week 3 (20th Feb) Ceremony and Ritual in the Third and Early Second Millennium BC
  • Week 4 (27th March) Understanding the Archaeological Record
  • Week 5 (6th March) The Bronze Age
  • Week 7 (13th March) Environmental Archaeology
  • Week 8 (20th March) Week 6 The Iron Age
  • Week 9 (27th March) Viking and Norse
  • Week 10 (3rd April) Medieval and Post-Medieval
  • Easter Holiday (2 weeks)
  • Week 11 (17th April) Archaeological Landscapes

Programme may be subject to change.


Contact Tina Brown at Orkney College, Telephone (01856) 569206 or e-mail Tina.Brown@uhi.ac.uk for information or to reserve a place.

Art and Archaeology Masters Module Enrolling Now

ART AND ARCHAEOLOGY – CONTEMPORARY THEORY AND PRACTICE

Level 11: “Art and Archaeology: Contemporary Theory and Practice” (UV411013)

The University of the Highlands and Islands is pleased to announce the introduction a new innovative interdisciplinary masters module that can be studied either as a stand alone module or for Continuing Professional Development in the museums and galleries, community archaeology and the Creative Industries.

Designed and led by the University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute and the Department of Art and Design at Orkney College UHI, this exciting course is a distance learning course and incorporates a three day residential workshop held in the beautiful surroundings of Orkney, Scotland. It is a 20 credit SCQF Level 11 module which will appeal to those who have studied archaeology, art history, fine art or related subjects at undergraduate level.

  • Lectures & Seminars: Fridays 9.00 – 11.00 starting Feb 10th 2017

Outline of content:

  • Introduction to Art and Archaeology
  • Virtual Fieldtrip
  • Seeing, Engaging and Recording in Archaeology
  • Taking Art and Archaeology into the Landscape
  • Contemporary Art and Archaeology
  • Artefacts & Objects
  • Drawing Workshop *
  • Photography Workshop *
  • Landscape and Creative Mapping Workshop *
  • Looking at Prehistoric Art
  • Group Presentations/ Seminars and Essay
  • Assessment and feedback
  • 3 day residential workshop in OrkneyMarch 20, 31st & April 1st 2017

*Residential workshop: Travel & Accommodation costs not included

Entry requirements:  BA degree or equivalent

Costs for CPD/ stand Alone

  • £520 for credited (ie assessed)
  • £650 for non-credited study (non assessed)

Also note: Easter Break – April 3rd – 14th 2017

You can download the application form here: oc-application-form-for-2016-17-entry

Send to: Admissions,Orkney College UHI, East Road, KIRKWALL,Orkney KW15 1LX or e-mail a completed form to studyarchaeology@uhi.ac.uk

For further information please contact studyarchaeology@uhi.ac.uk or telephone +44 (0)1856 569225


Note that students are required to cover their own travel and accommodation expenses for the three day residential workshop. For students who are not already enrolled on a programme the costs are: £650 for non credited study (non assessed) and £520 for credited (assessed).

The course is also an optional module for students studying the Fine Arts MA, the Archaeological Studies MLitt, the Archaeological Practice MSc in addition to other related Music and the Environment, History, Cultural or Nordic Studies at the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Module code: UV411013